What is nail fungus?

Onychomycosis is a disease of the nails caused by fungi, which can spread if the nail is broken and breaks down the protein creatine.

Nail Fungus - Credit bunte.de

Prevent fungal diseases of the nails

Since nail fungus is a difficult condition to treat, it is best to avoid contact with fungal spores in the first place. The following guidelines for behaviour aid in the early diagnosis and treatment of nail fungus disease.

  1. Nail fungus can be prevented by wearing slippers or shoes with closed toes in warm, humid places. 
  2. Wear comfortable shoes and let air in to protect your nails from fungus.
  3. Wash textiles at 60 degrees to kill fungus spores.
  4. Regularly cleaning shoes and gloves with antifungal agents helps prevent nail fungus.
  5. To keep nails healthy and stop infections from spreading, they need to be cared for regularly and gently with sandpaper files. 
  6. Maintain good blood sugar levels to prevent fungal infections.
  7. Hands off, that’s mine! For reasons of hygiene, it is not advisable for several people to share nail care utensils (scissors, clippers, toe separators, pumice stones, etc.).

Take precautions if you get nail fungus.

Despite all caution, it sometimes happens that you get nail fungus. In addition to treating the affected nails immediately, it is also important that you prevent the infection from spreading to other nails.

  1. Disinfect nail scissors regularly to prevent a fungal infection.
  2. File in the direction of the mushroom to avoid infection.
  3. Dry towels separately to prevent the spread of fungus spores.
  4. Wash fabrics with hot water at least 60°C.
  5. Do not walk barefoot, neither at home nor in public places , so that the infection cannot spread to healthy nails or those around you.
  6. Clean your shoes regularly to protect your treatment and prevent reinfection.
  7. Keep trying and following steps carefully to get rid of fungus.

Nail fungus spreads rapidly if left untreated, destroying the nail and affecting other nails.

Four stages of nail fungus

  1. Nail fungus can be controlled with varnishes or creams.
  2. Nail fungus spreads over the nail, balancing healthy and infected areas.
  3. The nail is infected and detachable, making external therapy ineffective.
  4. Nail plate detachment, thickened and brittle, no chance of recovery without medication.


Nail fungus that is not recognised in time will quickly attack the entire nail. For those affected, this is often a major aesthetic problem.

Treatment of fungal diseases of the nails

Externally acting medications are available over the counter and act as broad spectrum antifungal agents, while internally active drugs are more potent and require a prescription, but have a higher risk of side effects.

Externally acting drugs

Fungal creams or sprays

The active ingredients of these medicines are broad-spectrum antimycotics that work against a wide range of fungal spores, making them useful for treating nail fungus.

Nail polishes containing active ingredients

Drug manufacturers have developed special nail polishes to treat nail fungus, which penetrate the nails and destroy fungi. Water-soluble paints should be reapplied, while permanent polishes need to be applied every few days.

Nail-dissolving ointment

When an antifungal is mixed with urea, the affected parts of the nail break down. This makes it easier for the active ingredients to get to the affected areas. If the infection is not too far, healthy nail material will grow back and the fungus will disappear.

“Onychomykose: Die Verschiedenen Stadien Von Nagelpilz – Bildergalerie Bei BUNTE.de.” Onychomykose: Die Verschiedenen Stadien Von Nagelpilz – Bildergalerie Bei BUNTE.de, http://www.bunte.de/gallery/0db0ad72-3523-44c5-80a5-3f5569b363fc.html. Accessed 31 Mar. 2023.


Author: DoctorMaryam.org

4th Professional Medical Student. Karachi Medical and Dental College.

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