Fungal Nail Infection


Fungal nail infection is an infection of the nails by a fungus.

Alternative Names
Nails – fungal infection; Onychomycosis; Infection – fungal – nails; Tinea unguium

Causes
The body normally hosts a variety of bacteria and fungi. Some of these are useful to the body.
Others may multiply rapidly and form infections. Fungi can live on the dead tissues of the hair, nails, and outer skin layers.
Fungal infections include mold-like fungi that cause:
Athlete’s foot
Jock itch
Ringworm
Tinea captis
Fungal infections also include yeast-like fungi such as candida. Candida yeast infections include:
Cultaneous candidasis
Diaper rash
Oral thrush
Some cases of genital rashes
Fungal nail infections are most often seen in adults. They often follow fungal infection of the feet.
Toenails are affected more often than fingernails.
People who frequent public swimming pools, gyms, or shower rooms — and people who perspire a
great deal — commonly have mold-like infections. The fungi that cause them thrive in warm, moist areas.

The following increase the risk of a fungal infection:
Getting minor skin or nail injuries
Having moist skin for a long time
Wearing closed-in footwear

Symptoms
Nail changes on one or more nails (usually toenails):
Brittleness
Change in nail shape
Crumbling of the nail
Debris trapped under the nail
Discoloration
Loosening (detaching) of the nail
Loss of luster and shine
Thickening