If fungal nail care is neglected, the highly contagious fungus can spread to other nails. When fungal treatment is neglected, you may encounter results that go up to nail loss. Therefore, fungal nail care is a job that should be taken seriously. Nail fungus is caused by single-celled fungi called dermantophytes. Fungus usually occurs on the big toes of the feet. It causes an aesthetically bad appearance. However, patients often complain of problems such as itching, pain and tenderness. Fungus, an infectious disease, can occur due to lack of hygiene. Even if the person pays attention to his hygiene, when he comes into contact with the person with the fungus, the fungus can also be transmitted to him. The fungus first manifests itself as a color change in the nail. When fungal nail care is not done effectively, the fungus progresses and the nail color shifts towards green.
What Are the Symptoms of Fungal Nails?
Fungal nail symptoms can be listed as follows:
- The nail smells bad.
- Nails are easily brittle.
- White and yellow lines begin to appear on the nail.
- The nail thickens.
- Nail dries up.
- The nail begins to crumble.
- Sensitivity occurs in the nail.
- There is a color change in the nail.
- Nail deformity occurs.
What Causes Fungal Nails?
Fungal nails are caused by organisms. Apart from fungi, yeast and molds are also known to cause nail infections. People of all ages can get nail fungus. However, fungal nails are usually seen in older people. With the aging of the nail, the nail becomes more brittle and dry. When the nail dries, it tends to crack. Fungus easily comes to the cracked area and settles. This explains the prevalence of the fungus in old age. Another reason why nail fungus is more common in old age is the decrease in blood circulation in the feet and weakening of the immune system. After a toenail fungus infection starts in the feet, it can spread to other nails. Although it is possible to get an infection from someone else, this situation is rarely encountered.
What Are the Risk Factors for Developing Fungal Nails?
When the fungal nail risk factors are understood, it is possible to reduce the risk of fungal infection. The risk factors that require fungal nail care can be listed as follows:
- Having blood circulation problems
- having diabetes,
- Having a weakened immune system
- Having psoriasis
- nail injury,
- Going barefoot in damp public areas such as swimming pools, showers and gyms
- Having previously been infected with nail fungus,
- Having excessively sweaty feet
- Wearing closed shoes for a long time in the summer heat,
- Keeping the feet constantly moist
- Not drying the feet well
- Sharing common towels, socks, slippers with people,
- Being old is one of the risk factors.
What Are Fungal Nail Complications?
Fungal nail complications can cause permanent damage. Serious infection problems can be seen, especially in cases such as drug use and diabetes. That’s why you need to take nail fungus seriously. If diabetes is not controlled, blood circulation and the nerve network in the feet may be affected. There is a high risk of bacterial skin infection. Even minor injuries to the feet of such individuals can lead to serious complications. If you are diabetic and think that you may have a nail fungus problem, you will need to apply to a health institution without wasting time.
Can Fungal Nail Development Be Prevented?
It will be enough to acquire some habits to prevent fungal nail development . First of all, hands and feet should be washed regularly. If the infected nail is touched, the hands should be washed immediately. After washing hands, they should be moistened with suitable moisturizing creams. Nails should be cut straight. After the nail is cut, the nails should be straightened using a nail file and the thickened areas should be thinned. Remember to clean the nail clippers after each use. In order to prevent foot fungus, you need to prevent the feet from sweating. You can choose sweat absorbent socks. Carry spare socks if possible. Change your socks during the day. Use the shoe preference for breathing shoes.
If you are in common areas, do not walk barefoot in these areas. Wear your own slippers. Prefer places that use specially sterilized manicure and pedicure instruments for each client. Be mindful of the products you use yourself. Using artificial nails, nail polish and nail polish will increase the chance of catching fungus.
How Is Fungus Diagnosed?
When visiting the doctor for the diagnosis of fungal nail, the doctor will recognize the fungus at a glance. Some physicians may want to know the type of fungus by ordering various tests. For this, a piece of the nail is taken and necessary examinations are made in the lab environment. If the person has psoriasis and similar diseases, sometimes there may be the appearance of fungus in the nails. Apart from this, it is known that fungus can be transmitted to the nails due to bacteria. Knowing the cause of infection will shed light on treatment. The physician can treat you depending on the underlying cause and will save you from the fungus as soon as possible.
Which Medicines Are Used for Fungal Nail Treatment?
In the treatment of fungal nails, the drug can be given by the doctor to be taken orally or applied on the nail. Drugs used for the treatment of fungi are known as anti-fungal drugs. A combination of oral and topical antifungal treatments may be required for some patients. The doctor will make this decision. Oral antifungal drugs are the first preferred drug group in the treatment of nail fungus. This is because it offers faster cleaning compared to topical medications. The risk of a new nail being infected is minimized, and the infected part changes slowly.
Oral antifungal drugs should be used regularly for 6 to 12 weeks for treatment. It may not be possible to see a result in the nail until the nail is fully grown. However, it is necessary to continue using the drug. Early discontinuation of treatment may cause the fungus to develop resistance to the drug. The time for complete elimination of the infection will vary from person to person. Depending on the adhesion of the fungus to the nail, the duration of treatment varies between 4 months and 2 years.
Are There Any Side Effects of the Medications Used in the Treatment of Fungal Nails?
Side effects in fungal nail drugs are available especially for oral anti-fungal drugs. For this reason, blood tests should be done regularly while using these types of drugs. While using these drugs, it is necessary to be under the supervision of a physician. Physicians may also want to use medicated nail polish with no side effects. Anti-fungal nail polish called ciclopirox can be used frequently in treatment. This nail polish needs to be applied to the infected nail and surrounding tissue once a day. At the end of seven days, all layers are cleaned with alcohol and the application continues. This type of nail polish may need to be used for 1 year, so you need to be patient.
For the treatment of fungal nails, the doctor can give medicated nail cream. The effect of this type of cream is that it is more effective when the nails are thinner. The physician may request the use of a lotion containing urea for thinning the nails, or the nail can be thinned by filing. Fungal nail care is important together with the use of medication.