A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding the Different Types of Toenail Fungus Infection (Onychomycosis): Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

What Is Onychomycosis?

Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the nails that can cause the nails to become discolored, thickened, and brittle. It is also known as nail fungus. Onychomycosis is a common condition that can be difficult to treat.

What Are The Different Types Of Toenail Tungus?

1. White toenail Fungus

The different types of toenail fungus include onychomycosis, which is the most common type. This infection can manifest in a variety of ways, including discoloration, thickening and brittle nails. Other types include superficial white piedra, black piedra and yeast infections. All these require prescription management for resolution. Symptoms vary depending on the type of fungus but may be characterized by yellow or white spots on the nails and nail detachment or loosening if left untreated.

2. Yellow Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus can be caused by three different types of fungal infections: yeast, mold, and dermatophyte. Each type of infection requires its own treatment plan. Yeast infections are typically treated with topical or oral antifungal medications and daily cleaning to remove the excess fungi. Mold infections often require prescription antifungals as well as additional cleaning steps to prevent reinfection. Dermatophyte infections may require longer-term treatments with both topical and oral medications in order to clear up the infection completely. In addition, lifestyle modifications such as wearing clean socks each day and keeping feet dry may help reduce the risk of reoccurrence for all types of toe fungus.

3. Black Toenail Fungus

The symptoms of black toenail fungus can include white superficial, Candida, and proximal subungual. This type of toenail fungus is caused by dermatophytes (yeast overgrowth) and is more common in people with HIV. Common symptoms may include discoloration of the nail, thickening or crumbling of the nail surface, yellowing or cracking of the nail edges, and a foul smell coming from the infected nail.

4. Green Toenail Fungus

Green toenail fungus is a common fungal disease that affects the nails. It can cause the toenails to turn yellow or brown, thicken, crack, or detach from the nail bed. The fungus is spread through contact with infected nails or soil and can be treated with topical antifungal cream or oral antibiotics. Symptoms of green toenail fungus include redness and tenderness of the nail as well as white patches on the skin around it.

5. Brown Toenail Fungus

Brown toenail fungus, scientifically referred to as onychomycosis, is a fungal infection that typically affects the toenails more than fingernails. It causes changes in the color and shape of the toes and can lead to detachment from the nail bed or brittle nails if left untreated. Treatment for this common infection requires prescription medications, such as oral antifungal drugs or topical creams.

6. Thick Toenail Fungus

Thick toenail fungus can cause a variety of signs and symptoms, including darkening of nails, thickening, crumbling, pain in the tips of toes and foul odor. Separation of the nail from the nail bed may also be present. If these symptoms are present, it is advised that an individual should see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

7. Distorted Toenail Fungus

The symptoms of distorted toenail fungus may include white, yellow, brown or black patches; thickening of the nail; cracking, breaking, flaking or crumbling nails; and separation from the skin underneath and back to top.

8. Brittle Toenail Fungus

The symptoms of brittle toenail fungus include darkening of the nails, thickening of the nails, distorted nail shape, brittleness or crumbling nails, lack of shine, pain in the tips of toes, foul odor and separation of the nail from its nail bed. These can be more common in older adults and those with diabetes or a weakened immune system. Risk factors such as walking barefoot in moist public spaces or wearing tight-fitting shoes have also been associated with toenail fungus.

9. Crumbly Toenail Fungus

The symptoms of crumbly toenail fungus may include yellowing of the nails, thinning and breaking of the nails, and pain in the toe.

10. Discolored Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a common fungal infection of the toenails that typically requires professional treatment. It can cause the nails to become thick and brittle, as well as discolored or even fall off. Different types of toenail fungus can be identified by looking for irregularities in the nail and may indicate an underlying condition. Some common treatments include prescription antifungal medications, topical ointments, laser therapy or photodynamic therapy. Oral medications are also sometimes used if the infection is severe or difficult to treat. Taking care of your feet and toes by keeping them clean and dry is important in helping prevent future fungal infections.

What Are The Causes And Symptoms Of Each Type Of Toenail Fungus?

