Fungal nail

Signs & Symptons

Fungal nail infection (onychomycosis) is very common, particularly in the toenails. Around half of all nail problems are due to fungal nail infection. It usually affects adults, and affects more men than women. It also becomes more common as you get older.

There are several types of fungus that cause nail infections. For example, athlete's foot is a fungal skin infection of the toes, which easily spreads to the toenails.
Candida is yeast which can cause an infection of the skin around the nails, usually the fingernails.

Causes

About 20% of the population are likely to have a fungal nail infection at some point in their lives.
Dermatophytes are the most common cause of fungal nail infections accounting for 85% of cases. The nail can appear as white, yellow, or just a change in its thickness and structure.

Treatment

There is a choice of either oral or topical anti-fungal treatments. Oral anti-fungal treatments can be prescribed by your GP if you are suitable.

Topical treatments are available over the counter or from your podiatrist. Fungal nail infections can take a long time to resolve (12months +), but the proper preparation of the nail surface by a podiatrist prior to applying the topical agent can increase the success.