Nail fungus is an embarrassing chronic condition that impacts your quality of life and can lead to serious health problems for those with diabetes or immune disorders. Infections can start as a result of a family history of susceptibility, increasing age, poor health, warm or moist climates, exposure to others’ infections and communal bathing areas, and tight shoes.
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Infected nails often show one or more of the following signs:
- Yellow streaks in the skin under the nail
- Build up of bits and pieces of skin and nail fragments
- Discoloured and thickened nail that may separate from the skin
- Brittle, broken, and thickened nails
- White spots or streaks on the surface
- Soft and powdery surface which appears as the infection worsens
- Damaged, crumbly and brown or gray surface, with no separation of the nail from the underlying skin
The treatment of fungal infection is difficult because the infection is under and inside the nail, which makes it hard for other treatments to reach and destroy the infection. Treatments such as medicated polish or oral medications may be associated with side effects or serious drug interactions. Home remedies such as using bleach, vinegar, mouthwash, or household cleaners to resolve the problem are often tried but, ultimately, fail to resolve it.
These may not be effective for all patients, and may come with side effects. They also need to be taken for 6-12 weeks and results are not seen until the nail grows out.
These can be more effective than oral drugs, but they have to be applied daily for long periods to clear up the fungus.