What is nail fungus?
Nail fungus is a nail infection that will cause your nail to become yellow, thick and friable. Because it is an infection of the nail bed itself, it stays in your nail even though you cut away the affected part. Aside from the aesthetic problem, it is also a health issue – left untreated, it can easily spread to the entire nail and contaminate other nails.
Toenails can take up to a year to grow back completely. Therefore, treatment for nail fungus can take a long time. This is why it is crucial to start treatment as early as possible if you suspect you have a nail fungus infection.
How to treat nail fungus?
There are many options to treat nail fungus. The options available to you depend on your overall medical condition and the severity of your nail fungus infection:
1. Determining the nature of your nail fungus infection
Your podiatrist can take a piece of your nail and analyze it in order to determine exactly what fungus or bacteria is causing your nail infection, in order to prescribe the appropriate treatment.
2. Prescribing nail fungus medication
Your podiatrist can prescribe an anti-fungal medication to apply on your nails on a daily basis to treat your infection. In severe cases of nail fungus, if your overall medical condition is adequate, you can also take anti-fungal pills to treat your nail fungus infection. It is important to note that pills can have some side effects, like diminishing your liver function in some cases. It is important to discuss this with your family doctor beforehand.
3. Trimming your nail fungus
Because nail fungus makes your nail very thick, it is difficult for you to cut them at home. It is also difficult for whatever medication you are applying to work properly. Therefore, if you are applying a prescribed medication daily, it is important to visit your podiatrist every 2-4 months in order to get your nail trimmed and thinned. Only in this way will your medication work fully.
How to treat nail fungus at home?
While waiting to see your podiatrist, or in between your podiatric visit, please follow these steps to reduce the chances of your fungus to spread around.