Common kinds of nail fungus and how to find them

Common Signs of Nail Fungus & How to Find Them: Learn About it

Fungi are already there. Everyone’s body has fungi; however, extra growth of fungus may result in fungal infections.

Fungal infections may appear anywhere and affect any part of your body. They’re extremely common these days as people have weak immunity and do not eat balanced meals. 

Onychomycosis, also called tinea unguium, is a fungal infection that affects either fingernails or toenails. There are many types of nail fungus infections and several ways to spot them.

What is a nail fungus infection and how does it develop? 

Fungus infection is caused due to overgrowth of fungi in a body part or surface areas. It could affect any part of your body.

The fungus can normally affect nails, scalp and genitals. Talking about nail fungus, it is usually caused by the overgrowth of fungi in the nails or on the nails. 

Most nail fungal infections develop due to the moisture and warm environment we provide by weaning footwear constantly or due to weak immunity.

Fungi can thrive and develop if we don’t take proper care and maintain good hygiene of the feet, including toenails.

What are some of the most common kinds of nail fungus?

Ways to cure Toenail Fungus with Aloe Vera 

  • 1. Distal Subungual Onychomycosis (DSO)

DSO is the first most common kind of fungal nail infection. It affects the skin of the nail bed and penetrates the nail bed.

This fungus starts spreading from the end of the nail bed. Another common sign you have Distal Subungal Onychomycosis is the nail may start to lift up from the nail bed.

Symptoms of Distal subungual onychomycosis – DSO 

  • Discolouration of nail
  • Thickened nails 
  • Nail detritus
  • Flaky, rough and patchy skin

There are many common over-the-counter medicines and ointments to treat this fungal infection.

  • 2. White Superficial Onychomycosis (WSO)

WSO is the second most common type of nail fungal infection. This fungus can be treated easily with the help of home remedies or prescription drugs and topical creams.

White Superficial Onychomycosis only affects the top layer of the nails.

Symptoms of White Superficial Onychomycosis – WSO

  • Affects the top layer of the nail
  • Affects the entire surface, forming white spots and chalky powder
  • Results in crumbling of nail, nail surfaces and nailbed.

Treatments involve the removal of the nail and the application of various antifungal creams and ointments.

  • 3. Proximal Subungal Onychomycosis (PSO)

PSO is not a very common type of nail fungal infection. It affects people who have weak immunity or have an autoimmune condition such as HIV or Hashimoto’s disease. PSO can often result from injuries that are hard to treat. 

Symptoms of Proximal Subungal Onychomycosis (PSO)

  • Causes a white dot to appear in the nailbed
  • Discolouration and thickened nails
  • Opaque, weak, and brittle nails

Treatments involve providing immune support medicines and cleansing the nail and nailbed thoroughly.

  • 4. Candida Onychomycosis (Yeast Infection)

Candida yeasts may cause various fungal infections that can affect your nails. If you have damaged nails, candida yeast can thrive easily.

It can affect the people who soak their fingers or toes in water too much. 

Symptoms of Candida Onychomycosis:

  • The nail may lift up from the nailbed.
  • Swollen, red and tender nails.
  • The nail can fall off or be removed completely.

How to spot nail fungal infections?

Nail fungal infections can be hard to spot in the beginning stages as it may look like your nail is injured.

If you spot the following symptoms, we recommend you go to the doctor and let the expert diagnose it.

  • Discolouration of nails
  • Observe a white spot becoming bigger
  • Nails get hard to cut and trim
  • Nails transform to chalk powder
  • The skin around nails become rough and patchy
  • Nails may life off from the nailbed
  • A strange odour from the infected nail
  • Nails may become brittle or thick
  • Have red or extremely pale skin 
  • Painful nailbed
  • A very slow speed of nail growth

Whom do nail fungal infections affect the most?

Nail fungal infections have various causes, however, the real cause can be very difficult to determine in some cases.

Although you can treat almost all fungal infections, they take a lot of time and patience. Some people are more prone to developing nail fungal infections:

  • Nail fungal infections can affect the people who work in water.
  • It affects people who’re hit by ageing.
  • It can affect you if you’re above the age of 65.
  • If you have diabetes, healing can be difficult and injuries may result in nail fungus.
  • If you have too many nail injuries.
  • If you wear shoes and socks for most of the days.
  • If you go swimming in public places very often.
  • If you have a weakened immune system.
  • If you allow salons to do manicure and pedicure without disinfecting their equipment.
  • If you have a skin injury around the nails.
  • If you wear artificial nails and do not let your nails breathe.

How should you treat various types of nail fungal infections?

The best way to treat a nail fungal infection is to consult a doctor. Sometimes, they may send a part of your nail molecule for further testing to find out the kind of fungus that has caused the infection.

You may also confuse it with bacterial infections or other injuries where the nailbed and skin get swollen, red and the nail becomes discoloured. It is better to check with a doctor in any case.

To prevent such conditions at home, you should clean your nails regularly and maintain good hygiene.

Trim your nails twice a week and soak them in warm water at least once a day. Regular cleansing can prevent fungal infections. Having immunity-boosting foods can help prevent yeast infections too.


There are various yeast and fungi that live in our nails. If we get injured or have a weakened immune system, we must ensure proper hygiene of our nails always.

Make sure you always disinfect your nails after going to public pools, saunas, and other places. Ensure you give enough air and oxygen for your nails to breathe.

There are many over-the-counter pills and topical creams that can help in the treatment of nail fungus.


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