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Why Does Fungi Cause My Nails to Discolor?

toenail fungus
Onychomycosis, most commonly known as a fungal nail infection, is a condition that causes the nails to become thick, brittle and discolored. The condition affects countless individuals of all ages, but it is most common among the elderly and those with poor circulation. Countless people ask themselves, Why Does Fungi Cause My Nails to Discolor?

What Are the Most Common Fungi Causes?

There are numerous fungi causes that can lead to onychomycosis. Though aging and poor circulation are the most common risk factor for a fungal infection of the nails, there are other potential causes. People who sweat heavily or spend a lot of time in humid environments while wearing closed shoes that do not allow adequate ventilation can lead to fungal infections. Fungus is also prevalent in damp public environments like gyms, pools and showers. Having a damaged nail, athlete’s foot or other infection or minor skin injury around the nail can also increase your chances of getting a fungal infection.

Why does fungi cause my nails to discolor?

Onychomycosis makes nails discolor and turn white, black, yellow or green. This occurs as the result of the thickening of the nail. The discoloration visible on your nail may also be the color of the fungus growing beneath the nail.

How is Nail Fungus Treated?

Getting rid of nail fungus can be quite difficult. Oral medications are available, but they tend to work very slowly due to the amount of time it takes for the medication to reach the site of the infection. Topical creams are widely available, but they are also slow-acting. In recent years, laser nail fungus removal has become a popular, and effective, alternative to traditional treatments. Laser treatments effectively destroy the fungus without causing damage to the surrounding tissue. In time, a new healthy nail grows in to replace the nail that has been damaged by fungus.

Are There Any Complications Associated with Nail Fungus?

When left untreated, nail fungus can cause permanent damage to the nails. When fungus is present on the fingernails, it can cause emotional distress and social problems due to embarrassment. In patients with poor circulation or a suppressed immune system, a nail infection can lead to more serious infections that spread to other parts of the body. Because a fungal infection of the nails can lead to more serious complications, it is important to see your doctor if you think you have onychomycosis.

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