According to figures, onychomycosis or commonly known as toenail fungus affects approximately half of Americans, 70 years of age and above. The disease is caused by dermatophytes which is a common label to a group of fungus that causes skin condition. these fungus grow and they feed on the keratin which makes up the surface of the toenail. The disease is relatively rare in young people especially children. then again, the occurrence of this disease increases as the person advances in age. The fungal infection happens when microscopic fungi begins to enter a small trauma in the nail, then blossom and spread in the warm and moist areas inside the person’s socks or shoes.
So, what causes the development of the fungal infection?
The fungus increase in moist areas and people can get infected from showers, public gymnasiums and pools. this can be passed amongst family members and acquaintances via direct or indirect contact.
Unluckily, this disease can be transmitted from one toe to another or even to the other areas of the body. Individuals who are active in sports and like to wear tight-fitted shoes or work in moist environment have a higher chance of developing this infection.
What are the symptoms?
The most common symptoms of toenail fungal infection are malodorous debris under the toenail, hardening of the infected toenail, discoloration of the toenail, falling off of the toenail, and distinct spots along the sides of the affected toenails.
There is a big distinction between the infection in fingernails and toenails since it is more difficult to treat infected toenails. The most prone area to be infected are the big and little toenails. In spite of this, the other toenails are still not safe as the infection can be transmitted to surrounding areas.
To correctly deal with the disease, it is important to know the risk factors associated with the disease like the following – wet and moist feet, abnormal PH of the skin and low immune system. with that said, individuals who are diagnosed with DM are highly at risk to develop the disease as they have weak immune system. Consequently, nearly all diabetics would have to take advantage of the services of a podiatrist as they have sensitive toenails.
How to Treat Toenail Fungus?
Once the fungal infection begins, it is important to have it assessed by a professional. The disease can be cured. on the other hand, the treatment process is slow. Fundamentally, there are two types of management options available. The first one is the topical cure that are usually applied to the surface of the nail. The second are medications taken through the person’s mouth.
Research studies proved that topical treatment for nail fungus works best in the early periods of a mild infection. Furthermore, a health care professional may perhaps prescribe ciclopirox which is an anti-fungal nail polish that is applied on the infected nails and surrounding skin. you can also find supplementary over-the-counter fungus treatments, although their effectiveness varies.
More often than not, people who are affected with the disease would choose to take the oral medications as they are more convenient. In addition, home or ‘natural’ remedies are still used by some. these remedies vary from apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil to ointment and mouthwash. However, these remedies are still under a series of medical tests and research to confirm their usefulness.
Is it possible to prevent toenail fungus? Since treating a toenail infection can be very complex, it is best to try to prevent the occurrence of the condition. Keep in mind the significance of wearing protective shoes or flip-flops when using public showers, pool and gyms. By doing so, you are protecting your feet from contracting hidden microbes and fungi. Also, as much as possible do not borrow other people’s socks or shoes especially if he has recognizable toenail fungus symptoms. Cut your toenails and wash your feet frequently. you should dry them comprehensively especially after taking a shower. if you believe that you are already developing toenail fungus, you should see your foot doctor right away, so he can give you the most appropriate treatment plan.
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