Most people have the uninformed belief that if they have a fingernail or toenail fungus infections the worst problem is how their nails look. Unhealthy looking fingernails or toenails are actually a look into a much more serious problem that is important to deal with before it gets worse. This article discusses some facts that you would be wise to take into consideration if you have nails that do not look healthy.
Fingernail infection or toenail infections are just like any other infection. They are a medical condition that the majority of the time involves an out of control growth of a live and active fungus. The method of survival for the fungus is by eating your skin and nails. If left untreated it will continue to devour your flesh resulting in a condition much worse than you see currently.
Before just buying any over-the-counter nail fungus cream and attempting to cure your nail fungus there are some important facts about nail fungus that you should know. The bottom line is that nail fungus often causes much worse problems in the long run if left untreated. Treating it is very important! Do not put it off!
Read this carefully before making your decision on which treatment is best for you.
1. Finger nail and Toenail infections do not just go away by themselves. If you are not proactive in treating a finger or toenail infection the fungus will most likely get worse. If you ignore it for months or years the infection will get deeper into your system and will end up spreading to other parts of your body. That is why some nail fungus treatment protocols are exactly the same as jock itch or athletes feet treatments. If you cure one you will most likely not have the other when you are done.
2. Topical only treatments for deeply entrenched fungus take much longer to work than if the infection had been caught earlier. The treatment ointment will not be able to penetrate as necessary to get to the infection. Once the infection is to that point an oral remedy is usually necessary in conjunction with the topical and many oral treatments carry very serious risk of negative side affects.
3. If you just ignore toenail (or fingernail) infections they will eventually cause pain and disrupt daily activities. Nail infections often spread to other nails and even to other people who shower, swim or do sporting activities near you.
4. Nail infections are encouraged by damp, warm, and dark situations. The more you can leave your nail infection out in the sunlight and out of moist socks and shoes the better your chances are of a cure. This goes against what people usually do because it can be embarrassing to show off ugly, cracked, scaly, and deformed toenails. Painting nails with polish to try to make them look better is one of the worst things you can do if you think you are getting a fungal nail infection. The earlier you get treatment the faster and easier it will be to get your healthy nails back again.
5. Again, ignoring a nail infection is not a wise thing to do. Without the proper treatment a nail can become thick and completely deformed or even quite painful. This thickness and deformity can lead to increased pressure on the skin below and around the nail because your shoe will press down on it. Painful ingrown toenails or fingernails are often where the fungal infection leads.
6. With severe cases of nail fungus the most likely treatment a podiatrist will often recommend is removal of the entire nail after which he will prescribe an internal, prescription anti-fungal medication. These medications often carry a high degree of risk to your liver and other organs so if you can avoid having to take them, by all means do so. If you’ve known anyone with severe ingrown nails you know this is not something you want to let happen to you because of the life-altering pain involved.
7. Fingernail and Toe nail infections are most often fungal infections but can lead to bacterial infections that spread to other parts of the body. People with advanced fungal nail infections often end up with Athlete’s Foot and/or an infection of the skin in the groin area sometimes called Jock Itch. Treatments for all three types of infections are usually similar.
8. Especially for elderly nail fungus sufferers, the fungal infections often lead to other skin irritations complications or inflammation called cellulitus. People with diabetes or any condition affecting the circulatory system may experience additional limitations to their circulation caused by serious fungal infection.
9. Do not try to cut a thickened toe nail yourself. It can be difficult and result in damage to the skin around the nail, leading to an infection or a slow- or non-healing wound.
10. In a recent survey, 44% of people with toenail infections admitted that their nail infection had some degree of a negative impact on their self-image. It makes you feel self-conscious when doing any activity where people may see your feet. Don’t let this treatable irritation cramp your lifestyle. Instead, do the research necessary to find out what the options are, what the best one is for you, and then take the required action to gain your healthy nails again.
Article Source: End Nail Fungus Now. Copyright 2008
Author: Steve Allen – medical researcher, author, publisher