Candida Infection of the Nail Plate – What is Candida?

What is the nail plate?

The nail plate is the fingernail and is made of translucent keratin. Blood vessels underneath the nail plate give the nail the pinkish color. The nail plate is anchored to the nail bed with tiny grooves underneath the nail surface.

What is Candida Infection?

Often more commonly referred to as a yeast infection; Candida is often the cause of many chronic health disorders in people today.

When we hear the term yeast infection, we often think of a vaginal yeast infection, however, both men and women can have a yeast infection of the nails too.

How did I get Candida Infection?

Typically caused by a fungal skin infection, nail Candida infections are more common than you think. This type of infection can be caused by damage to the nail, nail biting, having a health condition such as diabetes or psoriasis, having a weakened immune system, poor general health, living in a warm and humid climate and smoking.

How can I treat it?

The two main sources of treatment are oral medications and antifungal nail paints or lacquers. Taking an antifungal medication orally allows the treatment to attack the fungus through the bloodstream. Oral medications usually need to be taken for several months and can have serious side effects. Discontinuing the medication early may result in the infection returning.

Antifungal paint is sometimes just as effective as oral medications. Antifungal paints are usually applied once or twice a day for up to 12 months to be effective, but sometimes it can be difficult to reach the full extent of the infection with this treatment.

Prevention

Avoid cutting your nails too short and try not to bite them regularly. Keep your feet and hands clean, but be sure to keep them dry, especially after washing them. Use talc and other antifungal or antibacterial foot powders to reduce moisture in shoes and socks. Make sure your socks and shoes can breathe properly and are comfortable and not too tight. Change your socks regularly if necessary and avoid walking around barefoot in public swimming pools, locker rooms and showers if at all possible.

Common sense is the biggest key factor to nail fungus prevention. Avoid coming into contact with possible infected persons or places and avoid excessive moisture to the feet and hands. Be aware of your conditions and treat daily as necessary by following the above practices.

If you can avoid it, don’t keep your nails painted as the paint does not allow the nail to breathe. If you choose to go to a professional to have your nails manicured, bring your own manicure tools, which you should be disinfecting regularly.

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