1. Onychomycosis: Causes And Symptoms

Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the nails that can cause pain, redness, swelling, white or yellow nail discoloration, thickening of the nails and separation from the nail bed. Furthermore, it can lead to complications such as lower leg cellulitis as well as recurrences in around 10% of cases. Symptoms may also include difficulty walking and loss of the nail in severe cases. Risk factors for onychomycosis include athlete’s foot and other nail diseases, exposure to someone with the condition and peripheral vascular disease.

2. Athletes Foot: Causes And Symptoms

Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection that affects the skin of the foot. It can be distinguished from other types of toenail fungus, such as onychomycosis, by its symptoms and risk factors. Symptoms of athlete’s foot include thick, misshapen toenails; spread of the fungus; athlete’s foot or jock itch; and cellulitis. Prevention is key when it comes to athlete’s foot – wearing sandals in public areas and washing and drying your feet every day are important steps to take in avoiding this condition. Additionally, socks made of natural fabrics should be worn when hiking or going outside, and shoes should be rotated throughout the week so bacteria does not accumulate in them. If you suspect you have athlete’s foot it is best to seek medical attention for proper treatment.

3. Psoriasis: Causes And Symptoms

Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes red, scaly patches on the body. It is caused by an overactive immune system and can lead to signs such as itching and scaling. Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is one of the signs of psoriasis. Toenail fungus is caused by a type of fungus called Trichophyton rubrum and can cause discoloration, thickening, brittleness and crumbling of nails. While there is no cure for psoriasis or toenail fungus, treatments are available to help reduce symptoms including topical treatments and medications.

4. Fungal Infections: Cause And Symptoms

The primary cause of a fungal infection is the presence of fungi on or in the body, which can get into small cuts or cracks in skin surrounding the nail and then spread. Symptoms may not be immediately noticeable but will develop over time, and include discoloration and thickening of the nails, crumbling edges, separation of the nail from the underlying skin (onycholysis), pain when pressure is applied to infected nails, and an unpleasant smell.

Pictures may show discolorations on one or more nails including browns, yellows, greens or black spots as well as brittleness and crumbling edges. Treatment for fungal infections typically require antifungal medications that are taken orally or applied topically to affected areas. In some cases a doctor may recommend surgical removal of all infected tissue if symptoms do not respond to medication after several months.

How Can You Prevent Onychomycosis From Happening?

1. Wear Comfortable Shoes That Fit Properly.

It is important to wear comfortable shoes that fit properly in order to prevent feet from sweating and the growth of fungal infections such as onychomycosis. Wearing shoes that fit correctly also helps to avoid having nails get caught in shoelaces, minimizing potential damage. Keeping feet moisturized and clean can help reduce the chance of developing onychomycosis, as well as other foot-related issues.

2. Avoid Walking Barefoot, Especially In Public Areas.

Walking barefoot increases the risk of developing onychomycosis as it exposes feet to areas where fungus can easily flourish. Walking barefoot in the same house as someone with athlete’s foot also puts an individual at risk of developing onychomycosis. To prevent the development of onychomycosis, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends avoiding walking barefoot, wearing sandals or footwear that do not obstruct the entire foot, keeping feet dry by washing and drying them every day, wearing socks made from natural fabrics, and alternating shoes worn every day. They also suggest refraining from sharing clothing or shoes with others.

3. Change Your Socks Daily And Wash Your Feet Regularly.

It is important to change your socks daily and wash your feet regularly in order to prevent the spread of toenail fungus (Onychomycosis). Washing with soap and antifungal powder or spray can help reduce the risk of infection. Keeping nails short and trimmed straight across, as well as wearing clean socks every day, alternating shoes each day, also helps protect against developing Onychomycosis. Moisturizing the skin around nails and feet on a regular basis can also be beneficial in preventing this type of fungal infection.

4. Keep Your Toenails Trimmed And Filed.

Trimming and filing toenails can help prevent onychomycosis by decreasing the chances that the fungus will spread. By keeping nails short, filed, and clean, one is able to avoid trapping moisture in the nail bed where fungus can thrive. Additionally, filing and trimming tools should be disinfected after each use to further reduce risk of contamination.

