Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the nail. It is the most common disease infecting the nail being responsible for about half of all nail abnormalities.

What causes Onychomycosis?

Fungal nails and Onychomycosis are most commonly caused by fungus that is caught from moist, wet areas like gym showers and swimming pools. Wearing tight fitting, sweaty shoes have been proven to make the wearer more susceptible to the fungus. Elderly people and people with impaired immune systems or underlying diseases are at higher risk for fungal infections of the nail.

How do I know if I have Onychomycosis?

What are the symptoms of Onychomycosis?

Starts at the end of the nail raising the nail up. It will usually start as a discolored section of the nail, usually white, black, yellow, or green and slowly spreads toward the cuticle. The toenails will eventually become thick, flaky, and brittle with peeling between the toes. There generally is no pain associated with the disease unless it is a severe case.

How is Onychomycosis diagnosed?

Misdiagnosis is common when a physical exam is the only thing done. To prevent this, laboratory testing is necessary. The foot specialist will either do a potassium hydroxide smear or a nail culture.

What can I do from home for Onychomycosis?

What can I do to prevent Onychomycosis?

  • Keep nails trimmed and filed
  • Avoid shower floors, swimming pools, and locker rooms.
  • Wear loose, breathable shoes.
  • Wash and thoroughly dry your feet daily.

What treatments can I do from home for Onychomycosis?

It is not reccommended that you treat Onychomycosis from home.

When should I see a doctor for Onychomycosis?

Once a nail fungal infection begins, it can persist indefinitely if not treated. See your doctor at the first sign of nail fungus / Onychomycosis.

Treatments your doctor may recommend for Onychomycosis


Oral therapy is available but tends to take 9 - 12 months to see results due to nail growth.


Mechanical, chemical, or surgical nail removal is available.