Toenail fungus infection is a common condition of the nails that is often considered a cosmetic concern. It is also called onychomycosis. This condition can exist without causing any pain. That’s why it is hardly noticed until it becomes severe. The prevalence of this condition increases as the person becomes older. Onychomycosis is an infection of the nail bed and nail plate which is caused by different types of microorganisms in the environment such as fungi, yeast, and molds. The most common of these is the group of fungi known as dermatophytes.
6How is it diagnosed and treated?
The doctor can give a diagnosis by simply looking at the infected nail and asking about symptoms. However, a nail clipping or scraping may be required to be sent to a lab to determine the microorganism that caused the infection. Nail fungus treatment may vary based on the level of severity and the cause of the infection. Treatments may range from prescribed oral and topical antifungals that may sometimes be combined. The treatment may last for several months to a year. For severe cases, a nail removal surgery may be recommended by the doctor. Laser or photodynamic therapy is a new form of treatment that uses a special light to get rid of the fungus.