Fungal nail infections are one of the most annoying diseases you can ever get. The nails will look unsightly, not to mention the pain and discomfort that you will feel on your feet or hands. Not all people will get them, but some will do several times. There are risk factors for people who will likely get them, such as those with diabetes, being over 65 years old and walking barefoot in public pools and locker rooms, among others. If you get an infection, your doctor may prescribe you fungal nail tablets or ointments to get rid of the fungi. Here are ways you can contract such an infection.
What causes fungal infections?
Based on the name itself, fungi are the main culprits of infections. But where are the fungi from? Fungi thrive in a wet and damp environment. When your foot gets in contact with a fungi-infested area, such as a public pool or locker room, the fungi will adhere to your nails and begin making your nails a home. Symptoms will start exhibiting themselves not long after. You cannot get a fungal infection from another person, as long as you don’t use their socks or shoes.
Although fungal infections are not serious, in some cases, they may be so, owing to different factors. Severe fungal infections may cause permanent nail damage. The disease may also creep up to other parts of your body if you have a compromised immune system or diabetes.
How you can get an infection
There are several ways that you can contract an infection, and these are:
- Wearing tight shoes and not switching them regularly. Dirty shoes are perfect breeding grounds for fungi.
- Going to public pools and locker rooms and walking barefoot. Some people may have fungal infections, and the fungi on their feet may transfer to the floor. Walking barefoot will make it a lot easier for the fungi to stick to your feet.
- Going for a pedicure at a salon. If the nail technician used nail implements on a customer with a fungal infection and did not disinfect them properly before using them on you, chances are you will get an infection too. It is better to bring your own nail tools and not share them with anyone else if you don’t want to risk getting an infection.
Topical ointments are the most common cure for fungal infections. You apply them to the affected area until the infection clears. There are also oral treatments you can take, depending on how severe the infection is. Surgery and laser treatment are for more severe cases.
Fungal infections do not cure themselves, so if you get one, go to a doctor right away. They will tell you of the best treatment you can give your nails. For severe cases, they may require nail surgery if they can no longer salvage the infected nail with ointment and other treatments. If you are at risk of contracting a fungal nail infection, make sure to take great care of your feet and hands, so you don’t get one.