It is a chronic fungal infection of the fingernails and/or toenails


  • Scaling under the nail,
  • White or yellow streaks on the nail
  • If one or more of nails are :
  • Thickened
  • Brittle, crumbly or ragged
  • Distorted in shape
  • Dull with no shine
  • Dark color, caused by debris building up under your nail


  • Dermatophyte fungus
  • Fungi
  • Molds

Risk Factors

  • Diabetes
  • Disease that causes poor circulation
  • Age over 65
  • Wear artificial nails
  • Swim in a public swimming pool
  • Nail injury
  • Skin injury around the nail
  • Moist fingers or toes for an extended time
  • Weakened immune system
  • Wearing closed-toe shoes, such as tennis shoes or boots

Diagnostic Tests

  • Examining the nails
  • Scraping some debris from under nail and sending it to lab


  • Antifungal nail lacquer
  • Medicated nail polish : ciclopirox (Penlac)
  • Medicated nail cream
  • Laser and light-based therapies
  • Oral antifungal medicines :
  • Terbinafine (Lamisil)
  • Itraconazole (Sporanox)
  • Fluconazole (Diflucan)
  • Griseofulvin (Gris-Peg)

Lifestyle Management

  • Take good care of nails by keeping them well trimmed
  • Apply Vicks VapoRub
  • Avoid injuring the skin around your nails
  • Wear rubber gloves in case of damp or wet hands
  • Use antifungal sprays or powders regularly
  • Wash your hands after touching infected nails
  • Dry your feet well after showering, especially between your toes
  • Get manicures or pedicures from trustworthy salons
  • Use your own items for manicures or pedicures
  • Wear socks that minimize moisture
  • Avoid being barefoot in public places
  • Reduce use of artificial nails and nail polish