Organisms such as fungi, yeasts or molds are common causes of fungal nail infections. Most infections come from wearing sweaty socks and shoes. It creates a suitable environment for fungi to grow. Some of them cause yellow or white discoloration in nails and others may result in nail thickening. Learn about types of nail fungus to identify symptoms and start treatment at an early stage.
Nail fungus is a common skin condition. But if not treated properly, it can spread to other skin areas. There are 4 major types of nail fungus depending upon the source of infection.
DISTAL SUBUNGUAL ONYCHOMYCOSIS (DSO)
This is the most common type of nail fungal infection. It is caused by the same fungus which is also responsible for athlete’s foot. This type infects the area under the nail skin (known as nail bed) and works its way into the nail. Fragments build up under the nail and cause yellow discoloration. The nail starts to thicken and breaks easily over a period of time. Consequently, the nail may split or become painful to touch which prevents its growth.
Many times, poor fitted shoes can make the infection worse. It is advisable to wear better shoes and take preventive measures.
WHITE SUPERFICIAL ONYCHOMYCOSIS (WSO)
This is the second most common nail infection after DSO. The main cause is a dermatophyte. But it is relatively easy to cure than other infections. In this case, the fungus targets the nail plate which makes white spots on the nail surface. The infection appears in the form of flaky chalky powder on the surface. Usually, it doesn’t cause the nail to separate from its nail bed.
The source of this type of infection is yeast. It is relatively uncommon and affects fingernails more than toenails. The yeast attacks the weak areas of the nail. It causes white, green or brown discoloration. Also, it may separate the nail from its skin along with swelling and redness. This infection has a high risk of becoming sensitive or painful. Therefore, treatment is essential as soon as the early signs appear.
PROXIMAL SUBUNGUAL ONYCHOMYCOSIS (PSO)
Lastly, it is another type of infection which occurs due to a fungus. This is the rarest form of fungal nail infection. It attacks the base of the nail causing it to thicken and detach from the skin eventually. PSO is more common in toenails than fingernails. The risk is high in patients diagnosed with HIV.
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
Clean and cut your nails properly to avoid infections. Also, make sure to clean your nail grooming tools such as clippers, filers before use. Avoid chewing or biting your nails. Usually, a fungal nail infection isn’t painful unless it becomes severe with time. If you notice any symptoms of toenail fungus, it is best to get treatment even if it is one of the common types.
Depending on the cause of infection, treatment options may include:
- Oral medications
- Anti-fungal medicines
- Physician recommended treatment
Mostly, toenail fungus is cured with the help of topical medicines such as ZetaClear. It is an all natural FDA approved nail fungus cure with no side effects. Please note that fungal infections take some time to clear permanently. Make sure to use the treatment regularly to restore healthy nails.