Fungal infections

fungal infection in nails

Overview of fungal infections

Fungi mainly thrive on human or animal body that serves as a host. Currently, over 300 million people worldwide are suffering from fungal infections.The incidences are more in the low and middle-income countries which have poor hygiene conditions.Hot and humid climate also serves as an ideal condition for the survival of the fungal agents.Though mortalities are not reported in any such cases, these infections in general interfere with a healthy lifestyle.

 

What are fungal infections?

fungal infection treatment“Fungal infections” is a common name for skin diseases caused by fungal pathogens.

These microbes reside on human and animal skin for a long period of time and slow start spreading the infection. These infections are precipitated by environmental, hygiene and dietary conditions.

Nail fungus

Nail fungus or “Onychomycosis” is a medical term for a particular nail disease mediated by fungal infections.

The nail, in this case, is called “mycotic nail” and is severely damaged in most of the cases.With the gradual growth and spread of the fungus, the nails become hard, thickened and yellowish with corroded edges and can even be uprooted in case of extreme damage. Nail fungus not only affects the nails but also damages the surrounding skin and underlying tissues.

 

What causes nail fungus?

Three main causative agents are responsible for fungal infection in the nails. These are-

  • Dermatophytes:  They survive on keratin (the protein element of skin, hair, and nails) and cause considerable damage to the nail tissues and adjoining skin.
  • Yeasts: These are microscopic fungi made of single oval cells that multiply rapidly within a particular area and can cause severe infections of the toenails and skin.
  • Non-dermatophyte molds: They comprise of mainly saprophytes and plant pathogens. They normally survive on the dead and decaying matter.

Some of the other general factors are given below-

  • Unhygienic bedrooms, bathrooms, and laundry rooms
  • Dark and humid conditions
  • Unclean and moist footwear
  • Sweating in the feet
  • Untreated nail injuries and diseases
  • Repetition of footwear
  • Expired nail cosmetics
  • Unhygienic manicure and pedicure

 

How do you know if you have nail fungus?

The following signs and symptoms are indicative of nail fungus-

  • Yellowish or brownish discoloration of the nails
  • Nails turn hard and thick
  • Brownish debris beneath the nails
  • Whitish patches on nails
  • Brittle and eroded nail edges
  • Thick ridges along the nail borders
  • Bad odor from the nails
  • The adjacent skin turns red, cracks and peels off
  • Minute blisters
  • Skin inflammation, burning, itching and stinging
  • Bleeding from the fissures
  • Lifting of the nails (after complete decay)
  • Difficulty in toe movements and walking 

 

Types

Fungal infection in the nails may be of the following types

  • Distal Lateral Subungual Onychomycosis (DLSO): Thickening of the nail plate occurs along with increased opacity.
  • Endonyx Onychomycosis (EO): Infection occurs on the nail plate, making it milky white.
  • White Superficial Onychomycosis (WSO): The nail surface becomes rough and powdery flakes appear.
  • Proximal Subungual Onychomycosis (PSO): White spots and streaks in the nail folds.
  • Total Dystrophic Onychomycosis (TDO): Greenish brown nails 

 

Ringworm

Ringworm is a fungal infection caused by the tinea species that affects both human beings and other animals. This infection is highly contagious.

 

What are the causes?

Ringworm infections are mainly caused by tinea corporis (affects the skin of the body), tinea capitis (affects scalp), tinea cruris (affects groin region), tinea pedis (affects the skin of feet). The common transmission routes are-

  • Human to human
  • Animal to human
  • Object to human
  • Soil to human

 

How do you know if you have it?

Visit the dermatologist if you have any of the following signs-

  • Elevated, reddish patches with prominent thickened edges and normal skin in the middle (ring-shaped appearance)
  • Skin Lesions
  • Itching
  • Blisters (with or without fluid)
  • Reddish streaks around the blisters
  • Cracks and fissures
  • Overlapped rings

 

Types

Ringworm infection may be of any of the following types-

  • Tinea corporis infection
  • Tinea capitis infection
  • Tinea cruris infection
  • Tinea unguium infection 

 

Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis is the medical condition in which scaly patches and reddish plaques appear in different regions of the scalp.

Under such conditions, the immune system of the body mistakes the dead skin cells as harmful foreign substances and attacks the skin itself.

This results in the formation of whitish or greyish flakes on the skin along with itching, redness, and tenderness.

 

What causes scalp psoriasis?

Scalp infection is precipitated by the following factors-

  • Immune system disorders
  • Toxicity caused by certain chemicals
  • Genetic factors (genes involved: NAT9,RAPTOR, SLC12A8, HLA-C, SLC9A3R1, and CARD15)
  • Existing illnesses (eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, joint diseases)
  • Allergies
  • Medication overdose 

 

What are the symptoms of scalp psoriasis?

The following signs are observed-

  • Whitish or silvery flakes
  • Irregular reddish patches
  • Irritation, itching, and inflammation of the infected skin
  • Burning sensation in the scalp
  • Reddish bumps or pustules
  • Release of watery fluid from the pustules

 

What are the different types of scalp psoriasis?

