Why Does My Toenail Smell Like Cheese?

Fungal nail infection, a common and curable problem that can occur with all of us doesn’t matter we man or women. However, it’s not a horrible problem, just after following some instructions we can simply solve this problem.

This infection gradually starts growing on our toenail and also affect our fingernails too. That is really irritating and uncomfortable. Normally nail infections start at the edge of the nail and gradually increase their existence. An affected toenail can continue its growing process by attacking another one.

Creates a bad smell just like cheese and makes nails thick, discolored and more likely to crack and break. This problem thrives in a damp, salty environment and also for our unclean nails and less concern too.

Why Does My Toenail Smell Like Cheese?

Cheese smell toenail, its actual reason is Bacteria Attack that is called ‘Brevibacterium’. This bacterium lives In between the toes with the support of a salty, damp environment. And these bacteria are normally used in the cheese creation process for Entrammes, Limburger and Muenster cheeses. Presence of the same bacteria is the reason for toenail smell like cheese.

When toenail infection develops, our nail typically turns yellow or brown and becomes overgrown and thick. This way our nails may crumble gradually and fall off one time. At that time toenail will emit a slightly foul odor and may separate the nail from the toenail bed.  And that separation is known as ‘Onycholysis’.

Toenail Fungus and Bacteria

1. Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus or onychomycosis, a widespread fungal infection that less commonly infects our fingernails. Usually happens when fungi get place between the toenail and the toenail bed, through a crack or cut in our toe.

Why Does My Toenail Smell Like Cheese?

Mostly we get this problem when we are getting older. Medical experts count that this fungus problem affects overall 1 to 10 people. But this prediction gets changed to 1 in 2(50%) for people older than 70.

Perfect footwear can help us to stay away from us from this problem. Normally people get toenail fungus by using the public shower or locker room, walking barefoot in a public area like around the perimeters of swimming pools.

Here, we have a relief point that is it’s not too much pain and usually not spread beyond the. Some dermatophyte fungi can spread to the skin called Ringworm. Overall, toenail fungus may spread to:

  • Other toenail.
  • Groin area that called jock itch.
  • Skin between your toe that called athlete’s foot.
  • Scalp that the skin on top of our head.

2. Toenail Bacteria

Bacteria nail infection or Paronychia that affects our fingernail or toenail as well as the skin around our fingers. One type of yeast called Candida typically causes this infection. Yeast and bacteria combinedly work in that case.

toenail bacterial nail infection

We can clear up bacterial infection problems with some treatment. Somehow our treated toenail can infect again by these bacteria and that can be painful sometimes. For this we have to pay some attention on our nails and try to clean them regularly.

Paronychia can go deeper into the finger or toe but don’t worry it’s rare.  Specially our carelessness aid that led to a serious infection.

Paronychia is very common among people who have certain skin conditions, work with water, bite their nails or cuticles and are exposed to irritants that’s all. It’s a curable problem so don’t think too much. Just point out its symptoms and apply the suitable treatment.


To solve every infection problem firstly we have to look at the symptoms we already got. When it’s for toenail fungal infection, you might have two types of infection one is a fungal infection and the other is a bacterial infection. Here, you have some symptoms differences too.

 For better understanding, I explain both infection symptoms clearly. Just look at them.

Symptoms of Fungal Infection

  • Smelling slightly foul.
  • Distorted in shape.
  • Thickened.
  • Whitish to yellow-brown discoloration.
  • Brittle, crumbly or ragged.
  • A dark color is caused by debris building up under your nail.
  • Also, can exhibit a powdery and softened condition.

Symptoms of Bacterial Infection

  • Cracked, yellow, thickened toenail. (from fungal infections too)
  • Soreness.
  • Redness.
  • A pus-filled or pus that drains from your toe.
  • Change the nail shape. That’s all.

Diagnosis of Toenail Fungal Infection

When you face the symptoms of fungal infections and your home treatment is not enough to get rid of this problem then you can call a doctor who is better for foot problems. Firstly, doctor will examine your nails to identify the type of fungus.  He would take some nail scrape or clippings that debris from under the nail and then the sample send to a lab.

Diagnosis of Toenail Fungal Infection
Diax Labs

After knowing the type of fungus doctor can easily give you a proper treatment. Fungal Culture Test is the name of this test.

Duration of Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus may take several weeks or months to be fully resolved. Its growing process and grow out process both are slow. Some when it will take as long as a year or 18 months to grow out fungus from your nail. After treatment toenail needs at least 4 to 6 months to regrow a new toenail completely on average.

This fungus can appear with different stages like color changes, nail thickening and sometimes pronounced ridges. For this their treatment hour and regrow time is also different. Fungal infection will come in several time even after treatment too just like ‘A Never-Ending Story’. For this good treatment and regular care both are important for better toenail.

Protect Toenail from Fungal Infection

Protecting toenail from fungus it’s really a simple job. Some ordinary instructions can keep your toenail tender and fresh. Here, they are.

