fungus.common nail

2023-06-25

Onychomycosis, more commonly referred to as tinea unguium, is a highly contagious fungal infection of the nails. This is usually caused by a particular genus of fungi known as dermatophytes that thrive in the dead tissues of skin, nails, and hair. These fungi are typically able to proliferate at accelerated speeds by using potent enzymes to break down the dead tissue and colonise the area.

Onychomycosis can be transmitted through various means, from close contact with a person or animal who has the infection to visiting wet environments, like showers in gym locker rooms or public swimming pools. Additionally, use of contaminated objects, like nail clippers or files, can also facilitate the spread of the fungal growth.

Patients of onychomycosis might experience no indicators of the condition, but when symptoms do arise, they may include:

Fingernails can tell a story; discolored, thickened, brittle and/or ragged nails may be a warning sign of medical issues. In particular, observation of white or yellow pops on the nails raises a red-flag, as does experiencing pain or tenderness around the fingernail bed.

Left untreated, onychomycosis lurks the potential to be a contagious malady, morphing from nail-affecting to a full-blown skin infection encompassing the area around the nails. In cases of intense deterioration, this situation can become serious and escalate in severity.

An accurate diagnosis of onychomycosis involves a careful evaluation of the nails, as well as a test to confirm the presence of fungi. Tackling this fungal infection typically requires something more in-depth than just a topical solution – it may take several weeks or months of antifungal medications, both orally and topically.

Those with onychomycosis must be cautious in order to avoid re-infection. Basic hygiene is essential, particularly the keeping of nails clean and dry. Furthermore, nail clippers or nail files should never be exchanged with another person. Taking these steps will help ensure that the chance of re-infection remains low.

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