Nail fungal infection is commonly known as onychomycosis. Other people refer to this condition as tinea unguium. The condition attacks both toenails and fingernails. However, toenail fungal infections are more common among adults who are above the age of 60 years. It is worth noting that fungus may not be the only cause of abnormal nails. Examples of common nail abnormalities mistaken for fungal infection include hematoma, green nails, and pitted nails. It is therefore advisable to go to a doctor for a proper diagnosis.
3 Common Causes of Fungal Nails
1. Long Exposure to Moist Places
One of the leading causes of nail fungal infections is exposure to moist areas, such as swimming pools or bathroom areas. Pedicure procedures at the salon can also cause this infection if the equipment used for the procedure is not sanitized sufficiently or not sanitized at all. As well, tight-fitting shoes cause gradual trauma to the nails, which in turn can create an avenue for fungal attack.
Age is also a factor in nail fungal infections. Elderly people are more prone to fungal attacks thanks to their lower regeneration rates and lower blood circulation. Nail fungal infections are also more common in adults than in children. In adults, prevalence is higher with men than women. Everyone should be aware of the dangers, however, and should take the proper steps to avoid contracting this type of infection.
3. People with Immunity Diseases
Those with underlying diseases are also vulnerable because their immunity is impaired and susceptibility to diseases is heightened. People with diseases such as AIDS, those with skin conditions such as psoriasis, and individuals who use immune suppressants are prone to attacks from the fungus too.
Signs and Symptoms of Nail Fungal Infection
Nails infected with this fungal condition can be painful, especially if one is engaged in any form of activity or continually lwearing tight-fitting shoes. The main signs that you nails are suffering from a fungal infection include the following:
- The nails appear scaly on the lower side (subungual hyperkeratosisn)
- Yellow or white lines running through the nail
- Pitting and flakes that appear white in color on the nail
- The corners or the tips of the nails appear crumbled
- The nail is completey lost
- A strange odor emanates from your foot
Treatment and Prevention of Fungal Infections
Medication for treating nail fungal infections is available. As mentioned earlier, it is important to see your doctor first for a proper diagnosis. Getting a proper prescription from your doctor is also important, rather than buying over-the-counter drugs. Other methods of treatment include the use of topical solutions that are applied to the infected nail, similar to applying nail polish.
Nail fungal infections may be prevented by simply adjusting one’s lifestyle. Include the following measures in order to keep these fungal infections at bay:
- Always ensure that your nails are trimmed, cleaned, well-groomed, and that you promptly treat any injuries around the nails
- Use antifungal sprays on the infected area
- Thoroughly dry the area between your toes and wear socks to reduce moisture
- Only get pedicures and manicures from reputable salons and avoid nail polish
- Wear shoes that are a proper size and feel comfortable
- Attempt natural treatment options, such as diet changes, tea tree oil, etc.
Nail fungal infection is a frustrating and painful malady among adults. The good news, though, is that this condition can be both prevented and treated. Continual suffering is not your fate. If you are afflicted by these nail infections, remember that there are natural treatment options available on the market, a doctor can prescribe medication, and proper self care and awareness can help.