Laboratory Tests for the Diagnosis of Onychomycosis

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Chatisa Panyawong
Charussri Leeyaphan
Sumanas Bunyaratavej
Lalita Matthapan
Waranyoo Prasong
Wittawat Turakit
Punyawee Ongsri


Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the nail plate or nail apparatus. Onychomycosis is commonly found in populations in tropical countries and in the elderly. Onychomycosis cause unusual nail appearance and discoloration. Most people with onychomycosis commonly had several predisposing factors such as frequent hand washing, contacting to soil environment, poor hygienic nail or foot care. The most common causative organisms of onychomycosis in Thailand are dermatophytes, followed by non-dermatophytes and yeast. Normally, fungi are invisible to the naked eye but it can be detected by mycological laboratory, for example, KOH examination, fungal culture, and histopathological examinations. Laboratory examinations are very important in diagnosing fungal nail infection and making differentiate diagnosis from other nail diseases such as traumatic onychodystrophy, psoriatic nails. Nowadays, prevalence of onychomycosis is increasing, so correct diagnosis should be emphasized to lead to the effective and safety treatment. After recovering from onychomycosis, some patients may have a chance of recurrent disease. Patients should be aware of hand-foot health care by keeping their hands and feet clean and dry. Finding shoes with appropriate arch support will increase walking comfort. Socks should be washed after each wear and stored in a clean, dry place, which can help avoid foot infections or fungus growth.


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Panyawong C, Leeyaphan C, Bunyaratavej S, Matthapan L, Prasong W, Turakit W, Ongsri P. Laboratory Tests for the Diagnosis of Onychomycosis. Siriraj Med Bull [Internet]. 2023 Jul. 1 [cited 2023 Dec. 9];16(3):256-2. Available from:
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