5. Avoid Wearing Tight-Fitting Hosiery Or Shoes For Long Periods Of Time.

It is recommended to avoid wearing tight-fitting hosiery or shoes for long periods of time, as it can create an environment conducive to fungal growth. This can lead to conditions such as onychomycosis, which is caused by a range of fungi and leads to changes in the nail structure, discoloration and discomfort. To prevent this from occurring, individuals should opt for more breathable footwear that avoids trapping moisture in the fabric while allowing air circulation. Additionally, they should also alternate their shoes daily, keep their nails trim and moisturize the skin around their nails and feet regularly.

6. Avoid Exposing Your Feet To Excessive Moisture.

Exposure to moisture has been shown to contribute to the development of onychomycosis. Moisture can create an environment that is favorable for fungi, allowing them to grow and spread more easily. It is important for individuals who are at risk of developing onychomycosis to take measures such as wearing sandals or flip-flops in public areas, washing and drying the feet every day, and wearing socks made of natural fabrics in order to reduce their exposure to moisture. Additionally, it is important for individuals at risk of developing onychomycosis to keep their feet dry and clean, moisturize skin around nails and feet regularly, avoid walking barefoot in public places when possible, change shoes every day if possible and sanitize nail clippers before use.

7. Wear Appropriate Foot Protection When Exercising Or Participating In Sports.

It is important for people to wear appropriate foot protection when exercising or participating in sports, as this helps to prevent the spread of tinea pedis, otherwise known as athlete’s foot. Walking barefoot in areas where fungus flourishes can increase the risk of contracting athlete’s foot if it has been contracted by another person in the same house. Wearing flip flops instead of going barefoot is an effective way to reduce this risk.

8. Treat Any Blisters Or Cuts Immediately.

The importance of treating blisters or cuts immediately in relation to preventing onychomycosis cannot be understated. When these wounds are not properly treated, they can provide an entry point for fungal spores. By sanitizing any nail clippers used in the treatment of cuts and blisters, along with utilizing a UV shoe sanitizer, it is possible to protect against the spread of fungus and prevent onychomycosis from developing.

9. Inspect Your Feet Regularly For Signs Of Infection.

It is important to inspect feet regularly for signs of infection, as this can help to prevent the development or worsening of fungal and other infections. Foot infections can be difficult to treat and may lead to more serious health problems if left untreated. Regular inspections allow for early detection, which increases the likelihood of successful treatment.

10. Use Antifungal Powder Or Spray In Your Shoes Before Wearing Them.

Using antifungal powder or spray helps to prevent onychomycosis by killing the fungi that cause it. This prevents the further spread of the infection and can help to reduce symptoms such as itching, cracking, and discoloration. By using antifungal powder or spray regularly, individuals can help keep their feet healthy and free of fungus.

11. Make Sure Your Feet Are Dry Before Putting On Socks Or Shoes.

Keeping feet dry helps to prevent onychomycosis because it reduces the chance of moisture staying on the feet, which can contribute to fungal growth. By wearing sandals or flip-flops when the weather is warm and regularly moisturizing skin around the nails and feet, a person can reduce their chances of developing onychomycosis. Additionally, practicing good foot hygiene is essential for reducing the risk of developing this condition.

What Treatments Are Available For Toenail Fungus?

1. Over-The-Counter Antifungal Creams And Ointments

When it comes to treating toenail fungus, over-the-counter treatments are usually not effective and may not cure the infection. Doctors often prescribe oral antifungal medications such as terbinafine (Lamisil), itraconazole (Sporanox), fluconazole (Diflucan), and griseofulvin (Gris-PEG). These require several months of treatment, but have good success rates. Topical solutions are generally not successful in curing toenail fungal infections. Itraconazole and terbinafine are two of the most commonly used over-the-counter treatments for toenail fungus, both requiring a three-month course with possible side effects on the liver during treatment. Fluconazole can sometimes be used off-label in treating yeast in toenails.

