ONYCHOMYCOSIS (TINEA UNGUIUM)
Onychomycosis also known as tinea unguium, is a fungal infection of the nail affecting both the fingernails and toenails. Meanwhile, it is more common in the toenails.
Onychomycosis occurs in approximately 10% of adults. The males are more often affected than the females. Also, tinea unguium does not necessarily require treatment if the condition is mild.
There are three main classes of fungi that cause Onychomycosis. They are dermatophytes, yeasts and non-dermatophytes moulds. Classes of Onychomycosis are Distal Subungual Onychomycosis, White Superficial Onychomycosis, proximal Pubungual Onychomycosis, Endonyx Cnychomycosis and Candida Onychomycosis.
The risk factors for Onychomycosis are athlete’s foot, walking barefoot, nail diseases, exposure to someone with the condition, heavy perspiration, circulatory disorder, poor immune system, advancing age, humid or moist environment, psoriasis and socks and shoes that prevent ventilation.
Symptoms of Tinea unguium are nail discolouration, thickened nails, separation of the nail from the nailbed, fragile or cracked nail, inflammation of the skin around the nail, distorted shape of the nail and foul smell. The complication of Onychomycosis is cellulitis of the lower leg.
The laboratory diagnosis is by microscopic examination and culture of nail scrapings or clippings using potassium hydroxide stain or periodic acid Schiff stain. Histological examination and PCR are also used to diagnose onychomycosis.
Onychomycosis can be prevented by keeping hands and feet clean and dry, clipping fingernails and toenails, not sharing nail clips and not walking barefoot in public places.
At MedBioTechLab, we offer reliable and accurate diagnoses of onychomycosis.