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Nail Fungal Infections You Should Be Aware Of

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Although nail fungal infections are very common, they can be difficult to treat and can spread easily among people. Other nail conditions suspected to be fungal infections are also misdiagnosed nail dystrophies, bacterial infections, dermatitis, lichen or mold, eczema, and psoriasis that is why it’s important to get a proper diagnosis. Some types produce less serious symptoms, but there are nail fungal infections which can be painful and difficult to manage.

Symptoms of Nail Fungal Infection
Although the severity of the symptoms will vary, there are common signs of nail fungal infection that should be easy to spot, such as; the discoloration of the toenail/s (they can turn yellow, black, green, or white), changes in the shape and texture of the nails, pain and discomfort when pressure is placed on the toes, and the breaking or cracking or crumbling of the nails.

• Candida Onychomycosis
Also called yeast infection, this type of fungal infection affects the skin around the nails as well. The symptoms may include pain, weakened nails and nail bed, distorted nail shape, discoloration of the nails, thickening of the nails, and infected skin around the nails. The nail might also separate from the nail bed if the condition is not treated.

This is treated with oral medication, topical creams, and laser treatment if there is an infection.

• Distal Subungual Onychomycosis
The fungi that causes this infection is also the same fungi that causes athlete’s food and is also the most common nail fungal infection in the world. The fungi affect the nail bed and nail, making the area weak and crumbly, resulting in the accumulation of nail and skin debris.

Unfortunately, the condition can be difficult to treat, and part of the nail might have to be removed if there is an infection. Laser surgery is usually performed, but it will require several visits to the podiatrist.

• Proximal Subungual Onychomycosis
This type of fungal infection affects the nail base and causes it to thicken, resulting in the separation of the nail from the nail fold. People with this condition are also prone to infections. Although not common, most people with this type of fungal infection have human immunodeficiency virus.

The treatment for proximal subungual onychomycosis is like that of distal subungual onychomycosis because the fungi that caused the infection is the same. It is also difficult to treat and may take years before any improvements can be seen through a combination of oral medication, topical creams, and laser treatment.

• White Superficial Onychomycosis
Another common type of nail fungal infection, this is probably the easiest to treat among the four. It is characterized by the appearance of white spots on the nails, and if not treated, the affected nails will eventually crumble.

To treat this fungal infection, the doctor will recommend topical medications and laser treatment. Oral medication is rare because the side-effects can sometimes be nastier than the nail fungal symptoms.

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