Causes of Fungal Nail Infections

Overview

Causes

Symptoms

Diagnostic Approaches

Treatment Strategies

Preventive Measures

Complications

Treatment

The primary pathogens involved in onychomycosis are dermatophytes, yeasts, and non-dermatophyte molds. Dermatophytes are the most common culprits, with species like Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes frequently identified. These fungi invade the keratin tissue of the nails, thriving in warm and moist environments. Yeasts, particularly species of Candida, typically infect fingernails and are more prevalent among individuals with compromised immune systems or prolonged exposure to water. Non-dermatophyte molds usually affect nails already compromised by previous conditions or trauma.

Risk Factors:

  • Age: Older adults are more susceptible due to slower nail growth and reduced blood circulation.
  • Environment: Humid and moist settings, like gyms and swimming pools, promote fungal growth.
  • Health Conditions: Diabetes, psoriasis, and peripheral arterial disease increase susceptibility.
  • Lifestyle: Poor hygiene and tight, non-breathable footwear can also heighten the risk of infection.

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