In this article, we will discuss nail bed infection known as onychomycosis. Toenails or fingernails both can be affected, but toenail infection is more common. We will talk about the fungi that cause this infection, how you get infected and how you can prevent such infections and in the end, we will also discuss how to treat the fungal infections of the nails.
Type of toenail fungus
onychomycosis is very common and it is estimated that about 7 to 10 percent of adults suffer from these infections. although these infections are generally harmless and do not cause any serious problems, they can cause a decrease in quality of life and self-confidence as these can distort the nails giving them a very ugly appearance.
Paronychia nail bed infection
Fungal nail infections can cause the nails to become discolored thick and more likely to crack and break. That is why it is important to treat them at an early stage because if not treated in the early stages, it becomes very difficult to manage. As the topical drugs that are used for the treatment of normal infections of the skin, cannot penetrate the nail .special types of medicines are used for advanced Mucormycosis which we will discuss later in this article.
Can ringworm cause nail?
Now let’s first talk about the fungi that cause these fungal infections of the nails and how you get infected. These fungal nail infections occur from the overgrowth of fungi in under or on the nail fungi thrive in warm moist environments .so this type of environment can cause them to naturally overpopulate the same fungi that cause jock itch athlete’s foot and ringworm can cause nail infections.
Ringworm nail bed infection belongs to a group of fungi that is known as dermatophytes. trichophyton rubrum is the most common dermatophyte that is involved in onychomycosis other dermatophytes that may be involved are trichophyton interdigital epidermophyten trichophyton violation and Microsporum fungi that are present in or on your body can cause these nail infections if you come in contact with someone else who has fungal infections. You may contract it as well.
What causes nail fungus?
You can also get these infections if you walk barefooted excessively or come in contact with soil or water often. you are more likely to develop a fungal nail infection if you have diabetes or aged above 65. if you have a heart disease that causes poor circulation. if you swim in a public swimming pool you are also more likely to develop fungal infections. if you have a nail injury or have a skin injury around the nail,if you have moist fingers or toes for an extended time, if you have a weakened immune system or if you wear closed tight shoes such as tennis shoes or boots for extended periods of time.
Now let’s talk about how onychomycosis presents and what symptoms you can develop. A fungal infection of the nail may affect only a part of the nail. The entire nail or several nails common signs of a fungal nail infection include a distorted nail that may lift off from the nail bed an odour coming from the infected nail brittle or thickened nail .you can also develop a dark colored nail caused by debris building up under your nail.nail fungal infection usually begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail.
How is fungal nail infection diagnosed?
As the fungal infection goes deeper, nail fungus may cause your nail to discolor thicken and crumble at the edge and it can affect several nails. if you visit a dermatologist they can confirm the diagnosis by performing a few simple tests. Nail clippings or scrapings are taken and are observed under the microscope. If fungi are detected then the diagnosis can be confirmed. Also a culture can be done for detecting the fungi.
Nail fungus treatments
Now let’s look at how to treat these fungal infections of the nails. The mainstreams of treatment are anti-fungal drugs either taken orally or applied directly on the nails. The treatment of fungal infections of the nails usually takes a couple of months or maybe even up to a year, because it is very hard for these anti-fungal drugs to penetrate the nail plate. These antifungals include drugs like etraconazole aphenachonazole ,tobinafine cyclopedoxolamine and amarolphine. You can only apply the topical drugs like anti-fungal creams lotions or lacquers and skip oral antifungal medicines but if you have an extensive involvement of the nails,you need to take oral anti-fungal medicines.
Best nail treatment for fungus
Now nail paints containing cyclopyroxolamine and amorolfine are most commonly used as the first line of treatment. cyclopirox comes as a solution to apply to the nails and skin immediately surrounding the nails. It is usually applied once daily, usually around bedtime. cyclopedox topical solution will work best if you trim your nails regularly during your treatment. You should remove all loose nail or nail material using a nail clipper or nail file before you begin treatment and every week during your treatment. Only apply cyclopirox topical solution to your nails and the skin under and around your nails. Be careful not to get the solution on any other areas of the skin or parts of the body especially in or near your eyes nose and mouth.The most important point to remember during this treatment is to continue using this nail paint for at least six months to one year to have a complete cure and prevent recurrences.
Nail fungus medicine over the counter
amarolfine nail paint is also used in a similar way and duration but studies have shown that cycloperoxolamine is more effective than amarolphine , but the results can vary depending upon the patient. aphenachonuzole a new antifungal drug is an emerging therapy for the topical treatment of onychomycosis. it comes in a 10 solution that can penetrate easily through the nail plate and even through nail polish for a complete cure. 8 to 12 months of daily application of this solution is recommended. So these were some effective topical drugs for the fungal infection of the nails.
Oral antifungal drugs
Now if you have multiple nail involvement, you need to take oral antifungal medicines. Oral therapies have high cure rates for onychomycosis. the most commonly used oral drugs for the treatment of onychomycosis are gryzopholine terbinafine ,etraconazole and ketoconazole tabinofine in the dosage of 250 milligrams per day is taken daily for eight weeks for fingernail fungus and twelve weeks for toenail fungus. uteroconazole is considered to be the most effective oral antifungal drug for the treatment of nail fungal infections. the dosage of atrocious oil is 200 milligram once daily taken continuously for six to twelve weeks. intraconozole is also prescribed in pulsed doses. pulse treatment consists of 200 milligram taken two times in a day for one week per month and this is continued for two to three months for fingernails and three to four months for toenails. Please note that i cannot prescribe these oral antifungal drugs over an article. because they can also cause side effects. so it is always advice that you consult a dermatologist or a physician if you want to start these medicines. side effects of these medicines include headache diarrhea skin rash or elevated liver enzymes. which are important to monitor. now fungal infections of the nails are also associated with fungal infections of feed also known as linear pedis and fungal infection .that occurs between the toes known as athlete’s foot.