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Fungal infection of the nails

Fungal infection of the nails

What is a fungal infection of the nail?

The medical terminology used for nails infection is onychomycosis, tinea unguium and also the ringworm of the nails.  The most common infection caused by fungi is the athlete’s foot: a common infection of feet and skin.  The fungi which causes athlete’s foot resides in the keratin, which is outer layer of the skin. The fungi has the potential to invade the hard keratin of nails as well, which results in fungal infection of nails.

fungal infection of nails

What causes onychomycosis?

Most of the nails infection are caused by the abnormal spreading of athlete’s foot causing fungi. But, in some cases it can also be caused by the other types of fungi, such as Candida causing yeast and Scopulariopsis which causes moulds.  These don’t cause athlete’s foot. These fungi are known to attack those nails which are already weak, might be due to some old injury.  The fungal infections affecting toenails are much common, while the effect is less pronounced in fingernails. Both conditions are predominate in the older age.

Are they hereditary?

They are not hereditary, but most of the family members may be affected ate the same time because they are sharing common things of daily use and are likely to catch the fungus from one another.

What are the symptoms of fungal infections of the nails?

In the beginning, no prevailing symptoms appear, the fungus can be seen at the free end of the nail. In the later stage the nails may become thick that they cause severe pain when press inside the shoe. In a similar way, they are very hard to trim, and it looks like very embarrassing.

fungal infection of nails pictures

What do fungal infections of the nails look like?

The fungal infection of nails normally starts at its free end, and then spread towards the base of the nail. Hence, the whole nail is involved and get infected. The infected area can be seen as yellow or white, which may become crumbly and thickened.  The less common appearance is the white patches and appearance of streak on the nail s surface. Nails of biggest and smallest toes are most commonly affected by fungal infection. When most of the nails are affected, it is observed that they are of the same hand.


How are fungal infections of the nail diagnosed?

Most of the nail problems are looking like a fungal infection of nail, such as changes during psoriasis, an old injury or after bacterial infection. But, as these are not fungal infection so antifungal medicines are not much effective against them. So, before starting any treatment must confirm your fungal infection, otherwise it will be useless, timewasting and money wasting as well. The best way to identify fungus is to cut a piece of nail and examine it under the microscope, if it doesn’t work then culture growth will help in identification of the nail infection. The treatment entirely depends on the type of fungus causing the infection. Good hygienic conditions helps to minimize the fungal attack.


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