Toenail Fungus Treatment

Sat 11 February 2017 by Fausto

Toenail fungus is scientifically known as onychomycosis. Other names are ringworm of the nail and tinea unguium. Around 6 percent of adults are affected by toenail fungus. Toenail fungus can be categorized into different types depending on which part of the toe it affects. Learn more here.

The signs and symptoms of toenail fungus infection are pretty obvious. The infection may begin with a yellowish spot it may then develop and spread deeper towards the bed of the nail. The nail plate will appear thick and turn color to yellow. Usually there is no pain apart from in severe cases. The nail plate may also become coarse and jagged, and split. Click here to discover more about the nail plate.

Causes

Toenail fungus is caused by a number of pathogens, that is, micro-organisms that cause diseases. This group of pathogens is called dermatophytes. Candida is also a type of fungi commonly associated with toenail infections.

Toenail fungus may cause social problems such as embarrassment and stigmatization because of the sore appearance, japanese toenail fungus code. Toenail fungus may cause permanent damage to the toenails. It may also spread to other parts of the foot if the infection is severe. The people at greatest risk for infection are people with suppressed immunity. Environmental conditions may also put one at risk of infection. High temperatures and humid environment, such as those found in tropical areas are a known risk factor. Other factors that predispose persons to infection by toenail fungus are circulation problems, wearing tight shoes and exposure to dampness such as wading in mud.

Diagnosis

Toenail fungus may be confused nail bed tumor, yellow nail syndrome or nail trauma. As such, it is necessary to diagnose toenail fungus properly. A laboratory procedure is the most appropriate to do this. The laboratory procedures often used are either smearing the nail with potassium or culturing. The diagnosis may also consist of examining small bits of the nail under a microscope to determine the kind of organism causing the infection. This investigation may involve taking several samples. Knowing the cause of the infection will also aid in selecting the best kind of treatment.

Treatment

Although treatment is costly and takes time, it is possible to treat toenail fungus. Even so, recurrence is common and repeat infections may occur. Anti-fungal creams and ointments are available over the counter. These ones may only act to relieve the infection but are not quite effective. Oral medications also exist. Studies have shown that the most effective medications contain itraconazole as the active ingredient. These medications act by replacing the toenail and growing a new one devoid of infection. The treatment may take upwards of four months to be effective. In really extreme cases, surgery may be necessary to replace damaged nails with artificial ones.

Prevention

As it is said, pevention is the best form of treatment. Effective treatment will involve reducing the risk factors. One should practice good foot hygiene. Avoid walking barefoot or wading in mud. Keep the toenails short and clean. Always dry the toenails thoroughly after washing, with a clean, personal towel.