Although common, toenail fungus is not a problem to be ignored. Unfortunately, despite affecting many people, it is rather challenging to get rid of. Given the fact toenail fungus usually doesn’t inflict pain, it might be difficult to notice it. Look out for toenails that have thickened, become brittle or turned yellow – these have likely been affected by toenail fungus.
What are the causes of a fungal infection in the toenail?
It is mostly older adults that are likely to contract toenail fungus as our nails are prone to drying as we age. Drying up means cracks becoming more likely, and through these cracks is how the fungus enters inside the nail. The infection itself is usually caused by a fungus known as dermatophyte, but sometimes molds can be the culprits – though the latter is less common.
It is easy to contract a fungal infection because fungus lurks everywhere. They are most likely to be found in warm, damp and dark places: gyms, local swimming pools, communal locker rooms and showers. However, if your nail salon doesn’t follow hygiene and sterilization practices, you may develop a nail fungus there too. In other words, the best way to avoid toenail fungus is to follow hygiene. Make sure to wear flipflops at communal spaces and ensure your nail technician is following the hygiene procedures.
How to treat toenail fungus?
Despite being rather pesky and difficult to get rid of, toenail fungus can be tackled by using over-the-counter medications. In fact, if you have a decent immune system, you don’t necessarily need to treat it if it’s not causing you any discomfort. If it is only the unsightly looks that bother you, you can get yourself a Nailit nail cleaning laser and forget about it.
However, if you have a circulation disorder or diabetes, you should see your doctor straight away once the symptoms of a fungal nail become apparent. A compromised immune system puts you under a higher risk of developing complications that can be lethal.
There are plenty of effective ways of getting rid of the toenail fungus and your doctor is likely to present you with the most suitable ones. The most common strategy is taking antifungal medication that kills the infection step-by-step. If the case is very severe and has developed complications, the nail may need to be removed.