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How to Detect and Treat Nail Fungus or Onychomycosis?

by | Jan 17, 2021

The Onychomycosis Fungal Infection Explained

Several fungi species affect human nails, specifically onychomycosis. Almost 10% of the global population suffers from this quickly rising pandemic condition. Unfortunately, the disorder often remains undertreated and becomes a chronic condition that is estimated to be responsible for 50% of all nail diseases. Onychomycosis can develop slowly without immediate noticeable signs at the onset and then manifest itself when it’s already too late to address the issue easily. So, how do you uncover if you have this infection before it becomes deeply chronic?

 

How to Identify a Fungal Infection

Fungal nail infections can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, and occupation. Yellow or white spots under the tip of a nail are the first signs of dermatophyte fungi. These symptoms might be inadequately defined as people may overlook warning signs. However, as the infection develops, nails begin to lose their color. If you observe any of these changes, make sure to visit a podiatrist to start treatment immediately. Please note that onychomycosis is not a disease that goes away on its own but progresses into a chronic condition. It tends to spread quickly to other nails, becoming more challenging to treat. So, consult a podiatrist as soon as you notice the disease’s first symptoms.

 

What Causes Fungal Nail Infections

Fungal infections need a dark and moist environment to thrive. If you excessively sweat while wearing socks and shoes, you are at risk of developing onychomycosis. A tropical island climate such as in Singapore also makes you more vulnerable to infection. Apart from growing on damp parts of your body, fungi can also be contagious and spread from one person to another.

 

How Does the Infection Further Develop

A fungus disease should be treated at the early onset to stop its spreading. However, the absence of evident symptoms makes it almost impossible. When addressing the infection too late, the fungi further develops passing onto other nails.

Our nails are made of protein keratin that provides cell and tissue growth and protects them from external damage. The nail plate is formed from approximately 50 layers of keratinocytes, which makes nails strong and resilient. But when there are fungi cells, they systematically replicate and replace the keratin, spreading deeper into the nail bed, bypassing the protective layers.

The fungi growth will lead to the deterioration of the nail plate and the nail bed. If your nails become yellow or white, get thicker, and separate from the nail bed, there’s a likely chance that you have fungal infection. It appears more often in toenails, although it can affect fingernails as well. The disease can have even more drastic consequences like the nail crumbling on the edges or affecting your walk due to pain in toenails.

 

Why Is Onychomycosis Difficult to Treat

While mycosis is easily diagnosed by specialists, most people fail to recognize the symptoms on their own. The infection often takes a chronic form that is challenging to cure due to a lack of effective treatment approaches. The quick spread of disease also hinders the healing process. That’s why it is better to prevent onychomycosis than to treat it. Preventative measures include maintaining good hygiene, keeping skin clean and dry, and changing socks every day. It is also recommended to wear shoes that allow air circulation to reduce the risk of infection.

These days more and more people strive to live healthier lives by being more active and fit. But whether you are lifting weights at the gym or burning calories on elliptical machines, it is crucial to pay attention to personal hygiene. Active exercising makes you sweat, creating a favorable environment for fungal infection growth. Public swimming pools, steam rooms, and shared showers at gyms might be places of increased risk for fungi contamination. Also, make sure not to walk barefoot in public areas to prevent mycosis.

 

Who Is Exposed to Fungal Nail Infections

Since there are so many factors that facilitate onychomycosis’ development and spread, like poor hygiene, increased sweating, and damp environments, we are all at risk. However, people who have diabetes, psoriasis, or any other immune system disorders that decrease the blood flow to the limbs, are more vulnerable to the disease. Adults and particularly men have more chances to develop fungal nail infections than children and females. It is worth noting that onychomycosis is easily spread between those who live under the same roof. If a person has the infection, it’s generally transmitted to other family members. Another essential fact about onychomycosis is that it can be easily mimicked by other fungal illnesses. That’s why the best way to detect and treat this infection in the early stages is to visit a qualified specialist.

 

How to Treat Onychomycosis

Even though hundreds of drugs are designed to treat fungal nail infections, many of them are not effective in dealing with onychomycosis. A dedicated specialist may prescribe oral medications like antibiotics or remedies for external use. However, a treatment plan may last several months. The up-to-date treatment options include topical antifungals like creams, sprays, and gels. These medications should be applied for at least 48 weeks, and may result in irritation in the area around the finger- and toenails. What’s even more disappointing is that such treatment’s efficiency is relatively low as only around 20% of patients fully recover from the disease. Thus, you may wonder if there are any other treatment approaches available on the market that show more successful results.

 

There Is a Natural Antifungal Cure

Here at The Foot Practice, we offer our patients a safe and natural solution that is highly efficient in treating onychomycosis. This remedy reduces the negative impact of fungal infections on the nail, relieving the disease’s symptoms quickly. It has little-to-no side effects in most patients and can be used daily without irritating. The treatment harnesses the natural anti-fungal properties of Spirulina – yes, the same as that incredibly nutritious superfood that typically comes in powder form or that people ingest daily in tablets that can be found at any Watsons, Guardian or any grocery store throughout Singapore.

We’ve come up with a unique remedy application process that works by harnessing Spirulina’s fungicidal power to kill nail fungus once and for all. This approach helps to repair damaged nails by recovering the infected nail bed.

If you’re fighting onychomycosis, don’t hesitate to visit our clinic to benefit from the first-in-class substance with natural fungicidal properties. Act fast and visit one of our podiatrists to help you alleviate nail fungal infection efficiently.

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