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Nail Fungus - An Unsightly and Potentially Painful Infection!

Aug 25, 2008
INTRODUCTION: Nail fungus is made up of tiny organisms (Tinea Unguium) that can infect fingernails and toenails and is not the same as athlete's foot, which primarily affects the skin of the feet; However sometimes the two may co-exist and be caused by the same type of fungus.

It is more often found among older adults because their nails grow more slowly and thicken with age, making them more susceptible to infection. The fungus also tends to infect men more frequently than women and those with a family history of the disease.

Nail fungus grows more often in people with weaker immune systems, which allow the fungus to become established. It can be very difficult to treat, and repeated infections are common. The disease must be treated with medication once it happens and is becoming more common in the U.S.A

INFECTION: Fungus Infections account for about half of all nail disorders. These infections usually develop on nails that are continually exposed to warm, moist environments, such as sweaty shoes or shower floors. An infection may begin as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. Toenails are more susceptible to fungal infections because they are confined in a warm, moist environment.

Bacterial Infections cause redness, swelling, and pain of the nail skin folds. Fungal infections of the nail can cause discoloration and abnormal growth. A nail fungus infection is often very difficult to treat, and may recur. Look out for signs of infection, including redness, pain or pus.

TREATMENT: The best treatment of course is prevention. Non-surgical treatments include the use of topical or oral medications. If the topical treatments fail, more potent medications can be taken orally if your health care provider thinks it is necessary.

However, because other nail problems sometimes mimic fungal infection, most health care professionals will confirm the diagnosis by sending a nail clipping for laboratory evaluation -- especially if he/she is considering treatment. To monitor side effects your doctor must order periodic blood tests (usually monthly) while treating the disease. At least 20 percent of infected persons will have a recurrence of the original nail infection in the future, making re-treatment with medication necessary.

If the nail infection does not cause any of these problems, then doctors often discourage treatment because of the potential side effects, the need to monitor the blood throughout therapy and the high recurrence rate. Without effective treatment nail fungus infections can spread and may even cause pain or tenderness.

The good news is your primary care doctor, podiatrist, dermatologist or healthcare professional can help you find an effective remedy. They can study your nails and find a treatment plan that's right for you. Asking the doctor questions about your condition can help you feel better about the treatment you are receiving.

CONCLUSION: An infection of nail fungus occurs when fungi infect one or more of your nails. As it spreads deeper into your nail, it may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and develop crumbling edges - an unsightly and potentially painful condition, But there are medications available to help clear up nail fungus. People suffering from this infection should include more probiotics (good bacteria) in their diet.

Your MD can diagnose whether you have a nail fungus infection and prescribe medicine, if desirable. Many persons fail to seek treatment at the on start of the disease because the symptoms of nail fungus may look to be nothing more than a blemish. If you suspect that you may be infected, you should seek medical attention because these infections can last indefinitely when left uncared for.
About the Author
About the author: Richard H. Ealom is an ezinearticles.com writer with more than 50 articles on Diseases,Causes,Cures. To find out more about Nail Fungus! visit Stop Your Nail Fungus! You have permission to use this article provided this box is kept unchanged.
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