Published September 29th, 2012 | By Louis
A fungal nail is typically found more often in toenails than fingernails. They are also found more often in adults than children. Knowing what causes the fungus will help you prevent it. However, if you end up with nail fungus you will need to seek professional treatment from a doctor and learn how to care for the fungal nails.
Keep your hands and feet clean and dry. This would be one of the main ways to prevent fungus from growing underneath the nail. However, if you swim a lot, particularly in any public pool or tend to sweat a lot you want to take extra care in making sure your hands and feet are clean and dry.
Take notice if the place you get your manicures and pedicures sterilize their instruments before reusing them on other people. A fungus that may be growing on another person’s nails can be transmitted to yours if the equipment isn’t sterilized. Be sure if you have fungal nails not to have a pedicure or manicure done for at least six months during your treatment.
Other ways of increasing your risk of getting nail fungus would be to wear closed in shoes all of the time, having moist skin for a long length of time, and getting continuous skin scrapes and cuts around nails or nail injuries. An immune system disorder can also cause nail fungal growth.
Noticing the signs before the fungus gets severe will prevent prolonging the problem. There are several types of nail fungus. Distal onycholysis is when the edge of the nail become flaky and eventually falls off. The fungus eats the rest of the nail away. Another type of fungus is
Lateral onychomycosis which tends to get yellowish coloring and becomes very thick and hard, making it difficult to walk or even stand. This type of fungus is caused by an injury that may have occurred to the skin around the nail.
There are a few other types of nail fungal, but I will address two others which are Superficial white onychomycosis and Proximal onychomycosis. The Superficial infection is where the nail gets rough, course, yellowish, and scaly, making the entire nail eventually fall off. The Proximal has yellow spots that cover the nail and eventually eats away the nail.
As soon as you suspect having any kind of fungal infection you should seek professional treatment from a doctor. The doctor will analyze the nail(s) and take a scraping from it to run a test. A diagnosis will be determined and treatment is given. There are several types of treatments that you can apply straight to the nail. You may see a change within a couples weeks to two months, but the treatment will not be completed for four to six months.
Other ways to care for fungal nails is using plant oils. You can find a tea tree oil type of treatment in your local drugstore. Tree oils are great to use alongside any other treatment your doctor gives you. It is healthy not just to help cure your nails of fungus, but for overall health of your skin and nails. There are also oral medications that you can receive from your doctor if you request it.
Over a course of several weeks, you should notice an improvement in your toe or finger nails where the infection was, with less crusty, scaly nails and the growth of new nails. If there is no improvement then see the doctor again. Noticing new healthy growth in your nails is a good sign that the fungus is dying. Despite seeing healthy nail growth, there is still a 50 percent chance that the fungus will come back. By following the above information to notice the signs of the infection and using preventive measures, you can be the 50 percent that will not see the nail fungus return.