Nail fungus is treatable. Though it may take some time, it can be stopped with the application of proper treatment and a few changes in lifestyle.
Toenail fungus or Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the nails. This happens when fungus lives around and under the nails and feeds on the keratin that makes up the hard surface of the nails. Toenail fungus are harder to treat than fingernail fungus since it is more exposed to the dark, warm and damp environment caused by wearing socks and closed shoes.
How do we acquire the infection? You can pick fungus up while walking barefoot in public wet areas. Such places include public showers, saunas, spas and swimming pools. Having a manicure or pedicure in professional nail salons may also be one cause of toenail fungus, especially if they do not sterilize their tools regularly. Wearing enclosed shoes and nonabsorbent socks made of synthetic materials could also be another reason.
People with a weakened immune system are also more susceptible. Other health risk factors include a history of medical conditions like diabetes or poor circulation. Genetic vulnerability may also be another factor.
Nail trauma is also another cause. Activities like running or playing sports can easily rupture a nail plate. The moisture that is trapped in shoes and socks can then make its way into the nail cracks, inviting the nail fungus in and making it even harder to treat.
Of course, poor hygiene can cause toenail fungus. Thoroughly drying your feet and toes is very important to prevent fungal growth in your toenails.
Avoid going barefoot in communal wet places. As much as possible, wear your own protective footwear such as sandals when using public showers, pools and other wet areas.
Remember to always dry your feet. After swimming, showering, or washing your feet, thoroughly dry your feet using a clean towel (your own, don’t share). The spaces between your toes are where moisture is likely to be trapped so pay close attention to it.
Regularly trim your nails. Trim your nails straight across and refrain from digging too deep in the corners. Avoid wearing nail polish as it can seal in the fungus. Also, nail polish can prevent sunlight from penetrating under the nail, which makes the dark environment even more preferable to the fungus.
Use clean tools. If possible, do manicures and pedicures by yourself. If it can’t be helped, at least use your own tools which you disinfect on a regular basis.
There are several options available but most don’t work. Forgo the home remedies. They are generally ineffective. Oral prescription medication is a no-no since it produces negative side effects that could even lead to death in extreme cases. Topical solutions are safer and more effective to use. It is made of natural essential oils such as tea tree, almond, clove, and lavender, which are known to promote healthier looking nails. They are less expensive, easier to use, and has no known side effects. This is the choice for you if you want to get rid of toenail fungus faster and safer.