fungal nail infections vary. Your symptoms will depend
type of infection you have. An infection can cause
discomfort but is usually not painful.
Athlete's foot is often present.
Distal subungual onychomycosis, the most common fungal nail infection, is
caused by dermatophytes. It affects both the nail and the skin underneath the
nail (nail bed). Dermatophytes cause 90% of all fungal toenail
infections.1 Symptoms include:
- Yellow streaks in the nail bed and on the underside of the
- Buildup of bits and pieces of skin and nail fragments (debris)
under the nail.
- A discolored and thickened nail that may separate from the skin
under the nail.
- A brittle, broken, and thickened nail.
White superficial onychomycosis is a
fungal infection of the nail surface. It is the second most common fungal nail
infection and is also caused by dermatophytes. Symptoms include:
- White spots or streaks on the nail surface.
- Soft and powdery nail surface, as the infection gets
- Damaged, crumbly, and brown or gray nail surface. But the nail
does not separate from the skin underneath.
types of fungal nail infections are uncommon.
Candida onychomycosis is a yeast infection of the nails.
Proximal subungual onychomycosis accounts for about 3% of all fungal nail
infections.2 But it is more common in people infected
human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Conditions with similar symptoms
Only about 50% of
all nail infections are fungal infections.3 Conditions
with similar symptoms include:
- Eczema, a long-lasting skin disorder that may result
in thickened and scaly skin. When it occurs on the hands, it may look like a
fungal infection of a fingernail.
- Psoriasis, a long-lasting skin condition that causes
raised red or white patches topped with silvery, scaling skin. The patches can
appear on the nails. But the pitting of the nails that occurs in psoriasis does
not happen in fungal nail infections.
- Reiter's syndrome, a bacterial infection that may
result in changes of the nails.
- Pachyonychia (elephant nail), a very thick fingernail or
- Darier disease, an inherited skin disease in which the skin
- Lichen planus, an uncommon, recurring skin disease
that results in itchy, shiny, reddish purple spots on the skin.
- Norwegian scabies, a rare and severe form of
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