Types and Symptoms of Nail Fungus in Children | Dermatology

Nail Fungus in children

What is nail fungus in children?

Nail fungus in children makes up about half of all nail abnormalities. However, we know very little about it. A fungal infection of the nails generally does not cause a serious problem for children, but the nails may sometimes show signs of damage and even become painful!

Nail fungus in children infections are not usually dangerous, but they can be troublesome for your child and in some cases difficult to treat. Nail fungus in children usually develops over time and can take longer to clear. When your child has a nail fungal infection, wearing shoes may be uncomfortable or painful. He will find it difficult to walk or stand as well. Here’s the scariest part: Fungi can also spread to nails and other skin, and even cause permanent damage to the nail bed!

Types of nail fungus & how to identify them?

Before moving on to species, it is important to know what nail fungi really are. It is an infection of the toenails and nails that enters through cracks in the nails or the skin. The problem is further exacerbated if you live in a warm, humid environment.

Yellow or white nails

Distal mycorrhizal fungi (DSO) are the most common fungal infection. Here, the infection begins at the end of the nail bed, and part of the nail turns yellow or white.

Chalk-like powder on nails

Superficial white onychomycosis (WSO)  influences the top layer of the nail, shaping white spots on a superficial level and at the end covering the whole nail with a powder that resembles chalk.

Fungus on toes

Fungal candida fungus, also known as a yeast infection, is somewhat uncommon and mostly affects the toenails rather than the toenails.

Symptoms of nail fungus in children

The most common nail fungus in children’s symptoms is thickening and discoloration of the nails, which may be white, black, yellow, or green. In cases where the infection persists for a long time, the nails may become brittle, and nail degeneration may occur if the condition remains untreated.

Causes of nail fungus in children

Nail fungus in children is caused by a variety of fungi belonging to the groups of dermatophytes, non-dermal molds, and yeasts. They cause infection when they have the right conditions for attachment and reproduction on the nail. The following factors can cause fungi to infect toenails include:

  • Wearing shoes with limited ventilation, socks that do not absorb sweat, or tall boots all day can lead to a fungal nail infection due to sweat.
  • Sharing the towels and napkins with others may infect the child with the fungus.
  • Children who play in the water or swim may have their hands and feet wet for a long time, which increases the risk of developing a fungal infection.
  • Children with diabetes, weak or weak immune systems, and problems with the circulatory system may be more likely to be affected.
  • Certain conditions, such as psoriasis and down syndrome, increase the risk. Existing nail injuries may also increase the risk.
  • An existing athlete’s foot (a fungal infection of the foot) may cause the infection to spread to other toenails, where it can reach the toenails.
  • A moist, warm environment may increase your risk of contracting mold in general.

Diagnosis of nail fungus in children

The dermatologist or doctor will examine the nail and the surrounding skin for symptoms of a fungal infection. A sample of nail remains may be collected for analysis under a microscope. It can help diagnose definitively the nail fungus in children and the exact type of fungus causing the infection.

Nail fungus in children treatments

Nail fungus in children should be emphasized that safe and effective treatment is critical in treating nail fungus in children and young adults. What works for adults can be dangerous for children. Therefore, before giving children and infants any medication, it must be approved, recommended, and prescribed by a doctor first.

For oral treatment, griseofulvin is currently the only medication approved for use in children. However, its effectiveness is not fully reliable. Only about three-quarters of affected toenails and one-third of toenails are treated. As with most anti-fungal treatments, griseofulvin takes several months of treatment before a visible result appears. Also, a recurrence of fungi is expected even after treatment. Griseofulvin is fully absorbed by the body only if it is taken with fatty foods.

Terbinafine is more effective, but the FDA has not approved it for use in children. Some studies have shown the drug to be safe and effective, but again, it has not yet been classified as safe for children to use by the FDA.

While nail medical procedure can be a viable therapy for grown-ups, it isn’t suggested for kids. Never heard of it before. A doctor may recommend removing the entire nail in severe cases, but this must be done by a licensed professional and should not be attempted at home.

On the other hand, some topical treatments are ineffective because these products cannot penetrate the nail to reach the fungus.

However, modern topical products have been improved and are more effective at getting rid of nail fungus. A topical solution containing 10% acid with penetrating essential oils can be an effective and safe solution to nail fungus infection in children and infants.


Keep your child’s hands and feet clean and dry and have him wear shoes that allow the feet to breathe. Also, keep socks and nails trimmed.

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