  • Keep your feet clean and dry.
  • Treat athlete’s foot and try to avoid it spreading to nails.
  • Choose breathable footwear.
  • Disinfect regularly.
  • Change old shoes and socks.
  • Avoid going barefoot in public areas.
  • Trim toenail, clip them short and straight across.
  • Wear flip-flops in the shower at the gym or pool.
  • Try foot powder after the shower and dry your foot.
  • When foot is cooped up inside with tight and hot shoes as well as socks that time fungus started to thrive. That’s why everyone should choose the right footwear.

Process To Get Bacteria Out Of Toe

Several processes we can apply to get bacteria out of the toe. But make sure they should be recommended by a good doctor. Here present some processes that you can try after justifying your nail condition.

Process To Get Bacteria Out Of Toe
  • Use of Penicillin

Fungal infections are mostly treated by antifungal cream or pills. When bacteria cause the infection, an antibiotic pill or cream can easily clear up this problem.

In that case, penicillin is best for toenail infection. Its derivatives are the most effective antibiotics in nail infection such as ampicillin. When infection is caused by biting the nails or sucking the finger doctor specially recommends penicillin that time.

  • Use Hydrogen Peroxide

Under medical supervision hydrogen peroxide is applicable to fight against toenail infection. It helps to remove bacteria from nail and take a short period to do its work. But don’t use that without the doctor’s permission.

  • Drain Infected Toe

This way helps to clean the toe and reduce pain. Firstly, make sure your hands and usable ingredients are clean. With the help of a piece of dental floss, you may be able to lift the skin gently. Don’t do this work with force and don’t pull on your nail. Use warm water to soak your foot and Coarse salt or Epsom salt to soften the area.

Fastest Home Remedy of Toenail Fungus

Home remedy is the first step for any treatment. To treat toenail fungus, we can use tea tree oil and oregano oil. Some people apply oregano oil and tea tree oil together. You can use both oils in the affected nail twice a day with a cotton swab. Both oils are well but sometimes may cause irritation or allergic reaction. For this, before use must confirm is that suitable for you or not.

Fastest Home Remedy of Toenail Fungus
Nail Art Gear

We have another home remedy that is Apple cider vinegar. One of the popular home remedies for toenail fungus because of its antifungal properties. First of all, mix vinegar with warm water and then soak your feet for about 15 minutes. To treat fungal infection, you can apply this vinegar which is applicable only twice a day.

Treatment of White Smelly Stuff That Stay Under Toenail

Nail fungus has a lot of variety and among them a less common variety of toenail fungus is called white superficial onychomycosis. That time foul smelling debris may accumulate under toenail and may crumble the nail gradually and one time that may fully fall off. Makes the toenail so thick that may so painful inside and uncomfortable.

It sometimes causes too much keratin to grow under the nail and this overgrowth is known as Subungual hyperkeratosis. Because of Subungual hyperkeratosis we feel pain in our nail. Antifungal topical medication can be applied for the problem. Cause it’s really convenient in this matter.

Types of Fungal Nail Infection

Nail infections are really awkward and irritating for everyone. It comes to us in several ways and also contains several differences too. Some infection affects the nail surface, some affects inside and some the whole nail. However, now presents some types of fungal nail infection. Here, they are.

Types of Fungal Nail Infection
  • Lateral Subungual onychomycosis, the most common kind.
  • Proximal Subungual Onychomycosis.
  • Candida Onychomycosis.
  • White Superficial Onychomycosis. Mainly attacked toenail surface and less common infection.

Each type is covered with its own symptoms as well as treatment options. Remember don’t apply any treatment before knowing which type of infection you got. When you feel pain on your nail and see your nail become whitish then go for a good doctor and having taste helps to know what type of infection actually affects your nail.

Tips For Growing Healthy Toenail

A strong and healthy nail is a great part of our beauty. And this nail becomes worst when they get infected by bacteria it doesn’t matter whether you are a woman or a man. And that badly affects overall looks. For overall wellbeing strong, a healthy toenail is a must.

Tips For Growing Healthy Toenail

Now, share some best tips generally given by podiatrists to get clear, shiny and healthy toenail.

  • Wearing proper shoes and socks.
  • Clip toenail correctly.
  • Frequent trimming.
  • Moisture.
  • Disinfect regularly.
  • Avoid going barefoot in public areas.
  • Toenail friendly diet.
  • Choose breathable footwear.
  • Keep always alternate shoes.
  • Take proper medical care when have infected nail.
  • Take fresh food which specially contains vitamin B, E, C, etc.

The Ending Line

When our toenail get affected by bacteria and fungus, they create a bad smell that actually smells like cheese. The clue of cheese smell toenail is that the presence of similar bacteria.

Don’t take this infection too much light because it will fully destroy your nail and sometimes would become the reason for the pain also. And don’t be embarrassed to take medical care to treat your infected nail. Daily cleaning and fresh food are the best way to grow healthy nail. So, keep cleaning and increase the tenderness of your beauty.

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