Apr 05, 2022 Fungal Nail Infection
Fungal nail infections are quite common and chances are a lot of people will have one at some point in time. They occur on fingers and toenails and thrive in damp conditions.
You can’t catch a fungal nail infection sitting next to someone who already has one, generally sharing towels and communal showers is the most common place people catch them.
The infection starts with discolouration at the side of the nail and gradually spreads to the middle. Eventually, the nail thickens and starts to break up once the infection takes hold. If not treated, the infection can get worse over time and spread to other nails.
Treatment involves a range of antifungal creams or lacquer, which can be applied to the nail.
The symptoms of a fungal nail infection include:
Brittle edges on the nail
Pain along the sides of the nail bed
Thickening and distortion of the nail
Diabetes is a condition that affects the body’s ability to process sugar. There are 2 types of diabetes, type 1 usually starts in childhood and is an autoimmune disease that requires insulin injections. Type 2 diabetes usually starts in adulthood.
Having a fungal nail infection may make you feel unwell and require monitoring from your doctor.
People with diabetes may be more prone to catch fungal nail infections because they are unable to process sugar effectively. Having diabetes increases the chances of having foot sores and infections, so we recommend consulting your GP.
A fungal nail infection causes the appearance of the nail to change and may cause something called pitting. Pitting is caused by nail psoriasis which is a medical condition that affects different parts of the body. It can cause red scaly patches on the skin and can occur on the nails. Other symptoms are similar to fungal nail infection and neither are contagious in the same way as catching a cold.
Both conditions will get worse if you don’t receive the correct treatment, so it is important to find out exactly what is causing the change in your nail. Some people may have both conditions at the same time or just have one of them.
Fungal nail infections develop when your feet are constantly warm and damp. You’re more likely to get an infection if you wear closed shoes for a long time, and have hot and sweaty feet.
So, to prevent fungal nail infections we recommend:
Keep your feet clean and dry
Wear clean socks every day
Wear flip-flops in showers at the gym or swimming pool
Recycle old shoes
Don’t wear shoes that make your feet hot and sweaty
Don’t share towels
Don’t wear other people’s shoes
Don’t share nail clippers or scissors
Although most fungal nail infections can be easily spotted, it’s best to see your GP who can send off a sample of the affected nail for testing. This will be able to detect whether it’s actually a fungal nail infection or if it’s something else.
After a confirmed diagnosis, you can look into treatment options. It’s important to remember that most treatments to combat fungal nail infections aren’t short term treatments, they usually last months. This is because the infected has to grow out so that the healthy one can grow in, and toenails can take months to grow out.
The best type of treatment for a fungal nail infection is to use a lacquer rather than a nail cream. This is because cream washes off easily and becomes extremely ineffective.
Before using nail lacquer, file the surface of the nail to prepare it and then apply the lacquer using an applicator and let it dry to allow the medication to work without washing off. Reapply the lacquer every few days remembering to keep the affected area clean and dry. Repeat this treatment until a healthy nail emerges from the nail bed.
This treatment will take around 6 months to treat fingernails and 9-12 months for toenails.
If you are ready to buy fungal nail infection treatment, SimplyMeds have lacquer treatment available to buy online.
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