How to Get Rid of Fungal Nail Infection

Overview
Nail fungus is a common condition of the nail caused by overgrowth of microscopic fungi that begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail, they are also known as onychomysis and tinea unguium. As the fungal infection goes deeper, nail fungus may cause discolouration, thickening of the skin and crumble at the edge. It can affect several nails both toe and fingernails.
You may decide to ignore if your condition is mild and not bothering you, treatment may not be needed. But, if you notice pains and thickened nails, self-care steps and medications may be required. But even if treatment is successful, nail fungus often comes back.


Symptoms
Your nails may be infected if you have any of the following symptoms:

An affected toenails


  • Thickened
  • Whitish to yellow-brown discolouration
  • Brittle
  • Crumbly or ragged
  • Distorted in shape
  • A dark colour, caused by debris building up under your nail
  • Smelling slightly foul
  • Nail fungus can affect fingernails, but it's more common in toenails.

Risk factors
Nail fungal can be gotten by anyone but it is prominently found among older people. Although there are other factors that can increase your risk of developing nail fungus these include:

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  • Being older
  • Reduced blood flow and circulation 
  • slow growing nails
  • Sweating heavily
  • Having a history of athlete's foot
  • Walking barefoot in damp communal areas, such as swimming pools, gyms and shower rooms
  • Having a minor skin or nail injury, such as psoriasis
  • Having diabetes, circulation problems or a weakened immune system
  • Tight footwear
  • Lack of ventilation as a result of tight footwear and socks

Causes
Nail fungus is a common condition of the nail caused by overgrowth of microscopic fungi that begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail, they are also known as onychomysis and tinea unguium.
Most commonly, a group of fungi called dermatophytes (such as Candida) is responsible for nail fungal infections. However, some yeasts and molds can also cause these infections; these include:
  • Trichophyton rubrum - most common dermatophyte that causes nail fungal infections.
  • Trichophyton interdigitale.
  • Epidermophyton floccosum.
  • Trichophyton violaceum.
  • Microsporum gypseum.
  • Trichophyton tonsurans.
  • Trichophyton soudanense.
Common mold causes include:
  • neoscytalidium
  • scopulariopsis
  • aspergillus

When to see a doctor
The attention of your doctor may be required if self-care steps haven't helped and if any of the above symptoms becomes increasingly seen.  Although other factors may lead to it and if you are diabetic it is advisable to see a doctor if you think you're developing nail fungus.
Fungal nail infection is a condition that can develop in people at any age, but more common in older adults. The advancement on age increasingly affect the nails making it become brittle and dry. Thus, the resulting cracks in the nails allow fungi to enter.

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Treatment
The treatment of nail fungus infections involves a long and expensive process. But there are oral antifungal medications, topical ointments, and alternative therapies. Over the counter creams and ointments are also available, but have proved not very effective.

Oral medications for nail fungus infection include:

  • terbinafine (Lamisil)
  • itraconazole (Sporanox)
  • fluconazole (Diflucan)

In some extreme cases, the physician will opt to remove the entire nail.


Prevention
The following habits and good basic hand and foot hygiene can help prevent nail fungus and athlete's foot:
  • Wash your hands and feet regularly. 
  • Make use of hand sanitizer after touching an infected nail
  • Moisturize your nails after washing.
  • Trim nails straight across, smooth the edges with a file and file down thickened areas. Disinfect your nail clippers after each use.
  • Wear sweat-absorbing socks, preferably synthetic or change your socks throughout the day.
  • Choose shoes made of materials that breathe.
  • Discard old shoes or treat them with disinfectants or anti fungal powders.
  • Wear footwear in pool areas and locker rooms.
  • Quit the use of nail polish and artificial nails.


How to Get Rid of Fungal Nail Infection How to Get Rid of Fungal Nail Infection Reviewed by Gregory on December 31, 2018 Rating: 5

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