Fungal nail infection

Marengo CIMS Hospital is dedicated to providing comprehensive healthcare services and fostering patient well-being. As part of our commitment to patient education, we have developed the Marengo CIMS Hospital Medical Encyclopedia—an invaluable online resource designed to empower patients with knowledge about various medical conditions, treatments, and preventive measures. This encyclopedia serves as a trusted and accessible repository of medical information, allowing patients to make informed decisions regarding their health and collaborate more effectively with healthcare professionals.


Fungal nail infections, also known as psychoneurosis, are a common condition that affects many individuals in India. These infections can cause discomfort and affect the appearance of the nails. In this article, we will delve into the details of fungal nail infections, including their signs and symptoms, causes, risk factors, types, diagnostic tests, treatments, complications, prevention techniques, and even highlight examples of public figures in India who have dealt with this condition.


What Is a Fungal Nail Infection?

A fungal nail infection occurs when fungi, such as dermatophytes, yeasts, or molds, invade the nails, causing an infection. It usually begins as a small spot under the edge of the nail and gradually spreads, leading to thickened, discolored, and brittle nails. Fungal nail infections can affect both toenails and fingernails, but toenail infections are more common.


Signs and Symptoms of Fungal Nail Infections:

The signs and symptoms of fungal nail infections may vary, but the most common ones include:

  • Thickened nails: The infected nails may become thickened and appear distorted.
  • Discoloration: Nails may develop a yellow, brown, or white discoloration.
  • Brittle or crumbly nails: The nails may become brittle, easily break, or crumble.
  • Distorted shape: The infected nails may change their shape, becoming abnormally curved or irregular.
  • Foul odor: In some cases, the infected nails may emit an unpleasant odor.
  • Pain or discomfort: Fungal nail infections can cause discomfort or pain, especially when walking or wearing tight shoes.


How Are Fungal Nail Infections Diagnosed?

Fungal nail infections are typically diagnosed through a combination of physical examination and laboratory tests. A healthcare professional may examine the affected nails, noting their appearance and characteristics. In some cases, they may scrape a small sample from the nail for laboratory analysis. The collected sample is then examined under a microscope or sent to a laboratory for fungal culture to identify the specific fungi causing the infection.


Causes and Triggers for Fungal Nail Infections:

Fungal nail infections can be caused by various factors and triggers, including:

  • Fungal exposure: Fungi thrive in warm, moist environments, such as public swimming pools, locker rooms, and communal showers. Direct contact with these fungi can lead to nail infections.
  • Nail damage: Injuries to the nails, such as cuts, scrapes, or nail trauma, create entry points for fungi to infect the nails.
  • Poor nail hygiene: Inadequate nail care, such as not keeping the nails clean and trimmed, can increase the risk of fungal nail infections.
  • Weakened immune system: Individuals with weakened immune systems, such as those with diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or on immunosuppressive medications, are more susceptible to fungal infections.


Risk Factors for Fungal Nail Infections:

Several factors can increase the risk of developing fungal nail infections. Some examples include:

  • Aging: As people age, their nails may become more brittle and susceptible to fungal infections.
  • Existing nail conditions: Pre-existing nail conditions, such as psoriasis or nail trauma, can weaken the nails and make them more vulnerable to fungal infections.
  • Sweating: Excessive sweating can create a moist environment that encourages fungal growth.
  • Wearing tight shoes: Wearing tight-fitting shoes or shoes that do not allow proper ventilation can contribute to the development of fungal nail infections.


Types of Fungal Nail Infections:

Fungal nail infections can be classified into different types based on the specific fungi involved and the location of the infection. The main types include:

  • Distal subungual onychomycosis: This is the most common type of fungal nail infection, affecting the nail bed and the underside of the nail. It typically causes the nail to become discolored, thickened, and brittle.
  • Superficial white onychomycosis: This type affects the surface of the nail, causing white, crumbly patches or powdery spots on the nail plate.
  • Proximal subungual onychomycosis: This type starts at the base of the nail near the cuticle and progresses towards the tip. It is more commonly seen in individuals with weakened immune systems.


Diagnostic Tests and Treatment Options:

To diagnose and treat fungal nail infections, healthcare professionals may employ various diagnostic tests and treatment options:

  • Physical Examination: A healthcare professional will visually examine the affected nails, noting the changes in appearance, texture, and color.
  • Laboratory Tests:
    • Microscopic examination: A nail sample is examined under a microscope to detect the presence of fungi.
    • Fungal culture: A nail sample is cultured in a laboratory to identify the specific fungi causing the infection.


a. Topical antifungal medications: These medications are applied directly to the infected nails to eliminate the fungi. They are often prescribed for mild to moderate infections.

b. Oral antifungal medications: In more severe or widespread cases, oral antifungal medications may be prescribed to treat the infection from within.

c. Nail debridement: In some cases, the infected portion of the nail may be trimmed or filed down to reduce the fungal load and enhance the effectiveness of medications.

d. Laser therapy: Certain types of lasers can be used to target and destroy the fungi infecting the nails.

e. Surgical nail removal: In severe or recurrent cases, surgical removal of the infected nail may be necessary.


