How to deal with fungal nail infections

Fungal nail infections are a nuisance but also very common, and can be hard to deal with and get rid of. It may mean you can’t wear your nice summer sandals because your feet look unsightly, and an infection can spread to other toe nails too.

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Nail fungus (medically known as onychomycosis) is the common name for an infection of the nail caused mainly by a class of fungi called dermatophytes. This is the same fungi that are responsible for athlete’s foot. The infection can affect any part of your nail, including your nail plate, bed and root. However, 85% of fungal nail infections occur under the nail plate, on the nail bed. A fungal nail infection is seven times more likely to occur on one of your toenails than on one of your fingernails. They are very infectious and need to be treated properly to clear the infection and prevent it spreading. 

Dealing with a fungal nail infection might seem tricky, but with patience and the right approach you can rid your toes of the unsightly and often uncomfortable issues and have healthy looking toes again.

  • Recognize the Symptoms: Fungal nail infections usually start with a small white or yellow spot under the tip of your nail. Over time, it can spread, making your nail thick, discolored, and crumbly. Sometimes, it might even cause pain.
  • Keep Your Feet and Hands Clean and Dry: Fungi love warm, moist environments, so make sure to keep your feet and hands clean and dry. Wash them regularly, especially after sweating, and dry them thoroughly, including between your toes and fingers.
  • Trim Your Nails Properly: Trim your nails straight across and keep them short. This can help prevent the infection from spreading and reduce pressure on the infected nail.
  • Choose the Right Footwear: Wear shoes and socks made of breathable materials like cotton or leather. Avoid tight-fitting shoes and opt for ones that allow air circulation to keep your feet dry.
  • Change Your Socks Often: If your socks get damp, change them as soon as possible. It’s best to wear clean, dry socks every day to prevent the fungus from thriving.
  • Avoid Walking Barefoot in Public Places: Fungi can spread easily in places like public showers, swimming pools, and locker rooms. Wear sandals or flip-flops to protect your feet in these areas.
  • Don’t Share Personal Items: Fungal infections can spread through sharing items like nail clippers, socks, and shoes. Avoid sharing these items with others to prevent the spread of the infection.
  • Use Antifungal Treatments: Over-the-counter antifungal creams, ointments, and nail lacquers can help treat fungal nail infections * Follow the instructions carefully and apply them regularly as directed.
  • Consider Oral Medications: In some cases, your doctor may prescribe oral antifungal medications to treat severe or stubborn infections. These medications work from the inside out to attack the fungus.
  • Be Patient and Persistent: Treating a fungal nail infection takes time and persistence. It may take several weeks or months to see improvement, so don’t get discouraged. Keep up with your treatment regimen and be consistent.
  • Consult a Doctor if Needed: If home treatments aren’t working or if your infection is causing severe symptoms, it’s important to consult a doctor. They can provide personalized advice and may recommend other treatment options, such as prescription medications or laser therapy.

By following these simple steps and being consistent with your treatment, you can effectively deal with a fungal nail infection and prevent it from coming back. Remember, taking care of your feet and nails is essential for overall foot health and wellbeing.

fungal nail infections

Posted in Health and tagged fungal nail infection, health, nail problems.