Nail fungus infections are common infections that affect both the fingernails and toenails. This type of infection can cause the nail to change in color. It can also become thicker and is more likely to crack and break off. Nail fungal infections take place on the toenails more than the fingernails. The medical name for this infection is onychomycosis. Nail fungus infection may affect one or more nails, and it occurs more in toenails than in fingernails.
Symptoms of Nail Fungus Infection
There are many ways for you to know if your nails have been infected. First, the nail is thickened. It also undergoes a whitish or brownish discoloration. Another thing is that the nail becomes crumbly, brittle, and ragged on the edges. Its shape may also become distorted. The infected nail may turn dark due to the debris building up under the nail. When the infection worsens, a foul smell may be emitted by the nail.
Causes of Nail Fungus Infection
Fungal nail infections are caused by different fungal microorganisms like fungi. The most common of these are dermatophytes, but molds and yeasts may also cause infections. Nail fungus infections may occur in anyone at any age, but it occurs more among older adults. When the nail starts to age, it can become brittle and dry. These fungi enter the nails through cracks on them. Other factors like reduced blood circulation toward the feet and a weakened immune system may also contribute to its spread. A toenail fungus infection may start as an athlete’s foot, and this may spread from one nail to another. You may get it from an infected person or when you touch an infected surface.
Risk Factors of Nail Fungus Infection
Several factors can enhance the risk of getting infected with toenail fungus. These include advanced age, reduced blood flow to the toes, more exposure to fungi, too much sweating, history of athlete’s foot, having a minor skin injury or conditions like psoriasis and eczema, minor nail injury, having diabetes, circulation issues, and a weakened immune system, and walking barefoot in areas that are often moist and warm like public shower rooms, gyms, and swimming pools.
Possible Complications of Nail Fungus Infection
When the nail fungal infection gets worse and left untreated, the infected nail can be painful, and sometimes it may even give off a foul smell. This may result in more serious medical conditions that can spread beyond your feet particularly when you have a suppressed immune system due to diabetes, medications you are taking, and other conditions. Diabetics need to see a doctor if they suspect themselves of having toenail fungal infections.
Treatments of Nail Fungus Infection
Nail fungus treatment usually starts with the doctor trimming the infected nail up to the point where your nail attaches to the nail bed. When the infection is mild, a topical solution may be prescribed by the doctor that can be applied like regular nail polish. Some of the FDA-approved topical treatments are Amorolfine, Ciclopirox, Efinaconazole, and Tavaborole. More aggressive treatment can be given in the form of oral antifungals, which are known to have a higher efficacy rate. The FDA- approved medications that doctors often prescribe are Fluconazole, Griseofulvin, Itraconazole, and Terbinafine.
Combination therapy may also be prescribed by the doctor. It is known to be more effective than following just an individual treatment. When the infection becomes worse, the doctor may advise having the entire nail taken out. This can be done through a surgical or nonsurgical procedure.
1Home Remedies Like Bone Broth
Some people resort to home remedies to avoid the side effects of taking prescribed medications. Some several alternative remedies and practices can be done to help get rid of the toenail fungus. One of these is changing your diet. One of the best ways to do this is to get rid of sugar in your diet, along with consuming bone broth and collagen-rich food items. The amino acids that are found in bone broth and collagen can help heal your gut. Studies have revealed that bone broth can help restore one’s gut lining and provide intestinal health support. Because of its benefits to gut health, it is more likely for the person to have an infection.
Bone broth has several other health benefits. It contains amino acids like glutamine, arginine, and cysteine, which are known to boost one’s immune system. It also helps fight off upper respiratory infections by reducing inflammation, clearing the body from mucus, and opening the air pathways.
Bone broth if it is made from vegetables can add electrolytes and carbohydrates to the body. Studies have revealed that drinking bone broth can rehydrate the body better than water because of its electrolyte content.
The amino acids found in bone broth can also help in stimulating muscle protein synthesis, which is crucial for the growth, repair, and maintenance of the body’s skeletal muscle groups. Some people may ignore the fact that bone broth is a warm and soothing drink that is easy to prepare and yet so full of flavor. This can make a great daily fix. It can work as a more affordable whole food supplement. Drinking bone broth is an amazing way to enjoy a concentrated amount of various nutrients such as collagen, chondroitin sulfate, gelatin, hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine, and different amino acids. This is more affordable and enjoyable than consuming a number of supplements and protein powders that can be expensive. The slow cooking process that it goes through allows all these nutrients to stay in place compared to exposing the same ingredients to high heat which is common among commercially-produced supplements. Bone broth is also helpful to maintain joint health. This is due to the glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate found in the broth. These can stimulate new collagen growth which will help repair damaged joints. Pro-cartilage amino acids known as glycine and proline also have inflammatory effects which can be beneficial to those who suffer from arthritis. The broth contains hyaluronic acid and gelatin that help promote shiny hair, healthy and strong nails, and wrinkle-free skin.