How to Identify, Treat and Prevent Nail Bed Fungus (Mycosis) – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

What Is Nail Bed Fungus (Mycosis)?

Nail bed fungus, also known as Onychomycosis, is caused by fungal spores that land on the nail tissue and begin to grow. Over time, the nail thickens and may eventually lift off the nail bed. Treatment of this condition involves antifungal medications in topical or oral form to kill off the fungus. Some examples of topical ointments include the effective EMUAIDMAX® for nail fungus.

To prevent further infection, it is important to keep nails clean and dry and avoid sharing towels or other personal items with others who may have a fungal infection. Additionally, wearing protective footwear when walking in public areas can help protect against further contamination.

What Are Common Kinds Of Nail Fungus?

Distal Subungual Infection

Common symptoms of a distal subungual infection (DSI) include fissure formation, the development of ridges in the nail plate and yellowish discoloration of the nail plate. In addition, pain and tenderness may be experienced when walking or wearing shoes. The toenail is most commonly affected by this type of fungal infection, but it can also spread to other toes if not treated promptly.

White Superficial Infection

White superficial infection is a type of fungus that mainly affects the toenails and is caused by Trichophyton mentagrophytes. It can cause discoloration and thickening of the nails, as well as nail deformity and pain. Treatment options for white superficial infection include antifungal creams, liquids, or tablets; laser therapy; or surgery. To prevent this condition from occurring, it is important to maintain proper foot hygiene by washing the feet regularly with soap and water and drying them thoroughly afterwards. Additionally, wearing clean socks daily can help reduce your risk for fungal infections in your toes.

Proximal Subungual Infection

Proximal subungual onychomycosis is a rare but serious infection of the nails that can occur in individuals with weakened immune systems. It is typically caused by the fungus T. rubrum, and can be triggered by minor injuries or infections.

Candida Infection

A Candida infection is an infection caused by the yeast Candida. It can affect different areas of the body, such as fingernails and hands. When people frequently immerse their hands in water, they are at greater risk of developing a condition called “candidal paronychia”. Those with chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis may also develop candidal nail infections. Treatment for these infections typically involves antifungal medication, while prevention measures include regular antifungal use and avoiding risky lifestyle habits.

How Do You Get A Fungal Nail Infection?

A person can get a fungal nail infection by catching it from someone else, or simply from being chronically moist or wearing sweaty shoes. To treat the infection, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible and get the appropriate medications. Additionally, one should take care when getting manicures and pedicures at salons to ask how they disinfect their tools and how often they do it. Preventative measures include keeping nails dry, using socks that allow air circulation around the toes, cleaning underneath the nails regularly with soap and water, avoiding contact with infected individuals, wearing sandals in public places (e.g., a gym locker room), avoiding acrylic nails or other artificial nails when possible; and properly sterilizing any equipment used for manicures/pedicures at home.

What Are The Symptoms Of Nail Bed Fungus?

Nail bed fungus is a type of fungal infection that may cause the nail to become thickened, brittle and crumble easily when touched. Symptoms of this infection may include pain and discomfort in the feet or legs, as well as discoloration or brittleness of the nails. Left untreated, nail bed fungus can spread to other parts of the body. Treatment for nail bed fungus typically includes taking medication or undergoing surgery. To prevent further infections, it is important to practice proper foot hygiene and to wear protective footwear when necessary.

What Causes Nail Bed Fungus?

Nail bed fungus can be caused by fungi, such as dermatophytes, yeasts and molds, that enter the skin through tiny cuts or separations between the nail and nail bed. Older people are particularly susceptible to developing nail bed fungus due to their nails becoming drier. Moist environments, such as sweaty socks and shoes, also increase the risk of catching this type of fungal infection.

How To Identify And Treat Nail Bed Fungus?

Doctors are able to identify nail bed fungus through a physical examination and by running tests such as the KOH smear test or the fungal culture test. Once the fungus is identified, there are various treatment options available. These can include medications, topical creams, or nail polish prescribed by a doctor; or high tech treatments such as the PinPointe FootLaser system which destroys the fungus on affected toes and those nearby, preventing recurrence. Additionally, in order to prevent future cases of nail bed fungus it is recommended to practice good hygiene habits such as keeping nails clean and dry and not sharing towels or other items that may come into contact with infected feet.

Antifungal Medication

Antifungal Tablets

The different types of antifungal medication available include antifungal tablets, nail paint, topical antifungal medication in the form of creams, gels, sprays, and patches. Antifungal tablets need to be taken for up to 6 months in order to clear the infection while nail paint is less effective than tablets but easier to use and doesn’t have any side effects. Topical antifungal medication does not require a hospital visit and can be applied directly to the skin. Before prescribing any type of treatment option for a suspected case of mycosis or nail bed fungus infection, a GP should take a sample of the affected nail and test it for infection type.

