Nail disorders are rarely disabling or even painful. But they are a nuisance. One of the most common problems is toenail fungus (medical name onychomysosis)-about 15% of people have it, including nearly half of those over 70.
This infection has received a great deal of press and advertisement time, as there are finally therapies that actually successfully eradicate these infections.
A fast overview of the disease can really help us to get rid of it.
The body normally hosts a variety of microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi. Some of these are useful to the body. Others may multiply rapidly and form infections. Fungi can live on the dead tissues of the hair, nails, and outer skin layers. An infection of nail fungus (called-onychomycosis) occurs when fungi infect one or more of your nails. Onychomycosis usually begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. This commonly affects toe nails rather than finger nails. The infection actually eats your skin and nail, so it can continue growing and may spread to other nails. Your nails may look "different," be so thick they're hard to trim, and may cause you discomfort, pain or tenderness that disrupts daily activities.The prevalence of onychomycosis is about 15% in the adult population.
Infections of nail fungus account for about half of all nail disorders. These infections usually develop on nails continually exposed to warm, moist environments, such as sweaty shoes or shower floors. nail infections may be difficult to treat and may recur often.
What are the symptoms of nail infection?
Anyone can get a fungal nail infection. They are especially common in people with diabetes or circulation problems. Children hardly ever get fungal nail infections.
Primarily you may see, smell, or feel a nail fungus infection once it takes hold.
- Nails may look brownish, yellowish, or have little white patches. Some may even be brown or black.
- Nails may get flaky, brittle, and chipped.
- Bits of "gunk" or debris may collect under your nails.
Your nails may smell bad.
- Nails may get so thick that wearing shoes causes pain.
- Discomfort from the infection may make it hard to walk, work, or do other activities.
First, your healthcare provider will look closely at your nails. If your healthcare provider thinks you have nail fungus, he may perform a test. Your healthcare provider may clip off a small piece of your nail so that it can be examined. It may be examined in the office or sent out to a lab. This is the only way to know if you really have nail fungus.The sooner you visit your doctor and get diagnosed , the sooner, you can stop the infection from getting worse and begin to see healthier nails grow again.Fungal nail infections may be difficult to treat and may become a reservoir for fungal organisms, causing their recurrence in the skin or nails.
What are the causes of the nail infection and how did you get it?
Nail fungus is made up of tiny organisms that can infect fingernails and toenails. These organisms are called dermatophytes. Nail fungus is very common.The nail fungus moves in under the nail. The nail provides a safe place for the fungus and protects it while it grows.Anything that damages a nail can make it easier for the fungus to move in, such as:
- An injury (like banging a fingernail with a hammer)
- Tight shoes that pinch the toes
- Wearing socks and shoes that hinder ventilation and don't absorb perspiration
- Perspiring heavily
- Walking barefoot in damp public places, such as swimming pools, gyms and shower rooms
- People whose hands are often wet (for example, dishwashers in restaurants and professional house cleaners) are more likely to get fungal fingernail infections.
That's why it's so hard to reach and stop nail fungus.Most often, nail fungus appears in the toenails. This is because socks and shoes keep the toenails dark, warm, and moist. This is a perfect place for the fungus to grow.The organisms that make up nail fungus can sometimes spread from one person to another because these organisms can live where the air is often moist and people's feet are bare. This can happen in places like shower stalls, bathrooms, or locker rooms.Nail fungus may also spread from one of your nails to other nails.People with diabetes are nearly three times more likely to get nail fungus infection as people without diabetes. Because people with diabetes have circulation problems, left untreated, the infection can often lead to more severe health problems on the foot.
How to take care on the infection?
Here are some things you can do to take care of your nails if you have a fungal infection:
- Keep your nails cut short and file down any thick areas.
- Don't use the same nail trimmer or file on healthy nails and infected nails. If you have your nails professionally manicured, you should bring your own nail files and trimmers from home.
- Wear waterproof gloves for wet work (like washing dishes or floors). To protect your fingers, wear 100 percent cotton gloves for dry work.
- Wear 100 percent cotton socks. Change your socks when they are damp from sweat or if your feet get wet. Put on clean, dry socks every day.
- Wear shoes with good support and a wide toe area. Don't wear pointed shoes that press your toes together.
- Avoid walking barefoot in public areas, such as locker rooms.
These days there is one very effective drug to treat nail fungus. Lamisil (Terbinafine hydrochloride) is prescribed for the treatment of onychomycosis of the toenail or fingernail due to dermatophytes .Terbinafine is in a class of medications called antifungals. It works by stopping the growth of fungi.The fungus under your nails is attracted to keratin, one of the substances in your nails and skin. The fungus feeds on keratin deep under the nail in the nail bed. Terbinafine is also attracted to keratin. It can be there to attack the infection. Surface treatments may not be able to reach it in sufficient amounts, so terbinafine hydrochloride is given orally in tablet form, which is absorbed through the bloodstream to reach the infection. Lamisil Tablets are the #1 prescribed treatment for nail fungus infection worldwide. And because nail fungus infection can be so tough to treat, the medicine from Lamisil Tablets will stay in the nail bed months after your prescription is done and continue fighting the infection so you can grow clearer, healthier nails.Terbinafine comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken for 6 weeks for fingernail fungus and once a day for 12 weeks for toenail fungus ,but you won't see the end result of treatment until the nail grows back completely. It may take four to 12 months to eliminate an infection.
For more information about coping with nail fungus and other diseases you can visit my site, www.gene-alliance.com/antifungal.html.
Richard Clement is an online publisher dedicated in helping online users getting appropriate and effective medical care. Visit my site http://www.gene-alliance.com/antifungal.html for more info.
Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com - Free Website Content