Common Causes Of Nail Fungus
Nail fungus is a very common condition among people from all walks of life. Young and old, healthy and sick, active and non-active, pretty much anyone can fall victim to toenail fungus unless you take a few basic steps to help prevent an infection from occurring.
Toe nail fungus is caused by fungus that gets trapped growing underneath your toenail. This type of fungal infection manifests itself by turning the toenail different colors, often yellow, green or black, and may include random white spots on the toenail itself. Along with the discoloration, there will also be a general thickening of the toenail which will make it start to flake and will cause pain when you walk or stand for too long.
Causes of Nail Fungus –
– Your skin coming into contact with fungal spores is what causes nail fungus, however there are all sorts of different methods of delivery that the spores can take, all of which will end up with you getting a toe nail infection. Your toenails are pretty much the best spot on your body for a fungus to develop, when you have shoes on, you are generally trapping some moisture inside your shoes and on your feet. This moisture helps facilitate fungal growth underneath your toenail which will almost always lead to a full on fungal outbreak. The underside of your toenail is also pretty dark, especially when you have socks and shoes on. Fungus grows best in places that don’t receive much artificial or natural light, this is the case with your toenail as it is both dark and damp.
– Walking barefoot in public is one of the most common ways that spores are able to entrench themselves underneath your toenail which will result in a toe nail fungus infection. Most public places with water are going to contain a multitude of spores which can easily be transferred to you if you are not careful. These places include public restrooms (especially outdoor public restrooms), the area around public pools along with public and outdoor showers. All of these locales are teeming with fungal spores which can lead to a toenail infection. While some fungi are best transferred through the water, there is also certain types of fungi that are transferred through soil contact. This means if you live in an area where it is relatively warm and humid, there is a chance that you can get a toenail fungus infection when you get soil on your feet.
– Poor immune systems will also contribute heavily to the chances of whether or not you will get a toenail fungal infection. This is especially true since your body is usually going to be pretty active in staving off toe nail fungus in the first place. If you are suffering from conditions that cause weakened immune systems such as diabetes or AIDS, you will have to take extra preventative care to make sure you do not end up developing toe nail fungus. People who have recently received organ transplants may sometimes end up getting fungal toenail infections since the drugs used to keep the body from attacking the new organ will also hamper the overall immune system. There are also many other prescription medications that can lower the body’s ability to fight off certain types of infections, toe nail fungus is usually one of the infections that the body has a hard time fighting off on these medicines.
Symptoms of Toe Nail Fungus –
- Yellowed or brown toenails – This is caused by the color of the fungus itself, there are many types of different colors for fungi , but these seem to be the most common.
- Thick toe nails – When fungus takes root underneath your toe nails, your body tries to counteract this by growing the toenails thicker to make up for the lack of perceived protection to the top of your toe.
- Nail bed lifting – Fungal infections can cause the toenail to start growing away from the skin underneath it. This causes even more room under the nail to let the fungus expand. It also lets you treat the infection easier as medicine can get to more of the fungus.
- Nail breaking and flaking – As a toe nail infection worsens, it can start to destroy the keratin in your toenail making it brittle and weak. This can cause parts of the nail to flake off or fall off.
- Toe pain – The above symptoms expose the underside of your toenail to the elements, this is generally painful and is a sign of a very entrenched toe nail fungus. Medication will probably be needed to get rid of it once it is physically hurting you.
Toe Nail Fungus Treatment –
There are many ways to treat toe nail fungus, including home remedies, specialized fungicides, and medication.[ad code=4 align=center]
Before trying vinegar please understand that many people have tried it and have seen no results. This is not a proven treatment for nail fungus .Vinegar acts as a natural fungicide and can help treat some toe nail infections. Take a mix of warm water and vinegar in a 1:1 ratio and soak your feet in it for around 20 minutes a day. Repeat this daily until the symptoms disappear. If this doesn’t work after a couple of weeks, you may need to move on to something stronger. Using Tea tree oil or rubbing alcohol may take care of the fungal infection. Use either one of these twice a day for at least a week and see if it is helping to reduce the pain or the discoloration caused by a fungal infection.
Over the counter fungicides such as Funginix and ZetaClear or prescription medications (not recommended) are highly recommended as vinegar has not been proven to cure an infections completely. These fungicides will work the vast majority of the time, this is because these treatments are made specifically for nail infections. You may need to see a doctor if believe you have an advanced infection.