Font Size
A
A
A
1
...

Onychomycosis (Fungal Nail Infection)

Onychomycosis (Fungal Nail Infection) Overview

Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the toenails or fingernails. Onychomycosis causes fingernails or toenails to thicken, discolor, disfigure, and split. At first, onychomycosis appears to be only a cosmetic concern. Without treatment, however, the toenails can become so thick that they press against the inside of the shoes, causing pressure, irritation, and pain. Fingernail infection may cause psychological, social, or employment-related problems.

Half of all nail disorders are caused by onychomycosis, and it is the most common nail disease in adults. Toenails are much more likely to be infected than fingernails. The incidence of onychomycosis has been increasing and is related to diabetes, a suppressed immune system, and increasing age. Adults are 30 times more likely to have onychomycosis than children. In fact, only 2.6% of children younger than 18 years are reported to have onychomycosis, but as many as 90% of elderly people have onychomycosis.

Onychomycosis is divided into subtypes. The main subtypes of onychomycosis are distal lateral subungual (the area under the nail) onychomycosis (DLSO or DSO), white superficial onychomycosis (WSO), proximal subungual onychomycosis (PSO), endonyx onychomycosis (EO), and candidal onychomycosis. People with onychomycosis may have a combination of these subtypes. Total dystrophic onychomycosis is the term used to refer to the most advanced form of any subtype.

Must Read Articles Related to Onychomycosis

Finger Infection
Finger Infection Finger infections can be caused by a variety of bacteria and viruses. Types of finger infections include paronychia, felon, herpetic whitlow, cellulitis, infect...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Onychomycosis:

Onychomycosis - Treatment

What effective treatments have you found for fungal nail infections?





Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Onychomycosis »

Onychomycosis (OM) refers to a fungal infection that affects the toenails or the fingernails.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary