Q:

How do you know if you have fingernail fungus?

A:

Quick Answer

While fingernail fungus can only be diagnosed properly by a doctor, symptoms include fingernails that are thickened, have become brittle or distorted, or are dull or darkened, according to Mayo Clinic. Fingernail fungus may also cause pain in the fingertips, nails to separate from the skin and a foul odor.

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How do you know if you have fingernail fungus?
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Full Answer

Indications that symptoms may signify the presence of a fingernail fungus include the presence of risk factors such as heavy perspiration, working or engaging in activities in the home that consistently involve wet hands, living with someone who has a nail infection, and having certain medical conditions such as diabetes or a weakened immune system, states Mayo Clinic. People who are older and men with a family history of nail infections are also at greater risk of developing infected fingernails.

If left untreated, fungal infections can lead to pain in the fingertips and permanent damage to fingernails, according to Mayo Clinic. Patients can treat fingernail fungal infections at home with over-the-counter medications, or in more severe cases with drugs prescribed by doctors, such as oral anti-fungal medications or anti-fungal creams and polishes. In the most severe cases, fingernail fungal infections are treated with surgery to remove the affected nails. Diabetics who suspect they have a fingernail fungus should consult their doctors immediately, warns MedicineNet.

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