Infections impacting the nails are most often instigated by fungi, bacteria, or viruses, with onychomycosis engendered by a fungus being the foremost. Additional usual nail diseases include nail-bed ailments, paronychia, and nail psoriasis.
A whopping half of the population suffers from Onychomycosis: a nail disease predominantly caused by Trichophyton-based fungi. It is known to introduce itself into the spirit of one’s nails via small punctures and cracks in the skin, often initiating with white or yellow spots on the surface. As time continues, the afflicted nails will grow increasingly thick, dry, and even crumbly – resulting in partials or full-on crumbling in its direst manifestations. Commonly affecting toenails as opposed to fingernails, this ailment is especially known to plague wrinkles due to its strong likelihood to manifest in individuals beyond their sixth decade of life.
Nail-bed infections may be initiated by bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, which can gain access into the nail by means of a cut or break in the skin. The infection can then proceed to spread to the neighboring nails and skin. The usual symptoms include redness, puffiness and discomfort around the nail area as well as discoloration. In extreme cases, the nail may even fall off. These types of ailments are specifically more prevalent among those with diabetes or compromised immune systems, and more commonly seen in fingernails than toenails.
Paronychia is a bacterial infection that affects the skin around the nail, usually caused by Staphylococcus aureus entering the body through a cut or crack in the skin. Those with diabetes or a weakened immune system are particularly vulnerable to developing this infection, but it can affect both fingernails and toenails. Its symptoms usually include redness, swelling, and pain in the affected area, as well as discoloration of the nail. In cases that escalate quickly, the nail may become loose and potentially fall off.
A troublesome condition known as nail psoriasis can cause nails to become thick, fragile, and disintegrate. This medical disorder is caused by an accumulation of expired skin cells, leaving nails discolored in shades of yellow, red, or brown. Those who experience psoriasis of the skin are more likely to endure this dreadful virus.