Fungal infections of the toenails and fingernails are extremely frequent – nail fungus prevention and treatment is dependent upon an understanding of exactly what, exactly, is happening. A fungal toenail infection happens when fungal components, usually spores, get in under the nail, in the tender tissue of the nailbed, and begin to grow there.
What is happening?
Sandwiched between the toenail and the toe, the fungus feeds on the toenail itself: toenails aren’t live tissue, but they have a protein called keratin, which fungi have the ability to break down to get nutrients. Fingernails, hair, and animal hooves and horn also contain keratin, and these compounds are also vulnerable to fungal invasion. Nail fungus prevention starts with being careful not to put out a welcome indication for the fungus. A healthy body with a strong immune system will fight off many fungi that appear.
Clean, well trimmed claws, and hands and feet which are free of breaks in the skin are important also. Look after any harms, even smaller nicks and scratches, especially if they’re near the nails. More severe injuries involving their roots might require more intensive first aid and daily attention to prevent fungal infections from gaining entry and establishing an infection.
Did you know?
At the same time, fungal toenail infections are more common than fungal fingernail infections, so the toes will benefit from more attention. Feet probably suffer from fungal attack more frequently than hands because feet do not get as much fresh air, and they do not get washed as frequently. The trick to nail fungus prevention here is to keep the feet cool, dry and clean.
Fungus spores will begin to grow when conditions are moist and warm. They linger in dirty socks and sneakers, in dirt, damp floor, and filthy public shower stalls. While it’s not required to get around these places altogether, it is important to bear in mind that you always need to wash your feet thoroughly, change your socks frequently, and again, attend even minor injuries carefully.
What to do?
Antifungal powders applied to the insides of shoes may also help prevent fungal toenail infection. If nail fungus prevention fails, and you see indications that a nail is infected, do not wait for it to get worse before you handle it. In these very early stages, a home remedy for fungal toenail and fingernail disease, or a homeopathic remedy may work just as well as a costly prescription medication.
Fungi grow quite slowly, so you have the time to work on it until it becomes too advanced. First, ask your doctor to make sure it’s a fungal infection, and after that, whichever treatment you choose, devote yourself to visiting the treatment every day, maybe for months, before the disease is gone. R. Drysdale is a freelance writer with over 25 years experience as a medical care professional. She’s a contributing editor to Nail Fungus Prevention, a site devoted to the treatment of fingernail and toenail fungus.