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Nail Fungus - The Causes, Symptoms, Treatments And Preventions

Apr 13, 2008
If you notice some white spots on your nails with progressive thickening and frequent itching, and you guessed that some kind of bacteria invaded your fingers or toes, you are almost right. You are possibly infected by the nail fungus.

What is Nail Fungus?

Nail fungus, or onychomycosis, is a kind of finger and toenail infection. This type of fungus comes from the bacteria called dermatophyte contained in yeasts and molds, which is also the source of such skin infections as athlete's foot, jock itch, tinea capitis, and ringworm. Nail fungus infection is to blame for half of all nail disorders and millions of Americans today suffer from it.

Causes of Nail Fungus

Mostly adults and persons with diabetes or leukemia are susceptible to nail fungal infection due to the waning of the immune system, blood circulation problems, and aging. Nail fungus are naturally anaerobic. Meaning, they live in places where there is low oxygen supply, and that is why the toenails is its favorite habitat

Other than these, there are several more factors that cause the development of this disease. Regular exposure to chemicals and water is one, but the most common is heavy perspiration and lack of hygiene. Keeping your feet confined in your shoes often without proper care may cause the bacteria to grow.

Symptoms of Nail fungus

The signs that a person has acquired nail fungi infection includes: thick, brittle nails with white, green, or yellow discoloration, an obvious crumbling of edges, and gradual detachment of the nail from its plate. It is accompanied by pain, redness, swelling, and worse, a foul odor.

Treatments of Nail Fungus

For starters, doctors normally prescribe topical and oral remedies like Lamisil, Tinactin, Penlac, and the like. There are also homemade cures that specialists support. One is the vinegar method. You soak the infected area in vinegar for 15-20 minutes twice per day. This may take a couple of weeks or until the bacteria dies. The acid content of vinegar slowly kills the bacteria and prevents it from reproducing.

Prevention of Nail Fungus

However, prevention is still better than cure. A few effective means may help lessen the threat of acquiring nail fungal disease, here's what you can do:

1. Always clean-cut your nails.

2. Avoid contact with individuals who have nail fungal infection.

3. Avoid wearing nail polish and artificial nails too often. If use of these is necessary, make sure to dry-clean your toes before applying them.

4. Sanitize the instruments you use on your nails. If you are a fan of pedicures and manicures by a salon, make sure they are sterilized before they use it on you.

5. Apply foot powder on your feet before wearing shoes.

6. Wear the appropriate socks. Choose the ones that don't induce perspiration.

7. As much as possible, wear slippers in public pools.

As our human body is always a vacant lot for various breeds of good and bad bacteria, we should always take precautions. Fungi not only take residence in nails, they also feed on dead tissues of the scalp and skin. Proper hygiene is always the best defense against these harmful microscopic monsters. A clean body inside and out can save us a great deal.
About the Author
For more information, kindly visit Toenail Fungus. Must read: The Science of Nail Fungus Infection and How to Treat Fingernail Fungus Infection. http://www.toe-nails-fungus.com
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