Nail fungus is the most common nail problem. It begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of the toenail or fingernail. Nail fungal infections are generally caused by dermatophyte fungus, yeasts, or molds more so if the nails are exposed to warm and moist conditions often. If the fungal infection persists it may cause the nail to discolor, thicken, and crumble at the edge. The infected nail may separate from the nail bed and there may be pain and a slightly foul odor. Treatment is required only if the nail is painful and has led to thickened nails, otherwise, self-care and simple medications may help.
Tips for Prevention
Nail fungus infections can be kept at bay by ensuring hand and foot hygiene.
* Wash your hands and feet regularly and keep the nails short, dry, and clean.
* Dry the feet thoroughly after a bath. Micro-organisms thrive in the damp spaces between the toes.
* Avoid biting the nails.
* Avoid using nail paint/polish and artificial nails, especially if you have a tendency for nail fungus.
* Ensure that the tools used for a manicure or pedicure or pedicure are properly sterilized.
* Wash the hands after touching infected nails.
* Use rubber gloves to avoid overexposure to water.
* Avoid going barefoot in public places.
* Wear shoes and socks made of natural materials. Leather shoes allow the feet to breathe and prevent sweat.
* Cotton socks keep the feet dry and absorb moisture. Change the socks regularly.
* Use antifungal liquor prescribed by a doctor, If you notice any marks on the surface of a nail, soak the nails in water, gently scrape them off. Dry them and apply medicated nail liquor.