Nail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a common condition that affects many people. It can cause your nails to become discolored, thickened, and brittle. If left untreated, it can lead to further complications. However, you can say goodbye to nail fungus with proper prevention and treatment. This ultimate guide will discuss everything you need to know about preventing and treating nail fungus.
Causes of Nail Fungus
Nail fungus is caused by a fungal infection that can be contracted from various sources. Some common causes of nail fungus include:
Poor hygiene is a common cause of nail fungus. Fungi thrive in warm and moist environments, and failing to keep your nails clean and dry can increase your risk of developing an infection.
Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, weaken your immune system and increase your risk of developing nail fungus.
Fungi can spread from person to person through contact with contaminated surfaces, such as public swimming pools, locker rooms, and showers.
Symptoms of Nail Fungus
If you suspect that you have nail fungus, it is crucial to recognize the symptoms. Common symptoms of nail fungus include:
- Discolored nails, usually yellow or brown
- Thickened or distorted nails
- Crumbling or brittle nails
- Unpleasant odor
- Pain or discomfort
Nail fungus can be unsightly and uncomfortable, but it is not usually a serious health concern. However, nail fungus can lead to more severe infections in people with weakened immune systems.
Prevention of Nail Fungus
Preventing nail fungus is much easier than treating it. Here are some tips to help avoid nail fungus:
Keep Your Nails Clean and Dry
For the prevention of nail fungus, it is essential to keep your nails clean and dry. Be sure to wash your hands and feet regularly and thoroughly dry them after washing them.
Wear Shoes in Public Areas
Always wear shoes or sandals in public areas such as swimming pools, locker rooms, and showers to avoid picking up fungal infections.
Avoid Nail Salons with Poor Sanitation Practices
When visiting a nail salon, ensure they follow proper sanitation practices to avoid spreading infections.
Use Antifungal Sprays or Powders
Antifungal sprays or powders can be used on your feet and shoes to help prevent fungal infections.
Treatment of Nail Fungus
If you already have nail fungus, there are several treatment options available:
Over-the-counter treatments such as EMUAIDMAX® First Aid Ointment topical antifungal ointments and nail lacquers are available to treat mild to moderate nail fungus. These treatments can be applied directly to the affected nail and are typically used for several weeks or months.
If over-the-counter treatments do not work, your doctor may prescribe a stronger antifungal medication, such as oral medications or topical prescription creams. These treatments may be more effective, but they can also have side effects and may require close monitoring by your doctor.
Sometimes, your doctor may recommend removing the infected nail to allow for better treatment. This is typically only done if the infection is severe or if other treatments have been unsuccessful.
Some natural remedies, such as tea tree oil and vinegar, have been found to be effective in treating nail fungus. However, there is limited scientific evidence to support the use of these remedies, and they should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment.
Lifestyle Changes to Help Get Rid of Nail Fungus
Making lifestyle changes can help remove nail fungus and prevent it from returning. Here are some lifestyle changes that can help:
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet can help boost your immune system, making it easier for your body to fight off infections. Some foods that can help promote healthy nails include:
- Foods rich in biotin, such as eggs, almonds, and sweet potatoes
- Foods rich in iron, such as spinach and lentils
- Foods rich in vitamin E, such as avocados and almonds
Smoking weakens the immune system and makes it harder for your body to fight off infections. If you smoke, quitting can help improve your overall health and reduce your risk of developing nail fungus.
Wear Proper-Fitting Shoes
Wearing tight-fitting shoes can increase your risk of developing nail fungus. Opt for shoes that fit correctly and provide enough ventilation for your feet. It is also important to alternate your shoes regularly to allow them to air out and dry thoroughly.
Manage Medical Conditions
If you have a medical condition such as diabetes that increases your risk of developing nail fungus, it is vital to manage the condition properly. This can help reduce your risk of developing complications from nail fungus.
When to See a Doctor
If your nail fungus is severe, does not respond to treatment, or if there are signs of infection such as redness, swelling, or pus, it is crucial to see a doctor. A doctor can provide a diagnosis and prescribe appropriate treatment to help get rid of the infection.
Nail fungus is a common condition that can be prevented and treated with proper hygiene, lifestyle changes, and medical intervention. By following the tips and recommendations outlined in this guide, you can say goodbye to nail fungus and enjoy healthy, beautiful nails.
Remember, preventing nail fungus is much easier than treating it, so practice good hygiene and reduce your risk of infection. If you develop nail fungus, many treatment options are available, so don’t hesitate to seek medical help. You can say goodbye to nail fungus for good with the proper treatment and lifestyle changes.