Fungal infection on the nails can be an inhibiting condition. Some people even avoid going out and meeting people because they are embarrassed by their feet. Having toenail fungus limits the choice of footwear for a person, and also limits the things that he or she can do.
How To Tell If A Person Has Fungal Infection?
Telling if a person has toenail fungus is basically simple. All you have to do is look at his or her toenails. Most of the time, it is the big toe and the little toe that is usually affected. Toenail fungus causes the nails to have a slight discoloration such as brown or yellow. The nail then becomes overgrown and thick, and can have some foul smelling debris right underneath the nail. The affected to nail and either grow so thick, that it becomes difficult to wear shoes, or the nail may crumble and fall off by itself. While one can easily diagnose fugal infections by simply looking at it, a more thorough examination can be done by a doctor. The doctor can take samples and can have these samples tested inside the laboratory.
This condition can be very embarrassing, and can be very painful or uncomfortable in the long run. Toenail fungus can also turn into a chronic condition. Some people do not really feel any pain coming along with the condition, and tend to leave it alone. However, if you have a problem like diabetes, then you should see a doctor right away in order to make sure that the condition does not develop into something worse. This is why it should be treated immediately.
What Are Fungal Infections?
Fungal infections occur on both the toenails and the finger nails. Also known as onychomycosis, these nail fungus infections are caused by fungus which are called dermatophytes. These dermatophytes live on keratin, which are the proteins that make up the nail surface. Nail fungus usually occurs more on the toenails than on the fingernails.
What Causes Fungal Infections?
These types of fungi usually love warm and damp environments, which is why they usually occur on toe nails since the environment inside shoes make a warm, dark and damp environment. Toenail fungus rarely happens to children and happen more as a person ages. Tight fitting shoes as well as nail polish can increase the risk of toenail fungus.
Other increasing and contributing factors include wearing of shoes for long periods of time, lack of personal hygiene, sharing footwear, walking barefoot in public bathrooms and the like. Conditions like HIV and diabetes mellitus can aggravate the condition.
How Is Fungal Infection Treated?
A podiatrist can take care of the nail by filing it and trimming it down carefully. Mild and localized problems usually simply warrant the use of a medicated nail polish. However, severe problems may need to be treated with oral or systemic medication for fungi. Anti – fungal medication can last a long time, and may take around six to twelve weeks before it works. Persistent and severe infections may require surgery.
When it comes to toenail fungus, prevention is always the best option rather than having to look for a cure in the first place. Prevention can easily be done by wearing footwear that is clean and comfortable. Shoes should be worn alternately so that each pair can have the chance to dry in between wearings.
Wearing flip – flops or any kind of appropriate footwear is also essential when inside locker rooms, public showers and pools. It is also recommended to wash the feet daily and make sure that they are dried all throughout.
It is also advisable to avoid using nail polish on the feet and keeping the nails free from layers of polish since this can weaken the fingernails and provide the right atmosphere and environment for the fungus to multiply.
In case one happens to start experiencing toe nail polish, then it should be treated right away to avoid further infection or spreading of the fungus to the other toenails. Treating the toenail fungus infection through systemic treatments or topical treatments can limit the exposure and the spreading of the condition.