Fungal nail infection

Alternative Names

Nails – fungal infection; Onychomycosis; Infection – fungal – nails; Tinea unguium

Definition of Fungal nail infection

Fungal nail infection is an infection of the nails by a fungus.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The body normally hosts a variety of bacteria and fungi. Some of these are useful to the body. Others may multiply rapidly and form infections. Fungi can live on the dead tissues of the hair, nails, and outer skin layers.

Signs and tests

Your doctor will suspect a fungal infection based on the appearance of the nails.


Over-the-counter creams and ointments generally do not help treat this condition.

Expectations (prognosis)

The fungal nail infection is cured by the growth of new, non-infected nails.


Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 10/3/2008

Nail infection, candidal

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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