What is a toenail fungal infection? Toenail fungus is a widespread infection that mostly affects the toenails more than fingernails. It also affects the fingernails although less commonly. Another name for this infection is onychomycosis. Toenail fungus infections occur when fungus gets in through that space between the nail and nail bed.
Is It Common?
Toenail fungus is quite a common condition, especially when people become older. According to medical experts, onychomycosis occurs in 1 out of 10 people. It increases to 1 out of 2 for people who are 70 years old.
What causes it?
More than one type of fungus may cause a nail fungal infection. The most common of these is a group known as dermatophytes. These are fungal microorganisms that feed off keratin found in your nails and skin. A fungal infection may also be caused by yeast and molds.
What are common ways to become infected?
There are various ways in which you may incur a nail fungal infection. Fungi usually flourish in a warm and moist environment. This is why walking barefoot in damp places with many people often bring you this infection. People who have chronic conditions may also be more prone to the infection. These include diabetes or a blood circulation disorder.
What are its symptoms?
Nail fungus may alter the appearance of the nails in several ways which include a change in color with the nail becoming yellow, white, or green, the nail becoming cloudy and chalky, it may also become thicker, misshapen, and difficult to trim. The infected nail may also separate from the nail bed. This may cause pain and smell bad as well.
What are some treatments?
Toenail fungus can be a challenge to treat. The most effective nail fungus treatment is the prescription-based oral antifungal. This has to be taken for several months. An alternative would be the prescription-based topical antifungal.
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