Many of us prefer a salon manicure and pedicure to a homemade one.
Do you actually know that inaccurately sterilized tools can be the cause of nail fungus?
And it's not only in nail salons. You can also catch a fungal infection (medically called onychomycosis or tinea unguium) in a public pool, shower rooms and sport gyms; especially if have nail or skin injuries.
The problem is that microorganisms can penetrate the skin through small cuts, causing fungal infection. There is a wide variety of fungi which can play a key role in this disorder. The most common of them are Epidermophyton, Microsporum, Candida etc.
If your fingers and toes are often moist because of excessive perspiration or poorly-ventilated shoes you're more likely to experience nail fungus.
In addition to this, having circulation troubles, diabetes and a weak immune system can also increase your risks of onychomycosis.
This infection prefers toenails to finger ones usually.
In the majority of cases nail fungus doesn't cause uncomfortable feelings since the nail becomes thick enough to disturb movements.
It is mainly a cosmetic problem as your affected nail gets yellow, fragile, humpy, thick and crooked.
Sometimes fungal infection can cause a specific unpleasant odor.
In advanced cases your nail can even come off the nail bed. Doctors call this condition onycholysis.
Diagnosis of fungal infection should be confirmed by scraping and microscopic examination.
It's not easy to get rid of this annoying problem. Let's see which methods are the most effective in the treatment of nail fungus.
#1. Pills – oral medications were recognized to be the first-line of treatment. Terbinafine and itraconazole can suppress fungus propagation and support healthy nail growth. Benefits are available after several months of regular consumption of the pills.
#2. Cream – topical remedies are less efficient than oral drugs. However they can help in the early stages or if you have certain contraindications to the pills. Antifungal creams and nail varnish usually include ketoconazole, ciclopirox, butenafine and others. Remember that the course of treatment lasts for at least four months, depending on the stage of the disease and the type of fungi.
#3. Soften and scrape – topical medicines can be more effective if applied to the softened area. Use urea paste to make your affected nail mollified. Apply it on the finger or toenail, cover with a plaster and leave for about 24 hours. Then wash off the paste and scrape the nail carefully.
#4. Surgical removal – if medicines are ineffective, your doctor can recommend nail removal with the subsequent application of antifungal chemicals. It can take about a year for a healthy nail to grow in this space.
#5. Laser – the newest method of cure is effective in severe cases. The laser beam can permeate the nail tissue and overcome the infection.
Don't ignore your nail fungus, even if it doesn't cause pain and discomfort. If left untreated, this infection can lead to fungus spreading and additional bacterial infection (cellulitis).
Consult with your doctor to detect onychomycosis in the early stages and choose the most effective treatment.
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