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Nail Fungus - Prevention Is Better Than Cure

May 26, 2008
"Prevention is better than cure". We've known this cliché since time immemorial but it holds quite true for anyone particularly for those experiencing the hassles of having nail fungal infection. It might be too late for them to realize that prevention of this won't cost much than dry finger and toenails.

Nail Fungus Infection

You are still lucky that there are convenient remedies to save your pretty hands and feet. Suddenly you want to get even for the damage done by simply asking what it is all about. Nail fungal infection is scientifically known as onychomycosis. This occurs when the bacterium dermatophyte or tinea unguium penetrates one or more of your nails.

Dermatophyte is also the mother of skin abnormalities like ringworm, jock itch, psoriasis, and athlete's foot. It is found in yeasts and molds. It is anaerobic in nature. It means that they grow in places with less oxygen supply.

Onychomycosis is characterized by unpleasant odor, reddening and swelling of the point of infection, and irritation, while the nails thicken and become brittle. In the process, the nail detaches from the nail bed.

5 Different Classifications of Nail Fungus

There are basically 5 different classifications of onychomycosis:

1. The Distal Subungual Onychomycosis (infection of the nailbed);
2. White Superficial Onychomycosis (formation of "white islands" on the outer layers of the nail bed);
3. Proximal Subungual Onychomycosis (infection of the proximal nail fold);
4. Candidal Onychomycosis (invasion of bacterium candida);
5. Total Dystrophic Onychomycosis (destruction of nail plate).

Several factors encourage these kinds of fungal problems. Because the bacteria thrive in wet environment, the risk of acquiring them lies in public swimming pools, toilets, and gyms among others. Lack of hygiene and heavy perspiration may also cause the disease. The toenails often seem to be fitting for a breeding ground as our feet receive poor ventilation most of the time. The fingers can be affected too if frequently exposed to water and chemicals.

What If You Are Infected?

If you suspect you are infected, see a doctor. You may apply over-the-counter oral and topical treatment brands such as like Lamisil, Tinactin, Penlac, Dermisil, and the like. There are also alternative remedies you can try at home. Vinegar method works by immersing the infected part for about 20 minutes twice a day until the wounds heal. Although there is inadequate proof, tea tree oil and grapefruit therapy can also be done but without guarantee. Others only apply Vicks VapoRub on the surface. Surprisingly, many attest to its effectivity.

Allow three or more months for the infection to die and a new nail to grow. Fifty percent of all nail infection is attributed to onychomycosis, which many Americans suffer presently. Adults ages 60 and above and persons with diabetes or leukemia are the common victim because of weakening immune system, blood circulation problems, and aging.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

But you can always take the following measures to avoid having onychomycosis. Don't give the bacteria access to your body. Always walk in protective socks and footwear in public places and make sure to dry them well after washing; clean-cut your nails, keep your hands and feet dry, and maintain a sanitized surrounding at all times. If you prefer your nails to be professionally groomed, bring your own files and trimmers to be sure.
About the Author
Wong Darren is an online medical researcher and webmaster of Nail Fungus Treatment. Must read: Nail Fungus Q&A and ZetaClear Nail Fungus Treatment Review. http://www.toe-nails-fungus.com
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