How to Identify Nail Fungus?

Cracked and damaged toenail Cracked and damaged toenail caused by nail fungus
Nail fungus of the hand Nail fungus of the foot

i Do you suspect you have nail fungus?

If you suspect that you have a nail fungus infection, we encourage you to visit a doctor for a proper diagnosis. To fight nail fungus effectively, it's better to start treatment sooner. See your doctor to find out which treatment option is appropriate for you.

Other Nail Conditions

Foot showing physical trauma and nail deformation Foot showing physical trauma and nail deformation

Physical trauma

Physical trauma is one of the most common causes of nail injury. The nail is vulnerable to many physical injuries as it often comes into contact with objects. Bruising is common and blood may pool quite easily after injury, causing the nail to turn dark blue or black. Physical nail trauma may, in some cases, provide an entry point for a fungal nail infection.

Feet showing toenail psoriasis Hand showing fingernail psoriasis

Nail psoriasis

Psoriasis is known for its white and pink scaly patches on the skin, as it is the most common symptom of psoriasis. Nail involvement is also very common in psoriasis. One of the signs of nail psoriasis is the pitting of the nails. Fungal nail infections can also co-exist with nail psoriasis.

Athlete's foot detailed image Foot showing athlete's foot

Athlete’s foot

Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection of the feet by the same types of fungi that infect the nails: Trichophyton rubrum and Tricyphyton mentagraphyte. Anyone can get athlete`s foot, but it is more common in teenagers and adult men. Athlete`s foot occurs when fungus is allowed to grow and incubate in moist conditions like the insole of a shoe.

i Identified the problem?

It's important to identify the nails' problem correctly. Visit your doctor to get your nails properly diagnosed, so you can start the appropriate treatment.

Causes and Prevention

iIs nail fungus contagious?

Nail fungus infections are in fact contagious, but not in any way that should cause panic. Fungal infections commonly spread from the nail to the skin and vice versa. Many fungi called "dermatophytes" feed on keratin, the basic material of skin and hair, to grow and spread.

Accidental transmission from person to person is quite uncommon, unless there is constant intimate contact. The fungi that can cause nail fungus infections are very commonplace and are very difficult to avoid completely. Generally, in healthy individuals, the immune system will defend the body from infection and repel these fungi, even if they come into contact with the skin or the nail.

Top 3 Reasons to Treat Nail Fungus

1

Cosmetic Concerns

One of the most common reasons patients want to treat their nail fungus is to improve the appearance of their nails.

This is especially true of fingernails, but even toenails can be a concern during the summer when they are more visible. Nail fungus can cause embarrassment and some sufferers stop activities, such as yoga or swimming, so that others will not see their toenails.

2

Pain and Mobility

If left untreated, fungal nail infections can cause pain and mobility problems. These can occur as the nails thicken when the infection progresses. It may become uncomfortable to wear closed shoes and to talk, exercise or stand. For this reason, early treatment is recommended before the infection becomes more severe or has spread to other toenails.

3

Recurrence and Transmission

Although nail fungus rarely causes serious health risks, the nail can become a fungal reservoir leading to recurrent fungal infections of the skin. These can cause fissures or cracks, leaving the feet more vulnerable to secondary bacterial infections. People with a weakened immune system, such as diabetes or peripheral vascular disease, may be more susceptible to both fungal infections and other secondary infections, resulting from it such as cellulitis.

Fungal nail infections can be transmitted from person to person in the home and high-risk areas, such as locker rooms and public pools. By treating your nail fungus and by limiting exposure by not going barefoot, you can avoid transmitting the infection to others.