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Nail Fungus - General Ideas on What is Onychomycosis

Aug 15, 2008
Nail fungal infection, or onychomycosis is not just an ordinary irritation. It completely kills the nails as the fungi grow either on your finger or toes. Onychomycosis comes from the bacterium called dermatophyte or tinea unguium, which forms in yeasts or molds. Anybody is not safe from the threats of fungi. Adults ages 60 and above are the most likely individuals to get onychomycosis. Person with diabetes and leukemia, meanwhile, should take extra care and must practice strict nail hygiene as they are also susceptible to nail fungal attack. This is so because of their weakening immune system and blood circulation disorders. Taking the infection for granted may lead to more serious complications.

The toenails serve as the fungi's best hideout since our feet is constantly confined inside the shoes. Affection on fingernails is least common unless often exposed to water and chemicals. Based on popular statistics in America, half of all kinds of fungal infection is onychomycosis. It has been found out that nail fungal infection on the fingernails is more common in men, while fungal infection on the toenails affect women more.

By nature, dermatophyte is anaerobic, meaning it lives in moist areas, where there is least or no oxygen supply. Once infected, the fungi feed on the keratin protein of the nails. In turn, the nails generate more keratin than normal, slowly building up thick layers. The nail crumbles progressively until it totally detaches from the nail bed. The symptoms include discoloration of the nail (white, yellow, brown, or black), deformity, pain, swelling, and foul smell.

As dermatophyte grow aggressively in damp surroundings, infection can be had by frequenting public swimming pools, toilets, locker rooms, gyms and the like. You can even get the bacteria from your favorite salon if the instruments they use for pedicure and manicure are not sanitized. These are possible sources of contagion.

Poor ventilation and improper care of the nails in both hands and feet heighten the risk of nail fungal infection. To prevent contamination of the nails, always secure a hygienic environment. Do not take for granted a wet foot. Always wash and dry your feet well after a day of work inside your shoes and tight socks. You may apply foot powder to ensure dryness.

If already infected, seek professional advice. Most doctors prescribe oral and topical treatments over the counter. Some of the most trusted brands include Lamisil, Dermisil, Tinactin, and lacquer. They work efficiently but slowly. Surgery is seldom necessary.

On the other hand, there are also alternative remedies available at your own home. Soaking the infected part in vinegar is one that many trusts. Do this for about twenty minutes twice a day until the contamination disappears. The acid content of the solution kills the bacteria effectively, though it may take a couple of months or more to heal and for a new nail to grow. To sum it up, good hygiene is the key to escaping the hassles of onychomycosis.
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For more information, kindly visit Nail Fungus Treatment. Visit site for related topics: "Nail Fungus Q&A" and "ZetaClear Nail Fungus Treatment Reviews". http://www.toe-nails-fungus.com
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