Fungal Nail Infections - When To Call a Doctor
Call your doctor for an
immediate appointment if a
fungal nail infection develops signs of bacterial
infection, such as:
- Increased pain, swelling, redness, tenderness, or heat.
- Red streaks extending from the area.
- Discharge of pus.
- Fever of
100°F (37.78°C) or higher with
no other cause.
Call your doctor for an appointment if your symptoms are
troubling you, such as when:
- A fungal infection appears to be spreading to the skin under the
nail, the nail itself, or the surrounding skin.
- The infected area is painful.
- A thickened toenail causes discomfort.
- Your nail's appearance concerns you.
Your doctor can check for signs of fungal infection. If a
fungal infection is not treated, it may get worse.
Watchful waiting is a period of time during
which you and your doctor observe your symptoms or condition without using
medical treatment. If a nail is discolored or damaged but is not painful, you
may decide not to treat the infection. Antifungal medicine does not guarantee a
cure, and antifungal pills (oral medicine) can be expensive and have
dangerous side effects. But treatment may stop the
infection from causing permanent damage to the nail and increase the chance of
Who to See
Health professionals who can diagnose and treat a
fungal nail infection include:
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.