A fungal infection in the toenails

Signs that your child may require treatment from a doctor

Q: A few of my eight-year-old son’s toenails are brittle, brownish-yellow and seem thick compared to the other nails. Could this be fungus?

A: It does sound as if your son has a fungal infection of his toenails. This is not unusual. It’s more common in older people because they’re more likely to have nutritional and health problems that can damage nails, leaving them susceptible to fungus. In kids and teens, it’s often the result of wearing closed shoes (runners) and heavy socks that don’t absorb moisture. Fungal toe infections are not easy to treat and may take weeks or months to heal. They usually require a prescription medicine to do the job, so make an appointment with your son’s doctor.