A healthy and normal nail should be clear, white in color, firm, and dry. If you have observed nails with whitish or yellowish discolorations, you would consider it to be a fungal infection. Toenails are the most common part of the body affected by fungi. This would start as some spots on toenails and progresses to the death of the nail. Anyone can acquire it, so don’t fret! It’s not that difficult to get rid of toenail fungus as long as it is treated early.
What is fungal infection?
A fungus is a type of microorganism that favors dark, moist and warm environment. Common sites of fungal infection are the parts of your body that are mostly covered and moist. One area is the toenail. The fungi grow in the toenail and eat up the nail causing it to change in colour. The nail becomes thick and brittle which will easily crumble. As the infection progresses, it goes deeper into the affected nail and can destroy other nails and surrounding skin as well. A condition wherein the fungi have spread from the toenails to the skin is called Tinea Pedis or popularly known as “Athlete’s Foot”. When the nails are only affected, it’s called Tinea Unguium or Onychomycosis.
What made your toenail infected by fungus?
Fungi are microscopic and you can’t see them living and growing under your nails. By learning how fungi multiply and infect, you would be able to stay away from conditions making you prone for it which could also help you get rid of toenail fungus.
- If you would think, you could find fungi in areas that are suitable for their survival. Areas that are often wet include sink, showers, bathrooms, swimming pools and bath tubs.
- There are people who perspire a lot. When they use closed shoes, the sweat in the feet builds up moisture. Moist feet for several hours everyday attract fungi growth.
- Fungi can also get through the skin and nails when you have cuts. Unknowingly, when you touch objects contaminated by fungi, they stick to your skin and cause the infection.
- Poor body hygiene also is the culprit.
How can you get rid of toenail fungus?
There are several simple ways on how to get rid of toenail fungus. Depending on the severity, mild to moderate ones can be helped with these steps:
- Always make your feet dry. During the course of infection, avoid feet soaks, tub baths, swimming pools and anything that can make your feet wet for a long time.
- Wash your feet carefully with soap and water everyday and always dry after.
- If possible, use shoes that expose the toes. When closed shoes are really needed, use cotton socks. Cotton absorbs the sweat well than any material.
- Use anti-fungal foot powder on the areas of your feet that sweat before using your shoes.
- Remove your nail polish and avoid applying them until your nails are completely healed. You might want to cover nail discolorations but this allows fungi to grow under the nail polish.
- Use apple cider vinegar. Drop a good amount of apple cider vinegar to your infected toenails twice a day. Let it stay for 5-10 minutes, rinse and pat dry.
- Use anti-fungal creams. There are several anti-fungal creams in the market. Apply it over the affected nail thinly as prescribed. Consult with your doctor about it, especially if you have any underlying disease.
Ways to get rid of toenail fungus is not that complicated. When you see something strange in your nail, don’t wait for the toenail to be gone until you treat it. It’s embarrassing to have something going on down your feet. Follow the steps, and you’ll get those healthy nails in no time!