Nail fungus is a common occurrence, especially when it comes to toenails. Here’s how to recognize them and how to cure them.
If you have any visible changes on your nails, you are unlikely to look forward to buying new sandals with open toes, nice weather, or going to the beach and vacationing. The idea of being barefoot makes you tremble. This usually requires professionally pedicure or accept the discomfort as a normal feeling.
Nail fungus does not look attractive, and in most cases, you will not mask it with nail polish. The ugly and bumpy surface differs from the smooth, even under the nail polish. In fact, if your nails are thickened, full of bumps, distorted, then you should not additionally emphasize them with nail polish. Don’t try to hide them, but treat them. You may now be wondering what you need to treat them with and what nail diseases they are.
In 50-60% of cases, the cause of nail changes are nail fungus.
What is nail fungus?
It is a change in the nails caused by a fungal infection. Pathogenic fungi  are microorganisms that grow in dark, humid, and warm conditions and do not need light, and which attack the human body. Very often they settle on the nails and go in a package with fungus on the feet.
It is clear why this phenomenon mainly occurs on the legs.
The environment in shoes and socks is exactly what suits the development of fungi – dark, humid, and warm.
We don’t all have perfect nails. While some complain that their nails are brittle and easily breakable, others have the opposite problem – thickened toenails. This is usually a sign that you have fungus on your nails. Although fungi are one of those microorganisms that normally live with us in symbiosis, when they multiply too much – they become a threat. Well, then you need something to treat nail fungus.
This phenomenon begins as a tiny dot, on the tip of the nail, on its inside or at the very bottom of the nail. It is usually yellow or white. Over time, when the conditions suit her, it expands from a dot to a stain that literally covers the entire nail. As a result, yellow toenails appear, thickened and distorted nails full of bumps and furrows that split into several layers. Sometimes these changes affect one nail, and it is not uncommon for them to spread to other nails, as well as to infect the skin around the nail. Sometimes infected nails separate from the base, so there is a high probability that they will fall off.
Nail fungus treatment will take the shortest time if you catch the process at the very beginning. So, take a good look at your nails right away!
Not every nail change is caused by fungi. The nails turn black when we hit them or as a result of a hematoma, while green nails are a sign that we have some inflammation and they are accompanied by pain. These are the changes you will surely feel. The fungi are insidious – they start quietly and imperceptibly, but slowly take their place on the nail plate and change its appearance.
There are several types of fungus that can cause nail changes:
- Dermatophytes  are surface fungi that do not penetrate deeper into the skin. In addition to nails, this fungus can infect the skin and hair. So, for example, you can get a foot infection that is better known as an athletic foot. This type of fungus is the most common cause of nail changes.
- Yeasts  are a species that normally live in our body, and which certain triggers can disrupt and cause them to multiply beyond the normal amount. Such is, say, candida. These fungi are more likely to be found on fingernails.
- Skin mold is also a type of fungus that can infect the nail, although this is a rare occurrence.
What they all have in common is that they need a moist and warm place for growth and expansion, and the key thing is to ignore the problem.
If your nails do not look beautiful, it is not only a cosmetic problem, but it can be a serious problem that requires you to dedicate yourself to it and find a solution.
You may not know it, but the changes in your nails and their appearance say a lot about your health. So nails are not just for applying nail polish! Pay close attention to what you are covering and find an adequate remedy for nail fungus.
How can I get fungus on my nails?
When we say that a nail is infected, it usually means that we have picked up a bacterium or fungus somewhere.
Does this mean that nail fungus is contagious?
How can you get them?
You can usually pick up nail fungus in one of the following ways:
- In wet places such as the bathroom or the pool if we walk barefoot.
- If we stay in a humid atmosphere, whether we work or maintain the house.
- One of the common causes are shoes and socks made of synthetic materials that encourage sweating.
- Sharing shoes, socks, or towels with a person who already has nail fungus.
- Through infected manicure and pedicure equipment.
By all accounts, nail fungus is contagious, so you need to take into account the environment in which you live, and the conditions in which your feet and hands stay during the day.
Are you going to have your nail extensions to a beauty salon? Don’t just choose a good price, imagination, and skilled hands, but choose a reliable and clean service.
