fungal nail infection is the fungal invasion of the fungus.
Fungal infection is one of the most common nail diseases in adults. It usually includes the toenails but may also affect the nails. Fungal nail infection is also called onychomycosis.
Fungal nail infection symptoms include nail thickening, comminution and discoloration. Sometimes the skin around the nail appears thickened or scaly.
Fungal infection can affect different parts of the nail. In most cases, the edges and the tip of the nail are affected first. Sometimes the top layer of the nail is covered with white marks. In rare cases, the base of the nail is primarily affected.
Fungal nail infections are sometimes painful and can cause walking difficulty with toenail involvement.
Causes and Risk Factors
Different organism types can cause nail infection. Dermatophytes are the most common cause of skin fungi, but yeast or molds can also cause infection.
Fungal nail infections are often associated with fungal infections of nearby skin. For example, toenail infection is often associated with fungal infection of the foot skin (athlete’s foot) and in these cases the same organism may be responsible for both infections.
Other conditions that increase the risk of fungal nail infection include damage to the skin around the nail or nail, other damage, reduced blood flow to the extremities, and diabetes. In some cases, the body also increases the risk of infection, which weakens the body’s natural defenses against infections such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection or the use of drugs that suppress the immune system. Some people may also have a genetic component that increases the susceptibility to fungal nail infections.
Many clinicians suspect a fungal nail infection due to nail appearance. An example of the nail is then removed and sent for testing to confirm the diagnosis and to identify the type of organism causing the infection.
Anyone with fungal nail infection does not require treatment, and the treatment modality used, as well as the treatment decision does not depend on many factors including the extent of infection, possible drug interactions, cost, and patient preference. Oral medications are often used when several nails are affected. In rare cases blood tests can be performed several times during treatment to monitor liver function, as some oral drugs cause liver damage. Topical treatments are applied directly to the nail surface and are usually recommended when only a few nails are affected. As the fingernails and toenails grow slowly, treatment may be required for several months before the recovery is recorded. Treatment of fungal nail infections can be difficult, and complete removal of the infection is not always possible. Repetition of fungal nail infections is also common and prevent the sharing of nail clippers or nail files, keep hands and feet clean and dry, and prevent shoes from walking in public areas such as locker rooms or public showers.
Categories: Nail Fungus