Fungal nail infections are so common that some people may be tempted to ignore them. This is because the condition starts as a small white or yellow spot that slowly spreads throughout the nail. Overlooking this warning sign is a big mistake since the disease carries a lot of risks and treatment is more likely to succeed the earlier it starts.
The usual symptoms of a fungal nail infection or onychomycosis are thickened, brittle, distorted, and dull nails that are yellow, green, brown or black in color. The infected nail may separate from the nail bed and emit a foul odor. Untreated, the disease can cause pain and permanent damage to the nail and spread to other parts of the body. If bacteria are present, there may be high fever, a discharge of pus, and increased pain and swelling.
"Nail fungus is more than a cosmetic problem. It can be painful and interfere with daily activities such as walking, playing sports, writing, typing, and other activities that require manipulating small objects or repetitive finger use. An international study conducted by dermatologists found that nail fungus had a significant impact on the quality of life of people with the disease. The main problems identified were embarrassment, functional problems at work, reduction in social activities, fears of spreading the disease to others, and pain," said PDRhealth.
"In addition, (fungal nail infections) can pose a serious health risk for people with diabetes and for those with weakened immune systems. If you have diabetes, your blood circulation and the nerve supply to your feet can become impaired. Therefore, any relatively minor injury to your feet - including a nail fungal infection - can lead to a more serious complication, such as an open sore (foot ulcer) that's difficult to heal. See your doctor immediately if you suspect nail fungus," added the MayoClinic.com.
Treatment for onychomycosis can be long and tedious (anywhere from four to 12 months) and reinfection is always a possibility. Since topical antifungal creams and ointments aren't effective, they are often combined with oral antifungal medications. However, the latter have side effects ranging from skin rashes to liver damage. To avoid these problems, try Somasin AFS, the safe and natural alternative for stubborn nail infections. Somasin's dual action system targets the heart of the infection and will give you healthy, beautiful nails in just seven days! Check out http://www.somasin.com for more information.
To prevent onychomycosis, here are some tips from the Mayo Clinic and PDRhealth:
* Don't bite your nails or try to dig out ingrown toenails to prevent germs from entering the skin and nails.
* Wear well-ventilated footwear (shoes and socks). Tight shoes that trap perspiration create a perfect environment for fungi to grow and multiply. Take your shoes off from time to time, especially after exercise, to keep moisture away. Change socks often if necessary.
* Use a good antifungal spray or powder. Spray or sprinkle your feet and the insides of your shoes.
* Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from overexposure to water. Dry the gloves thoroughly afterwards.
* Don't go barefoot in public places. Wear shoes around public pools, showers and locker rooms.
* Choose a reputable manicure and pedicure salon. To be safe, bring your own instruments.