Fungal nail fungus is an infection growing in and on your toenail or fingernail. Fungi are able to live both on your skin and dead tissue. Most common fungal infections come from a fungus called dermatophytes, which are naturally found in your body on all types of skin, not just your nails. Another name for dermatophytes is “proto-flagellans” which means flagellates. Other names for this fungus are dermatosomatous plaques and dermatophytes. They typically infect your toenails, but they can also infect your finger nails, toenails, and hair.
The first step to treating an infection like this is to take the appropriate type of medication. If you choose to treat it with prescription medicines, make sure that the prescription medicine has been approved by the United States pharmacopoeia. These medications are usually available only if your infection comes with a visible symptom. If you don’t have these visible symptoms, you need to use alternative, non-prescription medicines.
Prescription medicines generally work very well on fungal nail infections in your fingernails or toenails. They work because they kill the fungus. However, many people have experienced side effects from these medications. Some of these side effects include redness, swelling, and irritation around the infected area. This may be especially uncomfortable in warm environments where you’ll be wearing socks and shoes.
When you look at a thickened or infected nail, you will notice white spots on it. These spots are actually a fungus known as dermatophytes. The fungus is trying to grow itself, but the nail blocks the growth process. The white spots in the thickened areas are called tophi.
Other symptoms of toenail fungus include nails that are thickened and brittle. Blemishes or dryness of the skin around the nails are also common signs. You may also experience pain when you try to wear shoes. If you’re constantly in pain, this can also be a sign of an infection, so make an appointment with your doctor.
The best way to prevent fungal nail infections is to keep your feet clean. You should always change your socks and shoes on a regular basis and always wear socks and shoes that are designed for your feet’s health. If you already have them, there are some things that you can do to make them easier to treat. For example, if your socks aren’t very absorbent, soak them in some alcohol first to loosen up the soil and dirt.