In order to successfully remove nail fungus, it is not enough to just treat the nails, but it is very important to discover and remove the cause of their appearance.
Are infections more common on toenails or fingernails?
Undoubtedly, fungi are more common on toenails. You may think that it is natural for the toenails to be rough, thick, and curved because they are more resistant, and that is what they should be when you wear shoes.
Well, it’s not like that.
It is more likely that your nails are infected and that fungi are the cause of the disease on the toenails.
Why on your feet? Primarily, due to the conditions that fungi need to grow. Wearing shoes and socks all day, your feet sweat, and the heat of your body creates the ideal temperature for their reproduction and growth.
Can fungus also occur on fingernails?
Yes, they can, especially if your hands are in the water all day or if you are biting your nails. Fungi on the fingernails are very often caused by candida - a fungus that normally lives in our body. If you bite your nails, you damage their edges and the skin around them. Since we use our hands to perform daily activities, they are in constant contact with a bunch of bacteria and fungi and moisture.
Damage to the nails is an ideal place for the accumulation of fungi.
Then when you bite your nails, it all comes to your mouth and throat. Let’s be honest, biting your nails is an almost unconscious process and it is unlikely that you will wash your hands before indulging in this harmful habit. It is one of the ways to pick up candida on your nails and spread it all over your body and get it systemic candidiasis which may be the reason why you crave sweets.
This process of infection can happen the other way around. Candida on the nails also occurs when it has already multiplied too much in the body, for example after the use of an antibiotic or some wrong life habits, and you bite your nails and “populate” the fungus on your nails.
Regardless of the causes of the fungus, the consequences should not be neglected.
What if you neglect your nails and why is nail fungus treatment important?
You can hide your nails in closed shoes and pockets forever and avoid exposing them to the eye. You may think that you simply have ugly nails or that the yellow nails on your feet or hands will disappear on their own. No big deal, there are worse things in life, right? However, if you notice that the fungus on your nails is spreading, then it is time to seriously consider whether hiding and turning your head away from the problem is the best solution.
Toenail fungus can cause the following complications:
- Pain in the feet. Nail fungus is not just an aesthetic problem because if we do not treat the nails they can grow into the surrounding tissue which can be a painful experience.
- Skin infection. It is very important to treat fungus on your nails because they can spread to the skin. In this case, the skin becomes red, sensitive and cracks appear in the infected areas, which is suitable for bacteria and infected skin can swell or even develop a condition called cellulitis .
- Nail loss. In extreme cases, the nail can separate from the skin, and eventually, falls off.
They may seem insignificant, but nail diseases are not just an aesthetic problem. If you don’t treat them, they can become a health problem.
Nail fungus and nail polish, artificial nails, and nail extensions
In recent years, the cosmetic method of nail extensions has become increasingly popular. Contact with infected files, nail clippers, and nail accessories is another way to keep your nails infected with fungus, ugly in color, and ugly in shape. This is often the reason why we resort to nail extensions and polish our nails – to hide the flaws on them.
Nail extensions should only be done on healthy nails.
By putting artificial nails and covering the imperfections with gel and nail polish, you are actually creating ideal conditions for the fungus to multiply even more. There is not enough air in the space between your and the artificial nail and the nails are often exposed to moisture and dirty surfaces. If you already have an infection on your nail, this way you will only make it worse. To have beautiful nails, it is important that they heal them. So, you need treatment.
Nail fungus treatment
Well, then how to cure nail fungus? Here are some proven ways that work!
A natural remedy for nail fungus
If the problem hasn’t gone too far, you can try some of the following methods!
You need to mix equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and water. Keep the infected nail in this solution.
Mix 2 drops of oregano oil with one tablespoon of olive oil. This solution is applied to the nail. Oregano oil acts as a natural antifungal (an antifungal agent)
Tea tree oil
This powerful oil is great for various surface infections and is one of the best ways to treat nail fungus naturally. Like oregano oil, tea tree oil is quite strong, so you only need to dilute two drops with a little olive oil and apply on the nail. In severe cases, you can apply tea tree oil to the infected nail surface without diluting it.
