Fungal nail infections can occur on both your toenails and your fingernails, but toenail infections are far more common. This type of infection is caused by the same type of fungus that leads to athlete's foot, and it's unlikely to get better without treatment. As such, it's important to visit your podiatrist if you think you have a fungal toenail infection. The condition is not always serious, but it's best to save yourself the discomfort and prevent any possible complications by seeking treatment without delay.

With that in mind, here are just five common signs of a fungal toenail infection that you should keep an eye out for.

1. Irritated Skin

When one of your toenails is infected, the skin that surrounds that nail will often become irritated. At first, you may notice persistent itchiness, especially when the area is disturbed. Over time, skin may start to become red, cracked, or swollen. While you're unlikely to experience any serious levels of pain, these skin problems can cause significant discomfort, especially when you're on your feet.

2. Discolouration

At first, you're only likely to notice a small white or yellow spot beneath the tip of an infected toenail, but discolouration usually gets worse over time. As the fungal infection gets worse, discolouration will often spread over a much larger area. When this happens, your entire toenail may become yellow, white, green, or even black.

3. Weakness

Infected nails tend to break more easily than healthy nails. As such, nails suffering from fungal infections will often seem more brittle or ragged than they once were. In some cases, large cracks may develop down the middle of an infected toenail. Additionally, infected toenails can start to separate from the nailbed, which increases the risk of them coming away entirely.

4. Thickening

As a fungal toenail infection spreads, you may find it harder to trim the affected nail. This is because infected nails often thicken. In some cases, nails will start to curl upwards or downwards, which will also make it harder to keep them trimmed.

5. Poor Odour

Your feet are unlikely to smell great throughout the entire day, but those with fungal toenail infections may notice a bad odour even after they've just washed. Fungus is smelly, and these infections will produce odours as they grow. If you notice a bad smell that doesn't go away even after a thorough cleaning, you probably have a fungal infection.

For more information, contact a local podiatrist.