Archive for the ‘Nail Fungus Cause’ Category
The Places Toenail Fungus Like To Hide
Permanently ridding yourself of a nail fungus infection once it has taken hold can be a very difficult job. The fungus grows slowly but strongly and by the time you see the initial symptoms, a great deal of damage has already occurred. The fungus likes to work its way underneath the nail so that it uses the nail as a shield to keep it warm and moist, its favorite growing environment. It also makes it easier for the infection to reoccur after what seems like successful treatment because the fungus can lie dormant underneath the nail, then start growing again once the treatment ceases.
How Does a Nail Fungus Grow?
A fungus is a parasitic growth that prefers darkness to sunlight, as it has no chlorophyll. It does have roots and spreads via spores. Much like its cousin the mushroom, the body of the fungus looks like an umbrella. The spores spread and grow in dark, damp places. The most common cause of toenail fungus is wearing shoes as they hold in the moisture of sweat and keep the toenails in the dark. Also, most people wear the same pair of moisture absorbing shoes over and over again without allowing them to dry and air properly. Your body gives off both moisture and heat, providing the fungus with the perfect living environment.
Besides Shoes, Where Else Do Fungus Hide?
Exercise mats, such as yoga mats are ideal breeding grounds for the spores that cause nail fungus. Although the mat is made of rubber, which you would think is impenetrable, it soaks up the heat and moisture while you exercise. Then after your workout, you roll it up and stick it away until next time, providing the perfect growing environment for the fungus to attack your feet.
Flip-Flops that people wear into public showers are another good breeding ground for fungus, especially because most people don’t allow them to dry thoroughly before using them again. Ironically, the very item you use to protect your feet becomes the transmitter for the fungus you are trying to avoid.
Remedies To Treat Nail Fungus
There are many ointments and nail fungus solutions available over the counter or on the Internet to clear up nail fungus infections.
Most people try these, or home remedies before resorting to taking an oral antifungal medication to clear up the fungal nail infection as there are risky side effects associated with these treatments.
Mixing Tea Tree Oil and mineral oil as a toe soak is a home remedy solution. The mineral oil works to soften both the nail and surrounding skin, the Tea Tree Oil is a natural antifungal and antiseptic. Combined, these can be a powerful treatment for your nail fungus problem. This, and all nail fungus treatments, will take a while to show results and to cure the problem permanently, so you have to be patient and practice these remedies regularly so the full healing process can take place.
Common Nail Fungus Symptoms and Solutions
Suffering from some form of nail fungus is very common in humans. Because we find this embarrassing, we tend to hide the infected nail from view. This is especially true with toenails as they are easiest to hide inside a stuffy, warm set of shoes and socks.
Solving this problem can be both easier, and more difficult than you think. There are many products available to cure nail fungus. However some of them include some risk of further problems, some don’t and will never work, and some people just have the problem of poor health that leads to continued infection.
What Causes Nail Fungus?
Every day we encounter many different microbes, microorganisms and bacterial. This is a normal part of life. Some of these turn out to be nail fungus spores. Most of the time, these are harmless as they are easily washed away. But if they manage to get into or under your nails, then they become problematic.
When the spore gets itself into a warm, dark, moist place on your body (most commonly your nails because they have that extra benefit of being a good shield from the world) they are able to grow and multiply, causing that nasty look of yellowing and thickness everyone associates with a nail fungus infection.
As the invasion by the fungus develops, so do the symptoms of nail fungus infection. The nail begins to become disfigured and can even get to the point where it crumbles or flakes away. This is most common in toenails because they spend so much time wrapped in socks and shoes, which creates a great breeding environment for the fungus.
How Do I Treat a Nail Fungus Infection?
There are several natural remedies available, as well as many home remedies that are recommended before you try the more aggressive method of taking an oral antifungal medication, which carries the risk of damage to your liver. Here are some suggestions:
• Tea Tree Oil – This natural essential oil is available at most health food stores. Rub the oil into the nail and surrounding skin a few times a day. Its antifungal properties will eventually kill the fungus
• Good Nail Hygiene – Keep your nails short, right at the edge of the toe and clean out the underside with a nail file to ensure no dirt is able to permanently lodge there. Keep your feet clean and dry and air them as much as possible by not wearing closed shoes.
• Vinegar – Soak your toes in a solution of vinegar and water, then wash and dry them thoroughly. The vinegar changes the pH of the growing environment, making it uninhabitable for the fungus.
If you have tried these solutions, and/or some of the others out there and nothing seems to make the nail fungus infection go away permanently, your next step is to consult with your health care professional to find a more standard medical solution to the problem. Be aware that some of these prescription solutions do carry risks so be sure to discuss this with your doctor and to make your doctor aware of all medications your are currently taking. During your treatment, continue to practice good nail hygiene as this will encourage the healing process and help to prevent spreading or continued nail fungus infection of your toenails.
Many solutions are available to treat this problem. Search the internet for alternatives before you commit yourself to taking an oral antifungal medication, especially if a child is the infected patient. If you do your research it will pay off in the long run.
So How Do I Tell if My Toenail
is Infected With a Fungus?
Having a nail that is infected with a fungus is not all that uncommon as it affects 10-12% of the American population. A toenail fungal infection is caused by microorganisms that lodge in the tiny cracks in the skin around the toenails. As the foot usually lives in a dark, damp environment, this is an ideal growing medium for the fungal spores. The symptoms of a fungal toenail infection are fairly consistent and if you know what to look for it is easier to catch it early on.
