FUNGAL NAILS

17 Jun 2019

ABSTRACT –

Fungal nail is a common condition in which white or yellow spots appear under the nails. As the infection increases, nail thickens, gets discolored with crumbling edges. It mostly occurs in toenails as compared to fingernails and also called as Onychomycosis or Tinea Unguium. When fungus starts affecting areas between toes and skin of the feet, it is known as athlete’s foot as athletes are more prone to fungal nails because of wearing tight-fitted and sweaty shoes. Fungus is usually developed due to moisture or wet areas like common shower, swimming pool etc.

CAUSES –

  • Group of fungi called dermatophytes are responsible for fungal nails
  • Some yeasts and molds can also cause this infection.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS –

Nails look like:
  • White, yellow or brown in color
  • Thickened
  • Brittle, ragged, distorted and crumbly
  • Debris build up under the nails
  • Scaling beneath the nails
  • Infected nails separate from the nail bed

DIAGNOSIS –

  • Physical examination
  • Scraping of debris from the nails to diagnose root cause

TREATMENT –

  • Oral anti-fungal drugs
  • Medicated nail cream and nail polish
  • Surgery (In extreme cases)

RISK FACTORS –

  • Reduced blood flow
  • Slow growth of nails
  • History of athlete’s foot
  • Humid or moist environment
  • Heavy sweating
  • Wearing socks or shoes that block ventilation
  • Skin infection or condition like psoriasis
  • Weakened immune system

PREVENTIONS-

  • Keep nails clean
  • Trim nails regularly
  • Limit wearing socks or shoes for better ventilation
  • Wear proper shoes in humid areas
  • Use sterilized tools for manicure or pedicure
  • Avoid sharing shoes or socks

EPIDEMIOLOGY –

  • Estimation shows that 5% of population suffers from Onychomycosis worldwide.

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