RESEARCH – May 2003

Prevalence of onychomycosis in Estonia


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The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of onychomycosis in Estonia. A total of 521 persons were investigated by family doctors. Patients with clinical signs of onychomycosis were further examined by dermatologists and mycologically at the central laboratory of Tartu University Clinics. Of the 86.3% patients, examined by dermatologists, were clinically diagnosed onychomycosis of toenails, 10.1% of fingernails. In 79.1% of the cases the patients’ skin of feet was also involved. In 48% cases the clinical  diagnosis of onychomycosis was confirmed by mycological analyses. The number of infected toenails was positively correlated with the age of the patient. The most common causative agent wasTrichophyton rubrum. Our examination shows that there is a comparatively large number of patients suffering from onychomycosis in Estonia. In 41.2% of cases the patients’ financial situation prevents them to be treated for onychomycosis of toenails.