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Nail infections (also known as fungal nail infections) are common infections of the fingernails or toenails. These infections can cause the nail to become discolored and more likely to crack or break. In most cases, a fungal nail infection is not painful. If the infection becomes severe, then you may notice pain. Nail infections are more common in toenails than fingernails.
Anyone can get a fungal nail infection at any age. Some people may be more likely to get nail infections than others, including people who have the following conditions:
A severe case of a nail infection may cause permanent damage to your nails. The infection may also spread to other parts of the body.
Common symptoms of a fungal nail infection include the following:
Nail infections will usually go away without treatment. Your doctor may also recommend over-the-counter medicines. If your body is not responding to the over-the-counter medicines, or if your symptoms are getting worse, your doctor may recommend the following treatments:
Fungal nail infections may take weeks or even months to resolve. Even after the infection is treated, repeat nail infections may occur.
There are steps you can take to prevent nail infections, including: