Have your nails changed colour?
Are they becoming thicker?
Are you worried you may have a fungal infection?
There are actually many reasons why your nails can change. A fungal infection is one of these reasons, but skin diseases like psoriasis and lichen planus can make nails thickened and crumbly.
It can be hard to tell exactly what is happening just by looking at the nail, so at Randell’s Footcare we offer mycology testing. This is a simple procedure where we take a nail clipping and send to a lab for PCR testing. This is a very accurate test and picks up infections often missed by microscopy and culture tests, favoured by the NHS.
Once we know what is causing the problem, there are a few options for treatment. There are topical treatments available over the counter, but these are not effective in advanced cases, and not all treatments are as effective as each other so make sure you take advice from your podiatrist. . Often the affected nail needs to be reduced in thickness first using a file or burr, so that the anti-fungal drops or oil can work effectively. This is a painless procedure and we will then provide you with drops or oil which will need to be applied regularly.
If the infection has gone too far for topical treatment, there are oral tablets which are available on prescription from your GP. Not all people are suitable for these – it will depend on your medical history and any medications you may be taking. The treatment must still be monitored closely so that medication can be stopped as soon as the infection has cleared. Your podiatrist will be able to advise you. Clare Rushmer BSc Podiatry, Randell’s Footcare