Onychomycosis represents a fungal infection that is localized on the nail. This affliction causes nail fragility, whitish, yellowish or brownish colour. It is most commonly localized on the toe nails, and it starts to gradually spread from the big toe nail to the other ones. Fungi develop best in moist and warm areas. People that often go swimming or the ones that suffer from plantar hyperhidrosis are more prone to onychomycosis.
The nail suffers changes in its aspect, structure and shape, leading to its disengagement from the nail bed. In diabetic patients or in the ones that are undergoing immunosuppressive treatment, the fungal infection can easily spread to other areas of the body.
The diagnosis is usually a clinical one, but the certainty can be obtained after having a mycological exam.
The treatment depends on the severity of the infection, on its impact on the patient and the afflictions he is suffering from. There is no spontaneous remission. The therapy consists of oral administration of antimycotics, along with prior evaluation of hepatic enzymes.
The nail recovery is a slow process, that lasts up to 12 months for toenails and up to 6 months for the fingernails. The relapse risk is always present so preventive care is recommended. This includes keeping the feet dry and clean, avoiding to share pedicure tools, using slippers in changing rooms and public showers.