Nail fungus is a common problem which can affect anyone without any previous known cause. Nail fungus is termed as onychomycosis in medical terminology. A fungus can infect or grow on any part of the body, but the nail is the most commonly affected part of the body being susceptible to fungus growth because of certain factors. Among nails of hands and feet, common is toenail fungus. The fungus grows well in areas which are kept moist and warm.
Talking about toenail fungus, it is common because mostly feet are covered with socks and then by shoes which let them stay moist and warm throughout the day. It provides a favourable environment for the fungus to grow first in the skin and then penetrate the nails causing fungal nail infection. If not treated timely and properly fungal nail infection can become severe leading to undesirable complications.
Types of Nail Fungus
Fungal nail infection is categorized on the basis of the affected part of the nail. Following are the common types of nail fungus.
Distal Subungual onychomycosis: in this type of nail fungus the end of the nail (end of nail bed) is affected first which further spreads in the whole nail causing it to become yellow. It is the most common type of fungal nail infection. In more severe cases nail becomes separate from the skin.
White Superficial Onychomycosis: in this type of fungal nail infection top layer of the nail gets infected, and there are minimal chances of nail separation from the skin.
Proximal Subungual Onychomycosis: it is common in immunocompromised patients and affects the nail folds first then spreading through the whole nail causing it to separate from the skin if not treated.
Causative Factors for Nail Fungus
As already said nail fungus is not an uncommon problem. There are some factors which put the nail at risk of being affected by nail fungus. You must know such factors so you can prevent fungal nail infection. These include; using artificial nails, nail injury left untreated, skin injury around the nail, moist finger or toes is the most common cause for toenail fungus, immune compression, wearing closed shoes or boots for long periods.
Symptoms of Fungal Nail Infection
Nail fungus does not have acute onset which means that symptoms take time to experience, but some of the initial symptoms can lead to the diagnosis. One can experience any of the following symptoms.
- Thickened or discoloured affected nail (yellow or white discolouration)
- Brittle or crumble nail appearance.
- The dark colour at any part of the nail due to debris accumulation.
- Some nail fungus smells bad.
If you notice any such change in your nail, you must immediately start nail fungus treatment.
Fungal Nail Infection Treatment
The first concern after knowing that you are affected by nail fungus is how to get rid of nail fungus. Toenail fungus is a cause of concern because for working people it might get difficult to treat as you have to use open shoes which can be a feeling of embarrassment for some people. We are going to write some of the methods for nail fungus cure.
Home Remedied for Nail Fungus
Many people are afraid to use medical treatments because of the harmful effects of medicines. So, we are going to narrate some of the best natural nail fungus treatment options which you can use for resolving your nail fungus or as toenail fungus treatment.
Baking Soda: it has antifungal properties being confirmed by various studies. It the most effective toenail fungus treatment because it directly kills the species causing it. You can use the baking soda and water paste and apply it on the affected nail. Alternatively, you can soak the affected part in a bucket of water and adding some amount of baking soda.
Tea tree oil: it is also the most commonly used and effective toenail fungus treatment. The oil has excellent anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties. Apply tea tree oil twice on the affected part, and you’ll get complete resolution.
Olive Leaf Extract: it also has potential anti-fungal, anti-microbial and immune boosting properties because of its active substance Oleuropein. You can use capsules of olive leaf extract, or you can also apply the extract directly on the nail affected. It is the best cure for nail fungus effectively used as toenail fungus treatment.
Vinegar: we all know the use of vinegar in various disorders because of its strong anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown vinegar to be highly effective for natural nail fungus treatment. You can use vinegar for soaking the affected part in a mixture of one part of vinegar and two parts of water.
Garlic: used in every home for seasoning foods, it also has strong anti-fungal properties which makes it the best fungal nail treatment. It is used for toenail fungus treatment because it effectively kills the strains of fungus affecting toenail. You can apply chopped garlic on the affected nail and leave for 20-30 minutes. Doing this daily for a few days can help in getting rid of a fungal infection.
Doctors prescribe anti-fungal nail treatment for fungal nail infection. They first assess the severity and spread of the nail fungus, and the prescribe oral and topical anti-fungal agents. The treatment is usually given for two weeks to months depending on the severity of the fungal infection. Commonly prescribed anti-fungal compounds are Terbinafine, Itraconazole, fluconazole, and Griseofulvin.
In the end, prevention is the only best cure for any type of fungal infection. You must maintain good hygiene of your nails. Keep your nails trim and clean. If you encounter any injury try to treat it immediately without delaying and ending up in superimposed fungal and bacterial infection. Keep your toenails well dry and if you wear closed shoes for longer periods, try not to let them stay moist. Avoid cheap cosmetics for nails. If still infected by fungal infection treat it as soon as possible by going throughout the article and picking any of the treatment options.