The first symptom to show up is usually a white or yellowish spot on the toenail. This may be a minute object, which makes it harder to recognize. This spot is the beginnings of the infection and will gradually grow to cover more of the nail. As most people don’t suffer any discomfort and with the advent of wearing nail polish, many people don’t even notice this minor change.
As the infection continues, the small spot will increase and cover the entire toenail. The toenail will become dull, yellowed and even change shape. Some people see a dark spot either where the infection began or around the edges of the toenail, though this happens more frequently with severe cases. At some point, the nail may become disconnected from the nail bed.
Nail becoming yellow and thick?
The process of the nail becoming yellow and thick is a classic toenail fungus symptom. Also common is flaking or crumbling of the toenail, which again occurs in the severe cases of the disease.
The only way to determine whether your symptoms are that of a toenail fungal infection or are the result of something that mimics these symptoms is to see your doctor. At that point your doctor will be able to ask you some questions and take a sample of your toenail to be examined under a microscope and/or cultured. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have spent time in a public pool or spa lately as this may increase your chances of contracting a toenail fungus infection.
Ask the doctor
Once your doctor has been given the chance to examine and sample your toenail, a solution will be able to be found that will be most effective for you. This will help your doctor determine which medication will be best for your particular infection. Toenail funguses are notoriously difficult to treat and cure, so allowing your doctor to get all the pertinent information will help you both to make an informed decision. One of the problems with nail funguses is that they all tend to display the same symptoms but that doesn’t mean they require the same treatment. And there are other conditions that will mimic the standard symptoms of a nail fungus, so working with your doctor to come up with the best treatment is in everybody’s interest.
aronychia is a disease of the Perineum, where the skin around the surface of the nail hangs loosely. It has been found most often in the U.S., usually in kids who have a habit of biting their nails or sucking their fingers. There two forms of Paronchial infection, Chronic Paronychia and Acute Paronychia. The forms are judged according to the length of time it remains in the body.
Paronychia is a viral infection that grows gradually stronger, resulting in a bumpiness, softness and redness surrounding the nails. The main culprits for this infection are Candida and mold. It can be passed from person to person via touch.
Causes of Paronychia
Most forms of Paronychia occur by a nick or break in the skin being infected. If a person has a hangnail or a habit of chewing their nails, this is a good way for the infection to enter the area. There is evidence of Streptococcus and Pseudomonas germs getting into the infected area and making it worse. The chronic form of Paronychia is typically linked with the use of abrasives, for instance soaps and detergents while washing. The chronic infections are typically the result of Candida albcans or other fungus.
Acute Paronychia occurs when the skin around the nail becomes inflamed and swells causing pain to the afflicted person. Pus may develop and ooze from the infected area, removing the top layer of the nail.
Chronic Paronychia is a longer lasting case and the nails can become so infected that they develop a greenish tinge around the edges of the skin.
In the cases of Acute Paronychia, a culture of the pus can be taken to determine what kind (or kinds) of infection is occurring and then treatment can be prescribed. Chronic Paronychia can be a bit more difficult to diagnose and treat, though a potassium hydroxide test may be able to determine which fungus is the source of the infection.
- Massaging the afflicted area in hot water three to four times per day can help relieve some of the pain and swelling
- Antibiotics such as diclogacilin and cephelaxin may be prescribed
- If the swelling is severe, the area may need to be punctured and drained
- Part of the nail may need to be removed in some cases
- An antifungal may also be prescribed
Things that should NOT be used to cure Paronychia
- Do not use topical antibiotics
- Do not take prescribed steroids
Unusual cases of people who have contracted Paronychia have occurred in patients with:
- On steroids
- High blood sugar
- Poor circulation
- Don’t chew or bite your nails
- Don’t suck on your fingers or thumbs
- Don’t immerse your hands in water without wearing protective gloves
Onychorrhexis – Brittle Nail Disease
- What is it? – When fingernails and toenails break easily because they are weak.
- Why is it? – As keratin develops with protein as a component, the nail grows according to the appropriate thickness determined by the body. Your nail thickness is pretty much set at birth. Some people are born with very thin and/or fragile nails
- What causes it? – Humidity at the base of the nail is a common cause. For instance, soaking your hands (or person) in water for a long period of time (taking a bath or doing dishes) on a regular basis. Some people have a hereditary condition of weak nails. As they grow older, their nails become weaker and more prone to breakage. Some diseases and circumstances that might cause a fragile nail are:
- Hypothyroidism or low thyroid levels
- Reynaud’s syndrome
- Skin diseases, such as psoriasis
- Lack of proper nourishment
Signs of this affliction
- Flaking at the base of the nail
- The nails breaking and/or falling off
People with brittle nails should not spend a lot of time with their hands in the water. They should dry their hands thoroughly after getting them wet and they should use a mild soap when washing.
Immediately after washing and drying their hands, sufferers of onychorrhexis should apply a moisturizer to the afflicted limb. Two recommended kinds of moisturizer are:
- Standard “beauty” moisturizers, which work to soften the skin. These will provide instant relief and will assist people with this affliction greatly.
- Healing moisturizers, which both soften and infuse the skin with herbal or medicinal remedies as well as acting as a barrier between the water and the nail
Some good preventative measures are as follows:
- Wearing protective covering on hands or feet when immersing them in water
- Not participating in activities that involve being submerged in water, such as swimming.
- Protecting the hands from irritating chemicals
- Supplementing the diet with vitamins and minerals to help the nails become stronger.
- Identifying nutritional deficits that may be causing the nail breakdown and working to increase those areas
The only potential negative side effect of the above treatment is an allergic reaction to a moisturizer. Stay alert for irritation of the skin to indicate that there is sensitivity.