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Do You Suffer from Onychomycosis

or Fungal Infection of the Nail?

A fungal infection of the nail is very common in the adult population. The fungus can obtain nutrients from keratinized material. There are many causes including artificial nails and manicuring, increasing age, diabetes, immunodeficiency, vascular diseases, nail trauma, hyperhidrosis (excessive sweat), warmth and darkness, and poor hygiene. Nail fungus can be painful and may cause permanent damage to your nails. It also may lead to other serious infections that can spread beyond your feet if you have a suppressed immune system due to medication, diabetes or other conditions.  The infection is transmitted by direct contact with infected nails, or by indirect contacts, such as through nail files.

How do you know you have a nail fungus infection? Usually a white or yellow spot under the tip of the fingernail is present. Also, discoloration, enlargement and crumbling of nails can be evident. If you have diabetes, your blood circulation and the nerve supply to your feet can become impaired. You’re also at greater risk for cellulitis, a potentially serious bacterial skin infection. Therefore, any relatively minor injury to your feet — including a nail fungal infection — can lead to a more serious complication, requiring timely medical care. See your doctor immediately if you suspect nail fungus.

To help prevent nail fungus and reduce recurrent infections, practice good hand and foot hygiene.

•Keep your nails short, dry and clean.

•Wear appropriate socks.

•Use an antifungal spray or powder.

•Don’t trim or pick at the skin around your nails.

•Don’t go barefoot in public places.

•Choose a reputable manicure and pedicure salon.

•Give up nail polish and artificial nails.

•Wash your hands after touching an infected nail.

To accurately diagnose a fungal infection, you would require a microscopic examination of the specimens, culturing, and radiographic or serologic studies, Onychomycosis can affect the bed, the matrix, and the plates of all nails even permanently. There are different treatments including topical and oral. Most of these have a single active ingredient, with limited, yet strong side effects. Furthermore, treatments require a long time to produce satisfactory results, since it is hard to reach the area where the fungus is and the nail is quite impenetrable. An effective alternative is laser nail fungus treatment. This modern technique produces successful, satisfactory results. The laser kills the fungus that lives in and under the nail. It passes through the area without causing damage to the nail or the surrounding skin. Multiple weekly sessions are required. Contact Med Aesthetics Miami for more information on this topic.


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