A Brief Overview
Fungal nail infections, also known as onychomycosis, are a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. This type of infection occurs when fungi invade the nails, causing them to become brittle, thickened, discolored, and distorted in shape. Fungal nail infections can be uncomfortable and unsightly, but with the right treatment, they can be effectively managed or even cured. In this article, we will explore the different types of fungal nail infections, their causes, symptoms, and treatment options.
1. Distal Subungual Onychomycosis
Distal subungual onychomycosis is the most common type of fungal nail infection. It typically affects the toenails, but can also occur in the fingernails. This infection starts at the end of the nail, usually at the tip or sides, and gradually spreads to the nail bed and the matrix. The nails become yellowish, thickened, and crumbly. Distal subungual onychomycosis is often caused by dermatophytes, a type of fungus that thrives in warm and moist environments, such as public swimming pools, gyms, and communal showers. Treatment for this type of infection includes oral antifungal medications and topical treatments.
2. White Superficial Onychomycosis
White superficial onychomycosis is characterized by the presence of white spots or patches on the surface of the nail. These spots are caused by a fungal infection that penetrates the nail plate. The affected areas may become soft and crumbly, and the nails may become rough and chalky. This type of infection is usually caused by non-dermatophyte fungi, such as Candida species. White superficial onychomycosis is commonly seen in individuals who frequently expose their hands or feet to moist environments, such as swimmers and athletes. Treatment options for white superficial onychomycosis include topical antifungal medications and occasionally oral antifungal therapy.
3. Proximal Subungual Onychomycosis
Proximal subungual onychomycosis is less common but can be more challenging to treat. This type of infection typically occurs in individuals with compromised immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or undergoing chemotherapy. Proximal subungual onychomycosis starts at the cuticle and progresses towards the nail plate. The nails become discolored, thickened, and may develop nail bed inflammation. The infection is usually caused by dermatophytes. Treatment for proximal subungual onychomycosis includes oral antifungal medications and topical treatments.
4. Candidal Onychomycosis
Candidal onychomycosis is caused by an overgrowth of Candida species, a type of yeast that naturally inhabits the skin and mucous membranes. This type of fungal infection can affect both the fingernails and the toenails. Candidal onychomycosis may be associated with underlying conditions, such as chronic paronychia (inflammation of the skin around the nail) or immunodeficiency disorders. The nails become thickened, rough, and may develop horizontal ridges. Treatment options for candidal onychomycosis include topical antifungal medications and oral antifungal therapy in severe cases.
5. Endonyx Onychomycosis
Endonyx onychomycosis is a rare type of fungal nail infection. It primarily affects the toenails and is characterized by the absence of any visible changes on the surface of the nail. The infection occurs within the nail plate, resulting in a milky or opaque appearance when the nail is viewed from the side. The nails may also become soft and brittle. Endonyx onychomycosis is challenging to diagnose and treat. The most effective treatment options include the use of oral antifungal medications and topical therapies.
Fungal nail infections are a common condition that can cause discomfort and embarrassment. It is important to recognize the different types of fungal nail infections and seek appropriate treatment to prevent the infection from spreading or worsening. If you suspect that you have a fungal nail infection, consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. Eager to continue investigating the subject? Fungal nail laser Treatment Birmingham https://www.centrallasernailclinic.co.uk/locations/birmingham-clinic/, we’ve selected this for your further reading.
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