Nail fungus is one of those conditions that can be really embarrassing. It can make your nails look gross and feel dull. And worst of all, it’s a condition that often requires professional treatment. But what is nail fungus, exactly? And is nail fungus contagious? Here are the answers to these questions and more.
What is Nail Fungus?
Nail fungus is a common skin infection that can be caused by a variety of fungi. The fungus produces an excessive amount of sticky, white fungal growth on the nails. This can make it difficult to handle and even impossible for some people to remove without damaging the nail. Nail fungus may also lead to pain, inflammation, and even infection in other parts of the body.
Most common type of nail fungus is onychomycosis. This is a fungal infection that affects the nails and surrounding skin. There are many different types of onychomycosis and each has its own symptoms. In some cases, the fungus may only colonize one or two nails while in others it may affect all of the nails on both hands.
There is no cure for nail fungus, but there are treatments available that can help relieve symptoms. Some people require surgery to remove the affected nails while others may require medication or topical treatments like creams or ointments. It’s important to seek professional help if you notice any signs or symptoms of nail fungus such as redness, swelling, pain, difficulty moving your fingers, or changes in your nails’ color or shape
Types of Nail Fungus
There are a few different types of nail fungus, each with its own unique symptoms. Below is list of most common types of nail fungus and their associated symptoms:
1) Onychomycosis – This type of fungus forms soft, white, cotton-like growths on the nails. It can cause discomfort, redness, and eventual thinning and lilting of the nails.
2) Trichophyton rubrum – This type of fungus causes thick, brown patches to form on the nails. It can cause pain when touched, as well as an inability to grow new nails.
3) Tinea pedis – This type of fungal infection affects the feet and toes specifically. It typically causes skin lesions that may become infected. Symptoms may include intense itching and scaling (especially around the big toe), as well as cosmetic concerns like calloused skin or ridges on the feet.
4) Onychomycosis warts – These small, flesh-colored bumps on the nails are a sign that you have onychomycosis. They may go away by themselves or require treatment with topical creams or antibiotics.
How to Avoid Getting Nail Fungus
Nail fungus is a common problem that can be caused by various factors, including the use of harsh chemicals or detergents. You can reduce your chances of getting nail fungus by following these tips:
Avoid harsh soaps and shampoos. These can irritate your skin and contribute to nail fungus. Instead, use gentle soap and shampoo that won’t dry out your nails.
Wash your hands regularly. Not only will this keep you clean, but it also helps remove bacteria that may cause nail fungus.
Keep your nails short and trimmed. This will help prevent dirt and debris from getting into your nails and contributing to the development of nail fungus.
Avoid wearing tight shoes or boots. These can cause pressure on the feet, which can lead to toe fungus (another type of fungal infection).
If you do develop nail fungus, seek professional help as soon as possible. Treatment with antifungal creams or oral medications may be necessary.
Home Remedies for Nail Fungus
There are a few home remedies you can try if you’re dealing with nail fungus. Some people swear by garlic oil, tea tree oil, or apple cider vinegar as treatments, while others find that over-the-counter products work just as well. If you’re not sure what’s causing your nail fungus, talk to your doctor about getting it checked out.
Treatment for Nail Fungus
If you have nail fungus, your doctor may prescribe a topical cream or an oral medication. These treatments work by killing the fungus and preventing it from growing. In some cases, surgery can be necessary to remove the fungus completely.