Nail fungus is a condition that begins as a white or yellow spot seen under the tip of the fingernail or toenail. As the infection goes deeper, nail fungus causes the nail to become discolored, thick and crumble at the edges.[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JX49G9C3jpk”]
Fungi are microscopic organisms that can survive without sunlight. They usually live in warm and moist environments such as in swimming pools and showers. They enter the skin through a tiny cut that one might not see or through a small separation between the nail and the nail bed.
The toenails are more susceptible to nail fungus because they are usually confined in dark, warm and moist environment especially when wearing closed shoes. Toes have less flow of blood which makes it hard for the immune system to prevent or stop an infection.
Symptoms of nail fungus
- The nail becomes brittle or ragged
- The nails are thickened
- The shape of the nails appears distorted and dull without shine
- The nail is dark in color due to the accumulation of debris under the nails
- An infected nail separates from the nail bed.
- Pain can be felt on the fingertips or toes and there is foul odor.
- Take the prescribed over-the-counter anti-fungal nail creams and ointments. If there are marks seen on the surface of the nail, file them and soak the nails in water. Pat dry and apply a medicated cream or lotion.
- Apply Vick’s Vaporub on the affected toe and toenails before putting socks. Make sure the feet are dry before applying Vick’s Vaporub to avoid trapping moisture.
- Mix water and vinegar and soak the affected toe in the solution for at least 30 minutes every night. This process lowers the pH of the toenails to prevent the growth of fungus in the area. Perform this process regularly every night for at least 3-6 months.
- Trim and thin the nails to lessen the pain by reducing the pressure on the nails and apply an anti-fungal medication. Apply urea cream on the affected nails and cover using a bandage. Wash it in the morning using soap and water. Repeat this process until the nails becomes soft and protect the skin around the nails by applying petroleum jelly.
- Wear flip flops or sandals when walking around public pools and public areas.
- Soak the affected feet in mouthwash for at least 30 minutes for 2 months.
- People suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes and circulatory problems or immune deficiency conditions are more susceptible to develop nail fungus.
- Wash the feet using an anti-fungal soap.