Fungal nail infection occurs when a fungus attacks a toenail, fingernail or the skin under the nail. It begins as a yellow or white spot under the tip of your toenail or fingernail. As it grows deeper the nail thickens, discolored and distorted at the edge. Toenails are more often affected than the fingernails.
Nail fungus is also called onychomycosis. Normally, fungus is present in your body alongside with bacteria. But when fungus starts to overgrow, that’s the time you can get infections. It can affect several nails.
Fungal nail infection won’t cause any problems if you are healthy. But if your immune system is weak or if you are suffering from diabetes, nail infection could lead to a more serious problem.
Fungi that are already present on your body can cause nail infections once they overgrow. They thrive in a moist, warm environment like your toes. This type of environment can cause them to outgrow naturally.
Fungal infection can spread from person to person. If you walk barefoot in public pools and showers or share nail clippers and towels then you would probably get this type of infection.
Factors that can increase your risk of developing nail fungus include:
Fungal nail infection is more common to men than in women. It is also common to adults. The nail becomes dry and brittle as nail ages allowing fungi to enter into the cracks.
Common signs of a fungal nail infection include:
Fungal nail infection can be uncomfortable. If you have this kind of infection it can be painful to walk, wear shoes or stand for a long time. The fungus may also spread to other nail and can cause permanent damage to your nail or nail bed.
It’s difficult to treat fungal nail infection. See your doctor if self-care steps isn’t working. Your doctor may prescribe antifungal drugs that you can apply to the nail or take orally or both.
You can prevent fungal nail infections by: