Toenail fungus refers to an infection of the toenails caused by a fungus. Mold and yeast can also cause this infection. Fungi, unlike other organisms, survive in dark, warm and moist places devoid of the Sun, such as water sources and inside shoes. Fungus can proof stubborn to kill. Effective ways of avoiding fungus and or preventing re-infection, after treatment, can only be achieved through proper hygiene.
Causes of Toenail Fungus
Exposure to fungus bears the most weight in getting the infection. This exposure occurs if and when a person makes use of public facilities such as bathrooms and swimming pools. Broken nails and nails that lift above the nail bed provide entry for fungus. Wearing closed shoes for long can also lead to toenail fungus.
How to Prevent Toenail Fungus
Fungus thrives in warm moist areas, not to mention can be passed on to other people by using infected nail tools and footwear. To keep off fungus, the feet should be cleaned daily and dried well. The nails should always be cut straight and regularly to prevent their breaking or cutting into the skin; making entry for fungus. Additionally, nail tools should be sterilized before use. The use of public bathrooms, pools and showers, should always be preceded with wearing protective footwear.
Toenail Fungus Treatment Options
Fungal nail infections, usually, has minimal pain and is less debilitating compared to other foot conditions. However, the infection may spread to surrounding skin, nails, foot, leg and other body parts if not treated. The infection can lower people’s self-esteem. As such, treatment should be sought as soon as possible. Treatment may be given in the form of oral antifungal drugs, such as itraconazole and terbinafine. Alternatively, laser treatment can be used for long term solution on this infection.
Toenail fungal infections do not pose major health risks. They can, however, lower people’s self-esteem as the odd-coloured, thickened nails look anything but nice. While oral medication, creams and sprays, may treat this infection, they are not backed by any scientific research. One of the best ways to cure toenail fungus is through laser therapy. Laser treatment for toenail fungus is safe, painless, and each session lasts for about 20 minutes.