Nail fungus is a common type of fungal infections of nails, contributing towards almost 50% of the nail abnormalities.

Nail fungus, medically known as onychomycosis is an infection caused due to fungus, affecting mostly toenail or thumbnail, but can spread to other nails as well. The infection may initiate as a white or yellow spot under the tip of the nail and can infect other nails. With the progression of the fungus, the nail may get thickened, discolored and/or crumbled.

Fungal infections of nails are usually caused by Candida, yeast and molds. The entry of this pathogenic fungus is generally through the tiny skin cuts, bruises between the finger beds.

Risk Factors:

Lack of proper oxygenated blood supply

Slow growth of nails

Family history

Weak immune system

Diabetes

Athlete’s foot

Signs And Symptoms:

Brittle, yellowish nails

Scaling under the name, identified to be hyperkeratosis

Yellow or white streaking or spotting on any side of the nail

Dull, distorted, ragged nails

Separated nails from nail beds

Treatment:

For diagnosis, a physician may suggest an examination of debris under the nail, which is scraped from the nail bed; and the same is tested for potassium hydroxide smear or fungal culture. Oral antifungal medications are prescribed to treat the infection. 

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