Fungal Nail Infections (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Exams and Tests
To determine the cause of a nail problem and diagnose a fungal nail infection, your doctor:
Tests used to examine nail and debris samples include:
Almost all fungal toenail infections are caused by a type of fungus called a dermatophyte. Because of this, if the KOH test shows there is a fungus present, your doctor may assume that the fungal infection is caused by a dermatophyte and prescribe treatment. But because one medicine may be more effective than another medicine against certain types of fungus, your doctor may want to do a fungal culture.
Many insurance companies now require testing to verify a fungal infection before they'll pay for medicines, which can be expensive.
Test that is rarely done
If the KOH preparation and fungal culture do not show the presence of fungi but a fungal infection is still suspected, your doctor may remove a small piece of nail and look at it under a microscope (nail biopsy).
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