Are you hiding you feet because of nail infections? Find out how to remove nail fungus and set your toes free!
Fungi are microscopic organisms that are normally present in the body but can be a problem if overgrown. The most common of fungal infections is onychomycosis or in layman's terms, toenail fungus. While it can also infect fingernails, it's more common on toes and according to Medical News Today, 10% of the adult population suffer from it.
Causes of nail fungus include:
Walking barefoot in communal areas like swimming pools and public showers in gyms, saunas, and beaches.
Having a skin condition like Psoriasis.
Having Diabetes and other diseases that weaken the immune system.
How to Spot an Infection
You may have a fungal infection if you have noticed the following symptoms:
Overly thick nails.
Discoloration of the nail. Your nails have either become too white, yellow, or brown.
Nails have become brittle and have a distorted shape.
Nails have developed a slightly foul smell.
While seeing a doctor is usually advisable, the last thing you would want is to go to a crowded hospital at this time. While the infection is still mild, you can try some home remedies first.
Healthline suggests using Vicks VapoRub as a topical treatment. You probably have some at home already. Healthline writes that based on a 2011 study, the camphor and eucalyptus oil in this cooling ointment can help treat toenail fungus. Apply to the affected toe or toes at least once a day.
You can also try tea tree oil. With is antifungal and antibacterial properties, tea tree oil is used to treat a number on skin conditions like acne. Using a cotton swab, dab directly on affected areas at least twice a day.
Vinegar foot soaks may also help. Mix one-part vinegar to two parts warm water and soak affected foot for 20 to 30 minutes every day.
If your infection persists, it is time to see the doctor. Ideally, people with Diabetes should skip the home remedies and go straight to their doctors if they notice any infections to avoid complications.
After samples have been collected and studied, you will be given oral medication to treat the infection. In some cases, a doctor may opt to remove the infected nail entirely to stop to infection from spreading.
Fungal infections do not happen overnight. Here are ways to avoid it:
Wash hands and feet regularly and dry them properly.
If you get regular manicures and pedicures, it is best to bring your own nail clippers and other tools your salon uses for your nails. If possible, skip the nail polish and avoid artificial nails.
If your feet sweat heavily, bring extra socks, and change as often as needed. Fungi thrive on damp areas.
Wear breathable socks and shoes. Disinfect your favorite pairs often and avoid sharing with others.
Wear proper footwear in public pools and locker rooms.
Related Article: How Safe is your Nail Salon? 10 Tips for a Safe Manicure
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