Is Toenail Fungus Painful?

Is Toenail Fungus Painful?

Quite often toenail pain is disregarded until it can no longer be endured. In fact, the pain can be so excruciating that walking in your shoes may be difficult. Even more, people often procrastinate in seeking medical attention until walking is unbearable.

However, you can completely avoid toenail pain if treatment is done early on. In fact, prompt treatment may be the solution to fast healing and decreasing pain.


What Causes the Toenail Pain?

photo of a podiatrist examining a big toe | American Foot & Leg Specialists

What Causes the Toenail Pain?

One of the underlying causes of toenail pain is toenail fungus, also known as onychonycosis. Toenail fungus is a common infection of the toenails. As well, onychonycosis can affect the fingernails. Other causes of toenail pain are ingrown toenails and sometimes even psoriasis.

Generally onychonycosis is caused by one of three different types of fungi – yeasts, nondermatophyte molds and dermatophytes. Basically, fungi are eukaryotic or plant organisms that can live without sunlight. Truthfully, fungi thrive in dark and damp environments. This is why toenails are very susceptible to fungi.

The fungus can be found in public places like showers, swimming pools and lockers rooms. In addition, ailments like diabetes and immune deficiency disease are high risk factors. Plus, surplus perspiration and a history of athlete’s foot also make one more vulnerable.


Signs of Toenail Fungus

Pain is definitely a big indicator that you have a fungal infection. The infection can also cause the nails to become discolored, thickened, loosened, brittle and flaky. The discoloration of the nail can vary. Typically the toenail turns brown, yellow, black, green or grey. Separation from the nail bed can also occur causing the skin to become swollen, itchy or red.


One of the best ways to prevent toenail fungus is by keeping the feet clean and dry. For the best prevention, many podiatrists like American Foot and Leg Specialists in the Atlanta Metro Area recommend that you wash with soap and water then dry your feet thoroughly. Your shoes, socks and other foot wear should be changed daily. As well, your shoes and socks should fit loosely and not be confining. Tight fitting shoe wear encourages moisture.

It is also highly recommended that you keep your toenails short and trimmed and always wear foot protection when using public places like a swimming pool. Moreover, pedicure and manicure tools should always be disinfected after every use. And if you suspect an infection, avoid using nail polish at all costs. Nail polish causes moisture to collect under the surface. And because it is trapped, the moisture does not evaporate.


If at any time you suspect that you have toenail fungus, you should seek medical help immediately. This is because onychomycosis can be very difficult to treat if it goes untreated for long periods of time. In fact, severe cases often involve long term treatment. However, a mild case can generally be resolved topically in a short amount of time.

If you suspect you have toenail fungus, seek treatment right away. Early treatment can prevent complications and intense pain. Generally, a specialist like a podiatrist is best. One of the leading and finest podiatrist facilities in the Atlanta and South Atlanta Metro Area is American Foot and Leg Specialists. They have a caring and well experienced staff that works diligently to diagnose, prevent and treat any type of foot issue. Plus there is a wide range of services from distinctive treatments to routine examinations. Some of the services include athlete related injuries, diabetes foot care, and treating infections like toenail fungus.

For your convenience, American Foot and Leg Specialists are located in several places around the South Atlanta Metro area – Douglas, Fulton, Cobb, Clayton, Henry and Fayette County. Call us today at (404) 363-9944 to make an appointment.