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Fungal nail

Fungal nail infection (ringworm of the nails)

What is ringworm of the nails?


The nail thickens, discolours and in advanced stages the nail may become destroyed.

Ringworm of the nail is due to a fungal infection (dermatophyte) similar to the type that causes athlete's foot.

Other scientific terms for ringworm of the nails are: tinea unguium, onychomycosis or dermatophytosis unguium. The fungi that cause ringworm are able to feed on keratin – the main protein in nails, hair and the outer layer of the skin.

How do you get ringworm of the nails?

Ringworm of the nails can occur directly in the nail itself or from an untreated fungal infection of the foot. Fungal infection of the foot can also spread and grow into the nail.

What are the symptoms?

  • A whitish thickening of the nail and nail-bed.
  • The nail thickens, discolours and in advanced stages the nail may become destroyed.

Who is at most risk?

  • Young people, especially if they wear trainers.
  • Sportspeople.
  • People who are required to wear close-fitting rubber footwear for their work.
  • People who live in a warm, humid climate.

 

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