Unfortunately, it is possible to have a fungal infection misdiagnosed when you are researching the topic yourself. In fact, it happens quite frequently. Mistaken conditions include but are not limited to:
- Chronic nail trauma
- Nail polish allergy
- Lichen planus
Symptoms of toenail fungus vary. Watch for things like brittle nails, discolored nails that separate from the skin underneath and yellow streaks in the nail bed. Bits of skin and debris under the nail is also the sign of a problem.
A fungal infection of the toenail should never be ignored. Whether you decide to treat the condition yourself or consult your doctor, it’s best to do so as soon as you initially notice any symptoms.
Fungal Infection Misdiagnosed as Psoriasis
Aside from skin issues, psoriasis often causes pitted nails that are sometimes mistaken for toenail fungus. Individuals dealing with this condition are known to have nail beds that turn tan in color. Other symptoms include flaking skin, which collects under the nail just like a fungal infection.
Chronic Nail Trauma
Chronic nail trauma is a condition that commonly affects runners, athletes and those who wear tight-fitting shoes. It is also caused by events such as stubbing or dropping something heavy on the toe.
This issue often results in thickened nails that can be mistakenly diagnosed as toenail fungus. The thickening occurs as a result of damage to the nail matrix.
Fungal Infection Misdiagnsed as Paronychia
Paronychia causes redness and swelling around the nail. It’s a condition that usually develops quite quickly, causing an infection around the cuticle. Often times, this infection is quite severe.
Although you may be able to reverse Paronychia by frequently soaking the affected nail in warm water, chances are some type of treatment such as draining the nail or use of a steroid cream is required.
Lichen planus, also referred to as LS, is a non-contagious inflammatory disorder with many of the same symptoms as a fungal infection. The cause of this condition is unknown. However, statistics indicate it is typically brought on by issues such as elevated stress, an allergic reaction to certain types of medication and genetics. LP is most common in women over 40 years of age. The severity of the condition varies from extremely mild to severe.
As you can see, there are several things that cause toenail fungus. Yes, you can research the condition yourself. However, speaking with your physician is always the best and safest way to avoid a fungal infection misdiagnosis.