That Unsightly Nail Fungus
Nail fungus is a fungal infection that is more common in toe nails than fingernails but can be found in both. It is an unsightly infection that distorts the nail, making it yellow in color and can become very thick and hard to cut, especially on the toe nails.The edges of the nail can also develop a crumbling. The bed underneath the nail can become very painful if bumped as well. Nail fungus is a living organism that lives beneath your nail in the nail bed where it is damp and dark. This is just the way the fungus likes it. The nail becomes the protector of the fungus allowing it to grow and thrive. The nail also makes it almost impossible to treat the fungus. The fungus is very hard to treat and may reoccur after you have gotten rid of it. There are several medications that your doctor can prescribe but there are side effects and you should consult your doctor about these options. There are also over the counter medications you can use such as ointments and creams but Mayo Clinic states they are mostly ineffective. There are also topical medications that your doctor can prescribe. Then there are the home remedies that some people swear by such as using vinegar and Vicks VapoRub. There are people who claim these home methods work. A friend of mine even told me to try soaking my toe in Listerine mouth wash. What have I got to lose. The most drastic way to treat your nail fungus is surgery to remove the infected nail.
Symptoms and Treatment
Symptoms of nail fungus are:
- Thickening of the nail
- Brittle or crumbling nails.
- Distorted shape of the nail.
- A yellowing or dark coloring of the nail.
When these thing occur on your nail you most likely have a fungus infection. Bumping or stubbing this toe will induce extreme pain, more so than bumping an uninfected toe or nail. Most people who have nail fungus on their toe nails won't go barefoot because the look of the toe nail is so awful.
The treatment of this fungus is difficult because the nail that is infected now becomes the protector of the fungus allowing it to grow and thrive. Also just getting to the infection is difficult because of the nail. So you need to talk to your doctor if you want to take oral medications for this problem. Some of the medication you doctor can prescribe can take up to several months to work and this can cause side effects. I have nail fungus and I don't want to take an oral medication for this problem so I have decided I will first try the home remedies that I have read about. I have recently started to soak my toe in one part vinegar and one part warm water. We shall see if this works. Some people swear by Vicks VapoRub and I am going to be trying that method as well. I am not a barefoot type of person but I don't want to be embarassed by my toes either. I have also heard that using an antibiotic for six months or more could possibly help with this fungus but I don't want to take an antibiotic for that long as it play havoc with your digestive system. So for now I soak in vinegar 2 times a day.
There are some things you can do to help prevent this from happening to your nails.
- Keep your nail cut short and keep them dry. By keeping your nail short and filing the thick parts helps prevent the fungus from taking hold. Also when you bathe make sure you dry your feet very well, in between you toes as well. Never put on socks until your feet are very dry.
- Wear Synthetic Socks. Cotton and wool socks don't keep your feet as dry as do synthetic socks that can wick away moisture on your feet. Taking off your shoes also helps to keep your feet dry. If you have sweaty feet change your socks often.
- Use Antifungal powders in your shoes and on your feet. This will help prevent any fungus taking hold.
- Don't trim or pick at the skin around your nails. This prevents any damage to your skin where a fungus can gain access to your nail beds.
- Don't go barefoot in public places. This is where the majority of fungus's are caught.
- Don't use nail polish on an infected nail. This can cause even more protection to the fungus already living under your nail.
- Always wash your hands after you have touched an infected nail. Another great way to spread the fungus.
Older people are more susceptible to nail fungus because their nails grow slower and gives the fungus more time to grow while remaining unnoticed and older people often have a thickening of the nail due to age. So take care of your feet and maybe you won't have to deal with this terrible problem that so many of us have to.
Vinegar Love to the Mother
- Vinegar: Love to the Mother
Vinegar is not nutritious but it is very healthy. It is made by using "Mother of Vinegar". There are many surprising uses for this ancient ingredient.