Onychomycosis is the medical term for the condition fingernail fungus. It’s an infection of the nail on the fingers or toes. Usually, you can’t feel pain when you have it. You’re just going to see that your nails become thick, dark and brittle.
Occurrences of Fingernail Fungus
People who are immunocompromised are prone to have fungal infections. This happens because their body is weak enough to fight the fungi. Diabetics and people with blood circulation problems can also have fingernail fungus. Even healthy individuals who are up and about can sometimes acquire this. Conditions like poor nail hygiene, nail trauma or injury and wound on nails increase your risk.
Type of Fingernail Fungus Infection
1. DLSO – DLSO means Distal Lateral Subungual Onychomycosis. Among the types of fungal infection, this is the most prevalent. With this type, the fungus grows on the skin then attacks the nail beds. It’s distinguished by thickened, white or yellow nails that easily fragment. The nail eventually separates from the skin as it progresses. Among them, it’s the most difficult to treat.
2. WSO – White Superficial Onychomycosis is an uncommon infection. The fungi attack directly the nail plate followed by the nail bed. It’s easily treatable since the affected part of the nail is the surface. Unlike with DLSO, nails don’t thicken and get removed. You can just see white spots on the top of the nail on the early stages. Overtime, the white spots become hard and powder-like covering the nail.
3. PSO – With Proximal Subungual Onychomycosis, people with low immune system get this. You can find this in HIV infected patients. The fungi first invade the base of the nail. The skin thickens and the nail becomes opaque white. Inflammation of the base of the nail or the cuticle can happen. The nail will also separate from the skin.
4. EO – In Endonyx Onychomycosis, the appearance of this fingernail fungus infection is similar to DLSO. The only difference is the way the fungi spread. The nail plate is the main target of the fungi as they pass through the skin.
5. Candida Onychomycosis – This is the most painful type of fungal infection. It’s also considered as a nail yeast infection. It’s rare and may affect all nails at one time. As the yeast affects the nail and nail fold, nail separation happen progressively. The change of nail shape and color to green or brown makes it distinct with other infections.
6. Total Dystrophic Onychomycosis – The last type and the most severe of all fingernail infection. Nail destruction occurs as the whole nail unit becomes affected. It will produce a permanent scar on the finger. This occurs if the infection was left untreated.
The appearance of the fingernail will determine what type of onychomycosis it is. This will help in the early detection and what type of treatment right for it. Having known early, you can have it checked by your health care provider. Fingernail fungus may not be alarming at first but when ignored, can be uncomfortable and unpleasant to look at.