Nail fungus infection is a common infection that is known to doctors by the medical name onychomycosis. This type of fungal infection can affect both the fingernails and toenails, but it is more prevalent on the toenails. Fungal nail infections may cause different changes in the infected nail, and these include thickened and rough nails; nails turning to white, brown, or yellow; the nail separating from the nail bed; pain and tenderness in the affected area; having white or yellow spots or streaks located underneath the tips of the nails; and having crumbly and brittle nail edges.
6Causes of Nail Fungus Infection
Nail fungal problems can be caused by a fungus that spreads underneath the nails right into the nailbeds. Various types of fungi can affect the nails which include dermatophytes, and also yeasts and molds. The fungus may gain entry through a broken or injured nail, or it may spread from the nail to the surrounding skin like in the case of an athlete’s foot. Fungal infections may be picked up by walking barefoot in public places like swimming pools, public lockers and showers, and gyms. Fungus grows in a warm and moist environment, and a public area with such conditions can be an ideal environment for fungus to spread from one person to another.
Various factors can make you at risk of developing a nail fungus infection. Such factors include having diabetes, having circulation problems, having immune system problems, being older than 60 years old, wearing closed-toe shoes with poor ventilation and no absorption capability, walking and being exposed to a humid or moist environment, and having moist skin consistently because of excessive sweating. People who are involved in many sporting activities like running may have increased risks of acquiring toenail fungal infections because of the damage to the nails, which provides the chance for infections to get under one’s toenails. Wearing running shoes all too often can provide an ideal setting for fungus to grow. People whose work requires their hands to be wet most of the time are at risk of developing fungus infections on their fingernails.
The doctor confirms the diagnosis by way of a nail clipping or nail scraping and sending the specimen to a laboratory for resting. This helps to identify the type of fungus that causes the infection, and this guides the treatment.
Treating toenail fungus infections early can prevent the damage or loss of a nail, and treatment at any stage may lessen the discomfort and pain and may also improve how the nails look. Fungal nail infections may be difficult to treat, and they have the tendency to recur anytime. Fingernail fungus infections can be treated faster than toenail fungus infections. The following are some of the options for nail fungus treatment.