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Fungus Nails

INTRODUCTION TO FUNGUS NAILS

Fungus nails is an unsightly condition which can be difficult to treat. Many patients become very conscious about a fungus nail condition and refuse to wear sandals and have their feet seen in public. It is caused by microscopic organisms called Dermatophytes. Dermatophytes grow in the nail bed, beneath the nail and live off keratin, the protein in the nail. The condition usually begins towards the far end of the nail and may start with patches of white or yellow discolouration. If the condition is left untreated, it will proceed to the base of the nail. It will attack the nail root (matrix) and cause the nail to grow very thick and deformed. The big toe is usually the first nail to be affected with the condition spreading to adjacent nails. In rare cases this condition can also affect the skin surrounding the nails.

APPEARANCE OF FUNGUS NAILS

  • At an early stage, the nail may have white or yellow patches of discoloration. There may also be yellow horizontal streaks in the nail.
  • At a later stage, the nail will grow thick, deformed, discoloured and have a foul odour (musty smell). It may also split and start to crumble.

Above is a picture of a fungal nail infection in its later stage.

SYMPTOMS OF FUNGUS NAILS

  • The nail may become brittle and split in to several pieces.
  • The actual condition is not painful. However, if the nail becomes thick and deformed it may grow into the skin at an angle and become an in grown toe nail.
  • In severe cases, inflammation may arise from an in-growing toenail which may result in a secondary infection.
  • It will affect a patients day to day activities as the pressure from the nails against the shoes causes discomfort.
  • If the condition is left untreated for along period of time, the nail will become very brittle and the patient may experience episodes of total removal of the nail followed by re-growth.

CAUSES OF FUNGUS NAILS

  • There are many types of fungus present in our environment. Most are harmless, however, a group of fungi called dermatophytes can affect the feet. Dermatophytes thrive on warm, moist conditions.
  • Sweaty shoes and moist socks can be a contributing factor.
  • Most people may have the fungus present on their feet. However, a nail fungus infection may be caused due to the fungus invading the skin. This can be due to injury to the nail, inflammation from an in-growing toe nail or inappropriate nail cutting.
  • Individuals with a lower immunity due to Diabetes, H.I.V and patients with poor circulation.

WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR FUNGUS NAILS

  • To prevent the condition occurring, anti fungal powders may be of benefit.
  • Avoid synthetic nylon socks that trap in sweat, use cotton socks that absorb perspiration.

WHAT WILL THE CHIROPODIST DO FOR YOUR FUNGUS NAIL'S

  • Early diagnosis is the key to successful treatment. Laboratory tests may be required to determine the type of fungus which has affected the nail. This will enable the chiropodist to formulate a effective treatment regime.
  • The chiropodist may advise systemic medications or a nail lacquer which may effectively treat the condition, such as Protective Gehwol Nail and Skin Oil.
  • The nail may be trimmed with nail cutters or using a special nail grinder.
  • If a secondary ingrowing toe nail is present then surgical removal of the nail may be necessary.
  • With treatment the condition may be resolved within 9-12 months.
  • The chiropodist may give nail cutting advise.

CONDITIONS THAT RESEMBLE A FUNGUS NAIL

  • Psoriasis of the nails
  • Thick nails caused due to injury

We Recommend

Review: Fungus nails can be an embarassing and hard to treat condition. Thie gehwol nail and skin oil contains high-quality conditioning ingredients wheatgerm oil, panthenol and bisabolol to care for the nails and cuticles. The tried and trusted ingredient clotrimazole treats fungal nail infections. Repeated application allows penetration of the nail plate, eradication of the fungus and healthy growth of the nail.


Treatment Options for Fungus Nails

Protective Gehwol Nail and Skin Oil 15ml
Repeated application allows penetration of the nail plate, eradication of the fungus and healthy growth of the nail.


Protective Skin and Nail Cream 15ml tube
The tried and trusted ingredient clotrimazole treats and cures fungal nail infections. This can be used in conjunction with gehwol nail softener.


LCN Mykosept Plus
Mykosept Plus - Mykosept Plus with AM Factor is a transparent polish that forms a protective coating on nails. It contains the patented ingredient piroctone, which is used to treat fungal nail infections.


Curanail 5% Nail Lacquer
Curanail contains the active ingredient amorolfine, an effective antifungal agent previously only available on prescription. Curanail kills a wide range of different fungi that can cause nail infections.


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