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The Difference Between Fungus Toenails and Fungal Toenails
Fungus toenails and fungal toenails are often used interchangeably to refer to the same condition, but there is a subtle difference between the two terms.
Fungus toenails refer to a condition where a fungal infection affects the nails of the toes, causing thick, discolored, and brittle nails. The fungal infection is typically caused by dermatophytes, yeasts, or molds that thrive in warm, moist environments and can easily infect the nails through small cuts or breaks in the skin. Risk factors for developing fungus toenails include having diabetes, having a weakened immune system, having poor circulation, and wearing tight or damp shoes for extended periods of time.
Fungal toenails, on the other hand, refer to a condition where a fungus is the causative agent of a toenail infection. The term “fungal” emphasizes the involvement of a fungus in the infection, whereas the term “fungus” simply refers to the type of organism causing the infection.
The symptoms of fungus toenails and fungal toenails are largely the same, and they can include thick, discolored, and brittle nails, as well as nail separation from the nail bed. The nails may also be deformed or have a foul odor. In severe cases, the infection can cause pain and discomfort, and it can also lead to secondary infections.
Diagnosis of both fungus toenails and fungal toenails is typically made through a visual examination and by taking a sample of the affected nail for laboratory testing. In some cases, a skin scraping or a blood test may also be performed to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment for both conditions typically involves antifungal medications, either topical or oral. Topical antifungal medications are applied directly to the affected nail, and they can be effective for mild to moderate cases. Oral antifungal medications, on the other hand, are taken by mouth and can be more effective for severe cases.
In addition to antifungal medications, other treatments for fungus toenails and fungal toenails may include debridement, which involves removing the infected portion of the nail, and laser therapy, which uses intense light to kill the fungal fragments. In severe cases, surgical removal of the affected nail may be necessary.
It is important to treat both fungus toenails and fungal toenails as soon as possible to prevent the infection from spreading and causing further damage. It is also important to take steps to prevent reinfection, such as keeping the feet clean and dry, wearing shoes that allow the feet to breathe, and avoiding walking barefoot in public places, such as showers and swimming pools.
In conclusion, there is a subtle difference between the terms fungus toenails and fungal toenails, with the latter emphasizing the involvement of a fungus in a toenail infection. The symptoms and treatment options for both conditions are largely the same, and it is important to seek proper diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. If you suspect that you have a toenail infection, it is important to see a doctor for proper evaluation and treatment.