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A nail that is infected by a fungus usually turns white or yellow. As the fungus spreads, the nail turns a darker colour and gets thicker. And the nail edges start to turn ragged and crumble. A bad infection can cause pain, and the nail may pull away from the toe or finger.
Nails that are exposed to moisture and warmth a lot are more likely to get infected by a fungus. This can happen from wearing sweaty shoes often and from walking barefoot on shower floors. Or it can happen if you share personal things, such as towels and nail clippers.
It's hard to treat nail fungus. And the infection can return after it has cleared up. But medicines can sometimes get rid of nail fungus for good. If the infection is very bad, or if it causes a lot of pain, you may need to have the nail removed.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
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Current as of: March 22, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Patrice Burgess MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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