Nail fungus can affect the fingernails, the toenails or both. Our bodies have various types of fungi that live in us or on our skin. Certain conditions can cause them to overgrow and lead to fungal infections. Fungal infections can develop slowly and may not be visible in the early stages.
What is nail fungus and why do people get it?
Nail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, occurs when naturally occurring fungi overpopulate in your nails. This can be your own fungi, or you may have contracted it from the environment. Fungi can overpopulate when they are kept in warm and moist or humid environments.
Toenails tend to have fungal infections more commonly as the feet are warm and enclosed in shoes. When getting manicures or pedicures be sure to inquire as to their sanitization practices as fungal infections can spread from person to person if hygienic practices are not in place.
What are the different types of nail fungus infections?
- Distal subungual infection: The most commonly seen form of fungal infection, which can develop in both toenails and fingernails or grow in the nail bed and the underside of the nail. Gives the nail a rough appearance with white or yellow lines.
- White superficial infections: This nail fungus affects the tops of the toenails and looks like white dots, causing the nail to eventually become rough and weak.
- Proximal subungual infection: This fungal infection may be due to an injury or weak immune function and is uncommon. It appears as yellowish spots that start near the cuticle.
- Candida infection: A fungal infection caused by candida yeast, a common skin yeast, it can invade the nails.
How is nail fungus treated in Atlanta, GA?
Nail fungus can be treated in various ways depending on the type and cause of the infection. Nail fungus treatments include:
- Oral medications that treat the infection systemically
- Laser therapies that destroy the fungal infection with laser energy
- Topical treatments that include anti-fungal solutions which are applied to the nail
In some cases, a combination of treatments is used to ensure that the infection is thoroughly cleared.
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