A fungal nail infection can have a variety of symptoms and causes, and you may experience some or all of them. Our doctors will need as much information as possible about the symptoms you are experiencing in order to make an accurate diagnosis.
How our doctors diagnose fungal nail infections
For a doctor to diagnose a fungal nail infection, they will need to look at the area affected, as well as the skin around the nail. Our doctors can do this during an online video consultation.
They may also want to know if you have had any other cases of fungal nail infection or if you have damaged your nails in the past, as they are often a recurring problem.
Sometimes, other conditions, such as psoriasis, can look like a fungal nail infection. If this is the case, you may be referred for a nail clipping test, which will be sent to the lab in order to confirm a diagnosis.
The doctor may also want to check for cases of athlete foot, because that is usually caused by the same fungus. If you contract athlete’s foot, the doctor can prescribe medicines or creams to treat it at the same time as your fungal nail infection.
Recurring fungal nail infections
In almost half of all cases of people who experience a fungal nail infection, a future infection will occur within three years.
In cases where you’ve suffered from an infection numerous times, and that the treatment you’re being prescribed isn’t effective, a doctor may refer you for a clipping of the nail, which will be sent to a laboratory for analysis under a microscope, allowing for the fungus to be identified. Your treatment may then need to be adjusted to keep the fungi at bay in future.
What happens next?
If the doctor diagnoses a fungal nail infection, in most cases, you will need to get treatment, which is usually in the form of:
- Antifungal tablets
- Antifungal nail paint
If the nail is not causing you any trouble, and is mild, it could be that no treatment is recommended.
To find out more information on how a fungal nail infection can be treated.