2. Oral Antifungal Medications

The potential side effects of oral antifungal medications include fungal infection, an increased risk of fungal overgrowth and other adverse reactions. Patients taking oral antifungals like itraconazole and terbinafine for three months should be closely monitored for any signs of these side effects. Topical antifungals such as ciclopirox or amorolfine may cause minor skin irritation upon application, but have fewer side effects than oral medications.

3. Prescription Topical Medications

Prescription topical medications are available to treat toenail fungus. These medications can include creams, ointments, and solutions that are applied directly onto the affected nail or skin. These topical medications may be used in combination with other treatments, such as oral medication or surgery, to help reduce the risk of relapse of chronic tinea pedis.

4. Photodynamic Therapy

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a medical procedure that uses light to destroy cancer cells. It works by exposing the cancer cells to specific types of light, which causes them to die. PDT is primarily used for treating basal cell carcinoma (BCC), a type of skin cancer. The process involves applying a photosensitizing agent to the affected area, followed by exposure to an appropriate wavelength of light. This triggers chemical changes in the treated area, leading to cell death and destruction of tumor tissue.

5. Laser Treatment

Laser treatment is a type of medical procedure that uses laser light to remove unwanted hair, treat various skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis, and is being explored as a possible treatment for fungal nail infections. The laser works by targeting melanin in the skin or nails with bursts of high-intensity light energy. This causes destruction of the target tissue without damaging surrounding tissues. Laser treatments are often done in a doctor’s office and require several sessions for maximum results. Though it has not been proven to be effective in treating fungal nail infections, many people have reported positive results from this method when used on other types of skin conditions.

6. Surgical Nail Removal

In rare cases, a podiatrist may opt for surgical debridement as the first step in treating toenail fungus when other methods have proven ineffective. Surgical debridement involves removing the damaged tissue and infected nail of the affected toe, which can lead to improved outcomes and resolution of symptoms.

7. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is an essential oil derived from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant, native to Australia. This natural remedy has been used for centuries to treat a variety of skin conditions, including toenail fungus. Tea tree oil works by killing the fungus causing onychomycosis and its antibacterial properties may also help prevent re-infection. When applied topically twice a day for a month, it can provide relief from athlete’s foot symptoms as well as reduce inflammation associated with fungal infections. Additionally, chemical or surgical debridement of the affected nail may improve outcomes when combined with tea tree oil treatment. As it can irritate sensitive skin, take caution when using this remedy and consult your healthcare provider if any adverse reactions occur.

8. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been touted as a possible treatment for toenail fungus due to some evidence that suggests its effectiveness. It is important to note, however, that more research is needed before definitive conclusions can be drawn regarding its efficacy as a treatment.

9. Oregano Oil

Oregano oil is an essential oil that has antifungal properties and can be used to treat toenail fungus. It can be applied topically to the affected area or used in conjunction with other topical treatments, such as clove oil and tea tree oil. Oregano oil is not recommended as a standalone treatment for toenail fungus, but it may improve outcomes when combined with chemical or surgical debridement of the affected nail.

10. Epsom Salt Baths

The benefits of taking an Epsom salt bath for toenail fungus are numerous, as it can reduce the risks associated with walking barefoot in areas where fungus is present or in the same house as someone who has athlete’s foot. Additionally, Epsom salt baths have been dermatologist-vetted and reader-recommended, making them a popular remedy for those suffering from toenail fungus.


What Is Toenail Fungus?

Toenail fungus, also known as Onychomycosis, is a fungal infection that affects nails. It is caused by a cut, crack or opening near the toenail which provides an opportunity for the fungus to spread. Symptoms of toenail fungus include darkening of nails, thickening and distortion of the nail, brittle nails, lack of shine and pain in the tips of toes. Additionally there can be foul odor and onycholysis (separation of the nail from the nail bed). Treatment options for this condition may include topical antifungal ointments/sprays/creams or oral medications prescribed by a doctor depending on severity and type. Good hygiene practices such as keeping feet clean and dry are also important in preventing infections with fungi like those that cause toenail fungus.

