What is a Nail Fungus?
A nail fungus is a very typical problem and can appear on both toenails and fingernails. It is caused by a fungus (a living organism) that flourishes in environments that are dark and moist, such as under and around toenails. Toes are the most likely affected, as they are typically in a dark and moist environment in your shoes and socks. In such cases the affected nails can have a yellowish or brownish discolouration, may thicken or end up being brittle with time, and/or have falling apart edges and in some cases fall off.
A fungus can be humiliating and sometimes rather uncomfortable! The nail imitates a protective covering that enables the fungi to grow below and as a result, under the free edge of the nail.
Who can attract a Fungus?
Anybody can get nail fungus, but some people are more susceptible than others. Those affected can show signs ranging from mild to serious.
Elements that add to the condition:
Shared use of contaminated environments
Unsanitary nail bars
Abnormal pH levels of the skin
Trauma to the nail
Poor health of the foot or feet
Vulnerability (i.e. reduced resistance) of the person who has contact with the fungi
It is approximated that 1 in 10 people have toenail fungi, and is one of the most common conditions, treated by Podiatrist and foot professionals.
Where does a Fungus come from?
Fungus and other fungi such as professional athlete’s foot prefer to grow in warm moist locations, that include, but aren’t restricted to, unhygienic pedicure, beauty salons, spas, swimming pools (especially public swimming pools), locker rooms and showers. The fungi’s can reside in warmer puddles on tile floors and inside foot baths such as whirlpools, waiting for someone to step in and pick up the fungi’s spores.
What does a Fungus appear like?
A fungus in the early phases of infection occurs under the nail as has a cloudy appearance or may simply offer the nail a yellow tint. As the nail fungi spread, it can also begin to infect the surrounding skin and nails. If the infection is left unattended it can trigger the nail to end up being badly damaged where it may break or even fall off. The fungi then cause the nail to end up being thick and powdery and more prone to more damage. If a nail fungus is left untreated, it can spread out and contaminate the other surrounding nails also making them dry, chalky and thick.
There are particular signs and symptoms that will caution you of a fungus. These include but are not restricted to:
nails are/ become flaky
nails are/ become breakable
nails chip routinely
nails end up being yellow, brown or black tint or have spots
nails become thick and white and discomfort occurs while using shoes
A bad odour originates from under the nails
A stinging discomfort may occur under the nail while walking
How is a Fungi treated?
It is recommended that you arrange a visit with your Medical Pedicure to have this matter assessed and receive the appropriate treatment.
How is a fungus avoided?
To prevent getting a toenail fungus or potentially another type of fungi on the foot you need to aim to follow a few basic things:
Avoid going to cheap and unsanitary nail beauty salons
Acrylic nails feed fungus
Use natural cotton socks
If you have a fungus, dry your feet with a separate towel and just use it once to avoid spreading, (it is encouraged to clean towels and socks to avoid recontamination).
Do not share towels, socks or shoes.
Use paper towel or toilet paper to dry affected locations
Use breathable shoes