A fungal nail is a fungal infection of one or more nails of the feet and / or hands. It is also called “fungal nails”. It is a disfiguring condition, which is sometimes a bit painful but can actually live with. The medical term for a fungal nail is “onychomycosis” (onycho = nail, mycosis = fungus). Although the nail nail problem only really took on great forms when humanity switched to wearing footwear, fungal nails are a problem of all times and of all peoples. To this day, however, few people know that these fungal nails are almost always the result of a fungal infection. “Nails” are often fungal nails. In the US, an estimated 2 to 13% of the population suffer from fungal nail (s). Men and women are at about the same risk of getting fungal nails. The chance of an infection increases as you get older. It is still relatively rare in children, but 15-20% of people between the ages of 40 and 60 suffer from a fungal infection of the nail (s). Often the toenails are the bobbin, but fungi also know the nails of the hands to find.
How does a fungal nail develop?
Someone with healthy skin and healthy nails usually has a good defense against fungi. Fungal infections occur mainly in poorly growing nails, in moist nails and in damaged nails. Under these conditions, the “spores” of fungi take their chance to spread further. The spores of fungi are found everywhere in our environment and we can easily get in contact with them. Especially communal showers of changing rooms, swimming pools, sports halls and saunas are notorious. When you walk around there barefoot, you almost inevitably come into contact with fungal spores. If you then do not dry your feet sufficiently, slip into plastic socks and pinching shoes, and also sweat excessively, the germ is laid for a fungal infection. Then you yourself are a source for new infections.
What does fungal nail look like?
If one nail turns white or yellow, it is usually an alarm signal. A mold may therefore probably be active. If the infection gets worse and penetrates deeper into the nail, the color changes to yellow-brown. The nail is thickened, bumpy and friable and sometimes partially or completely loosens. A fungal infection can occur both on the nails of the feet and of the hands. The condition on the feet, however, almost always starts with the big toe. If no treatment takes place, the fungus will continue on an adventure and the other toenails will also become yellow and affected. Often there is at the same time “swimmer’s eczema”: another term that actually suggests the wrong. There is also a fungus in swimmer’s eczema,
How is fungal nail detected?
Usually the abnormalities of a fungal nail are so characteristic that the diagnosis can be suspected on the naked eye. These deviations are sometimes misleading for the diagnosis. The nail abnormalities can also fit within the framework of various chronic non-contagious skin diseases, such as psoriasis , lichen ruber planus or an eczema. The “crown” on the diagnosis “fungal nail” is the detection of the fungus via a culture. To do this, your doctor cuts a small amount of nail material and then sends it to the laboratory. The result of a nail culture is only known after a few weeks.
At least 2 weeks before a nail culture is used, it is important to stop using all internal and external anti-fungal agents. If you do not do this there is an increased chance that the culture will produce a false negative result.