6 Tell-Tale Signs That Mean You May Have Nail Fungus, And How To Prevent This Annoying Condition
June 29, 2018 14:27 By Fabiosa
Nail fungus: What is it?
Nail fungus is very common, and it can be a major nuisance. The condition usually affects the toenails; fingernails are rarely affected by it. Fungal infection of the nails is more common in older people with poor blood circulation and weaker, brittle nails.
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It can be difficult to get rid of nail fungus, but the condition can usually be managed with over-the-counter medicines and home remedies. You should consult your doctor about the treatment of nail fungus if you have poor circulation and/or nerve damage due to diabetes or other health conditions.
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What does nail fungus look like, and what symptoms can it cause?
Nails affected by a fungal infection may be:
- discolored, usually yellow;
- brittle and cracked;
- detached from the nail beds.
If the infection spreads deep enough, it may even cause pain.
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Who is more likely to develop nail fungus?
Nail fungus can affect anyone, but some people are more susceptible to it than others. Factors that make you more likely to get nail fungus include the following:
- older age;
- having athlete’s foot;
- excessive perspiration;
- walking barefoot in wet public places, such as swimming pools and saunas;
- nail injury;
- having poor blood circulation and/or nerve damage in the feet;
- having a weakened immune system.
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How is nail fungus treated?
Nail fungus is not just a cosmetic problem, especially for people with diabetes or other underlying health conditions. Treatment of nail fungus will depend on the degree of damage it has already caused and may involve the following:
- a topical antifungal cream applied on the nails;
- a medicated nail polish;
- an oral antifungal to help fight the infection from within;
- in serious cases, removal of the affected nail (or nails).
Nail fungus may take weeks to months to clear up completely.
How to prevent nail fungus from coming back?
Nail fungus can be very stubborn. The condition is likely to recur, but there are some measures that can help you avoid it and keep your nails healthy:
- trim your nails regularly;
- wipe your nail clippers and other pedicure and manicure tools with a disinfectant after each use;
- wash your feet with soap and warm water two or more times a day;
- choose cotton socks over synthetic ones, and change them at least once daily;
- wear well-fitting, breathable shoes;
- wear sandals when it’s warm outside to let your feet breathe;
- disinfect your shoes;
- refrain from painting your nails;
- wear flip-flops in wet public places, such as swimming pools.
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Keep this in mind: The earlier you start treatment for nail fungus, the faster it will go away. If you notice any signs of a fungal infection in your nails, follow the recommended treatment and the steps described above.
This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.