Nail Fungus Basics
Do you have yellowish, cracked nails recently? Check with your doctor and most likely you have fungal infections.
Toenail fungus is generally accepted as one of the most familiar nail irregularity. It's characterized by the deformation, discoloration, and eventual damage of the infected toenail. The condition is known by a wide range of medical jargon, specifically, Onychomycosis, Tinea unguium, dermatophytic onychomycosis and ringworm of the nail. Toenail fungus is a significantly contagious condition and can quickly be passed from one individual to another individual.
The old people and those men and women with Diabetes mellitus and HIV are extremely vulnerable to this fungal infection. Its incidence has additionally been traced to shower stalls, locker rooms and restrooms, especially those in community places as well as other places that are not kept to a high standard of hygiene.
In fact, there are 4 different types of nail fungus.
- Candida Onychomycosis – This is another type of the fungal infection which is extremely prevalent. It is normally associated to habitual and extended soaking in water of the feet.
- Distal Subungual Onychomycosis – This type of the toenail fungus could as well be regarded as the most widely known type of the fungal disease. It's attributed to the pathogenic microorganism known as Trichophyton rubrum. It is an exceptionally serious disease as it causes damage to the tainted toenail and significant trauma to the keratin by tunneling into the nail bed and infection the nail plate.
- White Superficial Onychomycosis – This fungal problem is characterized by the presence of what is known in medical parlance as "white islands" on the infected toenails. This disorder is brought on by the continued degradation and erosion of the superficial external layer as a result of its contact with the fungus. This form of the fungal infection only makes up a small fraction of the reported events of toenail fungus. While it may not be as common as the other types of the fungal disease having an effect on the toenails, it is viewed as a major health issue as it is at times mistaken for another health issue referred to as keratin granulation.
- Proximal Subungal Onchomycosis – This form of the fungal infection is a form of Tinea unguium and it is usually associated to poor immunity system. The fungus that is responsible for the toenail infection at first penetrates the proximal nail fold and reaches the nail plate and the nail bed.
Some people don't think fungal infections on the nails are worth treating. There are serious complications if left untreated. Nail fungus can be accompanied by discomfort and can lead to irreversible damage to the infected toenail. The fungal disease can likewise be a precursor of other severe infections that can affect other parts of the body. Such problems are often as a result of poor immune system, a condition that may be linked to the consumption of particular medicines, diabetes and HIV.
Nail fungus has the potential to become a significant medical condition for individuals who are suffering from diabetes mellitus, AIDS and leukemia. A weak immune system can lead to serious problems to individuals with toenail fungus while recipients of organ transplants are dealing with the biggest risk of developing serious complications.
The medical practitioner will generally conduct physical evaluation of the tainted toenail first. A small sample may be taken by scraping some particles from underneath the affected toenail for lab testing. Specifically, the debris extracted from the tainted toenail will be examined under the microscope or be subjected to culture to identify the pathogenic microorganism. There are other medical conditions which can resemble the signs of toenail fungus. Thus, it is vital that such conditions are isolated for the finding the proper course of treatment.
There are a few healthy practices that must be practiced to reduce the chances of developing toenail fungus. It is important that you follow these preventive steps not only to prevent the fungal infection but to reduce its recurrence also.
- Keep your toenails clean, dry and short.
- Avoid wearing artificial-fiber socks. Wear breathable cotton socks instead.
- Use antifungal powder or spray.
- You should not walk with your barefoot in public bath rooms, locker rooms and other public areas.
- Pay a visit to reputable pedicure salons.
- Regularly clean your hands, especially after touching the tainted toenail
Treatment of toenail fungus can be a difficult undertaking and the treatment regimen would generally just take months to complete. The courses of treatment can be divided into 2 primary categories – Pharmacological or medical procedures and natural therapy or home treatments.
Pharmacological treatments call for the utilization of anti-fungal medicines, systemic and topical preparations in treating the fungal infection. The duration of the therapy is essentially hinged on the severity of the condition and the time that is required to shed off the tainted nail and make space for a new nail to form. The treatment regimen may run as much as 12 months or even more in order to attain a complete remedy.
On the other hand, the effectiveness of natural treatment and home treatments for toenail fungus is grounded on the appropriate application of these treatments. Such non-standard treatments can be used to efficiently manage and remove toenail fungus without the unfavorable side effects which are often observed in pharmacological remedies.