Antifungal Nail Paint

Antifungal nail paint is a treatment for fungal nails that can be applied carefully to the infected nails. It is left on for 24 hours before being washed off the next day. In addition, scraping away softened parts of the nail helps prevent re-infection and increase effectiveness. This treatment option is less effective than antifungal tablets, but it does not usually cause any side effects and it is easier to use.

Treatment kits containing a 40% urea paste, plasters, and a scraping device are available from pharmacies. Softening and removing infected parts of nails over a few weeks can be more effective than using antifungal tablets for long-term treatment.

Results Of Treatment

Common results of treatment for fungal infections include reduced symptoms, improved nail appearance and decreased risk of recurrence. In some cases, a full cure may be achieved. However, it is important to note that relapse rates are often high and long-term follow-up is needed to ensure complete recovery. Treatment failure rates can be extracted from published trials, but relapse data is less readily available. Continuous antifungal therapy may be considered in patients who fail or relapse after pulse therapy to minimize the chances of recurrence.

Laser Treatment

Laser treatment is a medical procedure that uses a focused beam of light to target and destroy fungus in the nail bed, which can help treat stubborn fungal nail infections. Early research suggests laser treatment may be an effective option, but there is not yet enough evidence to recommend it as a routine course of treatment. Laser treatment is usually expensive and may need to be repeated multiple times for best results.


It is important to take preventative measures in order to avoid getting sick, such as wearing 100% cotton socks and changing them often, keeping feet dry, wearing breathable footwear, avoiding picking or biting nails, using antifungal sprays or powders, wearing rubber gloves when touching infected nails and not sharing shoes or socks. Additionally, it is recommended to maintain and improve chronic health conditions (e.g., controlling diabetes and quitting smoking) as well as washing hands regularly, eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep.

Treatment Failure and Relapse

Treatment for nail bed fungus may fail because of the development of antifungal resistance over time. To prevent this from happening, it is important to confirm the diagnosis and standardize evaluation criteria. Additionally, taking medication regularly and avoiding conditions that weaken the immune system can help to decrease the risk of treatment failure or relapse. People with diabetes are particularly at risk, as they may experience serious infections due to nail fungus if left untreated. It is also important to note that infection of the bone is a rare but possible complication of poorly treated nail bed fungus, highlighting the importance of proper treatment approaches in preventing further complications.

Risk factors

Risk factors for developing nail bed fungus include older age, wearing shoes that make the feet sweat heavily, having had athlete’s foot in the past, walking barefoot in damp public areas, diabetes, blood flow problems and a weakened immune system. Additionally, risk factors can be caused by minor skin or nail injuries, damaged nails or psoriasis-prone skin. Lifestyle choices such as wearing socks and shoes that hinder ventilation may also increase risk of developing nail bed fungus.

Onychomycosis in Children

Nail bed fungus can affect children and can lead to a range of serious health problems. While there is currently no cure for nail bed fungus, there are treatments which can help manage the symptoms. Possible treatments include antifungal medications, topical treatments, or surgery. Ciclopirox (Penlac) is an effective nail lacquer for onychomycosis, and oral terbinafine is a treatment that may be used in some cases. It is important to consult with a doctor before starting treatment as terbinafine may have interactions with other medications; side effects should be monitored during and after treatment.

What Preventive Measures Can You Take Against Nail Bed Fungus?

To help prevent nail bed fungus, it is recommended to keep nails trimmed straight across and to disinfect nail clippers after each use. Additionally, wearing sweat-absorbing socks can reduce sweating and the growth of fungus, while choosing shoes made of breathable materials and discarding old or worn shoes that have been exposed to moist environments are also recommended. Furthermore, people should avoid using nail polish and artificial nails, as well as visiting a salon that uses sterilized manicure tools.

Diabetes Advice

The chapter on how to identify, treat and prevent nail bed fungus (mycosis) – causes, symptoms and treatments is significant to the book as it provides information about the risks associated with diabetes and how proper foot care can help in preventing health complications. Additionally, it discusses research which suggests that axons can swell and cause damage, providing information on brain damage that may be caused as a result.

Living With A Nail Fungal Infection

If you have a nail fungal infection, it is important to understand the causes, symptoms and treatments. Fungi can be spread through skin-to-skin contact, walking barefoot in moist areas or by sharing nail clippers or towels. A fungal nail infection is caused by fungi attacking the skin around your nails. To prevent further infections, keep your feet clean and dry; wear shower shoes when using public showers; practice good hygiene; avoid wearing tight shoes; use an antifungal powder after bathing; never share nail clippers or towels with others; and keep your nails trimmed. If you do experience a fungal infection, speak to a doctor about treatment options such as topical ointments or oral medications. With proper care and precautions, you should be able to successfully manage your condition.


