Fungal nail infection (also known as onychomycosis) is an infection of the fingernails or toenails by fungi, also known as dermatophytes. The infection usually starts along the outside rim of the nail, which turns whitish-yellow, brown or green.
The mycosis spreads into or underneath the nail plate, causing it to thicken. The nail becomes brittle and may separate partially or completely from the nail bed, which can be very painful. In some cases the infection results in permanent loss of the nail.
Dermatophytes (fungi) are usually found in warm, humid places such as bathrooms, changing rooms and communal showers in health clubs, gymnasia, swimming pools, Turkish baths, etc.
These are the areas in which fungal infections most frequently occur. Athlete’s foot, another type of fungal infection that infects the skin between the toes, is very contagious and may also cause one or more nails to become infected.
If you notice the presence of white spots or patches on your nail, or if the nail is turning yellow, growing thicker or becoming brittle, you probably have a fungal nail infection.
Fungal nail infection (onychomycosis) is a progressive disease: if it is left untreated, the infection spreads.
To start with, you may only see white spots or patches on the nail. They only affect the cosmetic appearance of the nail: initially there is no pain. Gradually the fungus spreads throughout the nail. Unless it is treated, it can become (very) painful, and you run the risk of losing the nail permanently.
If your nail is showing symptoms like the ones in the photographs below, you probably have a fungal nail infection. Consult your chemist or pharmacist immediately.
Tips for preventing fungal nail infection :
- Change your socks every day, and wash them at temperatures above 60°.
- Wash or clean your shoes regularly. Choose shoes that allow your feet to breathe and avoid shoes that make your feet sweat.
- After washing and rinsing them thoroughly, dry your feet carefully and dry each toe separately.
- Wear sandals or suitable footwear in changing rooms and communal showers at e.g. health clubs or swimming pools.
Infection can be prevented by providing a physical barrier between the fungus and the nails. Excilor 3-in-1 Protector Spray prevents the pathogens from reaching the nails and proliferating. Furthermore, the nails are protected from cross-contamination by infected socks & shoes.
- Excilor treatment for nail fungus pen
- Excilor treatment for nail fungus brush/solution