Complications and Prevention Techniques:

If left untreated, fungal nail infections can lead to complications such as chronic nail deformities, secondary bacterial infections, and discomfort. To prevent fungal nail infections or reduce the risk of recurrence, individuals can implement the following measures:

  • Keep nails clean and dry.
  • Trim nails regularly and properly.
  • Wear breathable shoes and moisture-wicking socks.
  • Avoid walking barefoot in public areas.
  • Use antifungal powders or sprays in shoes.
  • Avoid sharing personal items such as nail clippers or socks.

Fungal nail infections, also known as onychomycosis, are common conditions that can be both bothersome and challenging to treat. Recognizing the need for specialized care, Marengo Asia Hospitals across India has emerged as a leading provider of comprehensive healthcare services for patients with fungal nail infections. With their expertise, advanced diagnostic techniques, and effective treatment options, Marengo Hospitals offer hope and relief to individuals struggling with this condition.


Accurate Diagnosis:

Accurate diagnosis is the foundation of effective treatment for fungal nail infections. Marengo hospitals employ cutting-edge diagnostic tools, such as fungal cultures, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, and microscopic examination of nail samples. These tests allow healthcare professionals to identify the specific fungal strain causing the infection, enabling them to develop targeted treatment plans for patients.


Specialized Treatment Options:

Marengo hospitals offer a range of specialized treatment options tailored to the needs of patients with fungal nail infections. These may include oral antifungal medications, topical antifungal solutions, and in some cases, laser therapy. Healthcare professionals at Marengo hospitals carefully evaluate each patient’s condition, considering factors such as the extent of the infection, patient preferences, and medical history, to determine the most suitable treatment approach.


Laser Therapy:

One innovative treatment modality offered by Marengo Asia Hospitals is laser therapy for fungal nail infections. This non-invasive procedure utilizes focused laser energy to penetrate the nail plate, targeting and destroying the underlying fungal infection. Laser therapy is safe, painless, and can effectively eliminate the fungus without causing damage to the surrounding tissues. It offers a promising alternative for patients who prefer a non-pharmacological treatment approach or have contraindications to oral medications.


Patient Education and Prevention:

Marengo Asia Hospitals understand the importance of patient education and prevention strategies in managing fungal nail infections. They provide comprehensive guidance on proper foot hygiene, including tips on nail care, keeping feet clean and dry, wearing breathable footwear, and avoiding walking barefoot in public places. By educating patients about preventive measures, Marengo Asia Hospitals empower individuals to reduce the risk of recurrent fungal nail infections.


Multidisciplinary Approach:

Marengo Asia Hospitals adopts a multidisciplinary approach to fungal nail infection treatment. Dermatologists, podiatrists, and infectious disease specialists collaborate to provide comprehensive care for patients. This interdisciplinary collaboration ensures that patients receive a holistic evaluation of their condition and benefit from a range of specialized expertise to effectively address the fungal infection.


Follow-up Care and Monitoring:

Marengo Asia Hospitals prioritize follow-up care and monitoring for patients with fungal nail infections. They schedule regular appointments to assess treatment progress, monitor the healing process, and make any necessary adjustments to the treatment plan. This attentive approach ensures that patients receive ongoing support, and any concerns or complications are promptly addressed.


Commitment to Patient Care:

Above all, Marengo Asia Hospitals demonstrates a strong commitment to patient care. They understand the physical and emotional impact of fungal nail infections and provide compassionate support throughout the treatment journey. The healthcare professionals at Marengo Asia Hospitals take the time to listen to patients’ concerns, answer their questions, and provide reassurance, fostering a sense of trust and confidence in the treatment process.

Marengo Asia Hospitals has established itself as a pioneer in the treatment of fungal nail infections across India. By offering accurate diagnosis, specialized treatment options including laser therapy, patient education, multidisciplinary care, and ongoing support, these hospitals ensure that patients with fungal nail infections receive comprehensive and effective care.


Contact Us

Marengo CIMS Hospital
Off Science City Road, Sola, Ahmedabad – 380060
Gujarat, INDIA

24×7 Helpline +91 70 69 00 00 00
Phone: 079 4805 1200 or 1008
+91 79 2771 2771 or 72
Fax: +91 79 2771 2770
Mobile: +91 98250 66664 or +91 98250 66668
Ambulance: +91 98244 50000