Fungal toenails form due to an infection that gets in between either the cracks in the nail or possible cuts on the surrounding skin. When this occurs, it’s likely to discolor and thicken the nail; this makes it hard to care for or trim. The nail itself may also become brittle and could potentially crumble. The fungus under the nail may build over time, separating the nail from the bed and ultimately causing it to fall off if not treated properly.
Fungal nails typically form due to the lack of footwear in public, warm, damp environments. Popular areas where patients have picked up a fungal infection include communal showers, locker rooms, gyms, and swimming pools. If you’re prone to sweaty feet, you may be more likely to develop a fungal nail as well. You may also be more likely to develop a fungal nail if you have a weaker immune system or have a history with athlete’s foot.
For a proper diagnosis and advised treatment plan, it’s recommended that you consult with a podiatrist as soon as possible for professional care and to prevent the infection from spreading.