Who are the culprits of nail/toenail fungus infection ?
The great majority of superficial fungal infections of nails and toenails are caused by dermatophytes – which are a large group of superficial fungi commonly known to be the cause of various skin , hair , nail and other superficial fungal infections.
Among superficial fungal infections, by far the most difficult to cure is toenail onychomycosis.
In North America, the incidence of onychomycosis is up to 14% , with fungal infection responsible for 50% of all nail disease.
With millions of dollars being spent annually on oral and topical prescriptions, laser treatments, over-the-counter products, and home remedies, it is obvious that people are still bothered by their fungal toenail infections and are determined to get rid of them.
Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. To successfully cure toenail onychomycosis requires long treatment duration that may extend to a full year.
What Are the Risk Factors for Toenail Onychomycosis?
The most prevalent predisposing risk factor for developing onychomycosis is advanced age, which is reported to be 18.2% in patients 60–79 years of age, compared to 0.7% in patients younger than 19 years of age.
Further, men are up to three times more likely to have onychomycosis than women.
Other risk factors include diabetes and conditions contributing to poor peripheral circulation . In fact, onychomycosis may represent an important predictor for the development of diabetic foot syndrome and foot ulcers
What are the symptoms of nail fungus infections?
Nails that are infected with fungus typically are:
- darker or yellowish in color
There may be also be:
- scaling under the nail – hyperkeratosis
- yellow or white streaking – lateral onychomycosis
- yellow spots at the bottom of the nail – proximal onychomycosis
- infected nails may separate from the nail bed – onycholysis
Nail fungal infections can result in pain in the toes or fingertips, and they may even emit a foul odor.
Another symptom associated with nail fungus infections are fungus-free skin lesions called dermatophytids.
These may appear like rashes or itchiness in an area of the body that is not infected with the fungus – much like an allergic reaction.
Nail fungus infection treatments
Treating nail fungus infections can be a long and expensive process. There are oral antifungal medications, topical ointments, and alternative therapies. Over the counter creams and ointments are available, but they have not proved very effective.
one may also resolve to home made remedies to rid of nail fungus infections such as :
- Apple cider oil
- tea tree vinegar
- Coconut oil
And more , and although they have proven at times to be of help , most cases the fungal infection was not eliminated or even subsided with their prolonged use.
Prevention of nail fungus infections
Best way to prevent these topical fungal infections from occurring would be first and foremost – keeping of good hygiene – Some suggestions include:
- Trimming nails on time and keeping them dry, and clean.
- Wearing good quality socks which are able to “breathe”, usually synthetic.
- Using antifungal powders products as a preventative measure.
- Refraining from biting nails.
- Wearing shoes or sandals in public places , joined showers and pools.
- Be sure that your manicure or pedicure salon abides be health and safety laws .
- Washing hands after touching infected nails.
- Try to avoid shearing shoes
All in all , I wish you healthy nails .
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