The nail fungal infections are the most common diseases of the nails. In fact. It makes up about 50 percent of the nail abnormalities. The fungus is actually a normal visitor in our body. However, if this overgrows, it may become a problem –just like the toenail fungus. This condition in the toenail is one of the worst and unsightly infections to happen in the toenails. This may cause the toenail to crumble and change its color. Hence, it is very important to know things about this, what causes it, the treatments for toenail fungus, and many more. If you want to know all of these, feel free to give this article a read.
Toenail Fungus: What is this?
This is actually a broad category of a fungus, which embeds itself into the toenail. This is technically known as the onychomycosis. Both the fingernails and the toenails are prone to this particular condition. Toenail fungus usually appears as crumbling edges, and discoloration and thickening of the nail. The fungus is very common to occur in the toes rather than in the fingers.
The toenail fungus is some sort of infection, which gets into the cracks in the nails or any cuts in the skin. This can cause the toenail to change its color or even get thicker than the way it should be. Since the most often than not, the toes are warm and damp, the fungus in it grows well in there. If this is left untreated, the infection may spread to the skin, toenails, or even in the fingernails.
In cases of having toenail fungus, it may likely to start as a small white or yellow dot underneath the toenail. Left unaddressed may cause the small dot to grow and make the nail weaker. Even though the condition is not that dangerous, it may still be unpleasant to the eyes and very uncomfortable. Furthermore, it may also cause the body to be more prone to various infections. This is when the toenail gets cracked and start to break in an open wound.
Toenail Fungus: Symptoms
The symptoms of toenail fungus that are very common to some cases include forming of pits in the toenail’s surface, crumbling of the toenail’s edges, physical damage to the nails, and discoloration of the nails. The discoloration of the nail may cause it to appear yellow with white streaks. This discoloration may also appear a the base of the nail. In some severe cases of the condition, the toenail may completely fall off. The nail may also likely to lose its shine and may become distorted or get out of shape.
The appearance of scaling under the nail, or if there arte visible pits or cracks in the nail, then it is not impossible that there are some other debris in underneath the nail. This may result in the discoloration of the nail, and it may also appear dirty, making it difficult to clean off. Moreover, it may also cause the toe to have an odor that is unpleasant to the nose.
Toenail Fungus: Causes
The main cause of toenail fungus is the dermatophytes –this is fungi that need keratin to be able to survive and multiply. Aside from that, there are some more things or factors, that may contribute to the onset and development of the toenail fungus. These are as follows:
- Immune system conditions
- Public pools
- Poor circulation
- Choice of shoes
- Physical exertion
- Damp environment
Who is more prone to the condition?
Men. They are more prone to the condition than women. Furthermore, the older you are, the higher the risk of having the condition as well. also, those who have conditions like the weak immune system, athlete’s foot, those who smoke, and those who have diabetes are at high risks as well. Moreover, those who have family members who have the same condition may also have the high risk of developing the condition. Spending a lot of time in the water may also cause the fungus to infect your nails.
Treatments for Toenail Fungus
Here are some of the best and most effective treatments for toenail fungus:
- Lemon juice– the antiseptic and the antifungal properties of the lemon juice are beneficial in stopping the spread of the toenail fungus. Moreover, the antioxidant properties of it also help in clearing out the damaged cells and stimulate the growth and repair of a healthier toenail.
- Vinegar- the antifungal properties of the vinegar is helpful in quickly clearing up the toenail fungus infection. However, this is when you immediately attend to it.
- Mouthwash- the mouthwash as we know is beneficial in eliminating fungal infections in the mouth. However, this can also be beneficial for the toes when you apply it topically.
- Tea tree oil- this is one of the best treatments for toenail fungus. The antifungal properties of this essential oil are beneficial in eliminating the infections.
- Coconut oil– the natural antifungal properties of the coconut oil is beneficial in getting rid of the infection in the toenail.