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Skin and Nail Infections

Infections can affect the nail as well as the skin beneath the nail and lead to some uncomfortable symptoms. A nail infection can look bad, but will often not lead to more serious problems. There are some cases, however, that should be looked at by a dermatologist.

What are Skin and Nail Infections?

Skin and nail infections can affect the fingernails, toenails, nail bed (underneath the nail), and the sides of the nail. Infections can either be acute or chronic if it keeps returning. The infection often affects one nail but can affect several at once.

Symptoms of Skin and Nail Infections

Symptoms of a nail infection include a nail that:

  • Thickens
  • Is discolored (yellow or white)
  • Splits or separates from the skin

A skin and nail infection can lead to pain when wearing tight shoes or walking and can lead to permanent damage over time.

What Causes Skin and Nail Infections

Skin and nail infections are caused by a fungus such as yeast or mold. Fungal skin and nail infections can spread to another person and be contracted from public showers, pools, sharing nail clippers, or towels. You are at a higher risk for a nail infection if you frequently have your hands and feet in water. Skin and nail infections often appear with other conditions such as:

  • Ingrown toenail
  • Athletes foot
  • A weakened immune system

How are Skin and Nail Infections Treated?

A skin and nail infection can be diagnosed through examination and usually does not require testing. If a skin and nail infection is detected, you might be prescribed an antibiotic to kill bacteria or an antifungal medication. Sometimes pus-filled sockets can occur, requiring drainage. You might also try bath soaks at home or over-the-counter creams. Keeping the nails dry can also help prevent skin and nail infections from occurring or worsening. Ingrown toenails can be treated locally in our office.

You should contact a dermatologist if your symptoms do not improve with home remedies or if you experience a fever, red streaks under the skin, or have joint and muscle pain. If you are in the Jupiter, FL area, you can visit Jupiter Dermatology for your skin and nail infection treatment.

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