Nail fungus is made up of tiny organisms that can infect fingernails and toenails. Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the finger or toe nails which is very difficult to cure. These fungal infections usually cause discoloration, thickening and often softening of the nails. Nail fungus is a difficult condition to treat and may often cause permanent damage to the nails and possibly nail loss. Infections of nail fungus account for about half of all nail disorders. These infections usually develop on nails continually exposed to warm, moist environments, such as sweaty shoes or shower floors. Nail fungus isn’t the same as athlete’s foot, which primarily affects the skin of the feet, but at times the two may coexist and can be caused by the same type of fungus. More than 35 million people in the United States get this fungus. The fungus lives underneath the nail. The nail provides a safe place for the fungus and protects it while it grows, since fungus like dark and damp places. The condition usually begins towards the far end of the nail and may start with patches of white or yellow discoloration. If the condition is left untreated, it will proceed to the base of the nail. It will attack the nail root (matrix) and cause the nail to grow very thick and deformed.
Nail polish and plastic or acrylic nails can trap moisture and fungi. Fungi are microscopic organisms that don’t need sunlight to survive. Some fungi have beneficial uses, while others cause illness and infection. Fungal infections are not commonly contagious nor do they spread easily between people. Sometimes trauma or damage to a nail predisposes to the development of onychomycosis. Nail fungal infection if one or more of your nails. Symptoms including is Yellow, green, brown or black in color, caused by debris building up under your nail ansd Flat or dull, having lost luster and shine. Distorted in shape and brittle, crumbly or ragged Nail fungus infections are caused by dermatophyte fungi (tinea unguium), yeasts such as Candida albicans, and non-dermatophyte molds. Nail Fungus risk factors that may increase the development of nail fungus include humidity, heat, trauma, diabetes mellitus, and underlying tinea pedis (athlete’s foot). Nail fungus is more than a cosmetic problem. It can be painful and interfere with daily activities such as walking, playing sports, writing, typing, and other activities that require manipulating small objects or repetitive finger use. An international study conducted by dermatologists found that nail fungus had a significant impact on the quality of life of people with the disease. The main problems identified were embarrassment, functional problems at work, reduction in social activities, fears of spreading the disease to others, and pain.
The best treatment of course is prevention. Keep your nails clean and dry. Wear shoes and socks that provide good ventilation. Tight shoes that trap perspiration create a perfect environment for fungi to grow and multiply. Wearing open-toed shoes, or shoes that provide good ventilation with socks that wick moisture away from your feet will help keep your feet dry. Do not bite your nails or try to dig out ingrown toenails. Doing either of these things puts you at risk for an infection. One most effective treatments is called Leucatin, an all-natural solution that can eliminate fungal infection and prevent recurrence. To treat nail fungus an oral antifungal medication, such as Itraconazole (Sporanox) ,Fluconazole (Diflucan) and Terbinafine (Lamisil). These medications help a new nail grow free of infection, slowly replacing the infected portion of your nail. You typically take these medications for six to 12 weeks but won’t see the end result of treatment until the nail grows back completely. In some cases, surgical treatment of nail fungus may be necessary. Temporary removal of part of an infected nail may reduce pain and allow topical antifungal agents to be applied directly to the underlying tissue.