A fungal nail infection also known as onychomycosis, is an infection that affects the nails on your hands or feet. It can lead to changes in the appearance, texture and health of the nails.
Nail infections are caused by many different types of fungi that thrive in warm and moist environments. Fungi such as Dermatophytes, yeasts such as Candida and molds, mostly affect toenails and sometimes finger nails. Other causes that can lead to Fungal infection are:
- Not treating fungal skin conditions such as athletes foot as soon as possible to avoid spreading to nails
- Walking barefoot in public places like swimming pools, locker rooms, and showers
- Wearing shoes that don’t allow proper ventilation and trap in moisture
- Weakened immune system
Symptoms of a nail infection can vary but common signs include:
- Yellow, brown or solid white coloured nail
- Thicker and harder to cut nail
- Brittle nails
- Distorted shape
- Separation from the nail bed
- Pain or discomfort
Note that other conditions, such as psoriasis or bacterial infections, can cause similar nail changes.