Toenail fungal infection known by the name of onychomycosis is a condition caused by a type of mold called dermatophyte. This infection usually affects toenails more than fingernails. The fungi enter through the small cracks in your skin or sometimes could be present in your body.
There are high chances of getting the infection through contact with someone who has it. The fungi thrive in warm, moist environments that make the toenails an ideal place for their survival.
Sometimes it is hard to notice the symptoms as it is subtle in the early stages. It is important to look into the slight discolorations, spots, and changes in texture for early diagnosis and treatment.
What Are The Toenail Fungal Infection Symptoms?
Symptoms of onychomycosis vary from person to person and some of them might resemble minor nail issues. If the symptoms persist or worsen it is recommended to get the right medical help for diagnosis and treatment.
👉 Discoloration: It is a common symptom observed in toenail fungal infections. The nail changes color to white, brown, yellow, or even black which could indicate infection.
👉 Thickening: Another common symptom is the thickening of the nails which makes it difficult to trim them and causes severe discomfort.
👉 Brittle in nature: Nails could become brittle in nature, making it easy to split and break.
👉 Shape Changes: There will be visible changes in the shape of the nails that make them look twisted. It affects the appearance and appeal of the nails.
👉 Separation: As the infection worsens it could separate the nail from the nail bed leaving a gap between them.
👉 Smell: The infection could result in a foul smell coming from the nails which affects personal hygiene.
👉 Pain: Some may experience pain and uneasiness due to the infection due to the accumulation of the fungi.
Toenail Fungal Infection Treatment Options
🔰 Topical Antifungal Medications: Creams and ointments prescribed by medical professionals could effectively treat onychomycosis. If the infection is mild in nature this topical treatment could neutralize the fungi causing the infection.
🔰 Oral Medications: Oral medications are also available and widely used to tackle fungal infections. If the infection is acute and persistent it is treated with such medications for maximised effect.
🔰 Laser Therapy: It is the medical treatment where the fungi are destroyed with laser light. This effectively dismisses the fungi causing the infection providing better results. It might take more than one session to effectively rectify the issue.
🔰 Nail Removal: Another method of treatment used is removing the affected nail surgically in cases of severe infections. It is a time-consuming procedure and often used in complicated stages of the infection.
🔰 Home Remedies: Sometimes it is possible to manage the infection through some simple home remedies. Adopting techniques like vinegar soaks and tea tree oil treatment in the affected part might help to manage the infection.
🔰 Herbal Remedies: In Ayurveda, toenail fungal infection is treated with various herbs that have antifungal properties. Promoting natural healing in a consistent way could improve the body’s ability to fight these infections.
Tips To Avoid Toenail Fungal Infection
With proper care and regular self-examinations, it is possible to avoid onychomycosis. Educating yourself about the condition, its symptoms, and maintenance could reduce the risk of infection.
👉 Good Hygiene: Hygiene is of paramount importance when it comes to toenail fungal infections. With proper hygiene practices, one could effectively mitigate the chances of infection.
👉 Footwear: It might sound simple, but well-fitting footwear that absorbs moisture and keeps feets dry reduces the risk of onychomycosis.
👉 Protection: The foot is an often neglected part of our body that lacks proper attention and care. Protecting the foot by wearing footwear in unhygienic conditions and avoiding being barefoot could help in the long run.
👉 Prevent Moisture Buildup: By keeping feet dry one can prevent moisture build-up which is the primary cause of onychomycosis. Always towel dry your feet when in contact with water and use anti-fungal powder to keep it dry.
👉 No Sharing: Avoid sharing your personal nail clippers and other pedicure tools to avoid chances of infection.
👉 Maintaining nail health: With proper maintenance of nail health one could prevent onychomycosis and ensure healthy nails free of infection.
Foot care and health are not given central importance like the rest of the body parts by many. It is critical to maintain the health and hygiene of the foot to prevent fungal infections and severe complications.
Adopting healthy habits like trimming your nails, changing wet socks, and drying your feet thoroughly will help to maintain overall foot health.