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Toe Nail Fungus: Understand What it is, How you Got it and How to Treat It

Sometimes referred as Onychomycosis, toenail fungus starts as a yellow or white spot at the tip of the nail and works its way under the nail bed.

The moist and dark environment of nail bed serves as a perfect breeding ground for the fungus.

It starts growing quickly into a colony of fungi that covers the entire nail or even other nails if not treated immediately. The nail may get thicker or start crumbling in the later stages of the infection which is called distal onychomycosis. Initially the infection can be seen as white, yellow or brown streaks from above the nail which is called lateral onychomycosis.

How You Got It

This kind of fungal nail infection can develop from the fungi already present on our body. For example, if you have visited someone infected with these fungi, you have higher chances of catching the illness. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), toenails are more prone to fungal infections as compared to fingernails. The warm & moist environment in your shoes is ideal for the growth of fungi.

Another most common host of toenail fungus is the pedicure tools at salon. Nail clippers and emery boards can easily spread fungal infections, if not properly sanitized. So, next time when you visit your salon for pedicure, make sure to ask the staff about how they disinfect their tools and how often it is done. Or the other way to protect yourself from this fungus is to avoid using nail clippers at salon to cut your cuticles. And also avoid going barefoot in public places.

You also have a safe place at home for these fungi to grow and transfer, like your gym pants, socks and gloves. Wearing the same tights, gloves, or gym socks for two consequent days, can create great environments for fungus to infect you. Mold and fungus thrive in dark, moist places like these clothes. So, experts recommend drying out your sweat pants, socks and gloves in air overnight before reuse.

Treatment

If you are looking for an instant fix, you might get disappointed here. The infected toe nail has to grow out completely for the fungus to be wiped out. And since toe nails grow slowly, you might not see all of it gone for up to a year.

Over-the-counter drugs are not recommended as effective Feet Remedies. Instead, consult a physician. He may prescribe you an oral antifungal medication, along with some medicines to apply. Like, terbinafine (Lamisil) and itraconazole (Sporanox).

Two of the most popular antifungal treatments for toe nail fungus are Kerydin and Jublia. Kerydin penetrates the thick nail plate and reach the infected area beneath the nail to prevent further growth of fungus. Jublia does the same by attaching to the keratin molecules in nails and then pass through the nail plate to the infection below. Depending on the type of fungi and the extent of the infection, these medicines may be taken for several months.

As per Dr. ANDREW WEIL, MD Arizona, alternative medicines of toenail fungus can be grapefruit seed extract and Tea tree oil. Simply dab the oil on nails twice a day for 2 months. Adding 1-2 cloves of garlic to daily diet can provide sufficient dosage of antifungal that may be helpful over time.

To prevent recurrence of toenail fungus, keep your feet clean and dry and regularly trim toenails. Wipe out water between the toes immediately after shower. Sprinkle antibacterial foot powder on your feet and in your shoes to prevent infections.


Dylan Moran is a freelance Content writer. He has managed multiple contents on web as a content writer and coordinator like for the website goodmenproject.com. From online forum moderation to the explosion of Facebook and Twitter, Friends have helped develop best practice standards for digital media on branded online channels. He has extensive experience in community management, social media consultancy, child safety, and crisis management.