Causes and Subtypes of Nail Fungus in Minnesota

Onychomycosis is caused by three main classes of fungal organisms: dermatophytes, yeasts, and nondermatophyte molds. All three classes cause the very similar symptoms or appearances in nails. Dermatophytes are, by far, the most common causes of nail fungus in Minnesota. Yeasts cause 8% of cases, and nondermatophyte molds cause 2% of onychomycosis cases.

There are many subtypes of nail fungus in Minneapolis and St. Paul. These subtypes of onychomycosis can be identified based on where the infection appears to be located relative to the structure of the nail.

  • In distal lateral subungual subtype, both the nail plate and nail bed thicken and hardens, and the nail separates from the bed underneath. The nail can be discolored.  The edge of the nail becomes severely eroded.
  • Endonyx subtype has a milky white discoloration in the nail plate, but no nail separation or thickening and hardening.
  • White superficial subtype shows small white speckled or powdery-looking patches in the toenails.
  • Proximal subungual subtype develops white spotting, streaking, or discoloration near the nail fold.
  • In total dystrophic subtype, the entire nail plate and matrix are affected.
  • Yeast infection can occur in both nails and the tissue that surrounds the nail. The nail fold becomes inflamed , or the nail plate separates from its bed. The nail bed thickens and hardens.

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