Nail fungus


Legs | General Practice | Nail fungus (Disease)


Description

Nail fungus is a fungal infection in one or more of the nails. An infection with nail fungus may begin as a white or yellow spot under the tip of the fingernail or toenail. As the nail fungus spreads deeper into the nail, it may cause to the nail to discolor, thicken and develop crumbling edges — an unsightly and potentially painful problem.

Causes and Risk factors

Nail fungal infections are typically caused by a fungus that belongs to a group of fungi called dermatophytes. But yeasts and molds also can be responsible for nail fungal infections. Nail fungus tends to affect men more often than it does women, particularly those with a family history of this infection.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The debris can be examined under a microscope or cultured in a lab to identify whats causing the infection. Other conditions, such as psoriasis, can mimic a fungal infection of the nail. Microorganisms, including yeast and bacteria, also can infect nails. Knowing the cause of theinfection helps determine the best course of treatment. Nail fungus can be difficult to treat, and repeat infections are common. Over-the-counter antifungal nail creams and ointments are available, but they arent very effective. ...