Nail Fungus Treatment And Its Prevention
Nail fungus is a fungal infection that infects the hyponichium. It is characterized by white or yellow spots on the cuticle and matrix, which spread to cover the whole of it if untreated. The condition normally affects the toe although fingers are also prone to infection. This infection is caused by Dermatophytes which are normally found in damp areas such as public gymnasiums and bathrooms.
The Dermatophytes enter the space between the plate and bed hence destroying the protein called keratin that protects it. Nail fungus treatment is complicated since the fungi embed themselves in the space underneath thus difficult to reach. Besides, the symptoms take a long period of up to a year or more to show up.
The condition can affect anybody no matter the level of hygiene. The risk factors include people with reduced immune systems due to diseases such as diabetes, leukaemia, and AIDS. Aging is also a major risk factor because of the reduced blood circulation in the body and the slow growth and thickening of the cuticle. Others include heavy sweating, over exposure of hands and toes to a wet environment, and wearing of tight and less ventilated shoes, as well as warm socks. The results are a dump environment favorable for the breeding of fungus.
Nail Fungus Treatment
The best approach in preventing and curing the fungi is to treat it as soon as the symptoms appear so that it does not spread to others. The infection is not highly contagious between people. However, the fungus is found almost anywhere.
Most pharmaceutical treatments are either systematic anti-fungal medications or topical solutions in the form of gels and creams which are readily available in the market. There are also homemade remedies though not universally accepted by all such as white vinegar solutions.
The effectiveness of these medications depends on the infected area. For instance, the treatment of the surface is somewhat easier than the white portion. The outer surface, for example, is very hard and no gel or cream applied on it will penetrate into the skin. Wear protective shoes and slippers while using public facilities such as locker rooms to minimize the chances of infection.
Balanced Diet & Hygiene
A properly balanced diet is essential in preventing and curing it. Daily intake of vitamin C will ensure that the immune system is strong enough to fight and prevent any infection. Studies have shown that compromised immune systems or poor nutrition can lead to fungal nail infection.
Trimming nails regularly reduces the amount of fungi in them. Thorough drying of toes after a bath is recommended since fungi thrives in damp conditions. Avoiding the use of nail polish on the infected area will make sure that the fungus and moisture are not trapped underneath.
Basic personal hygiene practices such as using anti-fungal powder and sprays on the feet helps in preventing the infection, as well. Changing shoes and socks daily is also a good practice thus highly recommended. Sterilizing shared items such as nail cutter is important. Above all, nail fungus treatment will be successful if a doctor is seen at the first symptoms of infection.
Is Prevention Better Than Nail Fungus Treatments?
You must have heard the quote “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”. This statement holds true in any medical condition – whether it is something that affects the entire system or a disease infecting your skin. You have to take note that if you put efforts to get rid of the condition, there is no way you need to result to expensive medications in the future. For nail fungal infections, nail fungus treatments may no longer be needed if you have prevented the scenario at its onset.
Somehow, you have to know that you have a role to play if you want to get rid of nail fungus contaminations. You know where your foot steps on. You know where your hands are usually in contact with. By looking into every inch of the details of these scenarios, you will surely prevent nail fungus from bagging you.
Nail Fungus Prevention
There are daily practices which you need to bear in mind if you want to prevent nail fungus. It is sometimes part of common sense that these routines are to be remembered. You may not be mindful of these things anymore that are why we’re giving you the ways to prevent the occurrence.
If you are somehow bothered by itchiness on the areas of your toes and fingers, you may already be faced with the nail fungus infection. If this happens, you have to make sure that you keep the said areas clean before putting topical applications.
If you just came out of the shower or you have just finished washing your hands or feet, you have to make sure that you dry them immediately. Remember to put powder in both areas to aid in water absorption.
Public Place Practices
Doing things in public places may expose you to fungal infections. If you would want to swim on places exposed to a lot of individuals, make sure that you wear your own comfortable shower shoes or sandals. This will prevent you from being in direct contact to the fungal contamination.
Always consider wearing comfortable footwear. If you go for tight-fitting sandals or shoes, there is a great tendency that your feet may not be given the chance to breathe properly. When this happens, moisture is locked within causing the area to sweat a lot. This may lead to fungal infections if not acted upon immediately.
Nail Cutting and Cleaning
It is always important to maintain healthy and clean fingernails and toenails. While you practice on this aspect, you must always consider nail cutting and cleaning techniques that will not lead to injury. Any wounds accompanied during this procedure may lead to nail fungus infections as well.
