A nurse's gloved hands hold a foot to better examine the toenail.
Nail infections, while often seen as merely cosmetic issues, can signify underlying health problems and lead to further complications if left untreated. These infections can transform from slight discoloration or a simple annoyance to painful conditions that hinder daily tasks.

About the condition

What is a nail infection?

Nail infections are typically caused by fungi, yeasts, or bacteria. These microorganisms can invade the space under the nail plate, causing the nail to discolor, thicken, and sometimes become distorted in shape. While toenails are more commonly affected, fingernails can also become infected. As the infection progresses, nails might start to crack, peel, and even pull away from the nail bed, potentially leading to discomfort or pain.

Symptoms of nail infections include:

  • Discoloration (white, black, yellow or green nails)
  • Thickened or brittle nails
  • Distorted nail shape
  • A foul odor from the infected nails

When should I see a dermatologist about nail infections?

If you notice any changes in the color, texture, or shape of your nails, it’s essential to seek a dermatologist’s advice. Early detection and treatment can prevent complications, like the spreading of the infection to other nails or even secondary bacterial infections. At Valley View Dermatology, our board-certified dermatologists have extensive experience diagnosing and treating various nail conditions.


Locations treating nail infections

I have been with this Dermatology clinic for many years. The staff have always been friendly, knowledgeable, and strive to help answer questions.
– J.B.

Diagnosis and treatment options for nail infections

Every nail infection is unique, and therefore, it’s crucial to get an accurate diagnosis. Our board-certified dermatologists will examine the affected nails and may take a nail clipping or scrape underneath the nail to identify the exact cause of the infection. Once diagnosed, an appropriate and personalized treatment plan will be devised.

Antifungal medications

Oral antifungal drugs are one of the most common treatments for nail infections, especially those caused by fungi. These drugs help a new nail grow free of infection, slowly replacing the infected part. For the best results, you might need to take the medication for several months, and even then, the infection could recur.

Medicated nail creams and polishes

Topical solutions can be applied directly to the infected nails. After soaking the nails, you apply the cream or polish, allowing it to penetrate through the nail and treat the underlying infection. While simpler and less invasive, topical treatments might be less effective than oral medications but can be an excellent option for milder infections or in conjunction with other treatments.

Nail removal

In severe cases, where the infection is painful or persistent, the nail might need to be removed. This procedure allows a new, healthy nail to grow in its place, although it might take up to a year for the nail to fully regrow. Sometimes, the treatment also involves antifungal drugs to prevent the infection from recurring.

Schedule an appointment

Don’t let nail infections tarnish the beauty of your hands and feet or cause unnecessary pain. Act today, and let’s give you the care you deserve. Schedule your appointment at the most convenient clinic location.

Call 971-374-2150