Do you know what nail fungus is and what causes it? This common ailment affects many women today. There are quick and easy ways to deal with it, however.
In this article, you’ll learn everything there is to know about nail fungus and its natural solutions. You’ll also learn how to prevent nail fungus with simple tips and tricks.
Before diving into the solutions for nail fungus, it’s a good idea to learn about its origins. What is nail fungus anyway?
Keep reading for a thorough definition on this ailment.
- What is a Nail Fungus?
- Types of Nail Fungus
- Main Causes of Nail Fungus
- How to Prevent Nail Fungus
- Different Treatment Options for Nail Fungus
- Home Remedies to Choose From
- Nail Fungus Infographic
What is a Nail Fungus?
Nail fungus is simply a microorganism that lives on the body. It can grow out of control, however, which leads to fungal infections on either the fingernails or toenails.
Both fungi and bacteria live in and on the body in mostly happy harmony. When the fungi replicate on a larger scale than normal, they produce these characteristics:
Fungi naturally produce an odor, although it’s not normally too pungent when it comes to nail fungus.
Spots or streaks on the nail are a classic characteristic of nail fungus. It occurs on either the fingernails or toenails.
The nail might compensate for a fungal infection by growing more tissue. Thickened nails are the result.
The nails may seem to break or feel ragged to the touch. Nail fungus breaks down this tissue over time.
Nails that grow in an unusual way or pull away from the nail bed may be impacted by fungus.
Did you know that there is more than one type of nail fungus? Learn all about the various types so that anyone can identify a nail condition.
Types of Nail Fungus
There are three main types of nail fungus. Within these categories are varying types of fungi based on their molecular configurations.
Women who can identify the type of fungus that they have can then treat it in the appropriate manner. Here are the main types:
This fungus is the most common type. It can impact the skin or nail from either the bottom up or tip down.
Women can consider this fungi as a contagious type. It’s often spread through contact with objects or areas with the fungi already in place, such as locker-room floors.
A discoloration on the nail followed by a thickening of the area is a common sight with this fungus.
Nondermatophytes or Molds
A less common type of nail fungus is the mold. If a woman comes into contact with the mold, such as walking through affected soil, the fungus can proliferate on the nail and skin.
The nails might have a brown to black appearance that only spreads across the nail bed over time. It’s probably the most noticeable out of all of the fungi types.
This nail fungus grows on the skin too. Women might find it on the toenails or fingernails.
The entire nail starts to yellow and possibly thicken with a yeast infection.
Keep in mind that there are many subcategories of fungi that can impact the nail. In most cases, the exact fungi type isn’t important to your health.
As long as the fungi type can be identified under these three categories, there’s a treatment option.
There are some clear reasons why nail fungus grows among some women and skips other groups. Explore the main causes of nail fungus so that you can be aware of your risk.
Main Causes of Nail Fungus
Understanding the causes of nail fungus gives women some power over their health. Here are the top causes that affect nearly every woman:
Footwear and Hosiery
Wearing tight or poorly ventilated shoes allows fungus to grow. Certain socks and hose will also create a perfect breeding ground for fungus.
Ideally, you want breathable footwear that allows moisture to escape.
Bare Feet in Public Places
Walking around a public pool or locker room without any shoes on can give fungus access to the feet. It’s possible that swimming in a public pool can also be a cause.
Keep in mind that public places also include the nail salon. Fungus is easily transferred during a pedicure or manicure. The clippers and files are often the offenders.
Contributing Health Conditions
Diabetes and HIV are two health issues that contribute to nail fungus. The body can’t fight off the microorganisms as readily as healthier people.
If a relative has nail fungus, anyone in that family might be predisposed to growths on their nails.
Common Risk Factors
Women can understand the causes for nail fungus, but there are also risk factors involved. Explore the risks that might impact any woman:
Women in their 60s have a greater chance of developing nail fungus.
Weak Immune System
When a woman’s body can’t fight off germs, fungus can settle into either the fingernails or toenails.
Any injury to the nail or surrounding skin leaves the body vulnerable to infection. Nail fungus can rapidly grow in and around the injured site.
The main causes and risk factors to nail fungus can apply to many women, but there are ways to avoid it. Get familiar with the best preventive measures known today.
How to Prevent Nail Fungus
One of the best queries involves how to prevent nail fungus. No woman has to worry about treating fungus if it doesn’t happen in the first place.
Follow these tips so that prevention becomes your best defense:
For the Fingernails
Women might bite their nails or cuticles as nervous gestures. Try to refrain from this habit because the injury caused by the nibbling creates a perfect location for fungal growth.
