Learning More About Fingernail Fungus


Our hands are truly remarkable. The average person has incredibly dexterity and range of movement when it comes to their hands. From writing the countless symbols and shapes that go into language, typing the words you are reading now, throwing a baseball, or carefully moving object around, our hands are invaluable. While our hands represent one of the primary ways we interact with the world around us, they are also susceptible to a wide range of injuries, diseases, and disorders.

Comprising 27 bones, a range of joints, muscles, and tendons, the hand is one of the most delicate parts of our body. Along with sustaining stress fractures and physical injury, repetitive motion injuries and several different kinds of diseases often occur in the hands. A frequent disease that more then 10% of American adults struggle with is fingernail fungus.

Also known as onychomycosis (which applies to both fingernail and toenail related fungi,) nail fungus can occur for a wide range of reasons including poor hygiene, health issues, and simple bad luck. While there are a range of treatments as well as causes of onychomycosis, lets take a moment to explain exactly how a fungus in your nails can happen. From there, we will explore the different kinds of fungus that can cause this problem with your fingernails, as well as the causes and treatments available to you. Well, with all of that out of the way, lets get started!

5What Types Of Fungus Can Affect My Fingernails?

1. Distal Subungual Onychomycosis, Or DSO

DSO is the most frequent of the fungal nail diseases. It is the most frequent cause of onychomycosis and will be what the majority of people experience. More often then not, it appears as a yellowing and discoloration of the nail. If left untreated, the nail will separate from the nail bed and become brittle. It will also be one of the most challenging nail fungi to treat and may require a lifelong vigilance to stop from showing up again once you have it. Pain and discomfort may be felt, especially if you have been infected with DSO for a while.

2. White Superficial Onychomycosis, Or WSO

Compared to DSO, WSO is much easier to treat and far less annoying. At the same time, the earlier you discover and treat it, the less damage will be done to your fingernails. DSO is often seen as a white discoloration that first appears as dots and markings. The markings will eventually spread until your entire nail is white, causing it to become more brittle over time. With WSO, the infected nail in question will not separate from the nail bed. As such, it is a good way to determine which type of SO you have.

3. Candida Onychomycosis

Less frequent, Candida Onychomycosis is a yeast infection in your fingernail. This will cause your fingernail to turn brown, green, or yellow. The nail will also become thicker with bruising and discoloration around the nail as well. One of the most painful types of nail fungus out there, treating Candida Onychomycosis quickly is important for saving the pain and the nail.

4. Proximal Subungual Onychomycosis Or PSO

The least occuring form of onychomycosis, PSO is found almost exclusively in people with HIV. Affecting the base of the nail where it comes in contact with the skin, further damage to the skin of the fingers can occur. The risk of infection is also increased.

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