The most important thing that you can do to spot nail fungus early is to have a strong understanding of the most common symptoms. Once you have identified one or more of the common symptoms, then you can begin treatment immediately. The earlier that you can begin treatment on a nail fungus infection the better chance you have of reducing its growth and hopefully shortening the overall treatment period. Since nail fungus infections can be stubborn, understanding the symptoms and beginning treatment can greatly increase success rates for completely eradicating the infection.
One of the first signs of a fungal infection is that you can see a distinct change in color of the nail or toenail. In the initial stages of an infection there can be small yellow or white patches on the nail bed, beneath the nail itself. For nail infections that have progressed further, the outer nail often turns yellow or darker shades of brown or black. One less common type of nail fungus infection known as “White Superficial” fungus can cause the nail to turn white instead of the darkening that takes place with more common forms of onychomycosis.
Another sign of a fungal infection is that the actual texture of the nail can change. The finger nail or toenail can often thicken and become quite brittle. In many cases, the nail can thicken to the point that trimming them becomes difficult. In extreme cases the nail can shed and crack, eventually leading to the loss of the nail. Fungal toenails have also been known to create un unpleasant smell.
Once you have identified that you do have a nail infection, it is important to begin treatment as quickly as possible. If you have an extreme case as outlined above, it would probably be most prudent to seek out the advice of a podiatrist. For anyone suffering from a mild to moderate infection, there are options. There are a number of home remedies, over the counter topical products and prescription drugs for the treatment of nail fungus. Review what is available to you and begin treatment with one of these options immediately. Subsequently, it is very important to care for the infected area. Keep hands and feet clean and dry. Wear clean and dry socks at all times. Finally, be sure to avoid the use of public showers or swimming pools unless you are wearing protective footwear.