Nail fungus is a common problem. The fungus develops in our nail beds, the skin directly underneath our nails. The symptoms of nail fungus include discolored nails, crumbly or brittle nails, thickened nails, nails growing irregularly, and pain in the affected finger or toe. Since nail fungus is not a rare disease, many people have already contracted it without them knowing it. Only when it has advanced to a later stage do they find out about it and visit a doctor for treatment.
Diagnosis of Nail Fungus
Doctors would usually confirm their diagnosis by scraping or clipping the nail. The sample is then sent to a laboratory for testing and evaluation. This is because other nail ailments mimic nail fungal infection.
Surgery is the traditional way of eliminating nail fungus. The nail is removed in severe cases of nail fungus and a new nail grows to replace it. The growth of a new nail could take up to a year to the chagrin of many. But because of technological breakthroughs in the field of medicine, several anti-fungal medicines that combat the said ailment have been developed.
Popular Medication of Nail Fungus
The most popular form of medication are topical creams and ointments. These topical medicines focus more on treating the fungal infection from the outside. The fungus underneath the nail plate is usually not reached and treated. Thus, topical medicines Fungus Clear are usually used side-by-side with oral medications in order to attack the fungus from within as well. Alternative medicines such as home remedies are also being used by some people to slow down the growth of the fungus. However, similar to topical commercial medication, these home remedies merely focus on the surface infection and not on the fungus hiding in the nail bed. They are thus generally ineffective at completely eliminating nail fungus.
The most effective way of treating nail fungus is by taking anti-fungal medications prescribed by a physician. These medications are very potent and as such, they pose the risk of side effects to our internal organs. Thus, monthly blood tests are usually ordered by doctors. Also, those who are undergoing such treatment should be wary of symptoms of organ damage such as fatigue, appetite loss, vomiting, change in urine and stool color, skin rashes, bleeding, and enlarged lymph nodes. If you experience any of these, you must report it immediately to your doctor. Because of such side effects, doctors usually recommend the treatment of nail fungus only when the patient is having secondary problems (i.e. pain in the affected area, ingrown nails, and other infections). If no secondary problems are experienced, treatment of nail fungus is discouraged because of the possible side effects of oral medications.
Can Nail Fungus Be Eliminated Permanently?
Anti-fungal medications do not guarantee a lasting cure from nail fungus. The recurrence of infection is very common. According to studies, at least 20 percent of patients will experience a recurrence of their condition. Therefore, what is vital is the continuous use of the treatment until the nail fungus totally disappears. After the nail fungus has been cured, prevention of the disease through the practice of good hygiene and maintenance of the proper diet is needed.