A fungal nail mainly occurs in the big toenail and can then spread to the adjacent toenails. The nail will have brown/yellow patches from the top of the nail, but in the early stages may appear white. In the later stages, the nail can become thickened, discoloured, deformed and have an unpleasant smell, which leads to the nail crumbling and splitting.
The fungal infection occurs when there has been trauma to the nail and the infection penetrates the nail. The fungus likes moist, dark and warm environments. Once it occurs it can take a long time to clear, therefore it is important to seek advice as soon as you think you may have an infection. A podiatrist can reduce the thickness of the nail, as well as cutting and filing the nail to relieve any discomfort and improve appearance. Advice can also be given on the treatments available.