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Types and Symptoms of Nail Infection



Types and Symptoms of Nail Infection : Distal Subungual Onychomycosis
Distal Subungual Onychomycosis | White Superficial Onychomycosis | Proximal Subungual Onychomycosis | Candida Nail Infection

Distal Subungual Onychomycosis Distal Subungual Onychomycosis (DSO or DLSO): This is the most common type of nail fungal infection. The most common causative organism of this infection is: Trichophyton rubrum.

  • Early Symptoms:
    • The fungus invades the space between the tip of the nail and the toe (the hyponychium), along the inner or outer sides of the nail, at the end of the toe.
    • The fungus causes the infected area of the nail plate to detach from the underlying skin.
    • The fungus can cause the infected area of the nail to change color to: white, yellow, green, or a combination of these colors.
    • In most cases, there is no pain involved.
  • Late Symptoms:
    • The fungus can spread and cause a discoloration of the entire nail plate (see colors above).
    • The nail plate becomes thick, rough, and hard.
    • The nail plate separates from the underlying nail bed, and:
      • An accumulation of white, dead, dry material may form in the space between the nail plate and bed.
      • The exposed nail bed becomes thick and uneven.
    • Depending on the thickness of the infected toenails, there may or may not be pain.
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Types and Symptoms of Nail Infection: White Superficial Onychomycosis
Distal Subungual Onychomycosis | White Superficial Onychomycosis | Proximal Subungual Onychomycosis | Candida Nail Infection

White Superficial Onychomycosis White Superficial Onychomycosis (WSO): This infection is seen in only 10% of all cases of Onychomycosis. The most common causative organism is Trichophyton mentagrophytes. Because this infection usually involves only the outer surface of the nail, it is considered to be the easiest to treat with topical anti-fungal medications.

  • Early Symptoms:
    • The fungual infection involves only the outer surface of the nail.
    • The infected portion of the nail appears to be covered with a layer of white material which adheres to the nail plate. In the early stages of this infection, the white material can be easily scrapped off of the nail plate.
    • The nail plate remains attached to the nail bed.
  • Late Symptoms:
    • The entire nail plate may turn white in color.
    • The nail plate becomes dry, deformed, and crumbly. It may appear that the nail is "falling apart."
    • Usually there is no pain involved with this type of infection.
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Types and Symptoms of Nail Infection: Proximal Subungual Onychomycosis
Distal Subungual Onychomycosis | White Superficial Onychomycosis | Proximal Subungual Onychomycosis | Candida Nail Infection

Proximal Subungual OnychomycosisProximal Subungual Onychomycosis (PSO): This is the least common type of fungual nail infection. The most common causative organism is Trichophyton rubrum.

  • Early Symptoms:
    • It may appear as a white or yellow discoloration on the nail close to the cuticle.
    • At first, only the superficial structures of the nail plate are involved. If left untreated, the fungus works deeper into the nail.
  • Late Symptoms:
    • Gradually the fungus extends into the deeper layers of the nail. If left untreated, the undersurface of the nail plate will become infected.
    • The proximal portion of the nail (that part of the nail closest to the cuticle) shows the earliest signs that the infection is worsening. The proximal portion becomes discolored, thicker, crumbly, and deformed first. Later these symptoms spread to the entire nail plate.
    • There may be pain in the later stages of this infection if the nail is pulled away from the proximal nail fold.

Types and Symptoms of Nail Infection: Candida Nail Infection
Distal Subungual Onychomycosis | White Superficial Onychomycosis | Proximal Subungual Onychomycosis | Candida Nail Infection

Candida Nail Infection Candida Nail Infection (yeast infection of the nail): This type of nail infection is more commonly seen on the fingernails than the toenails. The most common causative organism is Candida Albicans.

  • Early Symptoms:
    • This infection turns the nail plate yellow or green. The nail becomes opaque.
    • The skin surrounding the nail (the nail folds) may become inflamed, swollen, and painful.
  • Late Symptoms:
    • The nail plate separates from the underlying nail bed.
    • The nail plate may become deformed and thicker than normal.
    • The nail bed can appear thicker and callused.
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