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What are the causes of Nail Infections?
The most frequent cause of nail infection is dermatophyte fungus that invades the dead tissue of skin or nails. Other causes include contact with certain moulds or species of yeasts. The overall prevalence of nail infection ranges from 2 to 15 % of the population.
Who is at risk of getting Onychomycosis?
Contact with infective fungal agents causes toenail fungus. Since these agents are everywhere in our environment, everyone is at risk for infection. Common sources of infection could include public showers, swimming pools, nail spas and gums. Nail trauma and tight-fitting shoes can also encourage infection.
How to identify toenail fungus?
One or more of the following signs may indicate that you suffer from onychomycosis. Distorted, thickened or discoloured nails, yellow or white stripes on or beneath the nails, brittle, crumbly or ragged nails and nails that have separated from the underlying skin.
What are the other treatment options?
Common toenail fungus treatment options include topical drugs and oral antifungal drugs. Topical medication is applied directly to the nails every day for 6 to 12 months. This approach is rarely practical because the drug has difficulty passing through the toenail to reach the infection site. Oral drugs can be effective and are taken for 6 to 12 months. However, there are several side effects associated with these drugs, and in some cases, weekly blood analyses are required to keep track of liver function.