Nail Fungus – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

The medical term for toenail fungus is “onychomycosis,” Despite the commonly used term “fungal toenails”, onychomycosis describes both fungus and yeast infections in the nail. The prevalence in America is about 2-3%, but some have reported it as high as 13%. Even at a low estimate of 2%, this accounts for 6 million Americans with toenail fungus. Toenail fungus affects men twice as often as it affects women.

Nail fungus or onychomycosis is an infection of the nails occurring both on the hands and feet but certainly more prevalent on the feet due to the environment that feet find themselves in. Nail fungus generally thrive in dark, moist environments, so when you consider wearing shoes and socks all day along with perspiration that occurs, it ends up being a perfect growth media for nail fungus.

Unfortunately as we grow older, our chances of contracting onychomycosis increase. The condition is rare in children and young adults but the risk increases once a person reaches their thirties. In fact, nearly one in every four adults has experienced some type of nail fungus by the time they reach forty. For senior citizens the statistics are even higher with nearly half of the population having been affected by either type of nail fungus.

Causes of Nail Fungus

The primary cause of nail fungal infection is the contamination made by the fungus that comes from the family of dermatophytes. Dermatophytes are fungus that affects the skin with its parasitic attribute. Moreover, nail fungal infections is also brought about by the certain type of yeast called Candida albican as well as molds that are non-dermatophyte. These fungal parasites can live in moist and warm environment. This includes places like showers and swimming pools.

What are the symptoms of nail infection ?

Anyone can get a fungal nail infection. They are especially common in people with diabetes or circulation problems. Children hardly ever get fungal nail infections. Primarily you may see, smell, or feel a nail fungus infection once ittakes hold.

Nails may look brownish, yellowish, or have little white patches.Some may even be brown or black. Nails may get flaky, brittle, and chipped.Bits of “gunk” or debris may collect under your nails. Your nails may smell bad.


Medications for onychomycosis fall into two categories; topical and oral. There are any number of effective topical medications available over the counter. Topical medications are most helpful in treating early, small infections and for maintaining clear nails. Since, toenails grow so slowly the complete process will take a year or more. Lactobacilli taken internally is a beneficial bacteria needed to inhibit bacteria needed to inhibit bad bacteria and fungus. The lack of sufficient friendly bacteria in the body can result in the growth of fungus under the around nails.

There have been a series of treatments for onychomycosis . A most assertive as good as in effect approach to provide a mildew is with verbal anti-fungal medications . A most usual verbal anti-fungal medications have been Itraconazole as good as Terbinafine. Both medications can be utterly costly as they need to be taken once each day for 3 months . A efficacy of a medications ranges from 60 to 80%, with a regularity rate of 15% . Lamisil appears to be some-more in effect as good as has fewer drug interactions than Sporonox.