Also known as Onychomycosis, nail fungus is an infection which attacks a fingernail, a toenail, or the skin under the nail. Usual symptoms are white, black, yellow or green blot underneath one of your fingernails or toenails. Nail fungus may also cause your nail to thicken and this typically happens at the toenail because of the environment that it is exposed at. Unless severe, there is usually no pain or any symptoms. This condition is sometimes difficult to treat and is common to return.
Treatment of toenail fungus is challenging and generally, over –the-counter creams and ointments do not help treat this condition or may take months or longer to eliminate infection especially if you continue to expose your nails to warm or moist conditions. These can also be expensive and have potentially risky side effects yet do not guarantee a cure.
Doctors may also prescribe more effective treatments such as:
- Topical ointments or creams that may be used with oral medications. This is applied onto the nail and let it stay for a while. The price is cheaper and applied as treatment to cases of mild infections only.
- Oral Medications. The most popular toenail fungus treatments are terbinafine (Lamisil) and itraconazole (Sporanox). However, although said to offer the best chance of a cure, because of potential side effects, doctors may not recommend them for people with liver or heart problems.
- Nonsurgical nail removal. To soften the nail for easy removal, a urea ointment is applied on the nail.
- Surgery. Doctors may also suggest surgery as fungus treatment if the infection brought by nail fungus is severe or extremely painful.
- Laser or photodynamic therapy. It is treating nail fungus with intense light which irradiates the nail after it’s been treated with an acid.
- Doctors may also take surgery as an alternative.
True enough, having nail fungus is a painful problem. And even after a successful treatment, infection can return.
Below are the tips to prevent nail fungus infection from coming back:
- Hands and Feet should be kept dry as much as possible
- Wear cotton socks. Change them as often as necessary.
- Avoid tight or enclosed shoes that might cause injury to the toenails. Make sure to wear shoes with wide space to prevent moisture.
- Don’t share shoes and socks with other persons.
- Use your won manicure and pedicure set.
- Use anti-fungal powders.
- Wet areas are prone to this infection. If possible, keep away from wet areas without wearing slippers or shoes.
- Keep your nails trimmed short.
- Avoid trimming your nails too short that might cause an injury as it might also cause an infection.
- Keep disinfecting your shoes to prevent fungus from returning.
Yes, we can treat nail fungus, but once it comes back, it can be fatal and can cause a more serious problem. That are why it is important that we know the causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention to prevent nail fungus from coming back.