Scalp psoriasis if of the following types-

  • Flexural psoriasis (erythematous plaques)
  • Pustular psoriasis (fluid-filled pustules)
  • Psoriatic erythroderma (reddish plaques)

What are the available diagnostic tests?

The doctors usually recommend the following tests-

  • Culture of nail specimens, punch biopsy (Nail fungus)
  • Wood’s lamp, skin biopsy (Ringworm)
  • Histology, skin biopsy (Scalp Psoriasis)

How to treat fungal infections?

Fungal infections of mild nature can be treated by antifungal creams like miconazole or clotrimazole. For scalp psoriasis, medicated shampoos may be effective.

Fungal infections are self-limiting in many cases and may resolve even without medical intervention.

However, it is always advisable to take care in the early stages to avoid severity in future.

Dermatologists should be consulted in every case instead of choosing self-medications. This can help prevent complications.

 

Facts

  • Corticosteroids and chemotherapy tend to weaken the immune system making one more susceptible to fungal infections.
  • 1 out of every 5 adults will experience at least one episode of toenail fungal infection before the age of 40.

Facts

  • Since fungi tend to thrive in cool, moist, and dark places, toenail fungal infections are more common than hand nail.
  • Diabetic patients, athletes, obese people and people suffering from poor circulation are more prone to fungal infections.

Facts

  • Fungal infections are prevalent among more than 300 million around the globe with 25 million people at high-risk of fatality or blindness caused by the infections.

Related Conditions

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Wear cotton socks only and keep changing them frequently.
  • Garlic and yogurt are very effective in keeping the vaginal fungal infection in control.
  • Always opt for a well-sterilized manicure and pedicure instruments.
Don'ts
  • Go barefoot in public places and restrooms.
  • Use soap to clean the infected area, especially genitals, since soaps tend to irritate the skin and cause more itching.
  • Use tampons if suffering from yeast infection.
  • Don’t let sweat accumulate anywhere.

 

 

 

