Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Onychomycosis, Nail Fungus Infections

The word onychomycosis simply refers to fungal infection of the nail: "onycho" is Greek for "claw" and mycosis is the medical term for fungal infection of any kind. Though this term may be unfamiliar to most people, the nail fungus infection, unfortunately, is far from uncommon. In North America, as many as 13% of people may suffer from nail fungus infections, with the incidence increasing with age.

Early signs of onychomycosis or nail fungus include a yellowish or brownish discoloration of the infected nail, often starting near the tip of the toe or the fingertip and progressing back toward the cuticle. In some cases a white spot appears and grows gradually larger. The nail may appear to be separating from the nailbed and it usually becomes distorted and crumbly. Nail Fungus treatments tend to work better when started early in the course of the fungus infection. The first step is to get a proper diagnosis from a medical professional, then begin nail fungus treatment.

Onychomycosis or nail fungus treatment may require topical application of an antifungal agent or a prescription for an oral medication. Curing the fungal infection tends to take months or years, depending on severity, thus it is better to start in the early stages. Prescription medications for nail fungus infections are relatively new and are still quite costly and plagued with side effects but, because this type of infection has been around since ancient times, there are many home remedies for toenail fungus infection that people swear by. Most of these involve soaking the affected nail in a solution (dilute bleach, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide etc.).

1 comment:

  1. And now, what of vinegar? Well, the supposed efficacy of vinegar is essentially based on its acidic properties, which hampers the growth of toenail fungus. Therefore, the idea is that if you apply vinegar daily, you will eventually restrict the growth of the fungus to the point where it will vanish and leave you with clean, freshly grown toenails.

    Apparently, ordinary white vinegar will do the trick if you take a footbath in it for long enough - about a year - but you have to keep at it every day, for 30 minutes at least each day. You may also directly apply the vinegar twice or thrice a day or wear a vinegar-soaked bandage. Some folks also recommend apple cider vinegar as a remedy for toenail fungus, to be taken internally. The popular dosage is two tablespoons thrice daily, but remember, this is acetic acid we are talking about, so it may damage your tooth enamel if you don't rinse your mouth after taking it.
    nail fungus infection