Do I have a toenail fungal infection?

fungal infection_33033820_sAlthough different types of fungal infections exist, fungal infections of the toenail beds are the most common.  Toenail fungal infection is not just itchy feet or just needing to grab the nail clippers and trim your nails. It is much more than that. Take a look at your toe nails and look for these common symptoms of toenail fungus. Do you have really thick nails? For example, you may not be able to cut your toenails with regular nail clippers because the nail has become so thick. Or when you attempt to trim the nails, they are dry and/or brittle. Sometimes even comparing your toenails to the nails on your hands can give you a clear picture of what unhealthy nails look like. Most of these symptoms are aesthetic and can easily be ignored by many people. But often, the final symptom on our list is not easy to ignore: pain. Yes, toenail fungal infection can result in extreme pain in the affected area.

What is it?

Fungal nail infections also known as “onychomychosis” by professionals.  It is caused by a fungus that is easily spread by any nick or small cut in the skin or opening of the nail and nail bed. Once the fungus finds its way into the toenails, it becomes an infection that spreads.

How did I get it?

It is important to realize that anyone can get a toenail fungal infection. The most common way is through shared areas full of moisture. Locker rooms at the gym, hot tubs, and swimming pool areas are the most likely culprits for many people. The moist environment is a perfect breeding ground for this type of fungus.

Do you think you are immune because you don’t work out or swim?  Unfortunately even those who do not frequent these places, can still get a toenail fungus. Simply wearing socks and shoes puts you at risk for a fungal infection. Why? Because it is almost impossible to avoid sweating while wearing shoes and socks. Again, the moist environment is where the fungal infection thrives.

There are certain risk factors that also increase the likelihood of getting a toenail fungal infection. Conditions such as diabetes, any kind of trauma to the nail, vascular disease and athlete’s foot all add to the chance of getting an infection.

Older adults are more likely to get toenail fungal infections also. This has to do with a decreased flow of blood to the area, and being more susceptible to other risk factors that increase the chance of having an infection.

How Do I Get Rid of a Fungal Infection?

Well you could try any of the number of home remedies or over the counter topical medicines. However, most evidence has shown that because these treatments only treat the top of the nail, they are not very effective. Some are even more harmful than the fungus they are trying to treat.

There are also prescription medications that can be obtained from a doctor. However these have serious side effects including liver damage and sometimes do not work at treating the fungus.

Because of recent technology, laser treatment has shown to be a quick, safe and effective treatment of toenail fungal infections.  This treatment is pain free and with no aftercare recovery, it is quickly becoming one of the best treatment methods available.

Do you want to experiment with various remedies that may not work? Or would you rather quickly and effectively rid yourself of a toenail fungal infection safely?

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