The main responsibility you take before looking for nail fungus treatments is to practice all the facts mentioned above. Prevention is usually better than taking medications immediately. The former is usually associated with a bad habit that you are undertaking in your life. Make sure that you are keen enough to understand your role in having your nail fungus infections addressed.
Toenail Fungus Prevention Tips
Toenail fungus is highly contagious and can be very difficult to get rid of. One of the most effective ways to prevent toenail fungus is to stop it before it starts by practicing good hand and foot hygiene. Here are some tips to help prevent nail fungus and to keep it from coming back.
First and foremost, make sure to wash hands after handling an infected toenail.
As previously mentioned toenail fungus is highly contagious and can spread from nail to nail. Be sure to thoroughly wash your hands after having contact with an infected toenail to prevent it from spreading to other toenails or possibly to fingernails.
Keep your toenails clean, short, and free of moisture.
Toenail fungus tends to thrive in a dark and damp environment like the inside of sweaty shoes and socks and they feed on nail debris. Make sure to trim your toenails straight across and do not round the edges. Also make sure to file down rough or thickened areas. Lastly, be sure to thoroughly dry your feet, between the toes, after bathing or exposure to water.
Protect your feet, especially when barefoot.
Toenail fungus is resilient and can live for long periods of time. Try to avoid being barefoot in public places such as locker rooms, swimming pools, and shower stalls. Protect your feet!
Don’t ignore first signs of toenail fungus.
People often mistake toenail fungus as eczema, psoriasis, and other skin problems or simply ignore it, thinking it will go away on its own. Toenail fungus will not go away on its own and will only get worse. Know what toenail fungus and learn how to treat it. The sooner you treat it, the sooner it will go away.
Change socks daily.
Not only is it important to change socks daily with a clean, fresh pair, but it is also important to wear the right socks. Some cotton and wool socks cause your feet to stay damp and do not let enough air in or out. Try switching to a synthetic sock that wicks away moisture. This will help to prevent you from allowing any environments that allow fungus to grow.
Anti-fungal powders and sprays
These can help keep your feet dry during the day and prevent help to prevent toenail fungus.
Be careful when clipping toenails.
Try to avoid picking at or cutting the skin around your toenails. This can cause an infection or allow germs into your skin and under your toenails.
Cut down on sugar intake.
Some people believe that if you consume a lot of sugar, you are more susceptible to hosting fungi. Cut down on your sugar consumption and see if you notice less occurrences of toenail fungus.
Ingrown Toenail Prevention
Medically, an ingrown toenail is known as onychocryptosis, and it is one of the more common foot health issues podiatrists deal with. It is when the nail of the toe digs into the side going into the flesh of the toe. It usually happens with big toes, though it can occur on the others too.
It causes a great deal of pain, can even prevent a person from walking and therefore carrying out their normal daily routine. If it gets infected there are also potentially other serious complications that can occur if it is not treated, such as osteomyelitis, a rare but serious complication where the infection spreads to the bone itself.
Ingrown toenail prevention is particularly something diabetics and those with poor blood circulation should be aware of, because of their slow healing and being more prone to infection. As with most health issues ingrown toenail prevention is a lot about knowing the causes and avoiding them.
Ingrown Toenail Prevention Tips
Clip your nails carefully and treat them as toenails not finger nails! There should be no rounding of the nail, you should clip the nail straight across and the nail should be a little longer than the flesh of the toe, as this will stop the corners digging in. You can file the corners a little to prevent snagging on socks and so on. There are nail clippers designed specifically for cutting toenails that will cut them the correct way.
Wear Shoes That Fit Well
When your toes are being squeezed together it can cause the nails to distort. Women who wear high heels and have their toes squeezed together all the time should consider swapping to flats now and then! On the other hand it also as bad to wear shoes that are too wide so takes the time and spends the money on getting fitted.
Wash Your Feet and Keep Them Dry.
Avoid injuring the nails as this can cause them to distort in shape as they grow. Wear protective footwear if you are in area where there is risk to your feet.
Treat infections as this too can be a cause of nails distorting and can lead to an ingrown toenail.
Ingrown toenail prevention also involves choosing the right footwear when exercising. When your toes are moist you are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail because the skin is softer so the nail can more easily penetrate it. Choose a material that keeps the feet dry.
If you struggle to reach your feet for whatever reason when trying to cut the nails, consider using a nail salon that uses sterilized equipment, or see a chiropodist or podiatrist.
Sutapa Das is involved in healthcare market research since 2010. She is passionate about healthcare and loves to write on various health topics.