Nail Fungus: What Causes It And How to Get Rid of It

Nail fungus is a type of infection that affects your nails. As the name suggests, when fungus starts to build around your nails, it is known as nail fungus. It is a serious medical condition that has over the counter nail fungus treatment, but it is better to go to an expert.

It starts off as a yellow or a white spot on the tip of your nail. Neglecting it might give it a chance to overgrow and affect your nails. The damage is nasty, your nails begin to discolor, distort, and become thickened, making it look very ugly. If it gets severe, the nail might separate and come off from the nail bed, this is called onycholysis which is very painful.

Once your discover that there’s an infection around your nail, without wasting any time, you should consult a medical professional to prevent your nails from getting damaged. Knowledge of these infections is necessary so that you would know how to prevent and get rid of it.

What Causes It?

Fungi are microscopic organisms are responsible for causing nail fungus. They are found on our skin, hair and nails and can multiply and overgrow to cause these infections. They require warm and moist places to thrive in. They do not require sunlight and can grow inside or over nails because our nails provide them a suitable environment to overgrow due to the fact that they are warm and moist. Fungi can also enter from a tiny cut and start to grow inside.

A person having a fungal infection will have ugly, distorted and discolored nails. Besides a common group of fungi called dermatophytes being responsible for nail fungal infections, some yeasts and molds also cause these infections; for example: Trichophyton rubrum  and Neoscytalidium.

There are normally two types of common nail fungus infection called Distal Subungual Onychomycosis and Superficial Onychomycosis.

  • Distal Subungual Onychomycosis: In this type of fungal infection, the nail bed is also affected along with the nail. This is a severe infection and can chip off the nail from the nail bed.
  • Superficial Onychomycosis: This isn’t as severe as the first one because it doesn’t separate the nail from the bed and only occurs at the surface of the nail. However, medical intervention may be necessary.

People are more prone to getting nail fungus infections if they:

  • Get manicure and pedicure done from salons where sanitation isn’t given much attention to.
  • Have oily skin.
  • Have some kind of nail injury,
  • Wear compact shoes where the nails frequently come into contact with the shoes as they walk or run.
  • Have a weak immune system.
  • Are diabetic.

Diagnosing And Getting Rid Of Nail Fungus

If you find your nails beginning to look a little different such as, thickened, yellowish, brittle, distorted, dull or turning black then you might be exposed to nail fungus.

Waste no time and go to a doctor to get inspected. The doctor will check your nail for signs of fungus.

Getting Rid Of The Fungus Using Home Remedies:

When The Infection is Not Severe:

Tea Tree Oil: it is an ingredient containing antibacterial and antifungal properties that helps to neutralize the infection. You need to dilute the oil first before using it on the affected area of the nail.

Method:

1 teaspoon of tea tree oil.

½ teaspoon of olive oil.

Cotton balls.

How to use: Mix the ingredients, dip a cotton ball into the mixture and apply on the affected area and very gently press against to force the liquid out gradually. You can also use white vinegar, baking soda and coconut oil as well.

If The Infection is Severe:

However, if the infection is severe and you’re under severe pain then you need to visit a doctor because home remedies won’t work and the infection might come back sooner than you think.

Clinical Treatments

  • Oral Antifungal Medication: Terbinafine (Lamisil) and Itraconazole (Sporanox) are two most commonly used medications to get rid of nail fungus. Taking these medicines for up to six weeks can treat the condition.
  • Medicinal Nail Polish: Ciclopirox (Penlac) is an antifungal nail polish which helps to neutralize the area having fungus.

Surgical Treatment

  • Nail Removal:
  • When you case is severe then the doctor might prescribe to remove your nail so that a new nail could come in its place which is free of fungus.

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