A fungal nail infection can be a difficult and embarrassing condition to have. A nail infection occurs because of a fungal infection referred to as dermatophyte. The fungal infection can begin on the nail or it can be spread to the nail from other areas of the body, particularly the foot. This fungus can attack the nail and even start to eat away at the keratin, the major protein that is found in the nail. If not treated properly, a fungal nail infection can become severe and painful.
A fungal nail infection will usually be first noticeable as a white or off-white colored spot located just under the nail. You may notice that the nail will thicken or become discolored and in more advanced cases the edges of the nail may begin to crumble. As soon as you begin to see signs of a potential fungal nail infection, you should make an appointment to see the doctor. The nail will not get better without treatment and will only worsen if left without being treated. The nail may start to separate from the nail bed at which point it will become very painful.
The fungus that causes the fungal infection grows rapidly in moist and humid conditions. This means people who live or work in a moist or humid environment are more likely to be at risk from this infection. The fungus can also spread quickly even from person to person. This means that walking barefoot in public, especially if you have a small cut will put you at greater risk for the nail infection. You can also be at greater nail infection risk by wearing tight shoes or socks that do not allow for proper circulation in your feet.
You should begin your nail infection treatment with an appointment at your doctor so that you can be properly diagnosed. There are several over-the-counter ointments and medication that you can try to treat your nail infection. Your doctor can prescribe several different types of prescription medication like terbinafine to treat you nail. These nail infection remedies may take several months to work but will, over time, rid your nail from the fungal infection. If your fungal nail infection gets severe, surgery to remove the nail may be the only solution. The nail will grow back without the infection within about one year’s time.