Nails fungi or Onychomycosis (dermatophytic onychomycosis) is an infection caused by fungus, which affects the toenails or fingernails.
It is a very common disease of the nails and contributes to about a half of all nail abnormalities. Toenail infections are more common than fingernails. The prevalence of this infection is about 6 to 8 percent in the adult population. Initially, it causes the fingernails or toenails to discolor, thicken, disfigure and split. Without proper treatment, the toenails can thicken so much, that they can cause pressure, irritation and pain on the fingernails when wearing shoes.
Onychomycosis is commonly associated with genetics, advancing age, family history, poor health, trauma, warm climate, suppressed immune system, bathing in common showers (as in gym), and sometimes wearing shoes that disallow air ventilation.
Varieties of nail fungi There are four classic types of this infection: • Distal subungual onychomycosis: invades the nail bed and the underside of the nail plate.
White superficial onychomycosis (WSO):
puts white patches on nails. • Proximal subungual onychomycosis occurs in the proximal nail fold of a newly formed nail plate. Usually occurs in immunocompromised (with suppressed immune system) people. • Candidal onychomycosis is Candida: shows in the fingernails in people who frequently have to immerse their hands in water.
This usually occurs in people whose nails were already damaged. The variations of onychomycosis other than candida occurs in males more than females. Candidal infections are more prevalent in women than in men. Causes of nail fungi Nail fungi or Onychomycosis is caused by three main classes of organisms: yeasts, dermatophytes and non-dermatophyte molds. Appearance of affected nails The affected nail plate has a thickened, cloudy or yellow appearance. The nail becomes rough and brittle, or it can separate from its nail bed. If the infection gets severe, there is pain in the nail.
Ten reasons to get rid of nail fungi :
1. People with nails fungi or onychomycosis may undergo considerable psychosocial problems due to the affected nail. The person feels that everyone is looking at his affected nail surprisingly.
2. The affected nail is embarrassing for the person when he removes the shoes or socks.
3. If untreated, it can give a way for other bacteria and microbes to enter the body through the infected area.
4. Onychomycosis may hinder with walking, exercising and even on standing.
5. There can be pain and discomfort or a feeling of Paresthesia, where there is a sensation of tingling, pricking, or creeping on the skin).
6. Onychomycosis can result in the edges of the nail become severely eroded. It can scratch or inflict injury to self or another person, esp. during sleep.
7. The nail can be deformed, discolored and gets vulnerable to nail disease.
8. The shine and luster of the nail is lost.
9. Nail gets brittle, thick, loose (nail gets lifted up), outside edges crumble or erode.
10. Nail fungi can give rise to paronychia. It is a skin infection occuring around the nails with painful, red, swollen area (with or without puss) around the nail.
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