What is onychomycosis?
Onychomycosis is referred to a nail infection caused by a fungus. Onychomycosis is not only a cosmetic problem, but is affecting as well the health and the quality of life of patients.
How do I know that I have a nail fungus?
Usually, nails with onychomycosis represent the following, easy observable characteristics:
For a complete safety in the diagnosis of onychomycosis, it is recommended to perform a mycological culture analysis.
Sampling for such a culture is painless; small pieces of material obtained during the normal nail cutting process are taken. These particles are sent to the laboratory and after about a month the results will confirm the presence of the fungus including the species, or the lack thereof is reported.
Conservative treatment of onychomycosis
A fungal infection of the nail, which does not affect the whole nail can be treated by a thorough cleaning of the nail by cutting and milling. An antifungal lacquer will be applied which, later on, should be applied daily by the patient at home. It is recommended a monthly consultation of the patient, to conduct a thorough cleaning and to assess the development of the infection
If the fungal infections affect the whole nail surface, a combination of local antifungal treatment with an oral antifungal treatment might be applied. As this treatment might not be adequate for all patients, analytical liver function controls before, during and after treatment are recommended.
Auxiliary measures in the treatment of fungal nail infections
The patient suffering from onychomycosis should exercise extreme hygienic conditions to avoid contagion, both, within the family and for the own unaffected nails.
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