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Onchomycosis, fungal infections of the nail, affect men more than women and are commonplace in people with weakened immune systems. There are several types of fungal infections of the nail, but the most common two are distal subungual onychomycosis (DSO) and white superficial onychomycosis (WSO).

DSO makes up the majority of fungal infections of the toe, caused by the same fungi that cause Athlete’s Foot. Symptoms of a DSO infection include:

  • A white or yellow nail
  • Skin or nail debris build up underneath the nail
  • Crumbling or splitting of the nail
  • Nail separation from the skin
  • Discomfort

Over time, debris will build up underneath the nail and can cause discomfort when walking or wearing shoes. DSO can be a long-lasting condition that is hard to treat therefore prevention is ideal. To prevent infection wash feet daily, dry thoroughly, and wear clean socks and shoes. Avoid areas where fungi grow like public showers and swimming pools.

WSO, on the other hand, is easily treated. WSO fungi affect the upper layer of the nail with the following symptoms:

  • White spots on the surface
  • Crumbly, chalky powder on nail surface
  • No nail thickness
  • Does not separate nail from the skin

The doctor can prescribe an oral anti-fungal medication to eradicate the infection. For persistent infections, like DSO, it may take months or longer to eliminate infection. Steps to prevent nail fungus may be easier than trying to fight the infection once you have it.

Heartland Podiatry, PC
2406 South R.D. Mize Rd.  •  Independence, MO 64057  •  816-478-3338
1161 SE Oldham Parkway  •  Lee’s Summit, MO 64081  •  816-478-3338