Related Conditions

Trending Topics

diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan for diverticulitis diet…
anal sex
Anal Sex : Tips from expert on how to be kinky yet safe Whether it irks you or stokes your fantasies, anal sex has always been an intriguing sexual act. Learn…
nature health benefits
Green Healing: The amazing health benefits of being in nature You have no idea what sitting in a closed room does to your body and mind.Can a stroll…
autoimmune diseases facts
Autoimmune Diseases: Find out if your body is attacking you right now Did you know your body can harm itself? What are autoimmune diseases and why does it harm some…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the world by the…
understanding addiction
Addiction explained: An obsession that could cost you your life Is addiction a behavioral disorder? Or is it a chronic disease? How does addiction cause chemical and structural…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking is good for…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in your body? Your…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing is not only…
GM Diet: The fastest way to lose weight or yet another hoax diet? General Motors started this trend of extreme dieting for 7 straight days to ensure its employees were able…
Penis pump: Pump your way out of erectile dysfunction One of the options to treat erectile dysfunction is by the use of a penis pump. It is…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of cold beer add…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders? Do you want…
Creatine: Is this the right peak athletic-performance supplement for you? Creatine is the amino acid that boosts our energy. Did you know creatine supplements can help you reach…
Improve sex life
9 best tips from around the world for better sex life How can the pungent-smelling garlic pack in a punch to your libido? How could something as slimy as…
L-arginine: Your search for the ultimate fitness booster ends here L-arginine is an amino acid necessary for the body to perform various functions.  It is essential in producing…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make you smarter and…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can it protect you…
How chlorophyll is more than just a green pigment meant for photosynthesis Cholorphyll - you must know the usual function of this chemical in plants. But did you know that…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media? Are you one…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling sad? Have you…
eating myths debunked
8 ‘healthy eating’ myths you believed until now Is a zero-carb diet really healthy for you? Are organic products worth their cost? Did you know how…
green tea benefits
Green Tea : Does it really aid weight loss and reverse aging? A centuries-old concoction of fresh green leaves, green tea holds the secret to healthy weight loss & delayed…
Garlic health benefits cloves
Garlic: Nature’s white pill as an effective home remedy What are the secrets hidden in these tiny white pills? Find out the immense health benefits of using…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy white grains can…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol and is used…
tips for perfect sleep
Stop hitting the snooze button: 8 proven steps to perfect sleep Are you tired of not getting enough sleep? All your efforts for a sound sleep going in vain?…
boost immunity tips
Step up your defence: 15 proven tips on how to boost your immunity Want to naturally build up a stronger immunity? Tired of frequent colds and runny nose?You will never believe…
Pumpkin Seeds: Why pumpkins are more than just for pies! Pumpkins have been long associated with Halloween carvings and delicious pies. But did you know that pumpkin seeds…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes with a plethora…
Grapeseed Oil: Find out how to use this oil without any side-effects Grapes are known for their delicious fresh taste and the fact that they make wine a healthy drink.…
Melatonin: Fascinating facts on the hormone that brings you the Zzzs Did you know, melatonin - the chemical that puts you to sleep every night is also involved in…
turmeric skin
We bet you didn’t know that turmeric could be this beneficial! Did you know that turmeric, a humble ingredient found in most Indian kitchens could cure countless ailments and…
low fodmap plan
Troubled with IBS? Here’s a complete roadmap to the low FODMAP diet Leaky & inflammatory gut troubling you? No medicine bringing you relief from the pain? Why not try the…
Agave nectar: The bitter truth about this sweetener revealed Agave nectar is considered to be sweeter than the normal table sugar and even contains higher amounts of…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know some of the…
MANUKA HONEY child
Manuka Honey Manuka honey is a specific type of honey produced by honey bees that collect nectar from the flowers…
Hate making breakfast?Fast and healthy breakfast recipes just for you! Tired of snatching a bagel every morning for breakfast during the rush hour? Here are few fast and…
paleo keto diet
Paleo vs. Keto: Which diet plan is best suited for your body goals? Is eating like a caveman the right way to go? Can you really eat fats to burn fats…
Amaranth: Why is this native Peruvian grain called the “crop of the future”? Full of healthy high proteins and gluten-free, the grain, Amaranth, the tasty and ancient pseudo cereal from Peru,…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity , and much more.…
MCT oil athletes
MCT Oil : The kind of fats you should be eating MCT oil or Medium Chain Triglycerides is the new buzzword in the fitness industry. What makes this oil…
bananas exercise
10 health reasons why you should go “bananas” over bananas! Bananas:The world's most popular fruit comes with a host of unbelievable health benefits. Find out how you can…
canola oil cooking
Canola oil: How safe is it to consume this popular cooking oil? Extracted from rapeseeds, Canola oil derives its name from Canadian Oil. Did you know that some forms of…
Moringa drink
Moringa: This could be the most nutrient-dense food known to us! Moringa is a lush green tree brimming with over 90 essential nutrients required for a healthy mind and…
black seed oil benefits
Black Seed Oil: What secret benefits could it bestow on your health? Black seeds or nigella seeds are tiny packets of health brimming with amazing benefits. Find out why should…
gout diet purines
Gout Diet : Get relief from painful joints by eating these foods Are you a victim of this painful condition? Are medications providing only short relief? Find a list of…
Fructose: Healthy fruit-product or loaded with toxic calories? Fructose is a sugar derived from fruits and other plant sources. Does this mean that fructose consumption is…
How cooking with CLA safflower oil can help you lose weight? Read and discover more about CLA safflower oil and how it can aid faster fat metabolism in people…
cancer facts
8 hard-hitting truths no one tells you about cancer Did you know that 1.5 million new cases of cancer are reported every year? Can second-hand smoking kill…
lifestyle diseases
The Big 5 lifestyle diseases: How your everyday living might be killing you You'd be shocked to know how unhealthy and potentially fatal your everyday routine could be. Has the modern…
carrageenan seaweed
Carrageenan: How a simple seaweed extract could better your gut health & immunity Eat more ice cream to prevent cold and flu? –With carrageenan you get one simple seaweed extract that…
Fluoride: An indispensible mineral or a potential toxin ? Fluoride, the main ingredient of toothpaste, has shown a great potential as a cleanser. However, how much fluoride…
healthy habits
10 healthy habits: Have a hearty kick-start to the New Year! Do you set goals that are too difficult for you to maintain? Are to struggling to follow healthy…
antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic Resistance: How common diseases become deadly Can a cold kill you? How important is to get a flu shot? Why do antibiotics fail against…
High Fiber Diet – Fire up your fiber intake for these health benefits! Regular bowels, healthy detox, higher immunity, and guaranteed weight loss - a high fiber diet can bring all…
global warming health
Rising mercury and your health: How Global Warming is damaging your body Don't ignore the rising temperature. Global warming causes more than just heat strokes. It could be a lot…
castor oil hair
Castor oil : A vitamin-rich oil for shiny locks and healthy bowels Castor oil bestows unlimited benefits, whether you use it for your hair or skin. But did you know…
iron food shellfish
Iron-Rich Foods: Eat these foods to keep fatigue and anemia away! How to ensure a muscles as strong as iron? Eat iron rich foods ! Iron is one of…
Tea Tree Oil : The one stop cure for skin ailments and more… The popularity of tea tree oil, an essential oil, as the ultimate skin care pick is not unheard…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It is edible and…
Pomegranate: Why are they called ruby red pearls of health? The shrub Punicagranatum yields a red fruit which is what you normally call pomegranate. The fruit is round…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how successful have they…
Anhedonia: Does the chronic inability to feel joy affect you too? How often do you feel dragged down by an invisible force? Do you feel an inexplicable emotional numbness…
Chlorella: Therapeutic powers of the billion-year-old algae now within your reach Chlorella - A billion year old nutrient-rich algae that can potentially ward off cancers and high cholesterol; the…
LDL cholesterol level
Lecithin: Learn how you can utilize this fatty acid to improve your cholesterol count Lecithin is primarily a fatty acid found in common foods such as soy and eggs. However, this fatty…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are you too a…
Bulletproof coffee recipe
Bulletproof Coffee – Breakfast of champions or yet another health fad? Can this special ketogenic coffee really make your body race as fast as a bullet?