Toenail fungus; The Facts You Need to Know

Author: Jammie
The scientific term to describe toenail fungus is onychomycosis. This generally refers to the fungal infection that affects nails. It affects both finger and toenails and can be considered as the most common disease of the nails that covers approximately half of all the abnormalities affecting nails.

This condition however predominantly affects toenails rather than finger nails. Statistics have also shown that toe nail fungus is more prevalent among the adult population as compared to the young population. This can be attributed to the causes for the condition.This condition can generally be classified into four major types. The first type is called distal subungual onychomicosis which is the most common of the four. It basically affects the nail bed and also the nail plates underside.

The second predominant type is the white superficial onychomicosis that is generally caused by fungal invasion to the superficial layer of the nail plate. The fungal invasion causes the formation of white parts or islands on the nail plate. It is in some causes formed due to reaction with nail polish leaving the nails with a chalky white appearance.

Proximal subungual onychomicosis is the third type of toenail fungus and generally describes the fungal penetration of a newly formed plate through the primary nail fold. This type is the least occurring type and can be found on patients in the rarest of cases. The fourth and last type of toe nail fungus is referred to as the Candidal onychomycosis. This is mainly caused by the invasion of the Candida species into nails especially when a person frequently inserts their hands in water.

There are some general signs and symptoms that are evident in most patients with toenail infection. These include thickening of the nail plate, the nail turning yellow or having a rather cloudy appearance. The toenails of the patient also turn and become rough and crumbly. It can however be noted that toenail fungus conditions cause no pain to the patient or any other body harm.

There are many common causes for toenail fungus that range from, a person having damp feet, working in a warm or humid area, the person cutting toenails to close to the skin, a person\'s poor general health, too much tightening of shoelaces, or the use of communal showers. Other common causes include a weak immune system, general old age and in some cases it can occur to people suffering from diabetes.
There are three main diagnostic tests done to people suffering from toe nail fungus infections. The three tests are namely the potassium hydroxide smear, histology and the culture the method. Culture involves testing of a patient\'s nail clippings. It has however been proved that the combination of both the smear and histological methods is the most effective method.

Treatment of toe nail fungus can be tricky at times hence it is always advisable to prevent. This can be done by wearing good shoes around humid places for example pool areas and gyms. You should also take care not to share socks or other personal footwear with someone having toenail fungus.

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About the Author
Understanding the symptoms of an infection is the first and most essential steps towards treatment. Some infections like toenail fungus can be effectively eradicted through toenail fungus home remedies. Just follow through the steps and within a short time, your toes will be free from fungal infection.

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