Nail fungus, also known as Onychomycosis, is a common condition that affects both women and men of all ages.
Nail fungus is a common condition that affects both women and men of all ages. Microscopic organisms called dermatophyte fungus (and sometimes yeasts and molds) enter your skin through tiny cuts or the separation between your nail and nail bed.
Those Most at Risk for Nail Fungus
While causes and severity vary given personal circumstances, those most at risk include:
- Males (especially with a family history of nail fungal infections)
- People who have existing medical conditions such as diabetes or psoriasis (or a weakened immune system)
- People who spend a lot of time walking barefoot in damp communal areas
- People with athlete’s foot
- People who work in an environment where hands are often wet
- People who wear poorly ventilated footwear (socks and shoes), and whose feet perspire
If nail fungus isn’t causing a problem, treatment isn’t always required. However, as the infection goes deeper, nails can become painful, put off a foul smell, separate from the nail bed and be permanently damaged. For some, such as diabetics, a nail fungus infection can also lead to additional infections (such as a bacterial skin infection).
A variety of treatment options exist for nail fungus. Your dermatologist can recommend options based on the severity of the problem, and your personal health circumstances. Recovery from nail fungus can be a long process so it’s best to be seen and begin treatment as soon as you notice a problem.
For more information on our dermatology services, please call (530) 528-4456 or contact us. Or click here to Find a Doctor.