Fungal nail infection
Fungal nail infections are painful and unsightly. We all host a number of bacteria and fungi both on and inside our bodies; some of them healthy some not. Fungi can cause a number of different diseases and conditions ranging from athlete's foot,jock itch or ringworm to the yeast-type infections such as candida.
Brief Facts about Fungal Nail Infections
The fungus that can infect our nails can be a number of different types.
More common in adults.
Toenails are affected more often than fingernails.
Fungal nail infection often follows a case of fungal infection of the feet.
Most At Risk from Fungal Nail Infections
Signs and Symptoms of Fungal Nail Infections
The doctor can confirm diagnosis by sending a scraping of the nail for culture. The fungus type will be identified from this and the appropriate medication prescribed.
Treatments for Fungal Nail Infections
Creams and ointments are available to treat fungal nail infections A nail lacquer called Penlac may be helpful for some people.
There are a number of oral medications. Sporanox (itraconazole) or Lamisil (terbinafine) and can be taken for several months. They have be found to be helpful and clear the fungus in up to half of cases of fungal nail infection. They do have a number of side effects. Many people are not able to take these medications because of other medications that they are taking, or medical problems such as liver or cardiac disease.
New growth of nails following fungal nail infection can take up to a year because of the slow growth of the nails.
Prevention of Fungal Nail Infections
Good hygiene will help to prevent fungal infections. Keep your skin clean and dry. Wash and dry the hands thoroughly after contact with any fungal infection.
Fungal nail infections may be difficult to treat and may often recur. It can result in permanent damage.
If the finger becomes infected because of the fungal infection and looks red, is painful and drains pus contact your family doctor or other health care provider.
Contact you health care provider if you experience persistent or recurring nail infections.