Nail fungus is known medically as onychomycosis. This is a chronic fungal infection that occurs on the fingernails or toenails although it is more prevalent on the latter. Most nail infections are caused by a group of fungi known as dermatophytes. In some cases, a nail fungal infection may also be caused by yeasts and molds. All these may lead to the gradual destruction of the nail plate.
It is a common condition, and it is said that half of the population of people who are 70 years of age get infected.
Half of the nail disorders are caused by nail fungus, but it is not always possible to diagnose a nail fungal infection just by looking at the symptoms. This is because the symptoms of nail fungal infections are similar to those of psoriasis. This is why lab tests like microscopy and mycological culture can help in identifying the microorganism that causes the infection.