Fungal infections of the foot are extremely common – about 20% of the population are likely to be affected by this problem at some time in their lives
Fungal toenails are a section of this group. There are over a hundred thousand different species of fungi, but only a very select few that will colonise and infect skin and nail tissue. What is important to remember with fungal nails is that there are a number of conditions that present in a very similar way, therefore it is important to get an early diagnosis to ensure you are treating the right problem. At Waikato Podiatry Clinic we specialise in taking accurate samples for diagnostic culture and giving patients a full set of evidence-based options in which to treat this fungal problem. Infection rates can increase considerably with communal living, specifically sports people who regularly share communal showering. The incidence also increases with age. It has been recorded that greater than 100 fungal elements can be identified off a one square metre floor space in a communal swimming bath. These can be extremely small but just as infective. There are a number of different fungal nail types that can occur, including:
- The superficial fungal nail which occurs on top;
- The subungal, or underneath, fungal nail;
- The total fungal nail where the whole nail is infected.