Nail fungus infections, especially the ones affecting toenails, are caused by 3 different types of microorganisms:
- Fungi, the same one that causes infections like athlete’s foot
- mold, or
Fungi have been found to be the most common of all culprits, leading to disgusting toenail fungal infections. The signs and symptoms of the infection onsets with a small brown, yellow or white spot, that seems to be deep-seated right under the nail. The fungus starts growing, leading to discoloration of the nail, making it brittle and separating it from the skin too. In certain cases, the condition results in pain and unpleasant odor too. The condition may affect one or multiple toenails.
How Does Someone Get Toenail Fungus?
Nail fungus affecting toenails is caused due to exposure to fungi, mold or yeast organisms. Exposure may happen through direct or indirect contact with these organisms. These organisms are commonly found in public showers, swimming pools and parks. In order to prevent contraction, people should not share their personal belongings, such as shoes, socks, bedding and towels with any infected person.
Conditions That Worsen Nail Fungus
Fungus affecting toenails can be worse when exposed to organisms. In addition, these organisms can thrive rapidly under favorable conditions, such as warm or moist environment. The responsible organism – yeast, mold or fungi, can flourish in damp warm environment. Wearing closed shoes, sweaty socks and keep the toes moist can provide an optimum environment for the infection to aggravate. People with athlete’s foot may develop fungal infections, if left untreated.
It is very important to diagnose toenail infection and get it treated at the earliest. The course of treatment will depend on the type of organisms responsible for causing these infections. Besides, there are certain medical conditions that produce similar symptoms like toenail infections. In order to diagnose the condition, doctors will do the necessary tests and determine the prime offending organism.
Treatment and Home Remedies
Infections diagnosed early can be treated with over-the-counter topical creams for fungal infections. There are infections that may not respond to any topical cream; such infections that have been growing or progressing require prescription anti-fungal medications. There are many doctors that prescribe both oral as well as topical medications for better results. As nail fungus is a stubborn infection, it has to be treated from its roots. Patients should cooperate with their doctor and attend follow-up visits to make sure their condition does not aggravate.
Toenail fungus is often treated with home remedies like vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. Although there is no sufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of these treatments, they are still used randomly for quick results.