Tuesday, 29 August 2023 00:00

Causes and Preventive Measures for Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus, medically known as onychomycosis, is a common nail infection caused by fungal organisms that thrive in warm and moist environments. This condition typically starts as a white or yellow spot under the tip of the toenail and can spread to the other toenails, causing the nail to become discolored, thickened, and brittle. The fungi responsible for toenail infections live in areas such as public pools, showers, and locker rooms. Additionally, tight or non-breathable shoes can create an environment conducive to fungal growth. Preventive measures can include keeping the feet clean and dry, and wearing well-fitting shoes that are made from breathable materials. Additionally, it is beneficial to refrain from walking barefoot in public places. If you suspect a toenail fungus, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can help to prevent its progression and guide you toward effective treatment methods.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists of Fox Valley Foot and Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.


  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail


If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.


In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Naperville, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.


Read more about How to Treat Your Toenail Fungus


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