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Onychomycosis, also known as fungal nail infection, is a common condition that affects 14% of the UK population. The condition is brought on by a fungus that enters the nail through tiny skin breaks or cuts. Although anyone can develop a fungal toenail, older adults and those with weakened immune systems are more likely to do so. Many people are unaware that there are various fungal nail infections, each of which has a unique appearance. 

Types of Fungal Nail Infections

There are several different types of fungal toenails, and they can be classified based on the type of fungus that is causing the infection and its appearance. The four main types of fungal nail infections are:

  • Distal or lateral subungual onychomycosis. This is the most common type. This results from a fungus called a dermatophyte. You can get it in your finger or toenails. It appears as a yellowish-coloured area that spreads from the edges of the nail to the centre.
  • White Superficial onychomycosis. This is less common and will only affect the nail surface. It is found mainly on the toenails. It begins as white spots, which become powdery and cause the nail to crumble.
  • Proximal subungual onychomycosis. This also appears as white spots at first. They are placed in the cuticle and move outward as the nail grows. It is rare, and usually affects people who have problems with their immune system, like HIV infection.
  • Candidal Onychomycosis. Yeast causes this infection, and it is most commonly found in fingernails. The area around the nails is often inflamed, and the nail can fall off entirely. It tends to occur to nails that have been damaged by an injury or different infection.

How do I know if I have a fungal toenail infection?

At first, fungal nail infections may not show any overt symptoms. As it develops, the infection may result in:

  • Discolouration of the nail – most fungal nail infections turn white, black, yellow or even green
  • Thickening and distortion of the nail – it can become an unusual shape or texture and be hard to trim
  • Pain or discomfort – especially when placing pressure on the affected toe or finger
  • Brittle or crumbly nails – pieces of the nail may break off and come away completely
  • Irritation – sometimes the skin nearby may also become infected and be itchy and cracked or red and swollen.

How Can Doncaster Foot Clinic Help You?

At Doncaster Foot Clinic, we are able to provide you with advice on how to get back on your feet more comfortably and provide guidance during your fungal toenail infection treatment. You can reach us by email or by calling 01302 342 971, and we’ll help you find the right podiatrist for you. To stay up to date with our clinical updates and specials, follow us on Facebook.

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What types of Fungal Toenail Infections Are There?