Nail Fungus Test
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- Results within days
Do you have thickened, brittle, or discoloured nails? Do you suspect you could have nail fungus, but have no idea where to start in treating it? Nail fungus is a common condition that can be complex to treat. Treatment for nail fungus depends on the type of pathogen, as well as the location and severity of the infection. Homed-IQ’s Nail Fungus Test allows for specific identification of pathogens infecting the nail, meaning effective treatment can be started as early as possible.
Test for: Fungus or yeasts/moulds of the nails
Test mode: Nail shaving sample
What do we test for?
Nail fungus (onychomycosis) is an infection of the nails on the fingers or toes that can cause thickening, discolouration, and breakage. These infections are most often caused by fungi known as dermatophytes. While nail fungus may not cause many symptoms in the initial stages, an untreated infection can cause permanent damage to your nails or chronic pain. Fungal infections of the nails are very common, with approximately 10% of the general population having some form of nail fungus (Cleveland Clinic, 2021). Despite being a highly common condition, nail fungus can be challenging to treat and diagnose. As such, accurate, timely diagnosis of the pathogens causing the condition is crucial for effective treatment.
Mould onychomycosis is a type of fungal nail infection that differs from the more common infections caused by dermatophytes. While dermatophytes are a specific group of fungi responsible for the majority of nail infections, non-dermatophyte moulds belong to a different group of fungi that can also cause nail-related problems. Mould nail infections tend to be less common than dermatophyte infections but can still pose significant challenges in diagnosis and treatment. The symptoms of non-dermatophyte mould nail infections are similar to those of infections caused by dermatophytes, such as discolouration, thickening, brittleness, and distortion of the nails. However, the treatment approach for this type of infection may differ from what is used for dermatophyte infections. Since moulds are less responsive to certain standard antifungal medications, identifying the specific cause is crucial for effective treatment.
A yeast nail infection, also known as Candidal onychomycosis, is a type of fungal nail infection caused by the yeast Candida species. While fungal nail infections are more commonly caused by dermatophytes (another group of fungi), Candida can also be responsible for infecting the nails.
€179,00 Free Shipping
- Professional analysis in a medically certified laboratory
- Easy to use from home
About the test
What is nail fungus?
Nail fungus is an infection of the nails on the fingers or toes that can cause thickening, discolouration, and breakage. While nail fungus may not cause many symptoms in the initial stages, an untreated infection can cause permanent damage to your nails or chronic pain. Fungal infections of the nails are very common, with approximately 10% of the general population having some form of nail fungus (Cleveland Clinic, 2021). Despite being a highly common condition, nail fungus can be challenging to treat and diagnose. As such, accurate, timely diagnosis of the pathogens causing the condition is crucial for effective treatment.
How can nail fungus be tested?
Nail fungus is commonly diagnosed by visual examination of infected nail fragments through a microscope or by performing a fungal culture. However, both of these methods have their shortcomings. Visual examination of a sample does not allow for identification of the specific pathogen causing the infection, meaning the incorrect treatment may be prescribed. While fungal cultures are able to identify specific pathogens, the culturing process can take between three and six weeks before results are ready, delaying the start of treatment. Additionally, mixed infections with several pathogens are impossible to diagnose through this method, and results can be less accurate if treatment has already started.
How does the Homed-IQ nail fungus test work?
Homed-IQ’s Nail Fungus Test uses molecular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology to specifically identify pathogens that cause nail fungus within one day. This test is able to reliably identify mixed infections, as well as obtain results from samples in which treatment has already started. This allows for effective treatment to begin as soon as possible and for the source of the pathogen to be identified.
Homed-IQ’s Nail Fungus Test can detect 50 different fungus types (dermatophytes) from nail samples, and can name the specific species of 23 dermatophytes and 6 yeasts/moulds on test results. The test is also able to identify mixed infections involving multiple pathogens, as well as identifying pathogens after the start of treatment. Furthermore, this test can also differentiate from other common nail and skin conditions (e.g. psoriasis) to ensure the most accurate diagnosis.
Who should use this test?
Anyone who suspects that they have a fungal nail infection can perform this test. Even if you do not have nail fungus, ruling out the possibility can allow you to pursue the correct treatment for other conditions.
What is tested?
What pathogens are tested?
Homed-IQ’s Nail Fungus Test allows 50 dermatophyte species to be detected together as a group. Additionally, 23 dermatophyte, 3 yeast and 3 mould species can be specifically detected and identified in the same analysis.
