Most patients with onychomycosis are asymptomatic and won’t notice anything physical until the cosmetic affects take place (deformities of the nail, discolouration, etc.) . As the fungal infection continues, it can cause chronic pain and which can be exacerbated by nail cutting, footwear, or pressure. When the infection is not treated it can cause pain or discomfort at all times, lead to a loss of dexterity, can cause low self-esteem and a lack of social interaction due to the patient’s reduced self-consciousness caused by the cosmetic nature of the infection.
Onychomycosis might be clinically diagnosed on a preliminary level but in order to get a confirmed diagnosis, laboratory tests are necessary. These tests can include cultures, histology, and a potassium hydroxide (KOH) examination  . A microscopic exam will also be done alongside scrapings and clippings of the nails. There might be several samples needed in order to confirm cases when OM is caused by nondermatophytic moulds.
The type of treatment necessary is dependent on the type of onychomycosis, severity of the condition, and how many nails are affected by the infection . Proximal subungual onychomycosis and distal lateral subungual onychomycosis involving the lunula region require systemic treatment while white superficial onychomycosis and distal lateral subungual onychomycosis limited to the distal nail can usually be successfully treated topically. Some cases may need a combination of topical and systemic treatments.
Oral medications include terbinafine, itraconazole, griseofulvin and fluconazole. Topical agents available for the treatment of onychomycosis include ciclopirox nail paint, amorolfine, tavaborole or efinaconazole. Depending on the type of onychomycosis and severity of the condition, other medications and treatment options such as laser or light therapy and surgery may be beneficial.
Since onychomycosis is a fungal infection, recurrence can occur even after successful treatment and recovery. This has been seen in 10 to 50 percent of reported cases . The infection can cause pain and discomfort in patients and can also leave the nail permanently damaged or disfigured. Associated infections can occur due to OM if the patient is immunocompromised from a preexisting condition like diabetes. Diabetic patients, people suffering from leukemia, and patients who have undergone an organ transplant are thought to be high risk for this infection.
There are various pathogens that are associated with the onset of OM. Dermatophytes, yeasts, or nondermatophyte molds are associated with OM . The dermatophytes Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes account for the majority of cases.
Certain pathogens seem to be more prevalent in different regions. For example, dermatophytes seem to be more responsible for OM in western countries that have temperate conditions and candida and nondermatophytic moulds are more associated with OM in patients that live in the subtropics or tropics where the climate is humid and warm.
Internationally, onychomycosis affects around three to eight percent of people in developed countries including Spain, Finland, and the United Kingdom. In North America, OM affects between two and 13 percent of the population .
This fungal infection is responsible for around 50 percent of all reported nail disorders and it is considered to be the most common nail disease in the adult population.
As previously stated, different pathogens can lead to the development of onychomycosis depending on the region. The subtype of the fungal infection can also change the pathophysiology of it.
Distal lateral subungual onychomycosis is considered to be the most common form of OM and is usually distinguishable by the inflammation associated with it. DLSO spreads from the plantar skin to the nail bed through the hyponychium . In endonyx onychomycosis, a form of distal lateral subungual onychomycosis, the pathogen infects the nail through the skin surrounding the nail before directly entering the nail plate.
White superficial onychomycosis is less common and the nail plate is the primary site of invasion. In the case of proximal subungual onychomycosis an invasion of pathogens via the proximal nail fold through the cuticle area.
Finally, the most severe cases of OM, total dystrophic OM, involves the entire nail unit including the plate, the bed, and the matrix.
Preventing onychomycosis has to do with hygiene and general upkeep for the finger and toenails. The following steps may be advised :
Onychomycosis, abbreviated OM, is a fungal infection that affects the fingernails and toenails . It is divided into five subtypes including candidal onychomycosis, distal lateral subungual onychomycosis (DLSO), endonyx onychomycosis (EO), proximal subungual onychomycosis (PSO), and white superficial onychomycosis (WSO). There is a chance that more than one subtype of OM can be present at one given time. The more advanced form of general OM which encompasses all of the subtypes is known as total dystrophic onychomycosis. The fungal infection involves the all parts of the nail structure including the nail plate, the nail bed, and the nail matrix.
This condition is not fatal at all but it can be painful and lead to permanent disfigurement. It is also a cosmetic concern to people. The pain and possible disfigurement can lead to physical and occupational limitations and psychosocial and emotional issues due to the cosmetic aspect of the disorder. These emotional problems can have an overall impact on a person’s quality of life.
Onychomycosis (OM), is a fungal infection that attacks the finger and toenails. It is quite common especially in humid climates. The infection is characterized by a white or yellow discoloration that appears under the nail. As the infection progresses and grows, the spot gets bigger and becomes more noticeable. The nail will become unhealthy and begin to crumble around the edges at this point. In most cases, only one nail is affected but it is possible for the infection to spread if left untreated.
OM is usually considered to be a mild infection and it is easily treated with either topical or systemic medications or it can remedy itself. It can cause pain and discomfort but it it’s mild it might not affect the person physically at all. There are more severe cases that can cause a good amount of physical pain and lead to permanent deformities and a loss of dexterity.