Get Adobe Flash player


Understanding The Nail Fungus Infection

The nail fungus infection is technically called Onychomycosis. It is a fairly common fungus infection. If you do not take proper care of your hands and feet you could get this fungus infection.

Surprisingly our hand nails and toenails are barriers against this disease because it is difficult for fungus to penetrate our nails. Even so, once the infection starts in the nail bed it is difficult to control the spread of infection. Thereafter your nails could become brittle, disfigured and thick even as the nail grows. If the infection remains unchecked the nail may separate from the nail bed.

How do you prevent onychomycosis infection from setting in?

For a start, keep your hands and feet clean. More specifically, keep them dry. The organisms that cause nail fungus thrive in a mix of weather conditions like dampness, humidity and warmth. Therefore, if you keep your hands and feet dry, it certainly helps to prevent onychomycosis. Especially after bathing, dry your hands and feet very well.

Prevention is better than cure as regards onychomycosis. Whenever you visit public places, make it a point to use shoes or slippers. These are places which have the microorganisms that cause nail fungus infection. By wearing proper footwear you can block the entry of these microorganisms to your body.

Keep your fingernail and toenail properly groomed.

Another point in prevention of nail fungus is to boost your immune system. In order to do that, take plenty of protein food and minerals to supplement your diet. At the same time cut down on sugar, alcohol and caffeine.

Which are the microorganisms that could cause onychomycosis?

Onychomycosis could be caused by

  • Dermatophytes
  • Yeast
  • Non-dermatophytes

Any of these microorganisms could cause the infection. When the infection begins you may not notice any pain or nail discoloration. It is only much later that you will find redness in the infected area with swelling. Sometimes the infection could cause an undesirable smell. This is mainly because of the debris that collects under the nail.

What should you do if you have nail fungus infection?

You can start off with cheap home remedies. For example, you can keep your feet soaked in a solution of vinegar plus warm water for a little less than half an hour everyday until the infection goes away. Some people have had very good results by rubbing in Vips Vapo Rub to the infected area. There is no harm in trying other natural remedies as well.

If natural remedies don’t work try out oral and topical medications. It’s been found very effective in healing the infection.

What are the different types of onychomycosis infections?

There are different kinds of nail fungus infection often described by difficult to understand medical names. However, from the common man’s point of view, the different types of nail fungus infection can be categorized on the basis of where the nail fungus attacks the body.

These different categories of nail fungus infection are:

Infection of the nail bed: this is the most common type of nail fungus infection. A creamy to buff colored discoloration can be noted. Initially the nail bed may not get affected but ultimately it will.

Outer layer nail bed infection: Significantly the infection is on the surface of the nail plate rather than the nail bed. Characteristic white spots can be noted and the surface of the nail plate has a flaky appearance.

Nail fold infection: This is mostly found in people with diabetes and immune system problems like those having HIV infection. White spots can be found in the nail fold. Eventually the nail plate becomes white at the point where it joins the skin (proximally) but away from there it remains normal.

Infection of bacterium candida: It starts off with pain at the nail fold sometimes with pus. The entire nail plate could get discolored white, yellow or green.

Infection with destruction of nail plate: This could be the result of a long standing infection that could result from any of the types of nail fungus infection mentioned above. In this type of infection the entire nail plate gets destroyed.