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Toenail Fungus Symptoms and Causes

Toenail fungus, medically known as onychomycosis, is more than an aesthetic concern. This persistent condition affects the appearance of your nails, can cause discomfort, and can lead to more severe health issues if left untreated. While various treatments are available, from topical creams to oral medications, many suffer from limited effectiveness and potential side effects.

Enter the innovative solution offered by Oval Medical Laser Aesthetics—a state-of-the-art laser treatment designed to target and destroy the fungus efficiently without the drawbacks of conventional methods. This blog post will delve into the essentials of toenail fungus, discuss traditional treatments and their limitations, and introduce you to a cutting-edge laser treatment option. We’ll explore how the Oval Medical Laser Aesthetics system works, what you can expect from the treatment and the transformative results it has delivered to countless patients. Whether you’re struggling with recurrent toenail fungus or looking for a more effective remedy, this guide will provide the information you need to make an informed decision about your foot health.

Understanding Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is a fungal infection that penetrates the protective outer layer of the toenail, causing the nail to thicken, discolour, and sometimes become brittle and misshapen. This condition is unsightly and can be uncomfortable and potentially painful, especially when wearing shoes. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and progression of toenail fungus is crucial for effective treatment and prevention.

Causes of Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus is caused by a group of fungi known as dermatophytes, which thrive in warm, moist environments like sweaty shoes and public showers. Yeasts and moulds can also cause nail infections. Several factors increase the risk of developing toenail fungus, including:

  • Age, as blood circulation decreases and nails grow more slowly and thicken
  • A sweaty foot environment
  • Walking barefoot in damp communal areas, such as swimming pools, gyms, and shower rooms
  • Having athlete’s foot (tinea pedis)
  • Minor skin or nail injuries or conditions such as psoriasis
  • Diabetes or other conditions that weaken the immune system

Symptoms and Typical Progression

The infection often begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of the toenail. As the fungus spreads deeper into the nail, it may cause:

  • Nail discoloration (the nail may turn white, black, yellow, or green)
  • Thickening and distortion of the nail, making it difficult to trim
  • A buildup of debris under the nail
  • Brittle, crumbly, or ragged nails
  • Slightly foul odor

Left untreated, toenail fungus can persist indefinitely and may cause permanent damage to the nails. In severe cases, the infection can spread to other toenails, the skin, or fingernails.

Common Complications

Untreated toenail fungus can lead to further complications, particularly for individuals with weakened immune systems or diabetes. Complications may include:

  • Pain and discomfort, which can impede walking or wearing shoes
  • Spread of the infection to other parts of the body
  • Skin infections like cellulitis
  • Increased risk of bacterial infections that can spread beyond the foot


Toenail fungus is a common condition that affects up to 10% of the general population, and its prevalence increases with age. It is more common in older adults, affecting about 50% of individuals over the age of 70.

Understanding the nature of toenail fungus is essential for recognizing the need for effective treatment and the potential health risks associated with the condition. In the next section, we’ll examine the traditional treatments for toenail fungus and their limitations, setting the stage for introducing a more advanced and effective laser treatment option.

Book a Consultation

Don’t let toenail fungus keep you from feeling confident in your own shoes! Take the first step towards clear, healthy nails by booking your consultation with us today. Our advanced laser treatments are safe, effective, and quick, ensuring that you get the best care with minimal disruption to your busy life. Call us now or email to schedule your appointment. It’s time to treat your feet to the care they deserve!

You deserve beautiful skin,
Oval Medical Laser Aesthetics

1855 Kirschner Rd #300
Kelowna, BC V1Y 4N7
(250) 317-3666


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