Many natural changes in fingers and toenails come with age. Fine ridges, for example, may start developing from the cuticle of the nail tip. This and other similar changes are common, but they are not signs of poor health.
However,there are some nail conditions to watch out for such as small separations of the nail from the nail bed, yellow/brown color, or hardening ,crumbling or thickenings of the nail at the top edge.All these conditions are symptoms of a common fungal infection called Onychomycosis,which infects the nail bed under the surface of the nail causing thickening, roughness, discoloration and splitting of the nail.
It can be caused by a somewhat large variety of fungi and it’s typically painless for several years after initial infection. But, if left untreated, the condition will worsen and it’ll be unbearable to even wear shoes or walk.
Because fungi thrive in darkness,moist areas such as the inside of your shoes, Onychomycosis appears on toenails more often that fingernails. Like mold or mildew, these parasitic organisms live on dead things, which in this case is the dead nail tissue. Once the fungus is established on dead tissue, it excretes toxins into adjacent living tissue causing its death.
As this tissue dies, it provides new ground for the fungus to expand.
The risk of fungus infection of toenails is decreased using the same methods to decrease the risk of fungus infection of the skin on the feet. Here are some tips to maintain your feat dry and healthy:
1. Indoors, avoid wearing shoes and consider wearing open footwear.
2. Change shoes daily. Try alternating between at least 3 pairs of shoes allowing them time to dry out.
3. Change socks whenever they become damp.
4. Wear high top boots only when needed for work or other activities.
5. Treat every foot fungus promptly. Some fungus require daily application of anti-fungal creams to keep them away.
If the fungus still appears go to your dermatologist to prescribe you both oral and topical treatments for Onychomycosis. Newer, safer and more effective medications are currently available due to nail fungus treatment advancing significantly over the past years. These medications are generally taken for three months. During that time, the medicine incorporates into the nail tissue preventing the fungus to expand. As the nail grows out normally, The diseased nail is displaced and removed.