Sunday, June 7, 2015

Treating Nail Fungus Infections

     Microscopic fungi organisms called dermatophytes cause Onychomycosis (nail fungus).  These same organisms cause athlete’s foot.  The dermatophytes organisms grow, spread, and thrive in warm moist environments such as a person’s socks and shoes.  Some people have inherited tendencies that make them more susceptible to developing nail fungus infections, and they contract it with mild, moderate or severe symptoms. 
     Many women develop fingernail fungus infections while wearing acrylic nail enhancements.  If acrylic nail enhancements are maintained using unsanitized manicure equipment then nail fungus is spread from person to person.  It is important to make sure that your nail tech always sanitizes the drill bits, files, dusting brushes and table tops between each client.  Whirlpool pedicure thrones that are not adequately cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected will also spread toenail fungus infections.
     Symptoms of nail fungus infections are discoloration, brittleness, foul odor, loss of luster and shine, thickening, distortion of nail shape, painful nail beds, crumbling of the nail plate, debris collecting under the nail, and loosening (detaching) of the nails.  Early mild fungus infections include discolorations such as white spots, light brown or yellowish brown.  Moderate nail fungus discolorations include dark yellow, yellow-green or yellow-brown.  Severe or advanced nail fungus, which has been chronic for years, will usually include very dark brown or black colors, very thick distorted nails, crumbling, debris collecting under the nails and a detaching of the nail plate from the nail bed. 
     Treatment of nail fungus infections varies depending on the severity of each case.  If the fungus has severely penetrated both the nail plate and the nail bed, treatment can require twelve to twenty-four months to completely cure.  Medical doctors can treat severe cases of fungus with oral prescription medications such as Sporonox or Lamisil tablets.  Unfortunately, there are possible side effects of liver damage, heart arrhythmias and bone marrow damage. 
     The good news is that mild or moderate nail fungus infections can often be treated with a convenient topical liquid drops containing thymol, lavender and tea tree oil.  The drops are simply applied to the nails twice daily for 3-12 months.  Untreated nail fungus infections can spread—from toe to toe, finger to finger, or person to person—and it rarely goes away by itself.  Untreated fungus infections will cause the nails to detach and fall off and may also cause pain and permanent nail plate damage leaving them ragged and distorted.
     It is wise to get an evaluation appointment from a podiatrist or medical doctor if you suspect that you have a nail fungus infection.  It’s beneficial to get monthly professional pedicures at a quality nail salon staffed by a licensed nail technician that always follows state guidelines for safe sanitation and disinfection procedures.