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Fungus Nail
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Nail fungal infection (onychomycosis)

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INFECTIOUS DISEASE

Fungal

WOMEN'S HEALTH

Hair/Nails/Skin

A fungal infection of the nail (onychomycosis) occurs when fungi infect oneor more of your nails. Onychomycosis usually begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As the fungal infection spreads deeper into your nail, it may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and develop crumbling edges - an unsightly and potentially painful problem.

Nail fungal infections account for about half of all nail disorders. They usually develop on nails continually exposed to warm, moist environments, such as sweaty shoes or shower floors. The infection isn't the same as athlete's foot, which primarily affects the skin of the feet.

Nail fungal infections may be difficult to treat, and they may recur. But medications are available to help clear up a nail fungal infection permanently.

Signs and symptoms

Nail fungal infections are more common in toenails than in fingernails, because toenails are confined in a dark, warm, moist environment inside your shoes — where fungi can thrive. You may have a nail fungal infection if one or more of your nails are:

  • Thickened

  • Brittle, crumbly or ragged

  • Distorted in shape

  • Flat or dull, having lost luster and shine

  • Yellow, green, brown or black in color, caused by debris building up under your nail

Infected nails may also separate from the nail bed. You may even feel pain in your toes or fingertips and detect a slightly foul odor.

Causes

Fungi are microscopic parasites that don't need sunlight to survive. Some have beneficial uses, while others cause illness and infection.

Nail fungal infections are typically caused by a fungus that belongs to a group of fungi called dermatophytes. But yeasts and molds also can be responsible for nail fungal infections. All of these microscopic organisms live in warm, moist environments, such as swimming pools and showers. They can invade your skin through tiny invisible cuts or through a small separation between your nail and nail bed. They cause problems only if your nails are continually exposed to warmth and moisture — conditions perfect for the growth and spread of fungi.

 

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 

 



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