What is a fungal infection?
Fungal infections tend to occur pretty commonly, with more toenails being affected than fingernails. This kind of infection is very easy to spot because the nail often becomes discolored, and it may become so brittle that the nail breaks off entirely.
The affected nail may harden or just split in the middle; but usually these infections, if left untreated, end up being very painful.
If it is left untreated long enough, the infection can actually spread to other nails nearby.
Toenails are particularly susceptible to fungal infections because funguses tend to grow in moist surroundings, and your feet don’t get nearly as much air time as your hands do.
This is also why fungal infections in the toenails are especially a problem for athletes, who spend so much time practicing in sweaty gear.
Fungal infections can also be spread by sharing an item that has come in contact with the fungus, such as nail clippers or shared shoes.
If you’re susceptible to fungal infections and want to prevent them in the future, or you would like to speed the healing process along, consider following these useful tips:
If your fungal infection is mild, go to a pharmacy and buy an over-the-counter medication to treat it. If the OTC medication does not clear up the infection, then a trip to the doctor is in order for prescription-strength medication.
Whether the medication is oral or a cream, follow the instructions exactly and monitor your progress carefully.
Actually, this next tip reflects an all-around great health routine: keep your nails as clean as possible, and as dry as you can. To either treat or prevent fungal infections, you must do your best to ruin the home they live in, which means avoiding either sweaty socks or other sources of bad foot hygiene.
Let your feet spend as much time enjoying the open air as possible to promote dryness. Regularly clean your hands and feet, and change your socks frequently.
Buy personal items and reserve them for individual use. Do not lend out any materials used for personal hygiene. These items can carry fungal infections and transfer them from one user to another. Also, routinely clean personal items such as nail clippers to prevent re-infection once a fungal infection clears up.
Finally, keep up your health and strengthen your immune system. Everyone can improve their health by improving their diet, exercising properly, and sleeping the recommended amount of time each night.