What is Fungal Nail Infection?

A fungal nail infection occurs when a fungus attacks a fingernail, a toenail, or the skin under the nail, called the nail bed. Fungal nail infections are relatively common. Fungi can attack your nails through small cuts in the skin around your nail or through the opening between your nail and nail bed. A fungus is normally present in and on the body alongside various bacteria. When a fungus begins to overgrow you can get an infection. Nail fungus (medically known as onychomycosis) is the common name for an infection of the nail caused mainly by a class of fungi called dermatophytes. This is infection can affect any part of your nail, including your nail plate, bed and root. A fungal nail infection is more likely to appear on your toenail; however it can also appear on your finger nail.


What is a Fungal Infection? 

Fungi are microorganisms that are present everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. In fact, there are more than 50,000 different species of fungi in the environment. There are many fungi that can live on your skin for years without causing any problem. However, at times certain factors can cause fungi to overgrow or change, and this can lead to a fungal infection. Fungal infections are usually categorized by the type of fungi causing the problem, the affected body part and the severity of the infection. These infections can occur on the surface of your skin, within a skin fold or on any other area that is warm and humid and cause intense itching. 

 


What are the risk factors of Fungal Nail Infection?

• Easy to catch in places where you are in barefoot, such as changing rooms, swimming pools, beaches.

• Sharing contaminated objects such as towels, bed sheets and clothing can also spread the infection.

• Athletes foot is a fungal skin infection which can spread and affect the toenails

• Poor Health/Hygiene 

• Weakened Immune System

• Health conditions such as diabetes or psoriasis may increase the risk of developing fungal nail infections.

• Biting nails can increase the risk of fungal nail infection.

• Smoking and Alcohol

• Being in a humid environment

• Regular damage to the nail or skin/Injuries/overgrown nails


What are the symptoms of Fungal Nail Infection?

• Discoloured Nail (white, black, yellow or green colour)

• Thickened nail

• Pain and discomfort in the nail

• Nail becomes brittle

• Nail breaks off coming away from the toe completely

• Inflammation in the nail

• Change in nail shape

• Loosening or lifting up of the nail


How can Fungal Nail Infection be managed?

 • Thoroughly washing and drying your feet and hands.

• Keep your feet and hands dry to prevent them from becoming infected.

• Wear socks and change them to a dry pair if your feet get wet.

• Wear slippers.

• Don’t share socks, shoes, nail clippers or nail files with others

• Avoid injuring your nail