Toenail fungus is one of the most common forms of ailment that often takes a long time to get cured most especially that people often disregard it and do not take it seriously until such time that the infection is already severe and some side effects are already evident. The fungal infection of the nail in medical term is known as Onychomycosis. The medical term is derived from 2 words: Onycho which means nails and Mycosis which refers to a fungal infection. According to recent studies, Onychomycosis affects about half of the American population as they approach the age of 70. It is said that this is most commonly seen as the person ages so it is not common in children. This fungal infection is more common in toenails than in fingernails.
Toenail Fungus is a type of condition that can destroy and disfigure the toenails if not treated immediately. The little toe and the big toe are the toenails that are most likely to get affected by this. Toenail fungus is a living organism that usually survives and lives in dark, damp and moist places and our nails is one of the best examples for this. One of the many types of fungi known to be the major source of toenail fungus grows in our shoes since it is moist and warm. As they progress and grow, they feed on the keratin or the hard surface that comprises the toenails.
Wearing shoes that are tight and having nail polish also increases the risk of having toenail fungus. The known common causes of having fungal nail infections are the yeasts, molds and other different kinds of fungi. The type of fungus that causes athlete’s foot is also known to be the main cause of having toenail fungus.
During the first stage of having toenail fungus, the patient doesn’t normally experience any type of symptoms. The patient’s first thing to notice is the changes in the appearance of their toenails. The fungus that causes this type of infection causes the toenails to be disfigured, changes in color is also evident, discoloration can range from being yellow, green, white, brown or in worst cases, into black. Overtime, the toenails can also become brittle.
If the patient fails to treat the ailment right away, the skin around the nails can become affected as well. The patient may experience itch, inflammation and the skin may become swollen. The patient may experience discomfort and pain most especially when wearing shoes and socks. Wearing of sandals and slippers are often being recommended to patients as it helps in the healing process, however, most often than not, patient tend to not wear them since the appearance of their toenails becomes embarrassing for them.
If a person notices any changes in the appearance of their toenails, it is best recommended to consult a physician immediately as this helps in minimizing the chances of the infection to spread. The sooner that we seek help and we start the treatment for this ailment, the lesser the time it will take us to get rid of the toenail fungus and it will not be as expensive as when the ailment has already worsen.