Use Your Own Clippers and Files
A trip to the manicurist is a luxury, but it can introduce your fingernails to fungus. Protect yourself by bringing your own tools, including the clippers and file.
Improper sterilization of salon tools can be the fungal source.
Wash and Dry the Fingers
Women scrub their hair and bodies during a shower. Perform this same service on the fingernails.
Use a nail scrubber to gently clean around the cuticles and under the nail. Fungus won’t have a chance to grow as a result.
For the Toenails
Wear Quality Shoes
Squeezing the feet into the latest shoe style will only create a breeding ground for fungus. Select shoes that fit the feet with a little bit of wiggle room.
Look for shoes that advertise breathable wear or moisture-wicking abilities. Dry conditions during a walk is how women avoid fungal infections.
Don’t go Barefoot
Always wear shoes into gyms, locker rooms and swimming areas. Bare feet being exposed to public areas increases the chances of contracting fungal conditions.
Trim the toenails to a short length and spray antifungal foot powder on for good measure. These hygiene tips can ward off fungal problems.
Although women give these prevention tips a good try, fungus can still arise. Luckily, there are solutions to rely on.
Explore the various treatment options available for nail fungus. One or two of these choices is bound to have a positive effect on nail health.
Different Treatment Options for Nail Fungus
There are two categories of treatment options for nail fungus. Get to know the choices below:
Topical medications are the go-to options for most fungal issues. Rub them on like lotion to see the positive effects.
Some of the topicals include:
For more severe cases, turn to oral prescriptions. A doctor chooses from many of the latest pharmaceuticals in order to find a good match for every woman.
A few of the oral prescriptions today include:
There are reported side effects to the oral prescriptions, so doctors pay close attention to women’s blood results as they take the pills. Changing to a different medication may be necessary if the adverse effects outweigh the benefits.
Advanced Treatment Options
If a woman suffers from chronic fungal issues, advanced options might be viable alternatives. Surgery to remove the nail, for example, is a viable yet extreme solution.
Iontophoresis is a treatment option that involves an electrical current and topical medications. After application, a professional uses electrical pulses to further move the medication into the skin layers.
Laser therapy is a treatment that’s used for many different skin ailments, including acne. By shining certain wavelengths onto the affected skin, the fungus dies back.
This therapy usually requires more than one visit to a professional. He or she can tell you when the fungus has abated enough to stop the appointments.
A treatment option that’s in the beginning stages involves nail lacquer. Adding a certain polish onto the nails can fight off fungus because of the specialized ingredients.
This lacquer still has a ways to go before being administered to the public, but it has a convenient application that might work for many women.
Women also have alternatives in home remedies. Did you know that there are several household products that can make a difference for your nail health?
Discover the best remedies available today, including argan oil.
Home Remedies to Choose From
If a woman has a mild case of nail fungus, home remedies are viable options. Consider these household basics as topical aids, such as:
- Snakeroot Extract
Two of the most effective remedies include Vicks VapoRub and tea-tree oil. VapoRub contains eucalyptus oil and camphor, which are antifungal substances.
Tea-tree oil has the same antifungal effects along with an antiseptic solution.
Other women are looking for a more unique solution to nail fungus, however. That’s when argan oil comes to the rescue.
Argan oil originates from Morocco where it’s produced from tree nuts. The resulting oil has a warm, yellow tone with many beneficial qualities.
This exotic oil fights off nail fungus with these features, such as:
- Antibacterial elements
- Antifungal strength
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Anti-sebum effects
In essence, argan oil fights off the fungus while improving the nail and skin’s health otherwise. Healthy tissue can act more like a barrier to fungus in the future instead of inviting it in.
Simply use argan oil as a topical solution during a beauty regimen. Regular use of pure argan oil can make a difference in the health of the fingernails and toenails.
It’s time to wind down this discussion on nail fungus and argan oil’s solution. Be proactive about any condition in order to fight off the ill effects.
Nail Fungus Infographic
It’s a relief to know that nail fungus doesn’t have to be a regular sight on the toenails or fingernails. In this article, you learned a lot about this condition. Check out the key points in this infographic.
Be diligent with a beauty routine that prioritizes fungal control. Every woman’s nails should be healthy and beautiful even without nail polish.
Did you try argan oil today? Do you have a unique experience?
Share your tips with fellow readers in the comment section below. Every woman should have the knowledge to fight off nail fungus. Prevention is possible with the proper beauty routine.