Nail fungus or onychomycosis is a very common infection in the population that can affect both hands and feet. It is characterized by a series of changes in the appearance of the nail, which include the appearance of cracks, a yellowish color and an uncomfortable sensation of itching. It usually appears as a consequence of a decrease in the body’s immune response. However, it can also be produced by:
- Excessive sweating
- Some types of footwear
- Exposure to contaminated surfaces.
Although its presence does not represent a serious health problem, it is essential to give it attention, not only for aesthetic reasons but also because it can cause pain and other complications. In addition, it is desirable to know some important facts of the disease in order to take preventive measures.
- Fungus on the nails is contagious
Although it is not a highly contagious infection, it is very important to keep in mind that fungi can be transmitted in some situations. While there is no risk of being close to a person who has them, there is a high probability of developing them by sharing socks, shoes and nail clippers. Microorganisms may also be on surfaces with shower and floor, so it is necessary to use shower shoes.
- There are habits that help prevent them
It is proven that the practice of some healthy habits can help reduce the risk of developing this condition. In addition to not sharing personal objects, it is wise to keep your nails clean, free of moisture and short. After leaving the shower and before using the footwear, the feet must be dried with a towel or absorbent cloth. Likewise, the socks should be made with breathable fabrics that help prevent the retention of moisture. On the other hand, it is essential to maintain a balanced diet, rich in nutrients that allow the immune system to be strengthened.
- Not all treatments are effective
The application of natural remedies can be quite useful for the reduction and control of infections caused by these microorganisms. However, in some cases they are not effective, since the funguses manage to survive their effects and continue their proliferation. If so, it is best to go to the doctor to receive pharmacological treatments for both topical and oral use. These types of options tend to give better results, although they may also take several months to take effect.
- It is a very common condition
Nail fungus is mostly caused by dermatophyte-like fungi that tend to develop easily in humid and warm environments. Many are ashamed to suffer, but the truth is that it is a very common infection in the population. In fact, more than half of them develop them, at least once in their life. The susceptibility of infection increases with age and, since it is difficult to detect at first, many may be suffering without even knowing it.
- Excess moisture increases risk
Washing your hands too much or keeping your nails in contact with water for a long time is another factor that increases the risk of contracting this type of infection. This is because the excess moisture damages the protective layer of the nail and weakens the cuticles, so it facilitates the passage and growth of microorganisms.
- Its appearance is related to athlete’s foot
Most patients with nail fungus problems also have or have had the condition known as “athlete’s foot.” This is also a fungal infection, characterized by a set of discomfort in the skin that protects the feet. It is quite common among athletes and swimmers, since both are exposed to environments that facilitate the growth of fungi.
- Can alert other diseases
The sudden presence of fungus on the nails can be a sign of chronic health problems such as circulatory difficulties, diabetes or a vulnerable immune system. There is even greater risk of contracting them when they have had skin problems such as psoriasis and dermatitis.
Now that you know all these facts about fungi that affect the nails, try to check them regularly and improve your care to prevent their development.