New York, NY, United States, 10/28/2021 / Health News /
Fungal toenail infections are often quite painful, embarrassing, and frustrating. We will discuss various types of onychomycosis (fungal nail infection) and the risk factors that increase one’s likelihood of developing them. Here are some of the most common types of toenail fungal infections:
Distal subungual infections: Distal subungual fungal infection is the most common type of fungal infection and it can affect both fingernails and toenails. Usually, this type of fungal infection is characterized by white and yellow streaks across the nail along with a jagged or uneven nail bed. Distal fungal infection often penetrates into the nail bed, making it especially difficult and challenging to treat with over-the-counter creams.
White superficial infections: White superficial infection usually affects toenails but can also affect fingernails occasionally. The fungus attacks the nail from the surface, resulting in white spots and patches over the exterior of the nail, which may become pitted and flaky. If left untreated, these patches spread to the entire nail, and often become soft and rough, and may even crumble altogether.
Proximal subungual infections: Proximal subungual infections are usually uncommon as they only affect individuals with weakened immune systems or can be found in cases where the nail has been injured making it susceptible to infection. The proximal fungal infection affects both fingernails and toenails and is usually characterized by yellow spots that begin at the base of the nail and spread upwards over time.
Candida infections: Candida infections are caused by Candida Albicans, a type of yeast that lives naturally in the body. It’s not harmful when it exists in balance with other microbiota, but its overgrowth can be a cause for different types of infections. It usually causes oral and urinary tract infections but can also affect fingernails and toenails. Candida infections usually start at the nail bed which becomes swollen, red, and is often painful to touch. If left untreated, then the nail may lift off or may even fall off completely from the nail bed.
What puts you at higher risk of toenail fungus infection?
According to medical experts and doctors, toenail fungus infections affect 1 out of 10 people thus making it quite common among the general population. However, some people may be at a higher risk of developing fungal toenail infection due to a number of factors, and lifestyle choices may also increase the risk of fungal infection.
Individuals over 70 are five times more likely to become infected with toenail fungal infection as compared to the general population. Research also suggests that men are more susceptible to fungal infections as compared to women. Yellowing of toenails is also quite common among those suffering from Diabetes. While weakened immune system, poor blood circulation, wearing artificial nails, wearing closed-toe shoes, and having a nail injury all put you at an increased risk of developing toenail fungal infection.
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