Generally, the fungus is present within our bodies, along with bacteria. However, when they overgrow, it can result in fungal infections. One of the common fungal infections is the fungal nail that causes yellowing of nails.

Medically this condition is known as onychomycosis or tinea unguium. It is one of the most common diseases of the nails resulting in nail abnormalities.


Microorganisms called fungi cause fungal nail or nail fungus. They don’t need sunlight for survival. Therefore, they can easily thrive in nails. The most common culprit of the nail fungus is dermatophytes. However, apart from this, yeast and molds can also cause nail infection.

Yeast and molds causing fungal infection include:

  • Trichophyton rubrum
  • Trichophyton interdigitale
  • Epidermophyton floccosum
  • Trichophyton violaceum
  • Trichophyton tonsurans
  • Trichophyton soudanense
  • Neoscytalidium
  • Scopulariopsis
  • Aspergillus

Usually, these pathogens causing nail fungus enters in the skin through cuts and separations between nail bed and nail. Moreover, anyone can develop this condition at any age. However, older people are at higher risk because with age; nails become brittle and separate from the nail bed. Besides, other reasons include reduced blood circulation to the feet.


Generally, the fungal nail is a cosmetic concern; however, sometimes it may cause pain and discomfort. Common symptoms of nail fungus are:

  • Thicken of nails
  • Whitish to yellow discolouration
  • Crumbly, ragged or brittle nails
  • Foul smell
  • Distorted in shape
  • Infected nails may separate from the nail bed
  • Yellow spots at the bottom of nails

Risk Factors

Although everyone is prone to get nail infection; however, it is more common in men than in women. Similar, older people have a higher chance of getting infected than younger people. But there are some additional factors or elements which can increase the risk of getting a fungal infection. These are:

  • Reduce blood flow in the foot as we age
  • Genetic history of fungal infection
  • Heavy sweetening
  • Health problems like diabetes, weak immune system, AIDS or circulation problem
  • Moist work environment
  • Tight footwear with crowding of toes
  • Presence of nail injury, skin issues and condition like psoriasis
  • Walking on the damp placed barefoot
  • History of athlete’s foot


In case you will have any of these symptoms immediately contact your doctor. Once the lab test is done, results show whether you get nail fungus or not. It is a little difficult to treat fungal nails, but you can talk with your doctor. Usually, its treatment depends on the severity of condition and type of fungus. Common remedies for the toenail fungus are:

●      Oral Antifungal Drugs:

At first, your doctor will prescribe antifungal drugs like itraconazole (Sporanox) or terbinafine (Lamisil). You have to take these drugs for 6 to 12 weeks.

●      Medicated Nail Polish:

Sometime you will be prescribed to use anti-fungal nail polish called ciclopirox. Apply it daily for seven days and after which you need to remove it using alcohol. You have to use it for at least a year.

●      Medicated Nail Creams:

Before using these antifungal creams thin your nails to get maximum benefits, rub cream on the infected area after soaking.

●      Surgery:

In severe cases, when nothing works, you need to have surgery. They will temporarily remove the nail to apply antifungal cream.

Final Words

Fungal nail is caused by a fungus that in severe cases, removes your nail from the nail bed. I hope you can get all the required information regarding nail fungus in this article. Please take a look at the recently launched site for more details.

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