Onychomycosis, the fungal infection of the nails, is a common infection. Usually caused by dermatophytes and more rarely by candida, it is contagious and can affect more than one nail in the same patient.
It starts as a white or yellow spot under the edge of the nail - most commonly the toenail - and as the infection spreads, it can cause the affected nail to become discolored, thickened and detached. Sometimes the change in color can be black / green (depending on the type of microorganism).
What is it due to?
- Moisture and sweat on the feet make it easier for microorganisms to grow.
- People who walk barefoot in sports locker rooms and around swimming pools are also more likely to develop onychomycosis.
- Skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis that cause abrasions make the area more susceptible to fungus and other germs.
- Age is also a risk factor as well as diabetes.
The dermatologist will diagnose onychomycosis with the clinical examination. If he thinks about other diseases (nail psoriasis, lichen, wounds, melanocychomycosis) he may also ask for tests. Among them is often the culture with which it is determined if and which pathogenic microorganism is present.
In cases with a small extent of the nail, treatment with only local drugs is often sufficient. If the extent of the infection is usually more than half of the nail, it may be necessary to chemically cut the nail (peel off) or give oral medication.
Sometimes local lasers are also applied.
- Good cleanliness with daily hand/feet washing.
- Correct cut nail care.
- Choose a pedicure where the tools are sterilized.
- Sweat absorbent cotton socks
- Apply antifungal powders to old shoes that have come into contact with fungus
- Wear shoes / flip flops in public areas.