The signs of a nail fungus infection are:
- Separation of the nail from the nail bed (onycholysis)
- Debris (dirt, dead skin cells, etc.) under the nail
- Discolouration of the nail (usually white or yellow, sometimes brown)
- Crumbling or destruction of all or part of the nail
- Odour coming from the nail bed
- Thickened and crumbling nails, often with ridges
- Numbness, tingling or pain in or below the nail
- May involve a single nail, but more frequently multiple nails
- Fungal infections affect toenails more often than fingernails, as fungi grow better in a warm and moist environment (often covered by socks and shoes).
Nail fungus is not simply a cosmetic problem; it is an infection that is contagious and can cause pain, discomfort and issues walking and moving, and could potentially lead to serious complications. Nail fungus infections are most often caused by fungi found in soil and decaying plants. This family of organisms can also cause fungal infections of the skin, and it is possible for a fungal infection to spread from the skin to the nails, or vice versa.