Nail fungus is a chronic and potentially contagious condition that affects millions of people worldwide and should be treated by a dermatologist. There are several different types of nail fungus and as such, the symptoms, progression and treatment can vary slightly depending upon the precise ailment that’s infecting the nail bed. One of the most common nail fungus infections is called Onychomycosis. It is the most common disease of the nails and constitutes about half of all nail abnormalities. This condition may affect toenails or fingernails, but toenail infections are particularly common.
Nail fungus often begins as a small spot of white, yellow or green that appears under the nail, typically near the edge. This is often paired with an array of other symptoms that worsen as the infection spreads deeper below the nail. Ultimately, the fungus can affect the entire nail, including the nail bed – the area where the new nail grows from. This will cause all new nail growth to be infected as well.
Symptoms of nail fungus include:
- A white, yellow or green patch of discoloration under the nail, typically near the edge
- Painful or sore nails
- Thickened nails
- Discoloration, often yellow, green or black
- Brittle or crumbling at the edges
- Rough, abnormal nail surface texture
- Foul odor
- Distorted nail shape
- Dull, with no shine
- Scaly skin around the nail
- Inflammation, redness and swelling under and around the nail
- The nail may separate or lift from the nail bed
Not all nail infections are fungal infections. Conditions with similar symptoms include eczema, psoriasis and Reiter’s syndrome.
If you notice any symptoms of nail fungus, it is important to have your nails examined by a professional. In Phoenix, dermatologist Dr. Holy is familiar with nail fungus and able to treat many conditions. To schedule an appointment, contact THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or website today.