How would you know if you have toenail fungus? First let us find out what toenail fungus is.
The medical term for toenail and fingernail fungus is onychomycosis. It is a living thing that feeds on the keratin in both the fingernails and toenails. It usually sports a brown or yellow color.
The nails are designed in such a way that makes it difficult for fungi and other infectious organisms to penetrate and enter. With that being said, we have to be thankful since it makes diseases hard to get into our system via our toes and fingers.
The downside however, (yes, there is a downside) is that in instances when toenail fungus has already penetrated the natural barrier of nails, it becomes really hard to get rid of the fungus.
Is the Toenail Fungus Common?
If you are wondering if the nail fungus is common, the answer is yes. About 10% of the entire population of the world gets infected by the nail fungus. Knowing this fact, you would want to be aware of its symptoms.
Symptoms of Toenail Fungus
You would be able to easily tell if you have toenail fungus. Its signs are very obvious even to a pair of untrained eyes.
- Discoloration – The first give away is the color of your nail. If you have toenail fungus, your nail will have discoloration. Usually, the nail will sport a yellow, brown or even green color.
- Thickening and Flaking – You may also start to notice that your nail is starting to thicken and become flaky.
- The Smell – Another giveaway is the smell. If your nail starts giving off a scent that is not pleasant, you may be suffering from a bout of toenail fungus.
- Pain – Usually toenail fungus doesn’t cause pain however in some cases pain is present. Some may feel pain when wearing shoes or even find it painful to walk. The intensity of the pain will depend on how severe the infection is and how the infection is being treated.
Now that you know what the symptoms of toenail fungus infection are, let us discuss how you can treat it. If you are suffering from toenail fungus, don’t feel too bad as there are plenty of treatments available.
Consult a Dermatologist
The best thing to do is to set an appointment with a dermatologist. You may be prescribed with an oral medication to effectively treat the nail fungus infection especially if your infection is severe. Medications taken orally are considered as the best option for treating nail fungus infection.
Over the Counter Treatments
You can also treat your nail fungus infection with over the counter treatments. Usually these are topical treatments in the form of oils and creams. They have been successful in treating cases of nail fungus infection but are regarded as not as effective as oral medications.
The reason behind this is because of the nail barrier which protects your nail bed. As mentioned early on the nails are designed to make it hard for things to penetrate through.
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