Archive for the ‘Nail Fungus Prevention’ Category
One definition of a well-groomed “lovely” lady is beautiful well cared for hands. They are sometimes the first thing that is noticed about a woman when she is introduced and extends her hand for a hand shake. Or perhaps she has met a very romantic man who is about to kiss her hand. The last thing she wants is to present a hand with a finger adorned with a deformed, unsightly nail the result of a fungus infection.
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It is easy to acquire This type of infection. Actually our nails harbor fungus on and under them at all times. It is only when there is a break in the skin that allows that fungus to invade our bodies that it becomes a problem. The first sign of a fungus infection will be a small red or yellow dot at the tip of the nail. This will be followed by the disfigurement of the nail making it thick, brittle and dull. There may be some pain and a slight foul odor. You should seek treatment immediately as this slight infection can lead to other problems. One of them is a cellulites (secondary bacterial infection of the finger) infection which is a very serious one. Many do not realize that a fungus infection can be the catalysis that attracts more serious ones. And please do not think you can camouflage a damaged nail with nails polish. First it won’t do anything but make the nail more apparently deformed and ugly. The polish will not cover nicely or evenly and worse yet it will make the fungus infection worse.
There are now good over the counter medications for treating a nail fungus infection. But prevention is always the best treatment. One of the favorite things a lady indulges in is having a manicure. And she should pick that manicurist with great care. A manicure, poorly done, is probably one of the greatest reasons for the recent explosion of finger fungus infections. But manicures are not that difficult to do yourself at home. And when you consider the savings in time and money besides avoiding an infection it makes doing your own a win-win situation.
A Good Manicure
Clean hands – Prep your nails carefully, removing old polish.
File – When completely dry, file your nails, from corner to center but only in one direction at a time and not in a sawing type motion. There are several different shapes, square and moon shape are just two of them.
Soak – your hands in warm water with a gentle soap. Follow with an application of hand cream and gloves to help soften your skin.
Cuticles – should be dried carefully and pushed back into shape with an orange stick. Do not ever cut them doing so will present a portal for a fungus.
Clean under nail – completely with an orange stick and apply a hand moisturizer.
Prep and Polish – Before applying polish nails should be dry and free of any lotion or oil. To completely cover nails in a uniform manner apply polish in three strokes. If you wish complete with a second coat of polish and applying a top coat is advised to extend the length of your manicure.
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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.
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Our nails are just not those hard things on the ends of our fingers. They perform a service for us. They grow without pain, and can make the diagnosis of a health problem so much easier. In fact they can even tell a doctor if you are being poisoned. But perhaps their greatest accomplishment is that when there are specific changes in them they can point your doctor to a diagnosis of serious skin cancer. They are growing as are other cells in our bodies. Nails grow at a different rate during our life time with toenails slower than finger nails.
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Changes in our bodies health as we age is mirrored in our nails. Fungus is a common one and prevents a challenge. Problems with our immune system, circulation and the secondary effects of medical treatments and medications all pose a risk to our nail’s health. Trauma will cause white spots in the nail that should eventually grow out. Ingrown toe nails are a big problem. Besides being a painful experience they are a great set-up for a fungus infection. Bacterial infections, apparent by a painful, red and swollen toe, will allow a fungus infection to invade the area also. Warts cause the nail to change shape as they also affect the nail bed. Here also is an entry for that pesky fungus.
A bad habit that most people develop as children is nail biting. But most adults have dropped this habit. If you haven’t please do! Besides creating an ugly miserable looking nail and this is a no-no for men as well as woman. Men in business have to present a well groom professional appearance. Raggedy funny nails do not present this picture. And woman should not even have to be reminded that a well-groomed lady has well-groomed nails. Besides the bad appearance is the fact that when you do it you damage not only the nail but the finger as well. You break the skin and aha, you might as well put a welcome sign out for every bacteria and/or fungus in the neighborhood.
Fungus infections are difficult to treat but are curable although it takes almost a year to get a good result. There are over the counter medications, some recently released by the Food and Drug Administration that formerly were available only by prescription. Toe nails are more affected than finger nails. There are three things that must be present to sustain an infection. They are moistness, a dark area and a moist environment. That is why a foot, encased in a sock and shoe is such a great incubator. It is best to use socks made of cotton or wool. Both of these are natural fabrics that absorb moisture from the feet better than synthetic materials. Keep your shoes dry by putting power in them frequently. Hands frequently in water, such as those of a dish washer, have a greater opportunity to acquire a fungus infection. The use of gloves will help keep your hands safe. If you have your nails done at a nail salon ask about their sanitary policy. This is the greatest place for passing a fungus infection if the manicurist is not careful and alert. As we get older our circulatory system starts to slow down and our eye sight begins to fail. There is a possibility that we would not even see a nail fungus begin to develop until it had a good hold on us. If you do not feel comfortable doing your own foot care, please have a professional do it for you. This may enable you to take better care of your feet.
Fungus infections of the nails, the great toe, can be caused by a number of different pathogens. One of the most uncommon (get ready for the big words) is a nondermatophyte mold. We won’t go into the name of the three most common molds, it isn’t necessary to know.
The above mentioned type of mold, and there are molds everywhere, is important as it is found mainly in soil and decaying plant material. This is a very rare type of fungus infection. The ability to actually diagnosis this is important as nail infections are difficult to treat and even harder to cure. Diagnosis is made by microscopic findings of a nail scrapping. Therefore it may be necessary to consult with a podiatrist for a definite diagnosis. Mold type fungus infections can be acquired the same way as others. Wet floors of communal showers in gyms and locker are notorious for this type of contact.
It is easy to obtain a fungus infection. Fungus is commonly found on our nails so any small opening of our skin is an invitation for the fungus to take up residence in our toe. This also is applicable when it comes to any type of injury to the foot and or toes. The infection may remain dormant for a period of time before it comes apparent. The first symptom will be a discoloration or dot on the tip of the finger. This will quickly change to an unhealthy looking nail, discolored, oddly shaped and crumbly. As the fungus takes hold it will deposit material under the nail and if there is enough of it the nail may separate from the nail bed. If you are one of the unfortunate ones that need to wear heavy construction boots the pressure from these shoes will aggravate the infection and increase the pain. This is a long term infection and if you suffer from any other chronic illness you may find it twice as hard to achieve a complete cure. Obesity sets up the problem of being able to reach your feet to give them the care they need. Chronic illness as in diabetes often reduces our eye sight and perhaps we will not notice the onset of the infection. For both of these groups perhaps professional foot care would be a good alternative than trying to do it yourself.
Treatment and Common Remedies
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There are numerous medications available. Nail infections are difficult to treat, so hang in there; it may take a while to see a real difference. In fact it may be as long s six months to one year before the infection is completely eradicated. Some common remedies is to keep your feet clean and dry, cotton socks to absorb any excessive moisture and frequent rotation of shoes. The use of cotton socks, actually wool is good also, absorb perspiration better than synthetic ones. Anyone who works with a gardening career or if only the home gardener can help themselves prevent this by wearing shoes while gardening and bypassing bare feet lives in garden soil. feet. Actually the fungus that loves
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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