Dealing with Toenail Fungus
posted: Oct. 31, 2016.
Have you ever experienced having an infected nail at some point in your life? You might have and it could have been a fungal nail infection, medically known as onychomycosis. You don’t need to worry because fungal nails are not usually serious. They can, however, be unpleasant and difficult to heal.
What are Its Symptoms
The infection begins to develop slowly and causes the nail to become discoloured, distorted and thickened. Toenails are more frequently affected as compared to fingernails. A fungal nail infection may not cause obvious at symptoms at first, but as it progresses, the symptoms are as follows:
*Discolouration of the nail – It may turn white, yellow, green or black
*Thickening and distortion of the nail – It may take on an unusual shape and texture, and it can be difficult to trim.
*Pain or Discomfort – This can be felt especially when using or placing pressure on the affected finger or toe.
*Brittle nails – Pieces of your nails might break off and come off completely.
There are times when the skin surrounding the affected nail might become infected and become itchy, cracked, red or swollen.
What are Its Causes
Most cases of fungal nail infections occur as result of the fungi that cause athlete’s foot. These fungi live harmlessly on our skin, but they can sometimes multiply, thus leading to infections. Fungi prefer warm, dark and moist places to thrive in, just like the feet. Here are the causes of fungal nail infection:
*When you do not keep your feet clean and dry.
*When you wear shoes that cause your feet to become sweaty.
*When you walk around barefoot in places where fungi can spread easily such as locker rooms, communal showers and gyms.
*When you have damaged nails that are left untreated.
*When your immune system is weakened.
*Other health conditions such as psoriasis, diabetes, and more can also be factors.
Fungal nail infections can be spread to others, so if you have an infection, it is best to have it treated immediately.
How Toenail Fungal Infections Can Be Prevented
You can reduce your chances of developing fungal nail infection by doing the following:
*Keeping your feet clean and dry.
*Wearing shoes that fit your feet properly, allowing your feet to breathe.
*Clipping your nails and keeping them short. You should also avoid sharing clippers with other people.
*Not sharing socks and towels with other people. Wash your towels regularly.
*Replacing old footwear that might be contaminated with fungi.
*Treating athlete’s foot immediately to avoid spreading the infection to your nails.