What onychomycosis means?
Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the nails that causes discoloration, thickening, and separation from the nail bed.
What causes onychomycosis?
Onychomycosis is caused by 3 main classes of fungi: dermatophytes, yeasts, and nondermatophyte molds. Dermatophytes are by far the most common cause of onychomycosis. Two major pathogens are responsible for approximately 90% of all onychomycosis cases.
What does onychomycosis look like?
Onychomycosis makes the nails look white and opaque, thickened, and brittle. It usually produces no symptoms other than a cosmetic problem. Treatment includes avoiding artificial nails, using safer application techniques and only new artificial nails, and using topical and oral antifungal medications.
Is onychomycosis a skin disease?
The fungus that causes onychomycosis may be of several types, including yeasts, dermatophytes or molds. In almost all the cases, onychomycosis is caused by dermatophytes, which affect not only the nails but also the skin and the hair, that are tissues containing keratin.
Is onychomycosis serious?
A severe case of nail fungus can be painful and may cause permanent damage to your nails. And it may lead to other serious infections that spread beyond your feet if you have a suppressed immune system due to medication, diabetes or other conditions.
Can onychomycosis spread?
An infected person can spread the fungus to someone else through direct contact. You can also get toenail fungus by touching an infected surface.
How do you get rid of onychomycosis?
Options include terbinafine (Lamisil) and itraconazole (Sporanox). These drugs help a new nail grow free of infection, slowly replacing the infected part. You typically take this type of drug for six to 12 weeks. But you won’t see the end result of treatment until the nail grows back completely.
Does onychomycosis go away?
Fungal infections of the toenails — also known as onychomycosis — don’t go away on their own, and if left untreated, the fungus will spread and can eventually destroy the nail.
Can onychomycosis go away on its own?
Why is onychomycosis so difficult to treat?
Onychomycosis is more difficult to treat than most dermatophytoses because of the inherent slow growth of the nail. Older antifungal agents (ketoconazole and griseofulvin) are unsuitable for onychomycosis because of their relatively poor efficacy and potential adverse effects.
How long does onychomycosis last?
It can take between 6 and 18 months for the appearance of the affected nail to return to normal, and in some cases the nail may not look the same as before the infection.