Nail fungus is caused by very small organisms infecting one's finger and toe nails. Typically, nails are very sturdy and can easily protect them against any kind of infections. They guard you like a strong fence blocking out all sorts of fungi and infections. However, in the case that a fungus gets through and is able to infect the nails, the resistant power of the nails works against the infected individual and it gets very hard to handle the infection.
The nail turns out to be a very secure site for the fungus to develop and grow causing the infection to spread further, which is why it's really difficult to get to the infected area and cure the infection. Nail fungus requires warm and moist environments to grow and spread. Therefore the possibility of nail fungus infecting the toenails is quiet high because the ideal conditions for nail fungus to grow, which are warm and moist surroundings, are provided by the use of shoes and socks.
Nail fungus is very much different from the athlete's foot also known as tinea pedis, which mainly infects the skin of the feet, but some times they are found to exist together and can be induced by the same sort of fungus.
In the initial stages of infection, a whitish or a yellowish spot can be seen around the tip of your toe or finger nail. Your nail gets discolored, becomes thick and degenerate around the edges as the infection spreads further leading to an ugly and possibly agonizing problem. The fungus infection may also begin form the base and spread to the edges of the nail causing a red spot and one feels itchy. As the infection spreads through the nail, the color of the nail changes to yellow-green or yellow-brown and white spots may also appear in some cases. The nail thickens causing pain.
Nail fungus can be infectious and flourish especially in places such as shower booths, locker rooms and baths. It may also spread through use of nail filers and cutters. The fungus can also be passed on from one nail to another.
What you can do to reduce the possibility of getting a nail fungus infection:
One should wash and clean hands on a regular basis. This will prevent one from getting infected. Also washing one's feet and drying them out regularly along with wearing clean and dry socks and shoes will assist in keeping off the nail fungus.
It is very hard to cure a infection caused by nail fungus and there are good chances of it reoccurring. But many medications are available in the market that can help you to clear up the infection.
One should wash and clean hands on a regular basis. This will prevent one from getting the infection. Also washing one's feet and drying them out regularly along with wearing clean and dry socks and shoes will assist in keeping off the nail fungus.