Fungus Nail

Introduction

A nail is a thick, hard bony part that protects our toes. Nails protect our toes from possible injuries. At times, nail may produce unwanted complications owing to injuries and infections.

Description of Fungus Nail

A fungus nail is an unsightly condition. Though minor in nature it can become difficult to cure.
Extreme end of the nail is most common site for onset of fungus nail. Appearance of white or yellow patches is the characteristic of fungus nail in its beginning stage. Though the fungus nail usually starts towards far end of nail it may progress towards nail base, if left untreated for considerable time. It will also attack the matrix (nail root) and may result in growth of thicker nails and deformation of nail.

Usually, nail of big toe gets affected first with the fungus nail. It may spread to other toenails adjacent to the toenail. In certain severe cases fungus nail can also affect the skin around nails. However, such instances are very rare.

Non-treating of fungus nail condition for prolonged periods may lead to nail becoming brittle.

Causes responsible for development of Fungus Nail

Dermatophytes, a type of micro organisms, are considered as main factor that can trigger development of fungus nail. Moist and warm conditions are considered as most suitable environment for these micro organisms. These Dermatophytes grow under nail, in the nail bed, and live off keratin (protein present in nail).

Appearance of Fungus Nail

Occurrence of yellow or while color patches and yellow horizontal streaks in the nail, are main characteristics of fungus nail during early stages. In the advanced stage the fungus nail may become thicker, discolored, deformed and produce foul smell. In some cases the nail may even split or crumble.

Symptoms of Fungus Nail

Following are some of the usual symptoms of Fungus Nail.

  • Appearance of white or yellow patches on the nail
  • Brittle nail
  • Deformed or abnormally thicker nail
  • Split nail
  • Appearance of yellow streaks in nail
  • Changes like discoloration, thickness, in one or more than one nails

Prevention of Fungus Nail

There are certain measures that one should follow for preventing occurrence of fungus nail. Following are some of the important tips that will help you in preventing fungus nail condition.

  • Always keep your feet and nails clean and dry. Pay special attention towards maintaining dryness especially after bathing, swimming or washing foot.
  • Use cotton socks and anti-fungal powder for absorbing perspiration.
  • Always use foot wear that have broad toe area and thick soles
  • Avoid use of high-heeled foot wear.
  • Never ignore even minor abnormality of foot. Consult your doctor and get it treated.

Fungus Nail Treatment

The treatment depends on the cause of development of fungus nail. Usually, medications like Lamisil and Sporanox are prescribed for treating fungus nails. If the nail is deformed, it may months together, even after infection is treated, for growth of new healthy nail.