Nail Fungus (tinea unguium)
Nail fungus is a common condition indicated by appearing white or yellow spot under the tips of hand or foot nails.
The nail may change colour, thicken, and break in the tip as the fungus goes deeper in. This disease also called onychomycosis and tinea unguium may afflict more than one nail but rarely all the nails.
The factors causing nail fungus follow:
Small injury in skin or nail.
Diabetes, blood circulation disorder, immune system disorder, or down syndrome.
Barefooting in public places, such as swimming pools, fitness centers, and public bathrooms.
Ringworm (tinea pedis)
Socks and shoes with no air ventilation.
Wet and damp environment.
Old aged. The more aged the less blood circulation to cause slower nail growth, fungus longer staying.
Nail fungus have the following indications:
Losing normal colour, not bright.
Fragile and broken.
Detached from the base, bad smelling.
Fungus is a microscopic organism needing no sunlight to grow. Generally dermatophyte gives growth to nail fungus but yeast may also contribute.
Fungus may also penetrate through small sliced skin then affected with damp atmosphere.
Nail fungus mostly happens in foot rather than hand fingers because of the following:
Blood circulation in the feet is scarcer than in the hands, causing the immune system to be slower in detecting the infection.
Nails of the feet often get dark, warm, and damp environment because of wearing socks or shoes.
Nail Fungus Diagnosis and treatment
Physical examination for the affected nails. If not sufficient, sample of the skin under the nails may be taken for laboratory testing.
Medication prescribed for nail fungus is commonly as follows:
Nail polishing ciclopirox to be applied once a day for possible one year long.
Nail cream for application after drowning the infected nails in water.
Oral antifungus medication as terbinafine and itraconazole to grow new layer of nails.
Other than medication the following treatment may be taken:
Nail extraction if the infection is serious.
Laser theraphy, though still rare and expensive.
Generally fungous infection in feet has more difficult treatment than that in hand fingers because foot fingers are slower in growth.
Keep habit the following:
Do the fingers well cut and remain dry.
Use rubber gloves to keep from excessive use of water.
Avoid old shoes.
No harming of skin around the fingers.
Apply antifungous powder for feet and shoes.
Get shoes helping feet from dampness.
Avoid barefooting in public places.
Wear sweat absorbing socks.
Routine cleaning of hands and feet.