Nail fungus is the fungal infection of nails that affects your toes and fingers. The pathogen penetrates the nail tissue and leads to a variety of signs and symptoms such as thickened, brittle, distorted and dull nails that often appear dark due to the deposition of debris under the top layer. Serious cases may be associated with pain. The infected nail may eventually gets detached from the nail bed and lead to an ugly appearance. It can also increase the risk of infections for the underlying tissues. The fungus is more common in the toenails when compared to fingers as they are covered by shoes for prolonged periods of time each day. The toenails also suffer from reduced circulation and low immunity which can lead to increased risk for infections. If your feet remain damp or wet for several hours in a day, your risk can be greater.
Nail fungus usually begins as a white or yellow spot on the nail and grows over a period of time to include the entire area. Your doctor will diagnose the condition and differentiate it from other illnesses with similar symptoms. He may recommend nail fungus treatments depending on your age, severity of the condition and overall health.
Topical creams Topical anti fungal creams can help inhibit the growth of bacteria and thereby, help treat the condition.
Oral medications Oral anti fungal medications are prescribed rarely to treat severe infections in immunodeficient individuals.
Surgery Surgical removal of the nail and internal cleansing may also be part of nail fungus treatments program.
You can also rely on some home remedies to treat your condition. Popular home nail fungus treatments include:
Tea tree oil Diluted tea tree oil, when mixed with olive oil and thyme, can inhibit the growth of the fungus. You can simply dip a cotton swab in the solution and rub it on the nail.
Baking soda Baking soda is also one of the most commonly used nail fungus treatments at home. The powder is mixed with hot water, peroxide, Epsom salts and vinegar in equal proportions. The infected foot is dipped into the solution.
Orange oil Orange oil has been used traditionally for nail fungus treatments. It can, however, lead to allergic reactions. You should, therefore, mix the oil with grape seed oil and test it on a portion of skin before treating your nail problem.
Garlic Allicin, a component of garlic, is a powerful anti fungal agent. You can mix garlic oil with some white vinegar and apply it on the affected toe or finger.
Talk to your doctor and understand the pros and cons of all nail fungus treatments before making the choice. You may also consider your insurance policy and cost of various nail fungus treatments before making a choice. Keep your feet clean and dry at all times. This can improve the chances of prognosis. Mild infections can be cured in a few days, while the severe versions will require prolonged treatment.
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