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Toenail fungus can be identified from the brown / yellow discoloration it causes to the nails. The infection causes the nails to become brittle, thickened or dull. Distortion, of the toenails shape, is also experienced with this infection. With a high infection rate, of over fourteen percent of the population; as medical journals have it, everyone should know what causes toenail fungus so that they can avoid contracting it.

Most of us enjoy regular swimming and soaking up heat in saunas. These enjoyable pass-time activities could just be the gateway to toenail fungus infections. The nail contagion arises when fungi set-up camp underneath the nails, causing brittleness, thickening or discoloration. The nail infection-causing fungi, known as dermatophytes, thrive in moisture and dump environments, which are characteristic of swimming pools and saunas. The microscopic fungi gain entry into the toenails though cuts and other lesions present on the nail bed. Notably, showers can are also breeding grounds for the infection-causing fungi.

The thought is scary; it is almost difficult to imagine that your home bathroom could have been a microscopic fungi that could lead to nail infections. The world is filled with vectors and countless microscopic organisms which cause illness whenever humans come in contact with them. The best way to protect yourself, and family, from the likelihood of infections is to know how to minimize the risk of acquiring the contagion.

The nail infection is not only associated with moist and damp environments, but it can also be acquired through a number of other ways. Fluctuating skin PH levels, poor foot hygiene and trauma experienced on the toenails can all lead to the rise of the fungi infection. It is unfortunate that most of us disregard foot hygiene, and this is one of the leading causes of the toenail fungus. Cotton socks, which are dry and clean, should ideally be worn to minimize the risk of infection. Sandals or any breathable shoes should be worn when using public swimming pools, saunas or home showers. The feet should be thoroughly washed and used using clean towels. These hygienic practices should be implemented routinely, whether you suffer from the disease or not.

The nails by nature encase the tender skin found on the feet, and this could be an obstacle to treating the disease. It is also recommended that those suffering from the disease should avoid the application of nail polish. Sharing of personal items, such as towels, is also another way through which the disease can spread. Individuals with weak immune systems are also likely to suffer from the fungi infection at some point.

The disease should not make you squirmy or completely give up on activities such as swimming; putting into effect proper hygienic practices is the guaranteed way to reduce your chances of acquitting the toenail fungus. If you notice any of the signs, symptomatic to the contagion, you should visit a Podiatrist immediately. The nail doctor will examine and carry out tests, on samples scraped from the toenail region, to determine whether you are suffering from the infection. Topical creams and oral medications are often prescribed to treat the condition.

Source by Marian Kingswood

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