MIKE DEVLIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MIKE DEVLIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Tinea fungal infection. Chronic ringworm of a woman's fingernail. This fungal infection is also known as tinea unguium or onychomycosis, and is normally caused by dermatophyte fungi. Affected nails thicken and turn white or yellow, and the palm of the hand may become itchy and scaly. The disease is contagious, and can be caught from other people, animals or household objects. Treatment is either by antifungal drugs taken as tablets, or, more likely in a localised case such as this, taken as a cream applied to the affected area. To ensure that the infection is completely cleared, the drugs may have to be taken for up to a year.
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