Fungal Nail Infection.
(Onychomycosis) are a very common complaint. Over 10 million people in the UK and 700 million people worldwide suffer from them. Onychomycosis affects men more than it does women and is more common as you get older. Most fungal nail infections cause merely cosmetic complaints with most sufferers reporting unsightly and embarrassing changes. The infected nail becomes thickened, discoloured (yellow) and often crumbly, it becomes impossible to cut down and takes on a unique odour. If left untreated, fungal nail infections can be very painful in shoes and can cause corns down the outside of the nail. In some cases the infected nail can lift from the end of the toe, debris can collect under the it, altering the curvature of the nail.
The causes of nail fungus infection are numerous, and a combination of the most common causes usually leads to infected nails, whether that is toenails or fingernails that have the fungal infection.Nails with damage to the nail plate and the seal at either end of the nail are most at risk from fungal nail infection. Also, a common skin infection known as athletes foot, usually present between the toes, then invades the nail and causes the fungus problem.
Foot fungus thrive upon the conditions in the shoe and 30% of people complaining of fungal toenail infection also suffer from athletes foot infection.
The hot sweaty environment found in the shoe are ideal for the fungi to grow and to spread on the toenails. Fungal infections are caused primarily by dermatophytes, candida and various yeasts and moulds found in these conditions.
Serious medical conditions such as poor circulation and diabetes can lead to worsening conditions and occasionally a secondary bacterial infection. Use of common towels, walking barefoot on contaminated surfaces and the use of non-sterile equipment for toenail cutting and filing can cause the nail fungus infection.
- Nail Damage
- Poor General Health
- Regular use of shared washing or changing facilities
- Trauma to the nail, from poorly fitting shoes or a sports / running injury
Common symptoms of Fungal Nail Infections include:
- Thickened Nail
- Nail Discolouration (White, Black, Yellow or Green)