Tuesday, 30 January 2024 00:00

Definition and Causes of Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus, clinically known as onychomycosis, is a prevalent ailment characterized by the invasion of fungi into the toenail, leading to discoloration, thickening, and a brittle texture. This condition primarily results from the overgrowth of dermatophytes, yeasts, or molds, often thriving in warm and moist environments. Individuals with compromised immune systems, poor circulation, or a history of nail injuries are more susceptible. Furthermore, shared spaces like public showers and swimming pools contribute to the spread of these fungi, making preventive measures vital. Additionally, wearing tight-fitting shoes or using communal nail care tools can create an ideal breeding ground for toenail fungus. Understanding the definition and causes empowers individuals to adopt proper foot hygiene practices and seek timely treatment, ensuring healthier and fungus-free toenails. If you have developed this unsightly foot condition, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can offer you the correct treatment, which may include prescribed medicine.

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 our doctors of Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma. 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 Oklahoma City, OK . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.


Read more about Treating Toenail Fungus

Connect With Us

scroll to top