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Hello. Good morning friends, I am Dr Kanu Verma, a consultant dermatologist, practising in Dwarka. Today, I am going to speak about Fungal Nail Infections.
These infections are very common. Normally, they can affect any part of the body. They are not serious infections but very unpleasant. The fungal infection occurring in nails, therefore, it is called Fungal nail infections. In medical term, it is also called as Onichomicosis or Tinea Unguium.
Some amount of fungus is very normal in the skin as the other bacterias. But if this fungus further grows, then it leads to infection.
Nail Fungal Infections
It is a very slow growing infection which is not often noticed. The patient comes to know when the nail plate gets damaged, that is some pain in the nail.
Why does this fungus grow?
Well, the fungus needs warm and moist environment to develop. When some un noticed injury happens to the nail fold or nail plate, it starts developing in the warm and moist environment, as it is a favourable environment to grow. Sometimes the injury is so minor that it often goes un noticed and the patient won't be aware of the infection.
When the nail plate gets discoloured, or some lines start appearing on the nails, crumbled nails, then only patients come to know about the problem and they consult doctor through which they get to know about the nail fungus.
Who develops the nail fungus?
- People who work in a warm moist environment for a long time.
- The housewife may also face this problem while dish washing or gardening or while doing any kind of house work, they may get cut in their nails which will ultimately lead to nail fungus.
- People who are suffering from some diseases like diabetes, psoriasis, elder people, swimmer, people who walk bare foot, tends to suffer from fungal infections more commonly. However, toe nail infection is more common than finger nail infection.
How to diagnose nail fungal infection?
If you have any sort of discolouration of nails, pain or swelling, these are the signs of fungal infections and u need to consult a dermatologist. A doctor can scratch your nail for diagnosing a fungus. The infected nail may look like greenish yellowish in colour, or there may also occur some swollen nail fold, discharge. If it is advanced then the nail may get crumbled, distorted nail plate, or sometimes the nail plate get lifted up due to the fungus deposition. So, basically, these are the symptoms of nail fungal infections. Also, the nail can completely be destroyed if these symptoms are ignored which can not be repaired. There will be complete nail destruction and it will become very difficult to cure.
How the nail fungal infection treated?
The treatment is possible but it takes time for the recovery. The recovery time depends on the amount of damage caused to nail, patients tolerance and the number of nails damaged.
What type of treatments are available?
The oral medication is available and the topical creams. The treatment procedure takes months for the recovery. The finger nails take about 3-4 months for the recovery and for toe nails, it takes 4-5 months. Nowadays, Laser treatment for fungal infections is also available which is fast, effective and especially for those kinds of patients which can not tolerate anti-fungal tablets.
How to prevent nail fungus?
- It depends on how much you take care of your nails.
- The more you go for the regular checkup of your nail injury.
- regular clipping of a nail, go to such salons which do manicure and pedicure with the sterile equipment.
- If you are diabetic, then proper sugar control should be there.
- Don't keep your nails in moisture for long hours.
- If you are required to wear shoes for long hours, then you should apply anti- fungal powder on the toes, in order to keep them dry and does not allow fungus to grow.
These are few tips which can help you prevent nail fungal infection.