Many people face the problem of nail fungus. It is easy to catch, but hard to get rid of. Read in my today's article how to prevent fungus, protect yourself from its spread, and how to treat an already affected nail.
Nail fungus is a fairly common disease that begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of the fingernail or toenail. If the fungus is not treated, then the infection penetrates deeper, causing discoloration of the nails, its thickening, as well as brittleness. But even if the treatment is successful, the nail fungus often comes back.
Nail fungus symptoms
Often the infection only affects one nail, but it can easily spread to several of your precious nails at once. At first, the process is usually painless. Nails may look thickened and discolored (most often greenish yellow). Often, nail fungus does not show any other symptoms. However, even these little things can look unsightly for your perfect manicure or pedicure. Sometimes the condition worsens. The nail may fall off, or become very soft and crumble. The nail can literally fall off in pieces. And the skin next to the nail can become inflamed or scaly. If the fungus is left untreated, the infection can eventually destroy the nail and nail bed and cause pain. If the toenail is injured, then there will be discomfort while walking or running.
Causes of nail fungus
You can easily pick up fungal infections while walking barefoot in the pool, in the locker room or in the shower of even a very prestigious fitness club, as well as when getting manicures and pedicures in inadequate sanitary conditions. Fungus thrives in warm, dark, damp environments, so showers or sweaty shoes are ideal places for fungus to thrive. That is why more often the fungus develops on the legs than on the hands, because the hands are in more contact with sunlight and air.
Who is at risk for fungal infections?
There are many different reasons for the spread of fungal nail infections. And while most of that can be prevented, some factors increase the likelihood of developing fungus. So, you are more likely to develop a fungal nail infection if:
- You have diabetes
- You suffer from circulatory disorders
- If you are over 65
- Love to wear artificial nails
- Swimming in a public pool
- Injured nail
- Have damage to the skin around the nail
- Your fingers or toes are wet for a long time
- You have a weak immune system
- Do you wear closed-toe shoes most of the time?
Nail fungus is more common in adults than children, and men are more prone to developing nail fungus than women. Probably this is somehow connected with the fact that we girls love beautiful open shoes and sandals, and some men even manage to wear socks under sandals even in summer :)
Also, if one of your family members often suffers from nail fungus, then most likely you will also become the owner of such a “gift”. Older people are at the highest risk of getting nail fungus because they have poorer circulation, nails grow more slowly, and thicken with age.
Nail fungus treatment
For a mild fungal nail infection, medical treatment is not always necessary, the main thing in this case is to pay special attention to foot hygiene in order to stop the spread or aggravation of an existing fungus. If you are worried about the appearance of the affected nail, or if you feel pain and discomfort, it makes sense to seek help from a doctor or pharmacist. Most often in such cases, doctors advise: Pills against the fungus. It's taken once or twice a day for a couple of months. Antifungal nail polishes. A special treatment coating is applied directly to the nails. The therapeutic effect is also achieved after a few months.
Sets for softening nails. A special paste is applied to the infected parts of the nail, and then the mass is removed with a special scraper. In some particularly severe cases, complete removal of the nail may be necessary. There is also laser treatment of the fungus, in which the disease that bothers you is destroyed by a high-energy laser. True, not all medical institutions carry out such a procedure, and the price is quite high.
Personally, in this case, I am for folk methods, thanks to which you can easily get rid of the fungus at home. My favorites in this matter: Lotions from tea and orange tree oils. I write about my love for tea tree oil in almost every article! :) It is a natural antiseptic with antifungal and antibacterial properties that make it relevant in the treatment of nail fungus. Orange tree oil is also effective, and it smells soooo good! :)
Soaking in a baking soda bath. Baking soda is not an antifungal, but it can stop it from spreading. How? Due to the fact that soda helps to create an alkaline environment - so hated by the fungus.
Also, effective in the fight against fungus is coconut oil. I also wrote about its wonderful properties earlier in my articles. Just apply the oil on the affected areas and wait for it to be absorbed.
How to prevent fungus
A couple of minor changes in your usual lifestyle can help you say goodbye to nail fungus for good. Take care of your nails, keep it clean and dry, and keep it short. You must also avoid damaging the skin around the nails.
- Use rubber gloves when cleaning the house or washing dishes.
- Don't skimp on antifungal sprays or powders
- Wash your hands after touching infected nails
- Dry your feet after showering with a hairdryer, especially between the toes
- Do a manicure or pedicure in trusted salons or with reliable masters (like me! :) )
- Wear socks to minimize foot wetness
- Do not walk barefoot in public places
- Stop using artificial nails
I hope my information was useful to you, and let the phrase "nail fungus" disturb you only in the form of annoying advertisements on TV! :)