Everyone is prone to fungal infections. These mild to moderate fungal infections can affect any part of the body. Usually, fungi are present in the body with various bacteria. You can get an infection when fungi begin to overgrow.
A fungal nail infection, also known as tinea unguium or onychomycosis, is a common infection that causes discolored or brittle nails, usually on the toes. According to the best dermatologist in Lahore, this infection looks like an athlete’s feet. However, it does not affect the skin between the toes or skin on the bottom of the feet. Instead, it invades your nails.
A fungal infection develops over time, so any instant change in the way the nail feels or looks may be too subtle to notice at first.
Do not be embarrassed if you develop a fingernail or toenail infection; it is more common than you think.
What are the Common Forms of Nail Fungus?
There are four types of fungal nail infections, and each looks a little bit different:
- White Superficial Infection
This infection usually affects toenails. Certain types of fungus attack the top layer of your nail and make white spots on the nail. In the end, these patches cover the whole nail, which becomes rough and prone to crumbling. The nail spots may become flaky and pitted.
- Candida Infection
This infection is caused by candida yeast. It can affect toenails previously damaged by prior injuries or infections. This infection (candida infection) usually happens in people who often soak their hands in water.
Candida infection starts with the cuticle around your nail, which becomes red and swollen to the touch. In some cases, the nail may partially lift off the nail bed or entirely fall off.
- Distal Subungual Infection
It is a common type of fungal nail infection that people experience, and it can develop in toenails and fingernails. When you experience a fungal nail infection, the outer edge of your nail has a jagged appearance with yellow streaks. The distal subungual infection affects your nail bed and the underside of your nail.
- Proximal Subungual Infection
This infection is the most uncommon infection but can affect both fingers and toenails. When this infection spreads upward, yellow spots appear at the base of your nail.
Usually, this infection occurs in people with a weak immune system and can cause a minor injury to the nail.
Who can Develop Fungal Infections More Easily?
There are different causes of fungal nail infections, and each infection has its own treatment. Although some causes of this infection are preventable. However, there are some risks that can increase the risks of a fungal nail infection. You are at a high risk of developing this infection if you have:
- A weak immune system
- Age more than 65
- Wear artificial nails
- Medical problems that cause poor blood circulation
- Skin injury around the nail
- Moist toes or fingers for an extended time
- Wear closed-toe shoes such as boots or tennis shoes
What are the Symptoms of Fungal Nail Infections?
Usually, the symptoms of this infection depend upon its type. These symptoms start with mild and get serious. These symptoms are:
- A bad smell
- The yellow or white spots under the nails, the whole nail can turn into black, green, yellow, or white
- A distorted nail
- The nail can become misshapen
- A thickened nail
- The nail can become crumble or brittle when you touch it
Most people ignore the symptoms of a fungal nail infection until they start experiencing pain. If this infection gets worse, it makes it even hard to walk.
What are the Complications Associated with Fungal Nail Infections?
It can take some months or even a year for your nail to look like it did before an infection. After getting an infection, you may have continuous problems such as:
- Fungal nail infection can spread to the other parts of the body
- These infections can easily come back
- The nails can be permanently misshapen or discolored
How to Prevent Fungal Nail Infections?
Making a few changes in your lifestyle can help prevent fungal nail infections. Take good care of your nails by cleaning and trimming them after some days. Also, try to avoid injuries around the nails. If you are going to have wet hands for a long time, then you need to wear rubber gloves.
Other effective ways to prevent fungal infections can be:
- Reduce the use of nail polish
- Do not be barefoot in public areas
- Always wash your hands after touching the infected nails
- Try to get pedicures and manicures from trustworthy salons
- Dry your feet after showering with a clean towel, especially between the toys
It is good enough for you to try to prevent different types of fungal nail infections because once they infect you, there are high risks that they will affect you again. Therefore, try your best to prevent these infections, and unfortunately, if you develop these infections, then immediately contact your doctor.