Our Sensitive Feet Can Mask Nail Fungus Infections
Did you know that our feet are one of the most sensitive parts of our bodies and yet, when we develop a fungal infection in the toenail, it is often minus any pain making it less likely that we notice it.
Get into the habit of inspecting your toenails regularlyYou should be looking out for:
- The nails turning yellow or white
- The nails developing white spots
- The nails getting thicker or crumbling and splitting
- The separation of the nail from the nail bed
- Any unpleasant odor
Just one of these symptoms could mean the presence of a toenail fungus infection.
This infection can be dangerous for diabetics and others
Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a very common condition. As the infection progresses the nail can become brittle while, if left untreated, the skin under and around the nail can become inflamed and painful. Nail infection can affect both toenails or fingernails with the former being more common.
What are the causes of toenail fungus?
- Sweating heavily
- Being in a humid environment
- Suffering from psoriasis or athletes foot
- Wearing socks and shoes that prevent ventilation
- Going barefoot in damp public places such as swimming pools, gyms and shower rooms
- Having minor skin or nail injuries, a damaged nail or other infection
- Having diabetes, circulation problems or a weakened immune system
Fungi can get under your nails through the space between your nail and nail bed, through openings in your skin so small you can’t even see them.
How to Prevent Nail Fungus
- Keep your feet clean and dry
- Wear shower shoes in public areas
- Change shoes and socks more than once daily
- Before going to sleep, wash feet with soap and water and dry thoroughly
- Clip toenails straight across so they don’t extend beyond the tip of the toe
- Wear shoes that fit well and are made of materials that breath
- Avoid tight hosiery while wearing socks made of synthetic fiber because they take moisture away from your feet faster than cotton or wool
- Disinfect home pedicure tools and instruments used to cut nails
- Don’t apply cosmetic polish to nails suspected of infection
If you suspect a nail fungus infection.
Start treatment as quickly as possibleAn infection with nail fungus may be difficult to treat and it may recur. A podiatrist can help with diagnosis if this is in dispute. He or she can also clean away any dead and diseased skin around or under your nail to give healthy skin the breathing space it needs to heal. You can turn to one of many over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal creams and ointments available or even prescription drugs with their often accompanying toxic side effects while 10 common remedies are suggested on this site including:
- Oil of oregano
- Apple cider vinegar and hydrogen peroxide
- Tea tree essential oil
- Baking soda
- Chemical mouthwash
- White vinegar
- Vapor rub
- Olive leaf extract
- Borax powder and baking soda
- Epsom salt