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Nail fungal infection (onychomycosis)
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Nail fungal infection (onychomycosis)

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INFECTIOUS DISEASE

Fungal

WOMEN'S HEALTH

Hair/Nails/Skin

A fungal infection of the nail (onychomycosis) occurs when fungi infect oneor more of your nails. Onychomycosis usually begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As the fungal infection spreads deeper into your nail, it may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and develop crumbling edges - an unsightly and potentially painful problem.

Risk factors

Fungal infections are more common among older adults, because nails grow more slowly and thicken with aging, making them more susceptible to infection. Nail fungal infections also tend to affect more men and those with a family history of this infection.

However, these factors can increase your risk of developing a nail fungal infection:

  • Smoking

  • Perspiring heavily

  • Working in a humid or moist environment

  • Wearing socks and shoes that hinder ventilation and don't absorb perspiration

  • Walking barefoot in damp public places, such as swimming pools, gyms and shower rooms

You're also more likely to develop a nail fungal infection if you have:

  • A minor skin or nail injury, a damaged nail or another infection

  • Diabetes, circulation problems or a weakened immune system

When to seek medical advice

Once a nail fungal infection begins, it can persist indefinitely if not treated. See your doctor at the first sign of infection, which is often a tiny white or yellow spot under the tip of your nail.

Nail fungal infection > 1 > 2 > 3 > 4

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 


 



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Last Modified : 03/15/08 12:44 AM