The medical condition know as Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the nail. The infection can affect the nail bed, matrix (where the nail grows) or the nail plate. Fungal nail infections account for one third of all fungal skin infections and half of all diseases of the nail.
Fungal nail infections cause the nail to become thick, discolored, brittle and painful. It is more than just a cosmetic problem because pain can lead to impaired mobility. Fungal nail infections can spread to other areas of the body.
Fungal nail infections are more common in men and individuals over 60 years old. People with diabetes, poor circulation, or those who are immune compromised have a higher likelihood of developing fungal nails. Injury to the nail bed or matrix is a common cause of a fungal nail infection.
There are many different types of fungus that can infect nails. There are also a variety of yeasts and molds that can infect the nail as well. The severity of the infection can also vary from a small portion of the nail, surface of the nail or entire toenail.
Fungal nail infections are very difficult to cure which is why prevention of the disease is important. Fungus thrives in warm moist environment. Practicing proper foot hygiene is key in preventing nail infections. Changing shoes frequently to allow them to dry and sterilizing their interior decreases the risk of fungal nail infections. We recommend Clarus Antimicrobial Shoe Spray and/or SteriShoe Ultraviolet Shoe Sanitizer to kill the fungus and bacteria found in shoes.
Pedicures can increase your risk of developing a fungal nail infection therefore we do not recommend them. If you must have a pedicure make sure the instruments being used are sterile or better yet bring your own. The gSource 5” nail nipper is a professional instrument designed to cut the nail straight and is strong enough to cut through thickened fungal toenails. The cuticle of the nail provides a barrier to fungus so never allow your cuticle to be pushed. Always make sure the emery board used is new whereas they can harbor harmful bacteria and fungus. Most nail polishes on the market contain harmful chemicals that can damage the nail and trap moisture in. Since fungus likes moisture the polish can promote growth of fungus, yeasts and molds. Ideally do not use nail polish, but if you must we recommend the Dr. Remedy nail polish line. Dr. Remedy nail polish is made with Tea Tree Oil and contains no formaldehyde.
Footsupplystore.com recommends Clarus Antifungal Solution which contains 1% Tolnaftate combined with a proprietary vehicle to penetrate the nail.
For persistent fungal nail infections or if you are diabetic, have circulation or immune problems seek treatment with a Podiatrist.