Nail fungus, otherwise known as Onychomycosis, has been recognized as being a very difficult type of fungal infection to treat. It is a cosmetic condition that most often affects the toenails. Risk factors for nail fungus include increased age, male gender, diabetes, nail trauma, hyperhydrosis, peripheral vascular disease, athlete’s foot, immunodeficiency, poor hygiene, and chronic exposure of the nails to water. There are many species of fungus that can infect the nail. Often in nail infections several types of fungus will be present at the same time. All nail fungus infections result in thickened, discolored, and distorted nails.
It is important to see your health care provider to ensure that it is truly a fungal infection you are dealing with before any treatment starts. There are other disorders (such as: Psoriasis, Lichen planus, contact dermatitis, and certain bacterial infections) that can cause similar looking nail problems. Your doctor can verify if it is indeed a fungal infection by examining nail scrapings and clippings under a microscope and submitting these samples to a lab to be cultured