Saturday, August 30, 2008

Symptoms and Causes of Nail Fungus

By Tommy

A nail fungus infection is a very common phenomenon specifically in the spring and summer months. Visible as a yellowish discoloration of the infected nail, fungi based nail infections are found virtually everywhere, especially in the tropical regions.

Nail discoloration, burning, itching and occasional pain in severe cases are some symptoms of this highly contagious problem. Another defining attribute of a fungal nail infection is its recurrence and resistance to treatment despite the use of modern anti-fungal agents and over-the-counter treatments available today.

Nail Fungus Causes

Fungal nail infections are the result of, as is clear by the name, by a fungus - candida, molds, and dermatophytes (multiple kinds of them). Fungus usually grows in moist and dark conditions, which the nail bed provides, especially on the foot. The cause of this is that one's feet are usually enclosed in shoes and socks for a long time and because the feet have higher number of sweat glands.

Another consideration is that this type of fungus grows on the floors of locker rooms and changing rooms next to moist public places such as gyms and swimming pools. This usually results in a fungal nail infection on the feet that is very hard to eliminate, and is very communicable.

Signs Of A Nail Fungus

A noticeable odor, change in the color of the nail, and occasional burning/itching/pain are some ways of manifestation of a fungal infection of the nail. After a while, additional symptoms may be exhibited. For example - The nail may become brittle and easily break off. Also, the nail may dry out and start crumbling. Rapid progress of these symptoms can be prevented by applying lotions and creams topically. Yet, reversal of the symptoms is not possible without fully treating the underlying nail fungus.

How To Treat A Nail Fungus

Nail fungus treatment is usually very hard since the actual fungus is hard to reach underneath the nail for direct action. Even the modern treatments must have up to a year for removing all of the symptoms of fungal nail infections.

Research done to understand and measure the relative usefulness of various treatments has revealed that most of the currently used drugs are an expendable method of treatment that is fairly useless. As such, the current research and development for drugs to treat nail fungus is focused on discovering more potent anti-fungal agents .

There are available today home remedies for fungal nail infection that have been claimed to be very useful at healing the nail rapidly. Commonly used home remedies include green tea, grape-seed extract and grape-seed oil. It should be noted that there are not many studies that showing these to be effective. Alternatively, there are other home remedies, that when applied correctly, can treat nail fungus in under 20 days!

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