Approximately, there are about 12% Americans who are suffering from nail fungus. This type of infection is most common in toenails than the fingernails.
Children are lucky; they almost never get infected with nail fungus. It is said that the older you get, the more likely it is for you to catch it. In fact, statistics will tell you that there are about 25% of people over 40 years old who are affected, and about 50% of people 70 years old and above as well.
That’s why it is very important to understand nail fungus infection very well. Do not only learn about the cure, but try really hard to prevent its occurrence.
Nail fungus infects the nails through tiny organisms named “Tinea Unguium.” These organisms live underneath your nail and eat the keratin, which is the protein that makes up the hardness of the nail.
Since this type of fungus lives deep into the nail, it is much harder to reach and kill. In fact, your nail actually serves as a protective covering of these fungi. That’s why when you are infected, you will notice that your nails will turn either brownish or yellowish in color. Sometimes, streaks or white spots also appear.
The growth and texture of your nail will also become abnormal. Either it will be crumbly or very thick. You can also smell a foul odor – this makes it very embarrassing to other people. And if you delay the treatment of your infection, you will not only experience pain and discomfort while walking or running, but eventually, your entire nail might even fall off.
Nail Fungus Prevention
So before you even suffer the effects of nail fungus infection, prevention should always be the first thing on your mind. Remember that fungus loves to thrive in warm, damp, and dark environment. Therefore, it is always best to keep your hands and feet dry.
Your toenails may also be susceptible to fungal infections because of some socks and shoes. Avoid those synthetic ones because they will not be able to absorb moisture from your feet. It is best to wear socks made from 100% pure materials such as wool, cotton, or silk. Also recommended are those shoes that allow proper ventilation of your feet.
Furthermore, always keep it a habit to dry your feet very well after swimming or showering, paying special attention to the gaps in between your toes. Moreover, make sure you cut your fingernails and toenails regularly.
If you really want to prevent the growth of fungus and bacteria, take in lactobacilli regularly. This will promote good bacteria that can fight off the infection.
Nail Fungus Treatment
When people have nail fungus, they oftentimes make a mistake of covering their nails with polish because they are embarrassed and they want to hide the appearance and discoloration. But this is not right because your nails should always be exposed to light if you want to treat them fast. Remember that fungus will grow more in dark places, so avoid those nail polishes as well as fake nails.
Some home remedies may also be effective in stopping fungal growth. Use mouthwash, bleach, and apple cider vinegar, among others. But if you really want a more effective treatment, it is best that you consult your doctor for some prescription medications.