Archive for the ‘Nail Fungus’ Category
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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One of the frequent infections of the toe nail is a fungus infection. It is a common organism found on our nails at all times and we have it with us constantly. Although that is true it does not mean that we will automatically develop an infection.
Any small crack or break of the skin or mucosa will allow the fungus to invade our bodies and set up shop. As with the best of infections an area that is warm, dark and moist presents the perfect atmosphere for the infection to multiply. The feet present more of a problem than the finger when it comes to awareness and then treatment. The infected nail will first show a red or yellow spot at the tip of the nail. This will be followed by a change in the nails appearance. It will become thick and flakey, dull in color and distorted in shape. The fungus will deposit sediment under the nail adding to its thickness. After some time, if treatment has not been started the infection may invade the surrounding tissue of the toe. The toe will appear red, swollen, may have a foul odor and be painful. At this point, even if the poor person suffering all this had not previously recognized the infection they will now. Any shoe, no matter how large, will cause pain. Often if it gets this far the patient will be unable to conduct his normal daily activities.
There are many over the counter medications available for use. The biggest problem is that the longer the fungus infection has been under the nail, the longer it will take to cure the fungus. So it takes commitment to continue treatment when you do not see any instant cure. Natural remedies have been more successful. You can find many of these products on this site.
There are those who are more abt of contracting a fungus infection. Men have a great incidence of a foot infection. Anyone suffering from a chronic illness as diabetes will find they are more prone to this type of infection. Diabetes, stroke and vascular complications are just three that make fungus more of a problem than it would be for a younger person. Nail polish is considered another catalyst for infection. There are some persons allergic to the preservative in nail polish and these will set that person up for an automatic fungus infection no matter what they try to do to avoid it. Keeping your feet clean, avoid sharing towels, sheets or any communal things with your family that may set them up for their own outbreak. Rotation of shoes is another good idea and dusting them with powder another way to keep your feet dry. Toe nails should be kept short and neat and if that is impossible to do yourself than have it done by another person or better yet, a podiatrist. As with any infection a good immune system will help prevent disease. A good balanced diet with an emphasis on vitamin C will help to prevent fungus infections or cure disease.