Athletes foot is one of the commonest skin problems in the world today. A study suggested that around 35% of the adult population have it - caused by a fungus that lives on the skin of the feet causing the infection. For the majority of sufferers with the condition, when it is on the skin it doesn't give any symptoms - no itching or blistering. For most, just a persistent dry skin on their soles which won't go away.
A Fungal Nail
The consequences of leaving this untreated in many cases is spread of the fungus, leading to nail discolouration as it creeps under the nail and spread towards the cuticle. This can take some time but eventually the nail becomes discoloured, unsightly, distorted and difficult to cut. It can also spread to other parts of the body too.
Treatment is available at the Chiropody Surgery but before the nail can be treated it is important to make a diagnosis to make sure it is definitely a fungal nail infection. Traditionally you would need to send a nail clipping to a hospital microbiology laboratory, via your GP and wait for up to three weeks to get the results. Due to advances in science and technology, we now have a new test available for patients in clinic. The test just requires a small nail sample and can give a very accurate result in just five minutes. Studies published in medical journals have highlighted how the test is more accurate than the laboratory test, which frequently gives inaccurate results.
Ask you podiatrist about the test at your next appointment.