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Identify Causes and Symptoms for the Distorted and Ugly Look on your Nails

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Sep 20, 2013
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)
Quick Bites

  • Nail fungus is also known as Onychomycosis.
  • Caused by dermatophytes, yeasts and non-dermatophyte moulds.
  • Living in hot and humid places can also be troublesome.
  • Nails will thicken and become brittle, crumble or ragged.


Toe nail fungus is a common occurrence affecting about 608 per cent of the population. It is a common type of infection that is considered to be an embarrassment that goes to the extent of being disgusting.

feet fungus causes and symptomsThe first thing that you would be worried about in an event of a nail fungus is the distorted appearance of your nails. Toe nails fungus which is also known as Onychomycosis. Your nail will experience discoloration, thickening and flakiness of the nail. You will commonly experience pain, drainage or redness on your nails and the immediate surrounding area. The good news is that the infection will not cause any major issues in your health on its own; it is mostly seen as a cosmetic issue.


Broadly speaking there are three main causes for nail fungus, namely dermatophytes, yeasts and non-dermatophyte moulds. Apart from this you also have risk factors that may cause nail fungus. Out of these three dermatophytes are the most common with about 70 per cent and T mentagrophytes about 20 per cent.

You also have certain subtypes of nail fungus that includes distal subungual, white superficial, proximal subungual and candida onychomycosis. However this latter form is quite rare.

The risk factors include:

•    Adults are 30 times more likely to suffer from this condition than children.

•    Certain illness or medications can suppress immune responses that greatly increase the likelihood of a toe nail fungus.

•    People with diabetes mellitus, with this found on 162 of 321 patients.

•    Living in warm, humid climate.

•    Participating in athletic sports, regular communal bathing and wearing occlusive footwear.

•    If there has been a prior trauma to your nail.


The symptoms of toe nail fungus depend mostly on the part of your toe where you are facing such a problem. The patients therefore recognise their condition by the changes seen on the nails rather than any physical symptoms. Then slowly and steadily as the conditions advances you will face pain, discomfort, paraesthesia and loss of dexterity. The affected nails will become more brittle and thickened this there will be a change in the shape and colour and thus they will lose their normal surface sheen.

Here they have been enlisted for you below:

•    Thickening of nails.

•    Nails will become brittle, crumble or ragged.

•    Nails will be distorted in shape.

•    There will not be any luster or shine on the nail.

•    A dark colour will take over the nail which is caused by debris that is building up under the nail.

When a nail infection begins, it can persist for a long period of time if it is not treated on time. One should visit the doctor right when it starts, that is when there is a tiny white or yellow spot under the tip of your nail.

Read more articles on Feet care

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    Though all possible measures have been taken to ensure accuracy, reliability, timeliness and authenticity of the information; Onlymyhealth assumes no liability for the same. Using any information of this website is at the viewers’ risk. Please be informed that we are not responsible for advice/tips given by any third party in form of comments on article pages . If you have or suspect having any medical condition, kindly contact your professional health care provider.
    • Jairam21 Sep 2013
      I suffered from one such problem during last year, and it stayed for a very long time. I thought I would just let it be and it will get better, but instead it got worse and the problem persisted. Then finally I did go to a doctor and got treatment done, some ointments and tablets and after some impatient weeks the situation got better. Well. this article has nicely allowed readers like me to get an insight on toe nail fungus. The risk factors mentioned here would allow us to prevent it.