Fungal Nail Infection: Everything You Need To Know

Fungal infections are caused by the overgrowth of fungi which can be unpleasant and often difficult to treat. Fungi thrive in warm and moist environments so they are able to overpopulate.

Published: Thursday 22 August 2019



Fungal infections are caused by the overgrowth of fungi which can be unpleasant and often difficult to treat. Fungi thrive in warm and moist environments so they are able to overpopulate. The infection will develop slowly, causing the nails to become thick, distorted and often discoloured.

Signs and symptoms

At first, the signs may not be obvious, but as the infection develops you may notice:

  • Nail discolouration.
  • Thickening and distortion of the nail – it may change its shape or texture and become difficult to cut.
  • Pain particularly when placing pressure on the affected toe or finger.
  • Brittle nails – the nail pieces may break off and come away completely.

What causes fungal nail infections?

Most cases occur as a result of athlete’s foot which can spread easily from the infected nail to others.

Other reasons why fungal nail infections occur include:

  • Wearing shows that cause your feet to get hot and sweaty.
  • Walking in areas where you can easily be infected such as locker rooms, gyms, communal showers.
  • Weakened immune system.
  • Conditions such as diabetes or circulation problems.

The majority of people who suffer from fungal nail infections are often men with older adult men at the highest risk due to their poorer circulations and as you age your nails grow more slowly and thicken.

Treatments

Curanail (also known as Loceryl) is used to treat fungal nail infections on your finger and toe nails. It contains the active ingredient amorolfine hydrochloride which combats a large variety of fungi that can cause an infection by disrupting its growth.

The affected nail(s) should be filed down as much as possible and cleaned with a swab. Apply the gel to the affected nail(s) with the spatula, in the same way that you would apply nail polish without wiping the excel gel off the spatula on the bottle. Allow the gel to dry for approximately 3 minutes before cleaning the spatula with the swab used before to clean the nails.

How long does it take to work?

It is important to use Curanail until the infection has cleared completely and healthy nails have grown back. This usually takes 6 months for finger nails and between 9 and 12 months for toe nails.

Tips to prevent fungal nail infections

A few lifestyle changes can make all the difference, and reduce the chances of getting a fungal nail infection. These include:

  • Keep your nails well-trimmed.
  • Avoid injuring the skin around the nails.
  • Wear rubber gloves if you plan to have your hands damp or wet for a long period of time.
  • Avoid being bare foot in public areas.
  • Get your nails done in trustworthy, hygienic salons and avoid artificial nails.
  • Dry your feet and in between toes after showering.

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