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Archive for the ‘Onychomycosis’ Category

Fungal Infections


Onychomycosis pronounced – on-i-ko-mi-KO-sis – is the term for a fungus that attacks the finger and/or toe nails.  It is a disease found so frequently that it is considered the most common of this type of infections.  Both toe nails and fingernails can be infected with the fungus, but toe nails are more frequently infected and the more difficult to treat.  There are four types of the fungus depending on which part, sequence of infection and causative agent of the fungus.


Many times a fungus infection will be passed and the unlucky recipient will not even realize it until symptoms appear.  The first sign will be a spot, many times either red or yellow, that appears on the tip of the nail.  Shortly the nail will start to degenerate, becoming thickened, crumbly and distorted in shape.  The nail color will change becoming opaque and dull.  As the nail thickens debris from the infection will lodge under the nail.  Fungus nail infections are rather easy to identify when it comes to the finger.  But the toe nail is another problem.  As a person grows older, and their sight diminishes, perhaps they cannot see their toes.  If they also suffer from a chronic medical condition, such as diabetes or circulatory problems the possibility of a fungus is heightened.


The bug that is the usual culprit is called dermatophytes. There are quite a few fungus listed under that umbrella.  This includes several types of molds and allergic antigens.  We have fungus on our bodies almost at any time.  Whether they infect us depends on if they can gain an entrance to our tissues.


Over the counter medications are available to target your fungus. As you have probably had it for a while, especially that of the toes, a cure will not be immediate.  But it is curable; patience is needed during the treatment period. The best remedies so far are natural products found usually on line.

Prevention and Psychological Considerations

The foot area is the best area to support an infection.  It has those three properties’ that are necessary for an infection to thieve.  The foot is warm, dark and moist.  And as noted previously, if we are dealing with an older patient with reduced eye sight the fungus may be allowed to fester before treatment is commenced. Toe nails should be kept short and neat and if the patient does have vision problems then it is best done by another.  The use of cotton and wool socks will help keep the feet dry.  Synthetic materials do not absorb moisture as does the natural fibers. Rotate shoes frequently.  The psychological trauma of a fungus infection of the finger nail carries with it more psychological trauma.  Your hand is a reflection of personal hygiene. One of the causative factors is the long emersion of hands in water.  If this is necessary then use of rubber gloves is advised. Infections can be acquired through a manicurist and if you have one you should check out the salons for its sanitary procedures.  Allergies to some antigens, including nail polish, can be the causative agent.  Artificial finger nails have been named as one of the chief reasons that woman obtain fungal infections.  And lastly, women don’t think that trying to cover your finger nail infection with nail polish will help.  Actually anything put on your nails, besides medication will produce the reverse results.

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The Encyclopedia of Fungus Nail Infections


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.