What Are The Different Types Of Toenail fFungus?

Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a common condition caused by the growth of fungi in and around the toenails. There are three main types of toenail fungus; superficial, distal subungual and proximal subungual. Superficial onychomycosis is the most common type and commonly presents with small white patches. Candida onychomycosis is a yeast infection that can be caused by another infection or injury, which can cause discoloration, swelling and pain in the nail and surrounding skin. Distal subungual toenail fungus is caused by dermatophytes which also cause athlete’s foot; while white superficial toenail fungus is caused by a non-dermatophyte organism; lastly Candida toenail fungus is caused by a yeast overgrowth. Treatment for these different types of fungal infections varies depending on severity but typically involves oral antifungal medications or topical medications applied directly onto affected areas. Other treatment options may include laser therapy or nail removal surgery if necessary.

What Are The Symptoms Of Toenail Fungus?

The symptoms of toenail fungus include nail discoloration, separation of the nail from the skin beneath it, brittleness, thickening of the nail, and pain. It can be difficult to identify the type of fungus without professional help.

What Are The Causes Of Toenail Fungus?

Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is caused by a combination of environmental and lifestyle factors such as coming into contact with yeast or molds, diabetes, an impaired immune system, recent surgery and family history of nail infections. Those at risk for toenail fungus include older adults, those with superficial toe injuries and those who have certain skin conditions. Toenail fungus can be treated using home remedies or medications prescribed by a doctor. These may include antifungal creams or oral medications. Taking steps to prevent the spread of infection by avoiding sharing items such as shoes and socks is important in treating toenail fungus successfully.

What Are The Risk Factors For Toenail Fungus?

Risk factors for toenail fungus include age, diabetes, a history of athlete’s foot, psoriasis, reduced blood circulation to the feet, trauma to the toes, walking barefoot near communal swimming pools and in gyms and locker rooms, damp or sweaty feet, and wearing tight closed-toe shoes. Older adults are particularly susceptible to developing this condition.

How Is Toenail Fungus or Superficial Onychomycosis Diagnosed?

Toenail fungus is usually diagnosed by a physical examination of the nails. Your doctor may also take a sample of your nail to test for fungi in the laboratory.

What Are The Treatment Options For Toenail Fungus?

The treatment options for toenail fungus vary depending on the severity of the condition. Oral systemic antifungal medications are usually considered to be the most effective treatment, although Lamisil is also a commonly used medication. Alternative treatments may provide relief, but they often take longer to work than Lamisil and have fewer side effects. Home remedies such as keeping the area clean and dry may be effective in mild cases, but their cure rate is generally lower than that of oral medications. Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer for treating toenail fungus as different people will respond differently to different treatments.

What Are The Home Treatment Options For Toenail Fungus?

For those looking to treat their toenail fungus at home, the best option is to clean the area and apply dryness. This home remedy has a 10% cure rate, but is often effective over time. Additionally, it is important to note that treatment with topical treatments can take up to 48 weeks before any results are seen. If the infection is severe or if there are any underlying immune deficiencies, it may be necessary for an individual to seek professional help from a podiatrist for more serious treatment options. arti nama

What Are The Prevention Options For Toenail Fungus?

To prevent toenail fungus, it is important to keep the feet clean and dry, wear flip-flops or sandals in warm and moist areas, avoid wearing tight-fitting shoes or non-breathing material shoes, cut the toenails straight across to avoid sharp angles, moisturize dry skin and sanitize nail clippers between uses. Additionally, anti-fungal products can be used to spray the shoes. Regularly clipping of nails should also be done. All these prevention tips can help reduce the risk of developing a fungal infection on the toe nails.

What Are The Complications Of Toenail Fungus?

The potential complications of toenail fungus include cellulitis, which is an infection that can cause the toenails to darken, thicken, and crumble. Additionally, the nails may lack shine and may separate from the nail bed. If this occurs, it is important for a person to see a podiatrist in order to get proper treatment for their condition. Treatment options may include taking medication or undergoing surgery.

Scroll to Top