Fungal nail infections are most often seen in adults, affecting up to 20 percent of American adults in Minnesota. Infections occur more often in toenails than in fingernails in Minneapolis. The most common symptom of a fungal nail infection (onychomycosis) is the nail becoming thickened and discolored: white, black, yellow or green. As the infection progresses the nail can become brittle, with pieces breaking off or coming away from the toe or finger completely. If left untreated, the skin can become inflamed and painful underneath and around the nail. There may also be white or yellow patches on the nail bed or scaly skin next to the nail. There is usually no pain or other bodily symptoms, unless the disease is severe or develop ingrown toenail. Nail fungus symptoms may or may not include: brittleness, change in nail shape, crumbling of the outside edges of the nail, debris trapped under the nail, loosening or lifting up of the nail, loss of luster and shine, thickening of the nail, white or yellow streaks on the side of the nail, and in some cases, loss of the toenail itself.
People with onychomycosis in St. Paul may experience significant psychosocial problems due to the appearance of the nail, particularly when fingers, which are always visible, rather than toenails are affected. Fingernail infections are often followed by fungal infections of the feet. Nail fungus infections often start out through trauma. It can spread through poor hygiene, walking barefoot on contaminated surfaces and more. People who often go to public swimming pools, gyms, shower rooms, and/or people who sweat a lot often have these infections. Nail fungus thrives best in dark, warm, moist environments. You are at higher risk of getting a fungal nail infection if you get manicures or pedicures with tools that have been used on other people, have minor skin or nail injuries, have deformed nail or nail disease, have moist skin for a long time, have immune system problems, and or wear closed-toed footwear.