Thursday, 15 January 2015

There's No "Fun" in Fungus

What does that delectable, garlic and butter fried accompaniment of mushrooms next to your steak have in common with thick, brown-discoloured, and flaking toenails? Well, nothing palatable for sure!
However, they’re indeed cousins at a scientific level – the phylum known as fungi to be precise.

Nail fungus (also called onychomycosis) is an extremely common problem. It’s contagious and thrives in moist conditions such as persistently wet or sweaty footwear, pool decks, bathrooms, hotel carpets, and public change rooms.
The symptoms of fungal nails can be shared by other problems such as psoriasis or nail trauma, and so your chiropodist may sometimes take a nail sample for microscopic analysis to determine whether fungus is present and what type it is.

Nail fungus is extremely stubborn, and treatment may last several months (even years in severe cases). In addition to the in-office procedures performed by your chiropodist, he or she may provide medication and a home treatment plan to achieve maximum benefit. It’s very important to sanitize shoes, socks, and places around the house that harbour the fungal spores. Your chiropodist can also perform a cosmetic procedure that effectively restores the appearance of the toenails while treatment is ongoing.
As the old saying goes, however, prevention is the best medicine. Nail fungus can usually be avoided with a few common sense precautions such as:

·        Ensuring that footwear is kept dry and clean

·        Wearing slippers, sandals or water shoes in the kinds of public places where the spores are prevalent

·        Use only breathable, antifungal toenail polish. Most nail polishes form an air-tight seal that causes fungus to flourish

·        Trying to avoid injury to the nails

·        Never sharing footwear

Without treatment by your chiropodist fungal nails will become increasingly thick and unsightly, eventually damaging the nail bed so that the disfigurement becomes permanent. They may become painful and cause secondary bacterial infections. The fungus can also spread to the surrounding skin, fingernails, and other parts of the body. 

For more information on your good foot health, you can always visit the Kawartha Total Foot Care Centre web site.

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