What is this type of onychomycosis? To the general person, distal subungual onychomycosis may sound rather complicated. The medical term can be easy to understand. It simply means nail infection due to fungus. It starts at the tip of the finger under the nail itself.
The word distal means “from a distance.” It is a distance from the nail root. The word subungual means “underneath the nail.” When discussing the word, onychomycosis, we are referring to a nail infection scientifically caused by a fungal infection.
Types of Nail Infections – Medically Speaking
There are many different types of nail infections discussed within the medical field. Physicians use more specific terms to document the type of nail infection involved. Distal subungual onychomycosis is one of them. There are numerous types of nail infections which can be rather bothersome.
Some individuals also suffer from lateral subungual onychomycosis. This is a nail infection on the lateral sides of the nail. Lateral means “along the sides of.” If you physician refers to a proximal subungual onychomycosis, then it will originate in near the nail root. The nail root is near the nail cuticle. Proximal means “closer to” so it is found closer to the nail root and cuticle.
Dermatophyte Nail Infections
Each of the nail infections discussed above are usually a result of dermatophytes. This fungi loves to grow in skin, nails, and hair. More commonly, distal subungual onychomycosis is seen among patients. Lateral infections are commonly seen with distal infections. Cases of proximal infections are rarely seen – they are usually accompanied by a nail injury, or with patients having immune system challenges.
White Superficial Onychomycosis
When patients have distal, or lateral, subungual onychomycosis – the main type of nail infection is that of white superficial onychomycosis. The fungus will invade the nail primarily through the nail surface. Patients will see a white patch on their nail, or nails. This can spread completely across the nail surface over time.
Toenail infections are also common when speaking of White Superficial Onychomycosis. This is normally caused by dermatophytes – although the fungus can be of a different kind. When looking at medical data, it is safe to say that only about 10% of infections of the nail infections (fungal) are considered superficial (laying on top of the nail).
For this form of nail infection, of fungal origin will usually respond to topical therapy. This is if the nail does not become too thick during the infection period.
Proper Diagnosis of Nail Infections
Any nail condition should be properly diagnosed by your family physician, especially if it is a distal subungual onychomycosis. There are different types of nail infections and various conditions which may cause them.
Discolored and disfigured nails can be a sign of a more serious physical issue within the body. Be sure of the diagnosis before beginning treatment of the nail. Once a diagnosis has been made, treatment can begin. It may include topical agents which are over the counter, or prescription. There are also natural distal subungual onychomycosis treatment options available which may be preferred.