When your toenail fungus turns white or yellow, it is more likely that you are seeing the start of a toenail fungus or what is known by doctors as onychomycosis. This fungus is the cause of 50 percent of all nail issues. Nail fungus affects both the toenails and fingernails, but it is more prevalent on the toenails, affecting it 4 to 10 times more frequently than the fingernails.
Toenail fungus is not a health concern unless it is left untreated and becomes worse. If the fungus is given more freedom, it can result in more discoloration and the nail turning thick and brittle and hard to trim. The nail can separate from the nail bed and fall off on its own. The infection may also spread to other nails.
3How is a toenail fungus infection diagnosed?
A dermatologist looks into the infected nail and its surrounding skin. It is possible for you to be already having an athlete’s foot before a full-blown toenail fungal infection. Before providing a diagnosis, the doctor may take some samples of the nail. This can be done by getting some skin scrapings, collecting from the debris underneath the nail, or trimming off part of the infected nail. The samples will be brought to a lab to find out what is causing the infection.