Onychomycosis: Capturing Insights for Growth

April 2021

Many times a person will notice their nails becoming discolored or thickened. This is due to an infection called onychomycosis- typically caused by a fungus that thrives in moist environments.


The most common symptom of Onychomycosis is the nail bed being swollen and distorted with thick patches of white debris visible beneath nails. There are a number of ways to diagnose this condition, including fungal culture tests from the skin around the fingernail or from taken scrapings from beneath the nails.


Curing this condition requires a medical professional to help a person keep their nails in good shape and prevent the infection from spreading. The medical professional may provide different types of treatment, depending on the severity of each case.


In some cases, antifungal medications are used to treat onychomycosis. This includes but is not limited to Lamisil (terbinafine) and Sporanox (itraconazole). These above treatments are typically given via oral medication or through local injections into the nail itself. The prognosis for patients with Onychomycosis depends on a number of factors, including age, severity of symptoms, and location on the body.


Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the toenails or fingernails, most commonly caused by "Trichophyton rubrum". The term onychomycosis is used because the fungus infects the nail itself.


The fungus will cause nails to become thickened, brittle and break off from time to time. They may also become yellow and flaky in nature. In some cases, the infection can spread down into the finger-joints.


Nail fungus is more common in men than in women. People with sweaty feet that are exposed to moisture for prolonged periods of time are at a greater risk of developing nail fungus. People who wear tight fitting shoes for extended periods of time are also at a greater risk of developing the infection.


Diabetes mellitus and peripheral vascular disease (blood circulation disorder) also seem to be related to an increased risk of contracting onychomycosis.


The medical term for nail fungus is onychomycosis, this is an infection which causes the nail to thicken, discolor and become brittle. The condition can be caused by many different fungi depending on the area affected and severity of the infection.


There are two main types of onychomycosis they are caused by:


A dermatophyte infection (fungal infection) which affects the superficial layers of the nail.


This form of infection is most common, it appears as a yellow or white discoloration of the nail plate and can cause the nail to thicken, split and crumble off, this kind can infect other nails on the same hand. As well as fingernails, it can also affect toenails.


A yeast infection (fungal infection) which affects the deeper layers of the nail. This type of onychomycosis is less common and is more difficult to treat than dermatophyte infection. It appears initially as a white or yellow spot under the tip of the nail. As it progresses it causes the nail to become thickened and discolored, sometimes yellow or brown in color. This infection can spread between nails and infect other nails on the same hand.

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