Differentiating Between the Types of Toenail Fungus

The most prevalent variety of toenail fungal infection is the distal subungual onychomycosis. In layman’s terms, this is merely the fungal infection that starts from the skin underneath the nail. Early signs of these types of toenail fungus infections include the abnormal staining of the nail into a milky white or pale yellow shade, as well as the gradual splitting and crumbling of the outermost layer of the toenail.

Usually, distal subungual onychomycosis involves a considerable amount of pain if not treated immediately. If you are suffering from these types of toenail fungus, it will be very uncomfortable to wear closed shoes. In fact, it will be difficult to walk at all especially if the infection is in the more advanced stages.

By this time, the nail will have started to separate from the skin and may have even completely fallen off. In some cases, it can even emit a nasty odor because of the pus that has collected in the area. This is the most contagious variety and needs to be treated immediately to avoid contaminating the people around you.

The second most common toenail fungus is the white superficial onychomycosis. It affects roughly 10% of all people suffering from toenail fungal infections. The early manifestations of these types of toenail fungus include the random appearance of white spots or streaks on the outermost layer of the nail. This condition affects the fingernails as well.

If not attended to immediately, these types of toenail fungus can cause the nail to gradually disintegrate and turn into soft white powdery substances. However, unlike the first type, this toenail fungus will not cause the nail to fall off or separate from the skin. White superficial onychomycosis is also much simpler to cure than any other toenail contamination.

The remaining two types of toenail fungus are very rare and are found in less than 1 percent of all people suffering from toenail fungal infections. The first of these unusual types of toenail fungus is the Candida onychomycosis.

The fungus responsible for this infection is the same fungus that causes yeast infection in the mouth and the female reproductive organ. This infection is indicated by the swelling of the skin adjacent to the toenail. The toenail itself is changed into unnatural colors such as white, green or orange.

Candida onychomycosis occurs more frequently on the fingernails rather than the toenails, possibly because of the constant use of nail polish. In more severe cases, the infection can grow in more than one fingernail at a time.

Finally, the last kind of toenail fungal infection is the proximal subungual onychomycosis. This typically occurs in people afflicted with HIV. With this infection, the flesh around the nail thickens, pushing out the toenail and forcing it to separate from the skin.

In order to cure your particular condition, you first have to go to a podiatrist to determine which kind of infection you have. Each type of toenail fungus has a corresponding treatment and your doctor will be able to recommend the best kind of remedy for you.