Nail Fungus 101 – Causes & Prevention

Nail fungus affects millions of Americans whether they want to be honest with themselves about the problems or not. Many people don’t start doing much about it until they see that nails look unsightly, and then they start hiding them and becoming self-conscious. If you ever wondered what causes it, just think about the abuse that your feet go through every day and the fact that they are always on the ground or inside shoes, giving them many chances to come into contact with bacteria that causes this infection.

It can affect the fingernails as well, but you see this problem happen less often. People are always washing and manicuring their hands, taking good care of them for the most part. Feet, however, are let to fend for themselves all too often.

How does the infection set in?

It will get into your toenails by way of cracks, and it can also get into your skin this way, too. People sometimes think that covering up their feet will help get rid of the toenail fungus, but covered feet create a moist and damp environment in which the fungus thrives. Instead of waiting until you have issues, which can be difficult to get rid of, you need to focus on prevention measures. You don’t want that nail fungus eating the keratin in your toenails.

careful where you go barefootDon’t consider yourself exempt from this infection, even if you’re an adult who has had no issues with it before. It can happen, and remember that many people point to the fact that genetics seems to increase the chances of this type of infection occurring. Be careful where you go barefoot, too, as this can put you at a higher risk.

Have you ever heard about how hospitals, where people go and get treated for infections, are also responsible for dishing them out? If you think about it, when you’re in a hospital, you are surrounded by infectious diseases and all kinds of things. Sure, the staff at a hospital takes good care of the place, sterilizing and sanitizing all surfaces. However, all it takes is one mistake, and it’s easy to do in that type of environment. Take that same theory and apply it to the pool, sauna, hot tub, podiatrist’s office, nail salon and other places.

What you first need to do is be aware of any cuts or cracked skin on your feet, keeping them protected. When you can avoid walking barefoot, do so. For example, when entering a sauna, you could choose to wear flip flops. It is unfortunately and truthfully tough to treat. You might as well just forget about all the over-the-counter products when it comes to this fungus. However, don’t confuse nail fungus with athlete’s foot because athlete’s foot is more easily treatable using over-the-counter products.

What you won’t do, however, is cure the toenail from the fungus infection. If you were to go to a podiatrist, he or she would tell you about the size of the blood vessels in the toenails. They are tiny, and toenails take quite a long time to grow, right? Even if the products did work, chances are your feet are going to go through something that day that puts them right back in the hot seat.

However, just because over-the-counter products won’t cure you doesn’t mean there aren’t options. There are prescription strength topical medicines and also oral medications that can be taken. Be careful of side effects, and consider if it’s really worth the risk when trying to get completely rid of toenail fungus this way. Understand that it is estimated that over 50 million people in just the US alone have this problem. That’s of course still the minority, but it’s a large enough problem. Take good care of those feet, and realize how easy it is to get an infection if you don’t already have one.

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