Toenail fungus is a condition which is also known as onychomycosis and it does not deal specifically with toenails, but all nails with the toenails being the most commonly infected. This condition is the result of a fungal infection that occurs most commonly when the nails are subjected for an extended period of time to an environment that increases the chance of fungal growth, i.e. a humid or moist environment. While in the early stages this condition is not particularly threatening if allowed to continue uncontested toenail fungus can cause the skin underneath and around the nail to become inflamed and begin to hurt. This condition will also weaken the strength of the nail over time and cause it to be more brittle.
Some symptoms of toenail fungus include the nail becoming thickened and discolored and more advanced symptoms include the nail becoming brittle and breaking off or coming off of the toe entirely. These symptoms present themselves so slowly that toenail fungus can be present for many years before being diagnosed due to the affected areas not causing pain.
Treatment of toenail fungus requires different medications, so seeing a professional is highly recommended if one suspects that they are suffering from this malady. Some treatments could call for a systemic antifungal medication or a topical solution which will work to kill the fungus that is infecting the nail. Patients with diabetes who suspect that they are affected by nail fungus should seek help from a professional as soon as possible due to this fungal infection also inviting a risk of more serious infections throughout the body in those whose immune systems are suppressed; which diabetes does to the immune system.