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Nail Fungus Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is nail fungus?

Nail fungus is basically a condition which starts as a yellow or white color spot right beneath the toenail or fingernail tip. While the fungal infection becomes deeper, the condition can lead the nail to thicken and discolor. One may also experience the edge to crumble. Nail fungus can affect some of your nails, however not all of them in usual cases. In case the condition tends to be mild, you may not require treatment. However; if nail fungus has lead thickened nails and is painful, medications and self-care measure can help. Even after effective treatment of nail fungus, the condition often recurs. The condition is also known as onychomycosis.

What are the symptoms of nail fungus?

Few of its common symptoms include:

  • Ragged, crumbly or brittle nail or nails.
  • Thickened, dull and distorted in shape.
  • Dark color, due to accumulation of debris under the nail.

What causes nail fungus?

Usually, dermatophyte fungus roots the nail fungal infections. However molds and yeasts are also known for causing the condition.

What are the risk factors of nail fungus?

Certain factors known to higher the chances of nail fungus are:

  • Older adults.
  • Wearing shoes and socks which blocks ventilation and fails to absorb sweat.
  • Being male.
  • Family history of the condition.
  • Working in moist or humid environment.
  • Living with an individual with nail fungus.
  •  Athlete’s foot.
  • Perspiring heavily.
  • Walking barefoot particularly in areas of damp communal for example gyms and swimming pools.
  • Having nail injury/ minor skin.
  • Psoriasis.
  • Having diabetes.
  • Have a weak immune system.
  • Having circulation problems.
  • In children with Down syndrome.

What are the potential complications of nail fungus?

Severe instances of the condition can cause great pain, whilst cause lasting damage to the nails. In people with suppressed immune system (because of certain conditions, diabetes or medication) nail fungus can cause other dangerous infections which spreads beyond the feet.

How is nail fungus diagnosed?

The doctor will thoroughly examine the nail. Moreover, he will scrape debris from beneath the nail in order to find out the fungus type leading the infection. Identifying the cause of infection can help your doctor prepare a best treatment plan for your case.

How is nail fungus treated?

In case nail fungus has failed to respond over-the-counter products and self-care measures, the doctor can recommend a combination of certain approaches and prescribed medications. Effective treatment plan can relieve you from its symptoms, however; does not guarantee the chances of recurrent.

  • Medications:  antifungal medications, medicated nail cream and polish.
  • Surgical or procedures: laser and light-based therapies, nail removal.


The following can help reducing the chances of nail fungus:

  • Regularly wash your feet and hands.
  • Wear sweat absorbent socks.
  • Keeps the nails dry and short.
  • Choose open-toe footwear.
  • Get rid of old shoes.
  • Do not prick or trim the skin surrounding your nails.
  •  Do not put nail polish to hide nail fungus.
  • After touching your infected nail, immediately wash hands.

By : Natural Health News

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