Posts Tagged ‘nail infection’
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A common form of a nail infection is caused by a fungus and given the name of onychomycosis. It is a common nail and skin infection, easy to contract difficult to treat. Recognized at first under the nail it may also infect the surrounding tissue, whether it is the finger or the toe.
Depending on the area that is infected will depend on how fast the fungus will be recognized. For an older individual, and this age group is the more common to acquire this type of infection, recognizing a problem may be its own problem. As we grow older and our eyesight is impaired seeing your feet and caring for them properly will present a problem. When a fungus infection of the finger presents itself it is easily recognized. And since fungus is an unsightly thing treatment will be commenced as soon as possible. There is also the social stigma when a fungus infection is viewed. The idea that a person’s hygiene is not what it should be is the first thought. This is not actually true. The infection will enter the body at some point probably not known by the host. It may lie dormant for a period of time before presenting with dot, either red or yellow, at the tip of the nail. This will be followed by a total involvement of the nail. The appearance will be dull and opaque, brittle, flakey and distorted in shape. As the fungus deposits debris under the nail the nail will become thick. If treatment is not considered at this time, the surrounding tissue of the nail will become involved. This secondary infection may be more difficult to cure and be more virulent.
There are medications available for treatment. One of the problems is that fungus is a difficult and persistent infection that once settled in doesn’t like to leave its happy home. Any area that is moist, dark and warm is the perfect area in which a fungus likes to multiply and reproduce. So it is likely that once a fungus has found one of your toes, it will spread to the remainder. There are some simple changes to our daily routine that will either help to prevent obtaining an infection or once we have it will contribute to its eradication. Firstly, shoes are cheap these days, the not-so-good ones. These are usually made from man -mad synthetic materials that do not allow your foot to breathe and be cooled. On the other hand, leather is a better shoe material. It stretches, allows cooling of the foot and is more expensive. So, go classical and forget the fads. Invest in good leather shoes that will last for years. Using heavy works shoes will require socks. No matter the type of shoes make sure your socks are made of cotton or wool. These natural fibers will allow your feet to breathe, absorb moisture away from the feet and allow the feet to be cooled. If possible have several work boots that will allow for rotation so you will always have a dry shoe to use. It is always easier to prevent than treat a fungus so make sure that fungus doesn’t start in the first place.
Finger nails are one of the first things a person sees when you extend your hand for a hand shake. It can be an indication of a person’s overall health and how they feel about themselves. Actually this holds true for any gentleman in a high powered business situation. The appearance of a nail infection can present someone in a negative light. Nail fungus is contagious to yourself and others and can be cured.
Fungus as with other types of contagions live microscopically on our skin without any thought of ours. Routine cleaning of the nail and skin surfaces is not successful when it comes to this type of infection. Fungus is always around the nail. As with any other infection prevention is the best form of treatment. Anyone’s immune system under attack, that is not up to par, is more likely to become ill. Therefore it is the best policy to do whatever is necessary to achieve this end. There are those who feel that the established theory, that it is possible to acquire such a infection with bare feet in public places not true. Fungus is a contagious infection and easy to acquire. Why a multitude of people can be exposed to the same thing at the same time and not all be infected with the fungus is a question not able to be answered. Fungus is found in a multitude of simple areas, such as garden soil and the air. More research will have to be done to answer the host of questions this presents.
As previously stated a good immune system can be your best friend. There are many factors that can put your immune system in jeopardy. Stress is the number one factor, followed closely by the strain of chronic illness and poor nutrition as a follow up. Surprisingly even the most obese person can be malnourished. A good diet, balanced and high in antioxidants, will help prevent this type and any other type of infection. An adequate intake of vitamin C is essential for warding off disease. Diet is an important part of prevention as a fungus is difficult to treat and cure. Medications are available, although they can be successful, treatment may be stretched over a long period of time.
There are some home-made folk treatments that some people will swear by and others will say are a myth. The use of vinegar and water soaks is one. Another is the application of Vicks VapoRub on the affected nails.
Since there is no rhyme or reason as to why you may develop such an infection it is best that you know how to identify it if you are one of the unfortunate ones. Your nail will exhibit a small yellow or red dot at its tip. This will be followed by the change of the appearance of the nail. It will thicken with the deposit of the fungus debris under it. It will change in shape, become opaque and dull in color, and have a flakey and ragged appearance.
There are several words important to know when speaking about nail fungus infections. The word mycosis is used to define any disease caused by a fungus, no matter what is the site. The specific term for a fungus nail infection is onychomycosis – pronounced on-i-ko-mi-KO-sis, use it and impress your friends with the “big” words.
Fungus infections of the nail, once acquired are difficult to treat and cure. They are also gravitate easily to other finger and toe nails. The first sign will be a red or yellow spot that emerges at the tip of the nail. Quickly there will be other changes. The nail will become thick, brittle and crumble easily. The color will change and become opaque and dull. And as the fungus multiplies it will leave debris under the nail, adding to its thickness. The finger itself will be involved as the fungus progresses, swelling becoming red and painful. Depending on the type of onychomycosis other changes will also take place. The nail may separate from the nail bed. The size and shape of the finger will change or only part of the nail will be affected.
There are several types of treatment. In the last few years many good topical agents have been produced and allowed by the Federal Drug and Food Administration. A fungus infection is a difficult one to cure and so treatment may last for an extended period of time. Many people will say that there is nothing to cure this type of infection. But if you question them they will admit that they gave up too easily rather than persevering longer with the treatment. And with the tips given later in this article adhering to the suggestions will also speed recovery.
Prevention and Common Sense Principals
Whether you are trying to prevent an infection or are in the middle of treatment there are some things that can be done to help the problem. When it comes to the hands prolonged immersion is water breaks down tissue and set up the patient for an infection. Therefore if this pertains to you the use of rubber gloves is advised. Nail polish and artificial nails are also a catalyst for some people. If you visit a manicurist do not be afraid to inquire as to their septic procedures. Feet are the best place for any infection to grow, especially fungus. Wearing of cotton and wool socks, rather than synthetic, as the natural fibers will absorb moisture more readily is advised. Rotation of shoes, putting powder in those shoes is also advised. Toe nails should be trimmed short and neatly. And if the party cannot see properly to do this it may best done by a podiatrist. For older folks some pre-existing conditions will make acquiring a fungus infection easier. And those pre-existing conditions will make the acquired fungus infection more difficult to treat. Diabetes and decreased circulation to the feet are both problems that delay the curing of a fungus infection.
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