One of the most common types of nail fungal infections is Distal Subungual Onychomycosis (DSO), and it’s caused by the same fungi that causes athlete’s foot. Pieces of the skin and nail fragments will build up under the nail, and as the condition gets worse, the nail will crumble and split. Often times, ill-fitting shoes will cause or make the infection worse, so if you feel discomfort when wearing shoes because of a thick nail and large amount of debris, you’re going to want to start treatment and wear better shoes.
The second most common type of fungal nail infection is White Superficial Onychomycosis (WSO). Luckily, WSO can be treated easily. What you’ll notice with this infection is the white spots on the surface of the nail, and if you don’t catch that in time, the entire surface will be covered with a a crumbly, chalky powder. The nail foes not thicken and separate from this skin, so if that’s happening you may have what people call yeast infection of the nail.
Yeast infection of the nail, or Candida Onychomycosis as it is clinically known, can affect the nail and the skin bordering the nail, and is more common in fingernails versus toenails. The fungi invades the weakened areas of the nail, which may discolor, thicken and start to separate from the skin. The skin next to the nail will swell up and become tender, so its better to start treatment at the first sign of an infection.
Proximal Subungual Onychomycosis (PSO) is most common in people with HIV. The fungi infects the base of the nail, which will turn that area of the nail opaque white and the nail will start to separate from the skin. Toenails are more commonly affected than fingernails, and the skin on the top of the foot may also be come infected with this fungal infection.
Written by: Lindsey Alexander