The Most Prevalent Nail-Invading Fungus
It is estimated that the prevalence of onychomycosis, or fungal infection of the nails, is as high as one in ten among adults worldwide. This affliction is most commonly found in the toenails, though it can affect fingernails as well. To help sufferers better understand this condition, below we will outline its symptoms, likely causes, preventive measures, and treatment options.
Those aged 65 or over, diabetics, those suffering with peripheral vascular disease, and people with compromised immune systems are more at risk for fungal nail infections. These infections are usually caused by dermatophytes, mold and/or yeast – microorganisms which survive in hot and moist conditions like swimming pools, saunas, and shared bathrooms. Contact with already infected items or individuals can also spread the fungi. Anyone frequently spending time in these environments should keep an extra eye out for any signs of the infection.
Fungal nail infection can generate an array of telltale signs at various stages of progression. Initially, the affected nail may become clouded and take on a yellowish hue with a distorted shape that bows inwards. As the infection further develops, the nail may crumble and detach from its bed, often accompanied by soreness and inflammation in the vicinity.
It is possible to thwart the occurrence of fungal nail infections. Below are some successful countermeasures that have been recommended:
1. Maintaining Clean Hygiene and Dryness of Nails 2. Refraining from Going Barefoot in Public Spaces 3. Put On Footwear with Good Ventilation 4. Alternating Shoes and Socks Regularly 5. Discourage the Exchange of Clippers or Other Personal Grooming Tools
To protect yourself from the contagious effects of athlete’s foot, ensure that you take action against the infection quickly to avert it from spreading beyond your feet to your nails.
A fungal nail infection, while not life-threatening, can be an unpleasant sight and source of discomfort. Thankfully, several treatment strategies exist to help manage this condition, such as:
To target the fungus, a doctor may prescribe orally-administered or topical medications.
With laser therapy, a laser is utilized to generate heat that penetrates the nail, therefore terminating the fungus.
When the infection is extreme, the only way to allow for a robust, healthy nail to form is the extraction of the diseased nail.
With the aim to treat fungal nail infections, many resort to traditional home remedies such as tea tree oil. However, the exact merit of these approaches is tough to ascertain due to the ongoing lack of scientific evidence.
All told, being impacted by a fungal nail infection is nothing short of rampant and has ill-affected millions the world over. Small alterations in you lifestyle, such as cleaning your nails routinely and making sure to use protection when unshod in public areas, not to mention timely treatment of athletes foot, can help keep such an infection at bay. If unfortunately you still end up with a fungal nail infection, consulting a physician for proper assistance is pivotal. Adhering to medical therapy and undertaking preventive measures will ensure that any future occurrences are prevented.