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Fungal nail infection

A fungal nail infection is where 1 of your nails (usually a toenail) is infected with a fungus.

A fungal nail infection can make the affected nail discoloured and brittle.

You can get creams for a fungal nail infection from a pharmacy. A GP may prescribe antifungal tablets if the infection is severe.

You can help prevent fungal nail infections by keeping your feet clean and dry.

Read more on the NHS website.

A fungal nail infection can make the affected nail discoloured and brittle.

Check if it's a fungal nail infection

Fungal nail infections usually affect your toenails, but you can get them on your fingernails, too.

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Fungal nail infections sometimes start at the edge of the nail

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The infection often spreads to the middle of the nail, making the nail discoloured and sometimes thicker in parts

Fungal nail infection 1
The nail becomes brittle and pieces can break off. Sometimes the whole nail lifts off. This can cause pain and swelling in the skin around the nail

Read more on the NHS website.

You can get creams for a fungal nail infection from a pharmacy. A GP may prescribe antifungal tablets if the infection is severe.

Medical treatments

A GP can prescribe antifungal tablets. But before they give you tablets they should take a sample of your nail and have it tested, to find out what type of infection you have.

You may need to take antifungal tablets for up to 6 months.

The tablets can have side effects, including:

  • headaches
  • itching
  • loss of taste
  • feeling sick and diarrhoea

You cannot take antifungal tablets if you're pregnant or have certain conditions. They can damage your liver.

Badly infected nails sometimes need to be removed. It's a small procedure done while the area is numbed (under local anaesthetic).

Read more on the NHS website.

You can help prevent fungal nail infections by keeping your feet clean and dry.

Read more on the NHS website.