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Nail Fungal Infection | 19th July, 2017

 That pedicure you shelled out big bucks for may have left you with an unwelcome gift: onychomycosis, otherwise known as nail fungus. Or maybe it is a souvenir from the shared showers at your gym or your barefoot walks around the public pool.

 Although it starts innocuously enough, as a white or yellow spot underneath your finger or toenail, your nail can start to thicken and even crumble as the fungus penetrates deeper and deeper. Ick. And fungus is more likely to appear and persist in your toenails because your tootsies are often confined in the warm, moist environment of your shoes, where these little buggers can thrive.
Some sympyoms are below;
  • Infected nails are usually thicker than normal and could be warped or oddly shaped.
  • Yellow streaks in the nail bed and on the underside of the nail.
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of skin and nail fragments (debris) under the nail.
  • A discolored and thickened nail that may separate from the skin under the nail.
  • A brittle, broken, and thickened nail.
  • White superficial onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the nail surface. Symptoms include:
  • White spots or streaks on the nail surface.
  • Soft and powdery nail surface, as the infection gets worse.
  • Damaged, crumbly, and brown or gray nail surface. But the nail does not separate from the skin underneath.
Microscopic organisms called fungi cause nail fungal infections; they do not require sunlight to survive so can thrive in these areas.
Most commonly, a group of fungi called dermatophytes (such as Candida) is responsible for nail fungal infections. However, some yeasts and molds also cause these infections; these include:
Trichophyton rubrum - the most common dermatophyte that causes nail fungal infections.
Trichophyton interdigitale.
Epidermophyton floccosum.
Trichophyton violaceum.
Microsporum gypseum.
Trichophyton tonsurans.
Trichophyton soudanense.
Pathogens that cause nail fungus infection usually enter the skin through tiny cuts or small separations between the nail and nail bed. The fungi grow when the nail provides a suitably warm and moist environment.
Preventing nail fungus infections requires hand and foot hygiene. Some suggestions include:
  • Keeping nails short, dry, and clean.
  • Wearing socks that breathe, usually synthetic.
  • Using antifungal sprays or powders.
  • Wearing rubber gloves to avoid overexposure to water.
  • Refraining from picking or biting nails.
  • Wearing shoes or sandals in public places and pools.
  • Ensuring that your manicure or pedicure salon properly sterilizes tools.
  • Using artificial nails and nail polish less often.
  • Washing hands after touching infected nails.
  • Avoiding sharing shoes and socks.
Karen Arthur/ Ghanahospitals.org


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