Fungal nail infection is often seen on many of us on one or more nails. It is caused by fungi by name Tinea unguium and it starts as small whitish or yellow spot on the toenail or fingernail. Once the infection starts spreading, the entire nail may change into yellow making the infection in-depth. The nail may grow thick and may start developing crumbing edges. For many people it may cause moderate pain. It is possible to treat fungal nail infection but there is every chance for it to recur.
Human body consists of number of bacteria and fungi both good and bad. The bad fungi may grow and multiply causing infection when the immunity gets lowered. Fungus feed on the dead tissues of the nails and hair follicles and even on the epidermal layer of the skin.
Several medical conditions like Jock itch, Athlete’s foot and ringworm infection may give rise to growth of fungi into the nails. Very often fungal nail infection is seen only on adults. Again many people who get fungal infection would great their toenails affected when compared with fingernails.
There is chance for you to get these infectious fungi when you visit contaminated swimming pool and share public bathrooms where molds have grown. Fungus lives on warm and moist areas and easily spread infection when it gets into your nails through cuts or wounds and even on small gap between the nail bed and nail.
It is observed that fungi belonging to the group called dermatophytes cause this infection on nails. There is more chance for you to get infected when your toenails are exposed to continuous moisture.
Another reason for toenails getting more infected than your fingers is it is under the protection of shoes for most of the time giving no room for breathing.
You also have chance to get this infection if you do pedicure or manicure in the utensils that is not properly washed. People who have nail deformity or poor blood circulation on the toes may also get fungal nail infection.
The infected nail on the toes or fingers will grow hard and changes its color. It becomes slightly yellowish or white and you can find the edges of the nail getting crumbled. Further there will be collection of debris under the nails and gradually the nails become thicker than other healthy nails. For some people, the nail loses its shape and becomes distorted. There will not be any luster or shining of the nail anymore once the infection gets deeper. The process of the separation of the nails from the nail-bed is called onycholysis and this may cause moderate pain on the toes or fingers.
Who are at risk ?
Aged people and individuals who continuously keep their toes in closed shoes are prone to get fungal infection on nails. If the work atmosphere is very moist you have more chance for getting this infection. People who have athlete’s foot and other type of skin infection would also get fungal nail infection.
Pictures of Fungal Nail Infection :
Images, Pics, Pictures and Photos of Fungal Nail Infection
Antifungal medications are given for curing the fungal nail infection. Generally you cannot treat it with over the counter drugs or creams. Medicines like terbinafine, itraconazole and fluconazole are prescribed. These drugs have to be taken for 2-3 months depending on the intensity of infection. For some people, it might take even a year for the fresh nail (without infection) to grow.
It is necessary to keep the toenails or fingernails moist-free and dry. Antifungal pills may cause adverse effect like skin rashes or liver damage. Hence you need to monitor your health and report any new symptoms to your doctor.
In case of severe infection with pain, your doctor may remove the nail by surgery for facilitating new nail to grow in. For some people, your doctor may also prescribe antifungal nail lacquer like Penlac for painting on the infected nails.