Friday, February 21, 2014

Common Problems We Don't Talk About: Toenail Fungus and How to Get Rid of It

For some reason, people are really embarrassed to talk about toenail fungus. This condition is common, especially for those over 60 years, yet it continues to be off limits in general conversation. It is rare to hear anyone swapping remedy stories about toenail fungus, which leaves many people unsure how to treat it.


What Exactly Is Toenail Fungus?

Toenail fungus, officially known as onychomycosis, is not dangerous, except perhaps to your self-esteem or your career as a foot model; it can make your toenails look pretty nasty though. Fungus is not bacterial and cannot be killed by antibiotics.

Where does it come from?

Toenail fungus occurs when your nail is invaded by a dermatophyte. Dermatophyte infections include hookworm, athlete’s foot and also jock itch. If you suffer from fungal toenail infection you are very likely to have athlete’s food too. The most common way to pick up this fungus is by swimming in pools and lakes and also by having damp feet, caused by hot and sweaty feet in enclosed shoes

What does it Look Like?

Toenail fungus is easy to spot. The nail will be thicker and will be yellow or white in colour. It isn’t usually painful but you will notice that the infected nail becomes very brittle. If you have red swelling around the nail you probably have a secondary infection known as paronychia. This condition is painful. The most common reason for dealing with fungal toenails is to prevent secondary bacterial infections like paronychia. Toenail fungus is easily diagnosed by its appearance.

What is the Remedy?

While treatment of toenail fungus is not essential, most people will treat it because it looks unsightly and creates the risk of a secondary infection. It is very important for people with diabetes to seek treatment. The good news is that modern fungal treatment works quickly and well.

Prevention is better than Cure

It is far better to prevent toenail fungus than to have to treat it. While this is not always possible, there are definite steps you can take to help lessen the risk of toenail fungus. Good foot hygiene is the first step. Keep your feet clean by washing them while showering or bathing, or by soaking them in a cleansing solution in a bucket of water. Always dry feet well particularly between the toes. If you develop athlete’s food, most easily diagnosed by peeling skin between the toes, you should treat it immediately. This may stop the onset of a fungal toenail. If you wear closed in shoes a lot, wear absorbent socks or perhaps insert charcoal footpads into your shoes. These are highly absorbent and will draw any moisture away from your feet and help with odour. If you can, take your shoes off at regular intervals and let your feet breathe. If you have diabetes you are at risk of developing toenail fungus. Getting control of your blood sugar levels should help.

1 comment:

  1. My niece has it maybe 2 years back. The dermatologists prescribed medicines and antifungal cream - the fungus went away after maybe a year. But then, aside from medicines, diet should be taken care of as there's certain foods that triggers the growth.