Nail fungus infections or onychomycosis are common, and they affect both fingernails and toenails. However, toenail infections are more prevalent than fingernail infections. Nail fungus causes a lot of changes to the nails, which include the following: the nail turning yellowish or brownish; nail lifting off the nail bed; pain and tenderness in the area; nail becoming thick, rough, and distorted; and the nail edges becoming crumbly and brittle.
Nail fungus infections are caused by the growth and spread of the fungus from the nails to the nail beds. Different types of fungi can infect various nails, and these include dermatophytes and at times yeasts and molds. The cracks and nail injuries can provide entry for fungus. The fungus may also spread to one’s nails starting from an infection on the surrounding skin like an athlete’s foot.
There are various factors that can make anyone more at risk of incurring a nail fungus infection. These may include: having diabetes, circulation problems, being older than 60 years old, circulation-related diseases, working or frequenting in a warm and moist environment, wearing closed-toes footwear for a prolonged period, having moist skin most of the time due to excessive sweating. People who always have their hands wet such as cleaners and cooks are more at risk of incurring nail infections.
Diagnosis can be done by a doctor by scraping or clipping the infected nail and submitting the specimen to a laboratory for pathological testing. Doing so will also determine the type of fungus that causes the infection, and this will serve as a treatment guide.
Treating nail infections early will prevent the damage and loss of the infected nail. It also prevents the pain and discomfort that you may experience when it gets worse. The natural appearance of the nails is also preserved. However, nail infections are difficult to treat, and they can recur. The following are some of your regular options for treating nail fungus infections: oral antifungal medicines, topical antifungal medications, topical treatments, laser treatment, and nail removal. The most widespread and severe infections often require oral antifungal medicines. These include the following tablets: itraconazole, terbinafine, and fluconazole. Treatments usually last for 6 weeks up to 12 months or beyond. Oral medications are associated with adverse effects, just like the other types of nail fungus treatment options.
5Alternative Treatment and Home Remedy: Betel Leaves
It’s because of these side effects that people who suffer from the early stages of a nail fungal infection tend to use home remedies which include several kitchen ingredients and substances, herbal medication, plants, and even seeds. These are more natural, affordable, and mostly available.