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Nail fungus and what you need to do
August 10, 2017, 4:20 pm

If you think you have nail fungus, you might be tempted to hide your problem with nail polish or self-treat with over-the-counter antifungal products. But you should visit a doctor instead, a dermatologist suggests.

Nail fungus can be an embarrassing problem, but you should not be embarrassed to discuss it with a dermatologist, who can help you manage this condition.

Although nail fungus is the most common nail disorder that dermatologists treat, not every nail problem is caused by fungus, and there are several other conditions that may look similar, including nail psoriasis and nail trauma.

If you treat something that is not a fungus as a fungus, it may not help your problem; in fact, it could make the condition worse. On the other hand, if you do have a fungal infection and let it go unchecked, the symptoms could worsen, possibly causing pain or interfering with your everyday activities.

Early signs of nail fungus may include lifting of the nail off the skin and yellow or white discoloration. As the condition worsens, nails may become thicker, difficult to cut and increasingly discolored, or they may become thinner, prone to crumbling and splitting.

If you experience bothersome nail symptoms, see a dermatologist, who can evaluate your condition and recommend the best available treatment for you. It is especially important to seek treatment for nail conditions if you have underlying medical issues, such as diabetes, poor circulation or a weakened immune system.

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