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Skin Problems & Treatments Health Center

Fungal Nail Infections - Symptoms

A fungal nail infection usually isn't painful. But without treatment, over time it can become uncomfortable or even painful to wear shoes, walk, or stand for a long time.

Your symptoms will depend on the type of infection you have. The two most common infections are both caused by dermatophytes.

Distal subungual onychomycosis camera.gif affects both the nail and the skin underneath the nail (nail bed). Symptoms include:

  • Yellow streaks in the nail bed and on the underside of the nail.
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of skin and nail fragments (debris) under the nail.
  • A discolored and thickened nail that may separate from the skin under the nail.
  • A brittle, broken, and thickened nail.

White superficial onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the nail surface. Symptoms include:

  • White spots or streaks on the nail surface.
  • Soft and powdery nail surface, as the infection gets worse.
  • Damaged, crumbly, and brown or gray nail surface. But the nail doesn't separate from the skin underneath.

Conditions with similar symptoms

Not all nail infections are fungal infections. Conditions with similar symptoms include eczema, psoriasis, and Reiter's syndrome.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 27, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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