Nail fungus treatment isn’t something to look forward to. Unfortunately, many people contend with it every day. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of fungal nail infection. The longer it’s left untreated, the worse this condition gets. More importantly, it never goes away on its own.
Symptoms of Nail Fungus
Healthy toenails are never yellow or brown in color. So, discoloration is an obvious sign that you might have a problem. Other symptoms include:
- A dull nail that’s lost its natural shine
- Crumbly nails
- A bad odor
- Redness and swelling
- A thick nail
Yellowing or brown-colored nails that have lost their shine are a result of debris collecting under the nail. The more discolored they are, the harder it’s going to be to remedy the problem.
Statistics indicate that toenail fungus most often affects the big toe first. From that point, if precautions aren’t taken, it typically spreads to other toes.
If you have diabetes, AIDS or take certain kinds of cancer related drugs, it’s extremely important that you seek professional assistance when you suspect you might have toenail fungus.
Causes of Toenail Fungus
Most fungal infections are caused by a specific type of fungus, referred to is dermatophyte fungus. However, molds and yeasts are sometimes also the cause.
Fungi thrives in moist, dark, environments. Wearing tight shoes, constructed out of material that doesn’t “breathe” highly contributes to this growth.
Fungus has the ability to enter the body through the smallest of spaces. Even a minute separation between your nail and nail bed is large enough for this to happen. Since toes typically have a slower blood circulation rate than fingers, it’s harder for the body to detect the threat of infection due to this fungus invasion.
Before you invest in nail fungus treatment remedies, it’s a good idea to get an official diagnosis. Your doctor or podiatrist may not be able to make a diagnosis based solely on the color and the lack of shine of your toenails.
If this is the case, a culture is usually taken. This culture consists of scrapings taken from underneath the nail. This painless procedure is a quick way to find out for sure whether or not you are dealing with fungal nail infection.
If you notice a slight discoloration of your toenail or nails, don’t ignore it. It’s always best to be proactive and do something about it as soon as possible. Whether you seek medical help or begin a treatment regimen at home, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Remember, left untreated toenail fungus just gets worse. You certainly don’t want it to happen. In extreme cases, fungal nail infection spreads to other parts of the body and potentially gets quite serious. But, there’s no need to panic, nail fungus treatment is easier than you think.