Onychomycosis is a fungal infection that affects the nails and causes them to discolor, get distorted in shape, thicken, and at a time separate from the nail bed. This infection is commonly known as nail fungus infection. It affects 10 percent of the general population and about 20 percent of people who are older than 60 years old as well as 50 percent of people who are older than 70. This condition is brought about by various organisms, but mostly it is caused by dermatophytes.
This type of infection often occurs in toenails compared to fingernails. This is due to the toenails’ reduced blood supply, slow growth, as well as being confined in moist and warm environments. The infection is likely to occur in people who have a history of nail trauma, hyperhidrosis, current fungal infections of other types, genetic predisposition, psoriasis, and distorted nails. This type of infection is more common among smokers and those who use closed-toe footwear as well as shared bathrooms and other bathing facilities.
The most frequent cause of toenail fungus infection is dermatophytes which belong to the genus Trichophyton. Other organisms like Candida are more common in fingernail fungal infections and more prevalent among people who have chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis. Nondermatophyte molds may also cause the infection albeit rare. More recent studies have shown that they are more predominant in people who have both psoriasis and human immunodeficiency virus infection.