Fungal Nail 

Fungal nail infection.
Fungal Nail infection is a fairly common problem. Nails are made up of protein and a form of modified hair. The nail is comprised of the nail matrix or root and the protective alpha-
keratin layer.


The responsible fungus is usually the same as that that causes athlete’s foot, dermatophytic onychomycosis. In athlete’s foot the responsible fungus lives in the keratin that makes up the outer layer of the skin. This nail fungus spreads to the keratin in the nails infecting the
nail matrix causing nail fungus.

 

How the fungal infection effects the nail.
Nail fungus can deform the nail, thickening it, turning it yellow or brown in colour, crumbling the protective layer and leaving the whole nail looking unsightly or completely killing the nail matrix completely. There may even be a slight smell. Later the nails may become so
thick that they hurt when they press on the inside of a shoe. They are then hard to trim. The look of an infected nail, particularly a fingernail, may cause embarrassment. The abnormal nail can damage footwear and may cut into the adjacent skin forming an ingrowing toenail.
The skin nearby may also have a fungal infection; it may itch, crack, form a blister or appear white, especially between the toes.


Treatment.

 

Fungal infections of the nail do not clear up by themselves, but not all of
them need treatment. Some people with infected toenails are not bothered by them at all. In that case, they can sometimes be left alone if monitored.

 

Your foot practitioner may need to trim out the infected nail and reduce the nail plate thickness regularly, although there will be a chance of infecting other toes of feet. Treatment is slow and does require compliance and consistency. It can take up to 18 months to complete the course as the healthy nail grows up.
 

Treatment options are various. Please discuss with your Foot Health

Practitioner.


Here are some hints on the best way to prevent fungal nail infection.
Do:
treat athletes foot as soon as possible to avoid it spreading to nails.
keep your feet clean and dry
wear clean socks every day
wear flip-flops in showers at the gym or pool
throw out old shoes
Don’t:
do not wear shoes that make your feet hot and sweaty
do not share towels
do not wear other peoples shoes
do not share nail clippers or scissors.

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