Nail fungus is a kind of fungus consisting of small organisms that usually affect both fingernails and toenails. In the United States alone, more than 35 million people are infected with nail fungus. Fungus thrives well under damp, dark places and the nail provides a good environment for fungus to grow.
Nail fungus affects toes 6 times more than it affects the fingers since shoes and socks provide an environment that favors their survival. Fungus infection can be mild, moderate or severe causing a lot of discomfort, itching, and pain and sometimes bleeding- calling for medical attention. There are natural cures for fungus infection, and prevention tips that work well in managing and treating nail fungus.
Knowing The Symptoms
The base and the sides of the nails turn red and become irritated. At the initial stages of the infection, only the base and edges of the nail are infected and thereafter, the infection spreads. Usually, discomfort, itchiness and pain especially in the areas surrounding the cuticles are felt. Sometimes bleeding may occur and the cuticles may also detach themselves from the base of the nail. The nail turns yellow/green, or yellow /brown, with some visible white spots. The affected nail tends to become thick with abnormal grooves, lines and tiny holes developing.
Prevention Of Nail Fungus
Prevention is better than cure. Fungus prefer warm, moist and dark areas such as in swimming pools, locker rooms, spas and showers. It is advisable that you wear sandals, swimming boots, or water shoes to keep your feet from directly touching the floor.
Make use of pure cotton, silk or woolen socks since these absorb any moisture or sweat that forms on your feet. Nylon and other synthetic socks allow moisture to pass through. Shoes that allow enough air to pass through and moisture to escape are best.
In case you already have a nail fungus infection, avoid nail polish for this only promotes a favorable environment for fungal growth. Avoid sharing personal items. Dry your feet well to make it difficult for nail fungus to survive, rubbing hard on the nail to get rid of dead skin and to promote circulation.
Immediate Treatment Is Crucial
Fungus infections can be very uncomfortable, painful and sometimes bleed. It is advisable to seek treatment immediately when you notice discoloration on your nails rather than wait until the infection becomes worse.
There are various drugs for treating fungus infection depending on how severe the infection is; but some are very expensive and dangerous to the health. Natural treatments are safe, cheap and quite effective. They contain natural ingredients such as:
1) Tea Tree Oil: A natural fungicide that fights fungus well. Mix it with olive oil and apply on the affected areas.
2) Listerine Mouthwash: A powerful antiseptic that contains a combination of alcohols and compounds which together form a powerful fungus treatment.
3) Apple Cedar Vinegar: Natural Apple cider vinegar mixed with warm water in equal amounts works well in curbing nail fungus. Soak your feet in the solution for 20 minutes and dry them well.