What Is Nail Bed Fungus?

Nail bed fungus, also known as Onychomycosis or Mycosis, is a fungal infection that can affect both fingernails and toenails. It is more common in older people whose nails are getting drier and more brittle with age. Fungi can enter the nail through a crack in the nail or by entering through the opening between the nail and the nail bed. Treatment for this condition may include topical antifungal creams or ointments, oral antifungal medications, laser treatment, debridement of infected areas of skin and/or nails, surgical removal of infected parts of nails (nail matrixectomy) or good foot hygiene practices to help prevent reinfection.

What Are The Symptoms Of Nail Bed Fungus?

Nail bed fungus can cause various symptoms, such as discomfort or pain when wearing shoes, walking or standing. Other possible symptoms include discoloration of the nail, thickening and brittleness of the nail plate, deformation of the nails and an unpleasant odor emitting from the affected area. In some cases, it is also possible for this type of fungus to spread to other nails or even your skin. To treat nail bed fungus properly it is important to identify its cause and then choose an appropriate treatment option. Common treatments include antifungal creams, oral antifungal medications and laser therapy. Additionally, good personal hygiene practices should be followed in order to prevent infection by avoiding contact with infected surfaces while wearing protective shoes in public areas like swimming pools or showers.

What Are The Causes Of Nail Bed Fungus?

Nail bed fungus is caused by fungi, such as Trichophyton rubrum, Trichophyton interdigitale, Epidermophyton floccosum and Trichophyton tonsurans. Fungi do not require sunlight to survive and can thrive in moist areas. Common mold causes of nail bed fungus include neoscytalidium, scopulariopsis and aspergillus. It is more common in older people and can be spread from person to person in wet or damp places.

What Are The Treatments For Nail Bed Fungus?

Treatment for nail bed fungus may include over-the-counter topical treatments such as efinaconazole, tavaborole, and ciclopirox. However, these medications are not effective on their own and filing down the nail surface may be necessary for them to penetrate further. Oral antifungals are usually recommended as the most effective treatment option and may require 10 to 12 months of treatment. It is important to discuss risks and benefits with a doctor before starting oral medication due to potential liver toxicity. Other options include topical antifungal creams used in conjunction with an oral pill or surgery if oral medications do not prove effective. Laser or photodynamic therapy is also being studied as new treatments for nail bed fungus.

How Can Nail Bed Fungus Be Prevented?

Nail bed fungus, also known as mycosis, is a fungal infection that affects the nail and surrounding skin. It is caused by a variety of fungi which can be contracted from contact with shared items like towels or in damp locations such as locker rooms or showers. Symptoms include thickened nails, discoloration or brittleness of the nail, inflammation of the surrounding skin and an unpleasant odor coming from the infected area. To prevent nail bed fungus infections it is important to keep nails short and clean, avoid sharing personal items such as towels or manicure tools and wear protective footwear in public places. In some cases oral medications may be necessary to treat infections but prevention is always best when it comes to avoiding this condition.

What Are The Complications Of Nail Bed Fungus?

Nail bed fungus can lead to a range of complications, including pain and permanent damage to the nails. In rare cases, it can also lead to an infection of the bone. Additionally, even after successful treatment, there is a risk of recurrence with rates as high as 25%.

How Is Nail Bed Fungus Diagnosed?

A doctor will diagnose nail bed fungus by examining debris scraped from underneath the nail, to rule out any other conditions with similar symptoms. Treatment for nail fungus may involve a combination of topical and oral antifungal medications, as well as lifestyle changes, to prevent the fungus from recurring. Other potential treatments include laser therapy or removal of the affected nails in extreme cases.

What Is The Prognosis For Nail Bed Fungus?

The prognosis for nail bed fungus can vary depending on the severity of the infection and the treatment chosen. Antifungal treatments are thought to be effective in treating around 60-80% of fungal nail infections, although it may take from 6 to 18 months for the affected nails to return to normal. It is possible that even after successful treatment, there is a 20-25% relapse rate. People with weakened immune systems or diabetes are particularly at risk, as nail bed fungus can lead to serious infections if left untreated. Bone infection is a rare complication of this type of fungal infection.

What Are The Risk Factors For Nail Bed Fungus?

The risk factors for nail bed fungus include advancing age, being in a moist environment, having athlete’s foot, perspiring heavily, having diabetes, circulation problems and a weakened immune system. Additionally, wearing shoes that fit poorly and walking barefoot in damp public areas can also increase the risk of developing nail bed fungus.

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