Nail fungus is not a nice thing. It is an unsightly and nasty infection that can invade either your fingernails or toenails. It is more likely that people will have toenail fungus, simply because for a large part of the year, most of us have socks and shoes on, which are ideal for growing fungus because they are dark and usually moist to a certain extent.
Our toenails and fingernails are pretty effective barriers against damage and infection. However, once an infection has set up shop in your nail bed, that barrier can work against you as you try to get rid of the fungus. What was so good at protecting the skin under your nail is now protecting the fungus as it takes up residence. When you first start to get a nail infection, the edges or base of your nail shows the first signs. At that point and throughout the infection, you can have some discomfort, itching, or pain in the skin around the edge of your nail.
As it gets worse, your cuticles can bleed and even detach themselves from the nail. You may also notice pus developing along with the bleeding. Your nail may also turn a nasty yellowish green, yellowish brown or any color in between. Usually the nails start to thicken and become lined or grooved and develop little holes. Nail fungus can be contagious.
It loves moist places and especially moist places where people walk around in their bare feet. You can pass on or receive nail fungus in showers, bathrooms, locker rooms or even by using someone else\'s nail file! Another culprit in the spread of nail fungus can be nail salons. If the instruments are not sterilized correctly or if the nail files are passed from person to person, it could spread infections. Also, applying artificial nails and darker nail polishes don\'t allow the air or light to penetrate to the nail bed, which creates a safe haven for fungus to grow. Nail polish remover can also dry out your nails and cuticles, leaving them susceptible to infection. Once you have a nail infection, hopefully it will clear up rather easily.
There are many over the counter products that you can apply to the nail. Sometimes they won\'t work, so you may have to end up going to a doctor for a prescription. They can provide a prescription for potent medicines, including antibiotics and specialty drugs. Nail fungus is unsightly, unhealthy and most of all embarrassing.
However, if you do happen to be unlucky enough to have your healthy nails take a turn for the worse, there are options out there. As with any infection or sickness, you can start out taking simple precautions against the fungus, but if it gets into your nails or keeps spreading once you have started treating it, don\'t give up hope. Make an appointment with your doctor and he should be able to help you get it under control and out of your life for good.
Jenna Adbey is a health/beauty writer. You can visit her ZetaClear review or Nail Fungus Remedies Cures website.