According to statistics, 12% of the whole American population has nail fungus. This condition results in thickened, discolored, brittle and malformed nails.
The toenails are more commonly affected than the fingernails. The dermatophytes or the kind of fungi that causes the nail abnormalities breed ideally in warm and moist places. The foot is subjected to such environment when one wears shoes everyday.
Nail fungus is contagious. That is why, extra precaution must be taken. It doesn’t instantaneously affect other persons upon contact, but may do so if the other persons have weak immune systems or have other conditions that make them prone to infections.
If you have acquired nail fungus, it may be best to avoid sharing towels, nail clippers, shoes, slippers and other things which are considered for personal hygiene purposes. There Fungus Clear are reported cases of all members of one household getting nail fungus because of sharing of a nail clipper.
Treatment for Nail Fungus
Topical ointments are not very effective when it comes to treating nail fungus. They cannot penetrate the thickened nails and cannot eliminate the fungi underneath the nails. Experts have experimented on nail lacquers that are designed to effectively combat nail fungus.
Oral medications are more ideal for the treatment nail fungus. The common medications used are Fluconazole, Itraconazole and Terbinafine.
Fluconazole- This drug is marketed as Diflucan. Individuals infected by nail fungus may take this once a week for several months. There have been reports of side effects involving the kidney. Said side affects can be resolved by lowering the dosage of the drug.
Itraconazole – This medicine can be taken in conjunction with other drugs including antibiotics and antihistamines. Itraconazole is taken once a week for two to three months. The drug is branded in the market as Sporanox.
Terbinafine – This drug is taken daily for eight weeks to treat fingernail fungus and 12 weeks to treat toenail fungus. There are only few documented side effects of this pill, compared to the other drugs. Lamisil is the brand name of Terbinafine in the market.
Patients are reminded to avoid alcohol intake while under using antifungal drugs. Intake of alcohol may increase the amount of toxins in the body and may affect the functions of the liver.
The ultimate treatment for nail fungus infection that is in its chronic stage, is permanent removal of the toenail. Podiatrists or doctors who specialize in the treatment of foot diseases, should be consulted for this procedure.
Unlike oral or topical treatment, which doesn’t prevent recurrence of the nail fungus, matrixectomy or the removal of the infected nail will ensure permanent remedy for your problem.
Prevention is still the best medicine. This can be done by practicing simple habits like regular trimming of your nails, wearing of appropriate footwear and socks, avoiding use of nail polish, washing of hands and feet and careful cleaning of the nails to avoid skin breakage. Doing these things can be equated to blocking the entry of fungi that may attack your nails.