Toenail fungal infection or medically termed as Onychomycosis is one of the most common nail disorders. Onychomycosis is mainly caused by the fungus named Dermatophytes who grows and multiplies on the nail bed and gnaws the keratin of the nail. Almost half of the American population suffers from this kind of nail infection. The nails of the feet especially the nails of the toe and the little finger get infected by the fungi very easily. Fungi generally attack the nails of individuals who suffer from health disorders, poor immune system and irregular blood circulation. As a result people who are at the age of 60 or above, patients of leukemia or AIDS are prone to get affected by the fungal infection. Hence, children under the age of 18 are less likely to be infected by the disorder.
One of the main reasons of getting in contact with the infection is improper hygiene. We hardly take care of our nails that are exposed to the daily wear and tear. The fungi grow best in warm and moist conditions as a result the nails of the feet that are most of the time confined in closed shoes get infected with the fungus. People with the habit of swimming for long hours or athletes wearing sports shoes often tend to get in contact with the disease. Unclean and unkempt nails with splits are also vulnerable to the infection.
Precaution must be taken from the very initial stage of the infection in order to prevent the fungi to spread to other nails. If you notice that there is a gradual change in the color of the nail, there is an every possibility of your nail being infected by a fungus. The color of the infected toe might vary from yellow, brown to black. In some cases you might notice patches on the nail surface. An unattended infected nail will gradually become thick, brittle and flaky. If your nail starts emitting a foul smell then you must be sure that the infection is at a very advanced stage. If not the nail been treated with proper medication, the entire nail will be damaged leaving a permanent unsightly appearance to your feet.
To ensure healthy and fungus free nails you should follow proper preventive measures. Due to medication your nails might be apparently saved from fungal infection but you are required to continue with your nail care to prevent nail fungal infection in future.