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Causes and Treatments for Onychomycosis

Fungal infections that inhabit the toenails and fingernails are known as onychomycosis or more commonly referred to as nail ringworm which generally affects the nails of the toes. With this condition the nails have a yellowish color and may even appear to be opaque and not clear to the human eye. Onychomycosis also damages the overall nail as breakage and crumbling often easily occurs. The fungal infection is not usually painful even as it does appear to be. Some very rare and severe cases do cause pain and will be needed to have some type of pain relieving medication from OTC to use as directed.

Causes of Fungi

Fungi are found in much of the environment that is inhabited by humans and this environment is one that fungi thrive in due to excessive moisture and darkness. Not each person that comes in contact with the fungi will develop and infection but they can still spread it to another person who may in turn become infected. Those with sweaty feet are much more likely to contract this type of infection due to the thriving affect of the environment.

No matter the probable cause of the infection, there are some treatments as follows:

• Taking oral medications which are antifungal and prescribed by a physician. Always finish the entire amount prescribed even if the signs and symptoms go away.
• Do not delay seeking medical attention. If one feels that they have onychomycosis, they should seek immediate attention. A podiatrist or foot doctor can also help with this or any other condition affecting the foot.

Diabetics need to be especially aware of any changes to the appearance or feel of their feet as foot care is very important and can be life threatening to them. Many must undergo foot amputation for certain types of infection as well as amputation of the entire leg in some cases.

Proper Foot Care

The first line of defense against onychomycosis is prevention and in doing so, one should perform proper foot care each day. Socks that act as wicks to absorb moisture will be beneficial in keeping down the infection. Always follow washing of feet by thoroughly drying as well as making sure to dry the area between each tow as often bacteria can hide here and thrive well enough to form an infection in a very short period of time.

The shoes that a person wears should be allowed to dry for at least a twenty four hour period of time. This allows for the bacteria to leave as well as the foul odor that accompanies the bacteria. Many times the shoes will need to be treated with either a home remedy or an OTC powder or spray to eliminate the odor and the bacteria. One should always make moisturizing their feet an avid part of their foot care regimen.

Some men do not enjoy the application of lotion to their feet but it helps to combat further development of other conditions.
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