Fingernail fungus can be a very painful occurrence and, if left untreated, can become a dangerous one as well. This infection is typically spotted by noticing a white or yellow spot underneath the tip of a fingernail and toenail. As the nail fungus spreads throughout the nail, it will become discolored and will thicken with time. In addition, nail fungus will lead to crumbling edges and can be quite embarrassing to the sufferer.
Of all nail disorders, nail fungus is responsible for approximately half that number. Because fingernail fungus can be difficult to treat, it is best if the infection can be detected early and treated aggressively. Nails that are thick, brittle or crumbly may indicate the presence of fingernail fungus. In addition, a distorted nail or one that has lost its shine leaving it dull and lusterless may be a symptom of fingernail fungus. When fingernail fungus occurs, the nails may become discolored due to the debris buildup underneath the nail. A less than pleasant odor and pain in the nail may indicate fingernail fungus.
A physician can quickly diagnose fingernail fungus by first examining the nails and scraping some debris from underneath the fingernail in order to test for the presence of fungi. The physician, or a laboratory, will examine the debris under a microscope or other laboratory equipment before making a final diagnosis. Upon determination, a physician may prescribe a fingernail fungus medication to be used in relieving the discomfort and clearing up the infection.
The best way to avoid having to detect fingernail fungus is to take preventative steps to help make sure it never appears. Keeping the nails short and clean will help reduce the ability for bacteria to build up underneath the nail. In addition, keeping the nail area dry will also be a positive step toward preventing fingernail fungus. Anyone who visits a nail salon should make sure that the establishment takes proper procedures to clean and maintain their products. Bacteria can easily build up on nail care products and, when visiting a salon that uses the same products on various individuals, it is important that the business maintains proper care of their equipment.
If fingernail fungus does develop, avoid using fingernail polish and artificial nails because these products only mask the problem. In addition, they have the potential for trapping the bacteria and actually worsening the problem. In order to be effectively treated, fingernail fungus must be visible so that it can be detected and cured.