Nail infections can be painful and interfere with daily activities and can be bacterial or fungal. Bacterial Infection is called paronychia and onychomycosis is fungal infection of the nail. They may also spread around the nail to neighbouring areas, or to other nails. Nail infections, should not be ignored and handled carefully because they can lead to complications. It is therefore necessary to diagnose and treat them in time.
A fungal nail infection occurs from the overgrowth of fungi in and under the nail and generally affect toenails more than fingernails as the toes are usually confined to a warm, moist environment of shoes. Fungal infection can also be acquired through manicure or pedicure at a salon as the tools used can spread infection if they’re not sanitized. People with weak immune system, diabetes, using artificial nails or nail injury may be more likely to contract a fungal nail infection. Visible signs of a fungal nail infection include scaling under nail, white or yellow streaks on the nail, yellow spots at the bottom of the nail and an odor coming from the infected nail.
Paronychias, bacterial nail infection, are most often caused by bacteria in the skin around the nail that has been damaged by such as nail biting, finger sucking, dishwashing, or chemical irritants. The most common symptoms and signs are swelling around the nail, redness, pus, pain and tenderness to touch.
There are oral and topical treatments available for nail infections. Sometimes affected nail is removed so that new nail can grow. Laser treatment is also an option when infection does not respond to other treatments.