Onychomycosis (scientific term) or toenail fungus is an infection that tends to occur in an adult’s toenail. Nails usually harden, discolor, and start breaking when they are affected by this fungal disease. Athletes, miners, diabetic patients, and people whose work culture usually involves a lot of moisture accumulation in the feet are more prone to acquiring toenail fungus. Less blood circulation or nail injury can also lead to the same. While doctors prescribe oral antibiotics as the first step in the treatment, there are chances this infection might even last for a lifetime.
How Is Toenail Fungus Diagnosed?
Once you doubt about sensing something abnormal in your nails, visit your dermatologist or general practitioner at the earliest. Your doctor can diagnose toenail fungus with a naked eye but might get a sample collected for lab testing if the infection is in its initial stages and not detectable through physical examination. The results will then confirm the presence of fungi in your nails.
Toenail Fungus Is Communicable
Just like other skin infections, toenail fungus can spread from person to person. Constant contact or using the same footwear as the infected person should be avoided at any cost to keep away from acquiring the disease. Also note that if someone in the household has been infected with the disease, it is advisable to regularly wash your feet and nails with hot water.
Beware of Manicure Tools
It came as a shock when a Brazilian woman acquired HIV by sharing manicure tools with her cousin. Equipment that is shared by multiple people should be handled with caution. Salons sterilize and reuse manicure and pedicure tools among different customers. But, in situations where the tools are not cleansed the right way, there are high chances of obtaining the infection.
Cure for Toenail Fungus
1. Antifungal Medication
Over-the-counter drugs such as Lamisil and Lotrimin are good antifungal medications that are majorly prescribed by dermatologists to cure toenail fungus. But the duration of intake of these drugs might last a few months or more. Diabetic patients and people who already consume drugs for other medical conditions are supposed to bring it to the knowledge of their practitioners. This way, side effects or any other complications can be avoided.
2. Nail Creams
Application of urea-based nail creams are said to effectively treat toenail fungus. However, the infection leaves only when the nail grows completely out of the nail bed and is trimmed off.
3. Drill Method
Super-tiny microholes are drilled in the infected nail and an anti-fungal spray is sprayed over it. This way, the medication directly reaches the infected part of the nail and helps kill the fungi. Though there might be bleeding in some cases, this is considered one of the most effective methods to cure toenail fungus.
There are several home remedies for toenail fungus such as applying olive oil, washing with Listerine, or soaking your feet in vinegar water. These might help in the early stages or to curtail the fungal growing further. But, it is essential to use the prescribed medication in order to completely get rid of the infection. Also, remember that proper hygienic practices can save you from diseases like these.