Garlic for nail fungus
You may not know it, but garlic is a great remedy for nail fungus. Here’s how to use it. Crush the garlic and place it on the infected nail. Secure with a bandage or plaster and rinse well after treatment.
Squeeze the lemon juice and apply it directly on the infected nail.
Toenail fungus and baking soda
Baking soda acts as a remedy for nail fungus because it creates an alkaline environment that is not conducive to the development of fungi. It is easy to use. Make a paste of baking soda mixed with water and put it on the nail.
Whichever of these methods of treating nail fungus you choose, you need to treat the nail for half an hour, and then wash and dry it well.
Be persistent so that the fungus does not happen to be more persistent than you. The treatment of this problem takes a very long time, sometimes up to 18 months. Yes, you got it right – over a year!
Medical remedies for nail fungus
If your problem has become complicated, infected other nails or skin, it requires more serious treatment. In that case, you should visit a doctor who will examine you and give you therapy that may include the following medications against nail fungus:
Nail fungus ointment
An ointment is an effective and easily applicable remedy for nail fungus. However, just like with the natural ways of treating nail fungus, you need patience and perseverance here as well.
Which nail fungus ointment to choose? It is best to consult your doctor about this. Different creams can act on different types of fungi. You need the right ones.
Creams are applied exclusively with a cotton ball or ear stick, which you then throw away. We said that fungi are contagious and do not touch the infected surface with your fingers so as not to spread the infection. Nail fungus spray is a much more practical option.
Nail fungus polish
Nail polish is another way to get rid of them as easily as possible. Use it according to the instructions that come with it. These nail polish mainly work by creating unfavorable conditions for the growth of fungi on the nails.
Nail fungus pencil
In the search for ways to treat nail fungus, you will certainly not be bypassed by this invention. The nail fungus pencil is primarily practical to apply because it is in the shape of a pencil and you actually make strokes with it as if you were coloring your nail. Of course, instead of paint, the pencil releases active ingredients based on tea tree oil, cypress, lavender, or others. It remains debatable to what extent the re-use of the same tip allows the fungi to spread.
Nail fungus lotion
Perhaps the most famous is Wartner for nail fungus. The lotion has a sponge applicator, which is applied to the infected area. It works by creating a protective layer on the nail and preventing the spread and development of fungi, while at the same time nourishing the nail.
Oral drugs to treat nail fungus
If the fungal infection is the result of the spread of fungi that originate from the body, your doctor may prescribe some oral therapy.
When the nail is so deformed that it causes damage to the surrounding tissue and there is no help for it, removing the nail is the best way to treat fungus on the nails.
Fungi are quite difficult to treat and it is not uncommon for the disease to return. In fact, this happens in more than 50% of cases, especially when it comes to those on the toenails. Therefore, first of all, attention should be paid to preventing conditions for their growth and development.
How to prevent the development of nail fungus?
Good prevention is very often halfway to healing. Here’s how to prevent this ugly phenomenon:
- Maintain regular hand and foot hygiene. Keep your nails neat and short.
- Keep your feet and hands dry. Do not wear socks on wet feet.
- Wear socks made of natural materials that allow the foot to breathe, prevent sweating, and absorb sweat well.
- Get rid of water-leaking shoes.
- Discard old shoes that may be infected with the fungus.
- Do not go barefoot in public places.
- Avoid artificial nails and nail extensions or choose a reliable beauty salon.
- Wear rubber gloves and try to protect your hands when you need to be in contact with water.
- Wash your hands after touching an infected nail to prevent the infection from spreading.
- Do not share towels and socks with an infected person, partner, or family member.
This way, you will prevent the appearance of fungus on your nails and reduce the chances that they will return if you have already started treatment.
Without preventive hygiene measures, treating nail fungus has no purpose!
If your nails are not a very representative example of beautiful nails, take care of them until it is too late. Beauty is not always in beautiful decoration, bows, flowers, zircons, and neatly painted nails, and especially not when it is all just a mask for some problems. When you have nail fungus, you do not need a cosmetic but a medical pedicure.
Doesn’t that sound fun?
Well, look at it from a brighter side. That’s why you throw away some old shoes and go shopping for new ones.
Nice weather is coming – the one that requires you to show your nails in the sun! Are you really ready for it or are you hiding something under your nail polish?