Published: 31st May 2011
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Fungal Nail Infection Fungal infection of nails is usual. The infection causes thickened and unpleasant nails which will at times become uncomfortable. Medication frequently is effective to clear the infection, however, you will want to take treatment for a few weeks.

What people get fungal nail infections?

About about three in hundred or so people today in the UK will possess a fungal nail infection at some level of their life. Toenails are more typically influenced than fingernails. It is extra widespread in individuals over fifty five, as well as in younger men and women who share communal showers, such as swimmers or athletes.

Exactly how do you get a fungal nail infection?

* Spread from a fungal skin infection. For example of this, athlete's foot is a fungal skin infection of the toes. This may likely spread to the toenails if the skin infection is not dealt with quick.

* Fingernail infection might possibly take place soon after a toenail infection has turn out to be established. The fungus can spread to a finger if you scratch your itchy toes and toenail.

* Fingernail infections are also far more likely to occur if you clean your hands often, or have them in water a great deal. For instance, if you are a slave in the kitchen or a cleaner. Continuous cleansing may hurt the shielding skin at the bottom of the nail. This might enable fungi to enter.

* A nail that has a short while ago been harmed is also more likely to grow to be infected.

* You have an elevated risk developing a fungal nail infection if you have varied other conditions. For case in point: diabetes, psoriasis, poor circulation, a poor immune system (for example, if you have AIDS or are on chemotherapy), or all round poor state of health.

* Nail infections are more common in men and women who live in hot or humid temperatures.

* Smoking also increases the risk of developing a nail infection.

* In some cases there is no visible reason. Fungus germs (fungi) are typical and an infection can take place 'out of the blue'.

Just what are the signs and symptoms of a fungal nail infection?

Usually the infection is just in one nail, but several may be affected. At first the infection is usually painless. The nail may possibly look thickened and discoloured (often a greeny-yellow colour). Typically, this is all that occurs and it often causes no other symptoms. However, it can look unattractive.

Occasionally the infection becomes worse. White or yellow patches may appear where the nail has come away from the skin under the nail (the nailbed). Often the whole nail comes away. The nail may possibly become soft and crumble. Bits of nail may possibly fall off. The skin next to the nail may be infected or scaly. If left with no treatment, the infection may ultimately damage the nail and the nailbed, and may perhaps become unpleasant. Walking may become unpleasant if a toenail is affected.

Do I need any tests?

Other nail conditions can generally look like a fungal infection. Subsequently, to confirm the diagnosis, a doctor will usually take a nail clipping and send it to the laboratory for screening.

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