Onychomycosis: Its Symptoms and Treatment
Onychomycosis is a generalized term that covers several different type of nail fungus infections. Fingernails and toenails are necessary to protect sensitive areas of our body and keep the tissue below them from becoming damaged. Onychomycosis, is a condition that makes our nails look bad and makes them structurally weak. Treatment can take a long time no matter what method you choose.
Symptoms of Onychomycosis
- The first noted symptom is that the nail begins to change color. Typically, the color changes to either white or yellow.
- Typically, this process starts at the tip of the nail and works its way to the cuticle. In some rare cases, the infection starts at the cuticle and works toward the tip. Usually, this type of infection results in the loss of the nail.
- The nail begins to harden and become thick.
- The nail can develop yellow or brown spots.
- The nail surface may begin to crumble or flake off.
- Eventually, the nail may pull away from the nail bed and partially or completely fall off.
- The symptoms of this disorder can cause embarrassment in public places.
- If the toenails are affected, the ability to walk or feel the floor may be affected and it could cause pain or discomfort.
Causes and Hazards
Onychomycosis can be contracted by anyone at any time. While it can be found in all age groups, it is most often seen in the older population. People between the ages of 40 and 90 are more likely to have nail fungus than someone in their youth. Diseases such as diabetes or decreased circulation can assist in fungal growth.
The best way to decrease the possibility of contracting fungal infections is to take care of your nails and to take proper precautions to avoid contact with it.
Treating and Repairing Damage from Onychomycosis
One of the most difficult and trying factors in treating nail fungus is that it takes a long time to cure. It is easy to get frustrated and give up before they are able to cure the infection.
The best way to treat a nail fungus infection is to treat the area with an anti-fungal treatment. These can be purchased in topical, oral, and prescription form. The earlier you catch the infection, the easier it is to treat. It is important to catch the disorder before it spreads to the nail bed below the nail. Once it reaches this point, it is harder to get to.
If the infection has become severe, or the entire nail has become affected, it may be necessary to have the nail surgically removed, or to use prescription strength antifungal medication.
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