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What is a Nail Fungal Infection?

Onychomycosis is an infection of the fingernails and toenails which is typically caused by fungi. If an individual is affected by this fungal infection, he/she will have nail thickened and discolored nail and sometimes nails will eventually be separated from its nail bed (Westerberg et al 2013). In recent researches, Onychomycosis affects the general population for almost 10% of it in which it affects mostly adults (Westerberg et al 2013) and accounts for for 15–40% of all nail diseases (Ameen et al 2014).

Westerberg et al (2013) added that Onychomycosis can happen to both sexes but in comparison, men are more prone in acquiring it. Moreover, people with underlying disorders such as Diabetes, Peripheral Arterial Disease, HIV and with smoking vices are those who are highly at risk for acquiring Onychomycosis (Ferrari 2011).


Onychomycosis are typically caused by fungi and yeasts. Most of the fungi which causes the Onychomycosis can be classified as Dermatophyte and Nondermatophyte. Dermatophytes are the major causes of the development of this nail fungal infection wherein it affects 90% of toenails and 50% of the fingernails (Glaser 2013).

Recent research shows that onychomycosisis caused by these specific dermatophytic fungi such as Fusarium spp., Aspergillus spp., Alternaria; and saprophytic moulds such as Scopulariopsis brevicaulis, Acremonium, Scytalidinum dimidiatum and Scytalidinium hyalinum (Glaser 2013).

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