If you’ve ever dealt with nail fungus (also known as onychomycosis), you know how embarrassing and distressing it can be. Not only does it cause unpleasant discoloration of the nail, but it can also lead to nail loss or other adverse health effects if not treated properly. Although there is no direct and guaranteed way to get rid of this fungal infection, it is essential to know what mistakes to avoid to prevent further spread and damage. In this article, we’ll cover six of the most common for anyone dealing with a case of onychomycosis.
What is nail fungus?
Nail fungus, also known as onychomycosis or tinea unguium, is a fungal infection of the nail that can lead to changes in the color and texture of the nail. It is caused by dermatophytes, which are a type of fungi that infect the outer layer of skin, hair, and nails.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not caused by poor hygiene, but rather by exposure to hot, humid places like swimming pools, showers or locker rooms. The fungus thrives in these types of environments because it needs warmth to grow and reproduce. Also, small cuts and scrapes in the nail can be entry points for the fungus. Tight shoes that prevent air from circulating around the feet, excessive sweating, a weakened immune system from diseases such as diabetes, psoriasis or HIV/AIDS can also increase the risk of developing nail fungus.
How to recognize it?
Symptoms of nail fungus include:
- Thickening of the nail plate.
- Its discoloration (white or yellow).
- The crumbling of the edges on the sides of the nail plate.
- Separation of the nail plate from its underlying bed (onycholysis).
Treatment usually consists of antifungal medications taken by mouth or applied directly to the affected nails.
The 6 mistakes to banish when treating nail fungus.
Mistake #1. Cut or trim infected areas of your nails:
Cutting or trimming large parts of your nails can make the infection worse and make you more susceptible to other fungus-related problems. Plus, it can potentially spread the infection to other parts of your body.
Error #2. Using home remedies without consulting a doctor:
Although some home remedies such as soaking in vinegar water or applying tea tree oil may be beneficial in treating onychomycosis, it is important to seek the advice of a healthcare professional. health before attempting any type of self-treatment. This will allow you to ensure that you are taking the appropriate action for your particular case of onychomycosis, rather than risking making the condition worse with an ineffective remedy.
Mistake #3. Exposing the feet to hot and humid environments:
While toenail fungus thrives in moist conditions, it’s important to avoid exposing your feet (or any other infected areas) to hot, humid environments such as swimming pools or saunas for long periods of time – this can potentially exacerbate the condition. Be sure to wear protective footwear when entering public places where fungal infections are common (e.g. gym locker rooms).
Error #4. Apply false nails before the mycosis is completely gone:
False nails applied over an existing nail bed still affected by onychomycosis can trap moisture against the nail plate. This environment is conducive to new fungal growth and can even make existing symptoms worse. Therefore, it is best to wait until all signs of infection have cleared before engaging in activities involving false nails (eg, manicures).
Error #5. Reuse manicure and pedicure tools:
Fungal infections can be transmitted easily from one person to another through the use of these tools. It is therefore essential to avoid them in your case and in general to use them freshly sterilized or disposable for each manicure and pedicure session.
Mistake #6. Camouflage the infection with nail polish:
While this can temporarily cover up the infection, it can also trap moisture, which can make the condition worse over time. Additionally, some types of nail polish contain strong chemicals that can further irritate and even damage affected nails. Correctly treating onychomycosis requires a more holistic approach that involves keeping the nails clean and dry, as well as allowing them to breathe as much as possible.