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Fungal Skin Infections

Picture of Ringworm Tinea Unguium (Onychomycosis)

Picture of Ringworm Tinea Unguium (Onychomycosis)

Tinea unguium is a fungal infection that affects the nails (onychomycosis). It does not typically occur in childhood. This type of infection starts to occur in puberty and the frequency increases with age. Tinea unguium occurs most often in toenails (tinea pedis). A culture of the nails can help confirm the diagnosis. Fungal nail infections are difficult to treat because most topical treatments do not penetrate the nail plate. The systemic agents of choice to treat onychomycosis are itraconazole and terbinafine. The picture shows an infection with dermatophyte fungi, which distorts nail plates. Dermatophytes tend to infect the distal parts of a nail before spreading to the more proximal areas. Candida albicans is another fungal organism that can infect the nails. Infection often produces itching and tends to involve the proximal and lateral portions of the nail.

Source: Color Atlas of Pediatric Dermatology Samuel Weinberg, Neil S. Prose, Leonard Kristal Copyright 2008, 1998, 1990, 1975, by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

Text Reference: American Family Physician: “Treating Onychomycosis”