Conditions that mimic toenail fungus

Also known as onychomycosis, toenail fungus is a medical condition that destroys the health of your nails, and it may lead to them breaking and falling off if you fail to cure it. This infection is commonly caused by fungi and other bacteria thriving in unsanitary environments. It is contagious, and it can quickly spread from one toe or finger to the other, and even to other people.

The usual symptoms of onychomycosis include:

  • Discolored nail
  • Brittle nail edges
  • Flaky surrounding skin around the infected nail
  • Redness
  • Nail bed irritation

One or more of these symptoms can signal a fungal infection. However, medical research has revealed that there are a few other conditions that mimic toenail fungus. Similar signs of illness may give the impression of a fungal infection even if there are no fungi present on your nails. Here are the diseases that you may unknowingly confuse for onychomycosis:

Psoriasis may look like toenail fungus

PsoriasisPsoriasis is a medical condition that alters the life cycle of skin cells. This disease causes some of your cells to age rapidly and stops the regeneration of the others. In time, the affected area becomes a scaly patch that may be colorless or intensely red. Some patients experience a powerful burning sensation and general discomfort.

Sometimes psoriasis may affect the areas surrounding your nails. Here, the skin becomes flaky, and it produces unbearable itchiness. The difference between this condition and a potential fungal infection is its development. If you are suffering from onychomycosis, the fungi will spread in just a few days to the nail and the nail bed. However, psoriasis will only affect the skin around the nails.

Subungual tumors

These tumors grow under the nail and appear as small lumps that push the toenail outside until it detaches completely. Some people confuse them for onychomycosis, especially in their early stages of development when they produce pain and itchiness.

Subungual tumors require surgical intervention and the complete removal of the nail. Once the tumor is expelled, the nail has a 40% probability of growing back to its original form and strength.

alopecia areataAlopecia areata

This medical condition produces hair loss for people of all ages, regardless of gender. Since it is a categorized as an autoimmune disorder, this illness also affects the health of your nails and skin. Sometimes, it may damage the well-being of your nails before balding settles in. In this case, your nails become brittle, discolored and have a sandpaper-like texture. These symptoms are also signs of toenail fungus, which is why many people confuse it for onychomycosis.

Subungual tumorsHow to treat real fungal infections

If you notice symptoms of onychomycosis on any of your nails, it is essential to get a correct diagnosis before attempting to treat it. The best remedy for toenail fungus is ZetaClear – an over the counter medication that kills fungi and prevents the infection from spreading in just a few weeks. This natural formula for nail disorders restores the original color and strength to your nails without producing any adverse side effects, and with minimum effort on your side.