Nail fungus is the most common nail disease. It begins with discoloration of the nail, and as the infection advances, thickening of the nail and other symptoms. Nail fungal infection may affect both hand and toe nails. When the fungus affects both toe nails and the skin of the foot, the condition is called “athlete’s foot”.
What are the symptoms of nail fungus?
Breaking, disfigurement and dullness of the nails. Cracking of the nail and discoloration may occur.
Causes of nail fungus
Nail fungus is an infection caused by microscopic microorganisms that do not need sunlight. Humid and hot environments, pool and showers are suitable environments for the growth and development of fungal infections.
What are the risk factors for the occurrence of nail fungus?
- Excessive sweating
- Wet work environments
- Closed shoes and socks
- Living in the same environment with an infected person
- Walking bare feet in public places
- Diabetes, circulatory disorders
What are the effects of nail fungus?
Advanced stages of fungal infections can result in pain and permanent nail damage.
How is nail fungus diagnosed?
After examination, the dermatologist will make the necessary differential diagnosis. Nail fungus can mimic many diseases, such as Psoriasis and structural nail disorders. If suspicion arises from the direct microscopy and fungal culture, biopsy should be done.
What is the treatment of nail fungus?
- Oral medications, topical creams and ointments
- Laser treatment of nail fungus
- Oral anti-fungal drugs: generally with terbinafine and itrakanazol.
A new nail will grow without having any infection. The drugs should be used in a duration of 3-6 months. Within this period liver function tests must be done from time to time.
How do you protect yourself from nail fungus infections?
- Keep your nails short and dry
- Wear sweat-absorbent socks
- Use only breathable shoes
- Do not wear old shoes for a long time
- Do not cut the skin around the nail, to avoid nail trauma
- Limit the use of nail polish and varnish