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Nail fungus: causes, symptoms and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The nail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a fungal infection most widespread globally. Although it seems initially that it is a purely aesthetic condition, treating them early is essential to halt its advance and avoid contagion. This infection can be complicated to eliminate; however, identifying its symptoms and the causes that usually produce it is very important to prevent future cases of mycosis. At FastlyHealwe, explain the causes, symptoms and treatment of nail fungus.

Why does nail fungus appear?

Before tackling how to treat nail fungus, we want to explain its causes well and why they appear.

Fungi usually live in damp and dark environments, perfect for their propagation. This is the reason why these organisms tend to increase mainly on the skin and toenails, but it is also the reason why there are specific environments that promote their contagion and spread. Fungi usually affect the skin first and then pass to the nails.

Some of the most common causes of nail fungus are:

  • Failure to properly dry the skin results in a moist area for much longer than it should.
  • Wear shoes or socks made of synthetic materials that do not allow the foot to breathe correctly.
  • Excessive perspiration on the feet.
  • Use public showers or go to swimming pools without protecting your feet with flip-flops or water shoes.

In addition to all these conditions that favor the spread of fungi, there are groups at higher risk of presenting onychomycosis, for example:

  • People whose work involves close contact with water, such as pool monitors, cleaning personnel, etc.
  • People of the Third Age.
  • Diabetes patients.
  • Those who have injuries or deformities in the nails.
  • People with a weakened immune system.

Symptoms of nail fungus

Although nail fungus may seem like a solely aesthetic problem, it compromises our health and well-being, so we must treat and attend to them in their initial phase. Any change in the color or shape of the nail can be a clear sign of the presence of a mycosis; the most common symptoms of nail fungus are:

  • In the beginning, only a slight color change is perceived in the affected area, which becomes more significant as the infection progresses.
  • Once the mycosis has advanced, the nails appear yellowish or white stripes.
  • Thickening of the nail.
  • Weakness and cracking in the nail, that is, the pins are brittle when before the appearance of other of the first symptoms, they were not.
  • The affected nail begins to peel off the skin slightly.

In cases where the nail ends up shedding the skin, the area looks red, inflamed, and itchy. This sign shows a case of advanced mycosis that was not treated.

How to remove nail fungus

It is essential to be clear that the treatment of nail fungus can be prolonged, depending on the phase in which the condition is found.

In your pharmacy, you can find different products to treat nail fungus, such as the Scholl range, a brand with more than 100 years dedicated to foot care. Consult your pharmacist for more information, and remember the importance of following the instructions of the chosen treatment so that it can act effectively and that the fungus does not return.

Suppose the fungus in the nail is very advanced and has affected its root. In that case, it will be essential to visit a podiatrist or dermatologist to offer a prescription treatment to help combat this problem. Do not delay the visit to the doctor if the condition looks advanced, extends to more nails, or if any area hurts. Still, it should be remembered that the longer we wait to treat the nail fungus, the more complex it will be to eliminate and the longer it will take the treatment.

Thus, in these cases, oral antifungals prescribed by a specialist are the most effective; at the same time, you can resort to other alternatives such as laser treatment or nail removal in more severe cases.

Keys to preventing onychomycosis

Once onychomycosis appears, even after treating it, we run the risk of it manifesting again, so it is essential to take measures to prevent nail fungus.

Some recommendations to avoid its appearance are:

  • Dry hands and feet very well, especially between the fingers, prone to fungus formation. This is a condition commonly called athlete’s foot, and if you want to know more about it, we recommend this other article by FastlyHealabout athlete’s foot: symptoms and treatment.
  • Use footwear made of materials such as leather, which allow adequate breathing of the foot. In the same way, it is recommended that the socks be made of cotton, avoiding synthetic materials that do not favor sufficient ventilation of the area.
  • Use antiperspirant if there is a lot of sweating on the feet.
  • Avoid sharing personal hygiene utensils such as nail clippers, towels, cuticle cutters, etc.
  • Always wear flip flops or shoes in public and humid places such as swimming pools, public showers, saunas, etc.
  • Always protect your hands with waterproof gloves when cleaning.
  • If you have come into direct contact with someone who has nail fungus, it is essential to wash the area very well with antibacterial soap and then dry it properly.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Nail fungus: causes, symptoms and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Skin, hair and nails category .

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