Nail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, has many characteristics. These characteristics however often resemble other types of infections or diseases so it can often be difficult to differentiate whether your nail has a fungal infection or something else. There are a few visible signs however that you should be weary of and look out for when considering an infection.
- Nail Loss – in other words, if your nail has fallen off completely or is loosening this is a sign of fungus.
- Discoloration – such as increasing yellowing of the nail, yellow spots (more toward the bottom of the nail).
- Streaking – white or yellow streaking of the nail is a form of lateral onychomycosis.
- Scaling – if this occurs underneath the nail it is classified as a subungual hyperkeratosis.
- Crumbling – if the nail is literally crumbling, white and powdery it is known as distal onychomycosis. This sign usually occurs at the tip of the nail.
Moreover, a fungal infection could affect part of the nail, the whole nail entirely, or all multiple nails. If any of the above signs sound familiar you could have likely developed a fungal nail and will need to contact a specialist about it. As previously mentioned, many characteristics of a fungal nail resemble other types of diseases or infections. It is crucial to not try treating it on your own or at least before seeing a specialist.