Fungal Nail Infection
Nail fungus is an infection caused by microscopic fungi. The infection can affect just one nail or all ten at once, depending on how serious the condition has become and how far it has spread. The organism that causes the problem exists on its own in nature, breeding rapidly in warm, damp places. Anyone who is exposed to the pathogen can potentially develop an infection, though some people are more susceptible to it than others. Once on your nails, the fungus settles and spreads throughout the nails, creating difficulties in completely eradicating it.
As it festers, the fungus breaks down the nail tissue, creating an unsightly and potentially uncomfortable problem. Nails become thickened, brittle, and discolored. They may smell somewhat foul, crack, or separate from the nail bed as well. The thickened nails can create discomfort whenever you wear shoes, as well as open your body up to additional infections from bacteria. Patients with a weakened immune system response, as with diabetes, are particularly at risk.
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