Nail Fungus and What To Do About It

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Nail fungus is not a particularly appetizing topic to discuss at the company picnic or around the dinner table, but it is a condition that is more common that you might think and knowing the symptoms might give you a head start on treating this unpleasant condition.

If you notice your nails have thickened or discolored to an unsightly yellow-brown, you might have a nail fungus. If your nails are brittle, crumbly, ragged or distorted in shape, you might have a nail fungus. I you find debris building up under your nail or smell a foul odor coming from your nails, you might have a nail fungus. While it is possible to develop a fungal infection in your fingernails, your toenails are far more susceptible, and the older you get, the more likely you are to develop an infection.

If the problem is mild and isn’t causing discomfort, you might be able to treat the infection with over the counter medications. But fungal nail infections, particular on the toenails, are notoriously difficult to cure completely. For one thing, dermatophytes (the microscopic varmints that cause nail fungal infections), feed on keratin, the protein which just happens to be exactly what nails are made out of. Even if you are able to treat the infection, since the dermatophytes are embedded directly in the nail, the infected part of the nail still has to grow out before you are completely rid of the fungus. And toenails can take a long, long time to grow out.

If you’ve tried self-treatment and the problem isn’t getting better, it’s time to seek professional medical help. Your dermatologist might prescribe topical medications or oral anti-fungal drugs. In some severe cases, the nail might even have to be surgically removed. The good news is; most nail infections can be successfully treated. The bad news is; even when successfully treated, nail fungal infections can return. Sorry.