This test can also detect mixed pathogen infections, differentiate from other common nail conditions, and diagnose infections after antifungal treatment has started. This provides a faster, more specific, and highly accurate diagnosis compared to traditional methods of diagnosing fungal infections.
How can a specific diagnosis help me?
The results of this test provide specific information about the source of fungal infections. This can help prevent spread to others, control the source of infection, and prevent reinfection in the future. A targeted diagnosis can also ensure potential fungal infections are treated correctly, ensuring your symptoms are addressed quickly.
How do I collect my sample for the Nail Fungus Test?
The test kit will be delivered to your home and contains all materials needed to complete the sample collection process, as well as detailed instructions.
To perform this test, you must remove any nail polish or false nails. Take samples from nails with visible damage, thickening, or staining. Include any crumbly or soft material from under the nail. If several nails are affected, take a small sample from all of them. Scrape sample material from the nail surface down to the deeper under layer using the provided nail tool. Preferably, collect nail shavings or small pieces of nail, not the entire nail.
Your nail sample will be analysed in a certified laboratory. Results from this test can be obtained in as little as one day, offering an advantage over classic diagnostic methods using culturing, which can take three to six weeks for results to be obtained.
Nail fungus can cause fingernails or toenails that:
- Turn white, yellow, green or brown
- Change shape and/or curl
- Smell bad
- Grow thicker than normal (in some cases they can grow thinner than normal)
- Become brittle
- Have white spots appear on them
- Change shape, curling up or down
- Lift off of the nail bed
- Are painful
About your test result
What does the result mean?
The results of this test can determine whether you have nail fungus, as well as which specific pathogens are causing the infection.
If your test result is positive for a dermatophyte or other pathogen, appropriate treatment will depend on the cause and location of your nail fungus. Take the results of this test to your GP for further advice and treatment. Your test result comes with a printable laboratory report that can be brought to your GP.
If your test result is negative, please contact your GP for additional advice and/or testing of other causes.
How long does it take for nail fungus to go away with treatment?
Depending on the infection, it can take weeks or months to eradicate nail fungus (NHS, 2021). If treatment is working, you should begin to see a new healthy nail start to grow from the base of the nail over the course of a few months. The old infected nail should begin to grow out and can be clipped away over time.
How does it work?
Order your test
Activate and take your sample
Receive your test result
Frequently asked questions
What are the benefits of this Nail Fungus Test?
The biggest advantage of this home nail fungus test is that you can easily take the test yourself at home, without the need to visit your doctor. The results of this test are also much faster than traditional diagnostic methods for nail fungus.
Why is nail fungus so difficult to treat?
Treating nail fungus is not always an easy task. While many treatments are available at drugstores, often these treatments do not work or the fungus returns after a period of time. Nail fungus is considered to be more difficult to treat than other fungal infections because of its location. As the nail forms a protective barrier, it is harder to ensure treatment reaches the affected area as compared to a skin infection. Additionally, nails are made out of keratin, which is what nail fungus feeds on. This means the nail is an environment in which nail fungus can easily thrive and resist treatment. In order for treatment to be effective, it is important to complete the entire duration of medication, even if the nail shows signs of improvement before the end.
How can I prevent nail fungus?
- Keep your feet clean and dry
- Always wear clean socks
- Alternate shoes so you do not wear the same damp pair daily
- Keep your toenails trimmed straight across
- Immediately treat other fungal infections (like Athlete’s Foot) so it does not spread to the nails
- Do not walk barefoot in locker rooms or in swimming pools
- Do not share nail clippers
- Do not wear shoes that make your feet hot and sweaty
- Do not share shoes or towels with other people
Which people are at higher risk of nail fungus?
You are at higher risk of having nail fungus if one or more of the following applies to you:
- Old age
- Recently injured your nail or had nail surgery
- Poor circulation
- Weakened immune system
- Friends or family have nail fungus
- Previous history of other fungal infections (like Athlete’s Foot)
Source: CDC, 2022
How do you get nail fungus?
Fungal nail infections often develop when your feet or hands are constantly warm or damp. This can be caused by:
- Wearing damp or sweaty socks or shoes for a long period of time
- Visiting pools often
- Walking in locker rooms or other shared spaces
- Injuring your nail
- Wearing false nails
How long does it take to obtain a test result?
Once the sample has reached our laboratory, results can be obtained in a matter of days. You will receive an email notification when your sample reaches the laboratory and when the results are available.
Can I use this test if I have already started treatment for nail fungus?
Yes, this test is able to detect pathogens that cause nail fungus even after treatment has been initiated.