A nail fungus infection occurs when fungi attack the nail or the nail bed which is the skin underneath the nail. Fungi can infect both fingernails and toenails but occurs more frequently in toenails because fungi thrive in warm, moist, dark places which make wearing shoes and socks and ideal habitat for fungi to thrive in. Nail fungus symptoms include a discoloration of the nail, usually a yellow or brown color, a thickening and hardening of the nail, brittleness, and an unpleasant odor. Left untreated it can become painful and you could even lose the nail. For people with diabetes or a weakened immune system a fungal infection can be dangerous and lead to other, more serious health complications.
Fungi thrive in warm, moist places and can spread from one person to another so it’s a good idea to wear sandals in places like public showers, pools, or locker rooms. It’s also a good idea to avoid sharing personal items like towels and nail clippers. If you suspect that you have a fungal infection you should visit a doctor for a proper diagnosis and to go over some treatment options.
In most cases nail fungus infections can be treated with topical solutions. You would apply the anti-fungal solution directly to the infected area a couple of times a day. It’s important to apply the treatment religiously and to continue treatment for some time after the fungus seems to have gone away to make sure that it is completely taken care of. If you stop treatment before getting all of the fungus it can quickly return. in more severe cases the nail may even be removed so that anti-fungals can be applied directly to the nail bed for more effective treatment.
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