Medical Definition of Proximal white subungual onychomycosis

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Proximal white subungual onychomycosis: The rarest form of fungus infection of the finger or toenail. (Fungus infection of the finger or toenail is also called onychomycosis.) The infection begins in the nail fold (the portion of the nail opposite the tip of the finger).

Proximal white subungual onychomycosis is typically associated with HIV infection (AIDS), though it can follow injury to the nail.

The most common fungus causing the infection is called Trichophyton rubrum. Other causes include T. megninii, T. tonsiurans, T. mentagrophytes, T. schoenleinii, and Epidermophyton floccosum.

Proximal white subungual onychomycosis is diagnosed based upon its unusual location (in the portion of the nailbed closest to the hand). The diagnosis is confirmed by seeing the fungus under a microscope from a scraping of the tissue.

Proximal white subungual onychomycosis is treated by antifungal medications taken by mouth. Examples include itraconzole (SPORANOX) and terbinafine (LAMISIL).

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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