White Superficial Onychomycosis: Types, Symptoms, Causes & Treatment
The term White Superficial Onychomycosis probably sounds foreign to everyone who has not gone to a doctor about this condition. This condition is more commonly known as toenail fungus, and it shows up as white-colored growths on and around your toenails.
How to Deal with White Superficial Onychomycosis?
Most of us do not care enough about our toenails‘ health or how they appear since our toes are safely covered in our shoes or sandals throughout our days. However, if you fail to catch the early signs of White Superficial Onychomycosis’s condition, the fungus could spread and take over our entire nails, giving them a thick, white appearance. In this article, we will discuss what toenail fungus is all about.
Classification of Onychomycosis
There are four types of toenail fungus infections.
The first type is the distal subungual onychomycosis, which is characterized by thick, yellowing nails. This infection spreads from the tips of the nail towards your nail bed.
The second type is known as proximal subungual onychomycosis, which is very similar to the first type. However, this infection spreads from your nail bed areas towards your toenail tips.
Then, we have chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis, which is characterized by very thick nails caused by yeast infections.
Last but not least, we have white superficial onychomycosis, which is the focus of our article today.
Not sure if you have this condition? Here are several symptoms that you might experience if you have this condition.
You might feel some pain in your toes, and notice that your toenails are growing thicker.
Since its a fungal infection, you can also expect some bad odor from your infected toenails.
You might also see that your toenails are crumbling or turning weaker from the infection – at times to the point where some parts of your skin are separated from your toenail beds. While this might seem impossible, you could feel that your toenails are itchy as well!
Underlying Causes of Serious Onychomycosis Cases
Some causes of serious white superficial onychomycosis cases are:
If you recently got injured on your toenails
Use nail polish excessively
If you have been taking drugs that cause toxic reactions – such as those for chemotherapies, the toxins contained within your body can cause your toenails to turn white temporarily. We say temporarily because your toenails will regrow in a much healthier state after your body has been cleared of toxins.
If your toenails turn red or have dark tips, however, you shouldn’t confuse your condition with white superficial onychomycosis. This redness is usually caused by some underlying health issues which could be equally if not more worrying, such as liver cirrhosis, kidney, liver or heart failure, or hyperthyroidism among other health-related issues. You can refer to this condition as Terry’s Toenails.
Diagnosis of White Superficial Onychomycosis
If you notice some white growths on your nails, the doctor might need to diagnose your conditions with one of the following methods.
The first method includes clipping off a small piece of your white toenails and sending it for testing in the lab. In the laboratory, your nail samples will be processed to test for the kind of microorganisms living on it.
Alternatively, your doctor might place the clipped nail sample into a container. After leaving it for several days, any new fungal growths on your nail sample can be studied and identified under the microscope. This can be done by studying the spores of the fungus.
Treatments to Consider
Fungal infections never go away easily. You may go through some prescribed treatments:
Your doctor may prescribe you some topical medications such as Fungoid Tincture. Since fungal infections usually infect the deeper portions of your nails, these medications rarely work as well as you hope for since the chemicals could hardly penetrate into your nails.
You might be suggested to remove the affected portions of your nails so that the infection stops spreading. This also allows medications to penetrate your toes better.
Alternatively, you could be prescribed some oral medications such as Lamisil and Sporanox.
In any case, it is best if you can visit the doctor to rule out any other worrying conditions if you start experiencing the symptoms listed above or if you are worried about the sudden white growths in general.