The technical word for all fungal infections of the nail is onychomycosis and is a common complaint of nearly 35 million people around the world. A nail fungal infection can afflict the toenails or the fingernails, though it is the toenail fungus that is more common and more difficult to treat.
To be affective, a nail fungal infection treatment must be used continuously until all signs of the infection are gone, the effected nail is grown out and the environment of the foot no longer is supportive of fungus.
The toenails should be ventilated, dry, clean and trimmed to prevent and discourage toenail fungus. Because the toenail itself becomes a barrier protecting the very fungus that is destroying it prevention is very important.
You can prevent nail fungal infections by keeping your nails, both toenails and fingernails, short (but not too short), clean and dry. Wearing clean socks that wick away moisture will help keep your feet dry, though you may need to change socks through the day if you tend to sweat heavily.
Do not go barefoot in public areas that are wet such as pools, gyms, showers or spas.
Leave the cuticles and skin around your nails alone! Do not pick at it or pull hangnails or damage this protective skin. If you choose to frequent a nail salon it is important to make sure they always practice good hygiene, sanitation and sterilization methods. Nail salons are largely responsible for the major spread of nail fungal infections.
Treating a nail fungus infection can be rather simple if detected and treatments are begun in the early stages. If left uncontrolled the infection can become very deep set and harsh chemical, oral or surgical treatments may be necessary and in most cases are accompanied by unwanted and sometimes serious side effects including liver damage.
It is always best to seek a natural method of treating a nail fungus infection. Tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar and even Listerine mouth wash have been known to be effective home treatments for nail infections and are more effective when combined with prevention methods. A variety of natural treatments that use a combination of natural healing oils and plant based medications are also available online and have high affectivity rates.
Nail fungal treatments that may be necessary if the infection is neglected too long include topical chemical treatments, oral anti-fungal medications and even surgical removal of the nail. To avoid these more harsh treatments it is important to detect early and begin treatment.
Continue the treatment until there are no symptoms detected and the damaged part of the nail completely grows out. In addition to the treatment, good hygiene and prevention will help rid your nails of fungus fast.
Not all fungal infections are painful and some seem to pose no problems, pain or spread for years. It is common, particularly in the elderly to have discolored thickened nails with no pain and no spread.
This is the ideal time to use a natural treatment, at any time, even if no change had occurred for years, the fungal infection can become more serious. The nail can become misshaped allowing additional debris to get trapped under the nail causing pain and further infection.
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