Society of African Journal Editors

Journal of Medical Investigation and Practice

Onychomycosis: Etiology, diagnosis, and treatment

Authors: AC Ngwogu, IEK Mba, KO Ngwogu

Journal: Journal of Medical Investigation and Practice

Background : Onychomycosis, although a common problem in all age groups, is often misdiagnosed and consequently under-treated. There is need for improved awareness and proper laboratory diagnosis to ensure effective therapy. Objective : To review the etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of onychomycosis. Design : Data sources from internet searches on AJOL and Pubmed   conducted using the keywords “onychomycosis,” fungal nail infections.  Setting : Abia State University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH), Aba, in South Eastern Nigeria. Subjects: A total of 38 articles and laboratory manuals. Materials and Methods : A total of 38 articles including laboratory manuals, published between 1974 and 2009, were selected and reviewed. Results: Onychomycosis is gradually increasing in the general population. The etiological agents differ from person to person and from place to place. Conclusion : There is need for proper laboratory diagnosis prior to  institution of therapy. Effective therapy is with the use of systemic drugs with or without topical agents. Key words : Diagnosis, Etiology, Onychomycosis, Treatment