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Fungal Nail Infection – Treatment, Pictures, Cure, Causes, Remedies

Written by Dr.Mary
IN THIS ARTICLE:

A fungal nail infection happens when fungi infects one or more of the finger or toenails. A nail fungi infection can start as a yellow or white spot just under the tip of the toe or fingernail. As the fungi spreads deep into the nail, it can cause the nail to become discolored, thickened and can develop edges that are crumbling – which is unattractive as well as in many cases a very painful problem.


A nail infection with fungus can be very hard to treat, and these infections often recur. But medicine is obtainable to aid in clearing up the nail fungus.

Fungal Nail Infection Causes

Fungi are organisms which are microscopic and that do not need any sunlight to thrive. Some fungi can have valuable uses, while others cause infection as well as illness.

Fungal infections of the nails are normally caused by fungi belonging to a group of fungi referred to as dermatophytes. But molds as well as yeasts can also be accountable for fungal nail infections.

All of these organisms which are microscopic exist in moist, warm environments, such as showers and swimming pool areas. These organisms may attack the skin thru invisible, tiny cuts or thru smaller separations between the nail bed and the nail. They create problems normally when the nails are constantly open to moisture as well as warmth – which are environments that are excellent for the spread and growth of fungi.

These infections with fungus of the nails occur mostly in toenails than in the fingernails since toenails are very often restrained in a warm, moist as well as dark environment inside shoes – where these fungi may thrive. Other reasons can be the blood circulation to the toes which is somewhat diminished as paralleled with the fingers, that can make it hard for the immune system of the body to find and abolish these infections.

An individual can have some sort of fungal nail infection – also known as onychomycosis – if 1 or more of the nails are:

  • Brittle, ragged or crumbly
  • Thickened
  • Shape is distorted
  • Very dull with no shine or luster
  • Debris buildup causing dark color under the nail

Nails which are infected can also separate from the bed of the nail which is a condition called onycholysis. An individual can have pain in the fingertips or toes as well as detect a slight smell of a foul odor.

Once this infection begins, it can stay forever until treated. See the physician at the very first notice of fungus of the nails, which is over often a white or yellow tiny spot under the tip of the nail

Fungus of the nails is most common among adults who are older for many reasons, including blood circulation which is diminished and also many years of fungi exposure. Nails can grow slowly as well as thicken with age, making them much more vulnerable to infections. Fungus of the nail seems to affect males more often than females, especially those with a history of these infections in the family.

Other aspects that may increase the risk of having nail infections include:

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  • Working in moist or humid environments
  • Sweating heavily
  • Having psoriasis which is another condition of the skin
  • Wearing socks and shoes that prevent any ventilation and does not absorb perspiration
  • Has athlete’s feet
  • Has a minor nail or skin injury
  • Has circulation problems, diabetes or an immune system that is weak

Fungal Nail Infection Cure

Nail fungus is very hard to treat and recurrent infections are very common. Over-the-counter anti-fungal nail ointments and creams are helpful but they are not very effective. If an individual has athlete’s feet and nail fungus, the athlete’s foot should be treated with topical drugs and the feet kept clean and dry.

Oral medications

In the treating of fungus of the nails, the physician can prescribe an oral medication which is anti-fungal. Research has shown that more effective treatments to be itranconazole, brand name Sporanox, and terbinafine, brand name Lamisil.

The physician is also likely to recommend oral drugs if you:

  • Have diabetes or any other risk factors for cellulitis
  • Have history of cellulitis
  • Want treatment prior to the infection becoming unsightly
  • Have pain or discomfort from the infection.

Fungal Nail Infection Treatment

Anti-fungal drugs help the growth of new nails which are free of infection, slowly replacing the portion of the nail that is infected. The individual normally takes these drugs for 6 to 12 weeks, but will not see the end result of the treatment until the nail grows completely back. This can take 4 months or longer to heal an infection. Infections which are recurrent are probable, particularly if the individual continues to expose nails to moist and warm conditions.

Anti-fungal medications can cause side effects which range from skin rashes to damage to the liver. Physicians can not recommend them for those individuals who already have liver disease or congestive heart problems or those taking certain other drugs.

Other treatment option that your physician can suggest as well for these fungus treatments:

Anti-fungal lacquer

If the individual has a mild to moderate infection of nail fungus, the physician can prefer to advise an anti-fungal nail polish such as ciclopirox, brand name Penlac. This is painted onto the infected nails as well as surrounding skin once daily. After 7 days, the layers are wiped clean with alcohol and fresh applications are begun. The daily use of Penlac for approximately 1 year has been shown to clear most nail fungal infections.

Topical medicines

The physician can opt for some other topical anti-fungal drugs. He might advise using creams with an over-the-counter lotion which contains urea in order to speed up absorption. There are topical drugs which normally do not provide a cure but can be used with oral drugs. The physician can file the surface area of the nail – debridement – to decrease the total amount of nails which are infected to treat as well as possibly make the topical drugs more effective.

Surgery

If the nail infection is serious or very painful, the physician can suggest removing the nail. A new nail normally grows back in place, though it may grow slowly as well as may take as long as a year to regrow totally. Often surgery is performed combined with ciclopirox to treat the nail bed.

Treatment of nail fungus with photodynamic or laser therapy, where intense light is used to irradiate the nail after treatment with acid, can as well be successful. But, this is a new treatment and cannot be available every place.

Fungal nail infection Pictures

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