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Fungal nail infection

Fungal nail infection is a fungal infection that affects nails. Fungal infections develop gradually over time and thus any changes in the appearance or feel of nails may be subtle and not be observed in time.

There are many different causes for the fungal infections of nails and each has a different treatment. Despite the fact that many of the causes of fungal nail infection can be prevented, there are certain risk factors which increase the change of its development.

You have a greater chance of developing a fungal nail infection if:

  • you suffer from diabetes
  • you suffer from an illness that affects blood vessels
  • you are an elderly woman
  • you wear artificial nails
  • you swim in a public swimming pool
  • you have injured your nails
  • there is moisture between the toes or fingers for a prolonged time
  • you have a weak immune system
  • you wear closed-toe shoes such as trainers or boots

Fungal infections affect the nails of the feet more often than the nails of the hands.

Fungal infections are treatable in the majority of the cases, however the fungus may re-appear after the treatment or cause future complications.

How can you identify fungal infection?

Fungal nail infection may affect part of the nail, one whole nail or several nails.

Visible marks

  • exfoliation under the nail (local hyperkeratosis)
  • white or yellow streak on the nail (lateral onychomycosis)
  • collapsing corner or tip of the nail (peripheral onychomycosis)
  • white areas with exfoliation on the nail surface (may include pits in the nail)
  • yellow spots on the lower part of the nail (proximal onychomycosis)
  • nail loss

Common Indicators

  • deformed nails
  • the odor from the infected nail
  • brittle or thickened nails

Tips for preventing nail fungus infections

Making a few simple lifestyle changes can help prevent nail fungus infection. Taking proper care of your nails; keeping your nails well-groomed and clean is a good way to prevent infections. Make sure to avoid injuring the skin around the nails. If you are going to have wet hands for an extended period of time, wear gloves.

Other prevention tips include the following:

  • use antifungal sprays or talc-based powders on a regular basis
  • wash your hands after touching the infected nails
  • dry your feet well after shower and make sure to dry the area between the toes
  • make sure to choose reliable beauty centers for your manicures or pedicures
  • wear socks that minimize moisture
  • avoid walking barefoot on public areas
  • reduce the use of artificial nails and nail polish
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