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Fungal infection of the toenails (also called onychomycosis) occurs when a fungus infects the tissue underneath the toenail. The result is discoloration of the nail. Often the nail becomes thickened and raised. It commonly involves several nails simultaneously. It often occurs in people with persistent moisture in their feet, such as with footwear that does not allow air circulation or in those who perspire excessively in their feet.
The diagnosis of fungal infection of a toenail can be made based on the appearance of the toe. In some cases a sample may be obtained, to look for fungus under a microscope or to grow and identify the fungus in a laboratory.
Your podiatrist can diagnose the cause of toenail problems and recommend treatments oral or topical.
The nails can become very thickened, discolored and unsightly. In some cases, pain or infection can result from very thickened nails.