Summary of Chapter 19
Don’t try to fill someone else’s footprints when you have your own.– Dr. Suzanne Levine
A fungal infection causes nail fungus, a condition called “onychomycosis.” The nail thickens and becomes brittle with ragged edges, distorted, dull, and discolored. Sometimes the nail lifts up off the nail bed (a condition called “onycholysis”). Infected nails can be painful and make it difficult to stand and walk in closed shoes. Fungal infections usually begin at the tip of the nail – also called the “distal end” – with a white or yellow spot. As they progress, the nail will appear yellow, black or brown and become thin and flaky-looking. At this point many people are embarrassed by the unsightly appearance of their toe.
Fungal infections account for up to 51 percent of the nail problems that doctors see. They might be common but they are very hard to treat. In fact, they may take one to two years to get under control. Yes, you read that correctly: years! That said, it’s important to get them under control – especially if you have a weakened immune system or diabetes – so that they don’t become more serious or spread to other nails. Fungal infections also make you more susceptible to getting a bacterial superinfection.
In this chapter of My Feet Are Killing Me Dr. Levine discusses:
- What causes nail fungus?
- How do you treat fungal infections?
- How can I prevent a fungal infection?
- What causes redness, swelling, and pain around the nail?
- How can you treat paronychia?
- What causes black-and-blue nails?
- Signs of Skin Cancer
- Speaking of skin cancer…
- What causes thickened nails?
- What causes the nail to separate from the nail bed?
- What Your Nails Say About Your Health
- Real Patient Recap: Dr. Levine uncovers the real truth lurking beneath a carefully crafted image.