Fungal nail infections, also known as onychomycosis, occur when fungi attack your nail or nail bed. Fungal infection can affect both fingernails and toenails, but is more common in toenails.
Most people assume that a fungal nail infection is related to poor hygiene and is contagious, but that is not necessarily true. Many factors can lead to you developing a fungal nail infection. Fungus thrives in places that are warm and moist. Showering in public showers like those at the gym or using public swimming pools can put you at risk of getting a fungal nail infection. Also walking barefoot through these places is not recommended as that could be the source of the problem as well.
Another easy way to get these infections is by going to nail salons that do not clean their instruments well before each use. Be sure to pick a nail salon that maintains a reasonable level of hygiene before giving them business.
Do not ignore fungal nail infection!
A fungal nail infection can affect any number of nails, and it is important to check your fingernails or toenails regularly for any of the following warning signs:
1. White or yellow streaks appearing on the nail
2. Yellow spots at the bottom of the nail
3. Increase in the thickness of the nail
4. Separation or splitting of the nail from the skin
5. Odour emanating from the nail
Most people do not treat their infection because they assume it will either go away on its own or it won’t affect their lives that much. But a fungal nail infection can eventually become a cause of pain and discomfort.
Sometimes, even walking or standing could cause you a lot of pain, let alone wearing shoes. The fungus can also very easily spread to your other unaffected nails. In some cases, leaving the infection untreated for a long time can result in serious permanent damage to your nail and nail bed.
Fungal nail infection treatment does not guarantee to rid you of the problem forever, but it can relieve your symptoms and prevent future problems. An over-the-counter medication is not recommended as it is not likely to give you the best results. Instead, visit your doctor who will find out the extent of damage to your nail or nail bed and give you a prescription which is appropriate for your condition.