Fungal nail infection called onychomycosis in medical terms affects the nail by making it appear distorted and thicker than usual. It also causes discoloration to the nail and the area affected can later become painful causing the skin around it to become inflamed. This fungal infection mostly affects the toe nail but it occasionally affects fingernails too.
When the infection worsens, the nail can crumble or chip off and the whole nail may come off completely and it can inflame the skin it rests on.
Causes of Fungal Nail
Majority of fungal nail infection are caused by fungi called dermatophytes and in minor cases yeast and mould cause fungal infections.
How do you get a Fungal Nail Infection
- Fungal nail infections can arise as a result of dipping the hands in water frequently.
- Toe nail infection can be as a result of wearing shoes that make the feet sweat.
- Toe infections can also arise as a result of the skin coming in contact with a fungal skin infection such as athlete’s feet.
- You are prone to developing fungal nail infection if you have diabetes, psoriasis or you have a weak immune system due to chemotherapy.
- People living in humid climates are also likely to have fungal nail infection.
How is Fungal Nail Infection Treated
- Fungal Nail Infections are treated with antifungal tablets such as Itraconazole and Fluconazole.
- Over the counter creams and ointments are available for clearing the infections.
- Nail paints are also used for the treatment of infected fingernail.
- In cases of severe infection, the nail can be removed by operation.
How can Fungal nail infection be Prevented
- Wear gloves to do chores that involves dipping your hands in water at all times.
- Cut your nails short and keep it dry.
- Wear synthetic socks which does not allow the feet to sweat.
- Stop biting your nails with teeth and stop fixing artificial nails.