Somewhere between pimple-popping and dandruff on the ick list, may be nail fungus. But it’s actually fairly common, especially within certain groups of people based on a combination of age, health conditions and lifestyle choices.
Right off the bat nail fungus, whether it be fingers or toes, is found more frequently in older people. And rarely seen in children, especially kids under six. It is easy to spot, nails may become either brittle or flaky. Or toenails may become thicker. Lifting of a nail is another symptom as well as discoloration. Fungus can show up in all sorts of color variations ranging from white to green.
And yes, it’s a bad idea to ignore it. If a nail fungus persists too long, the troubled nail can develop a wonky shape or eventually fall off. It can also cause itchiness and pain to the point where it hurts to wear shoes. Of course, sandals and flip flops are out- no one wants to showcase a nail fungus.
Some people might have an occasional issue, but many times nail fungus is linked to medical conditions. The American Academy of Dermatology breaks them down:
- Athlete’s foot (which is also a fungus)
- Cancer and are receiving chemotherapy
- Had a nail infection
- Injured a nail or recently had nail surgery
- People in your family frequently get nail infections
- Poor circulation
- Received an organ transplant
- Weakened immune system due to a disease like human immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV)
Other people might get a nail fungus based on habits, including:
• Having frequently wet hands and feet
• Unsanitary manicures or pedicures
Now, fungal nail infections don’t go away without an intervention which can range from topical treatments, medications, even laser procedures that use light to kill the fungus. It’s important to take care of it, because the fungus may spread to other nails.
If you want to see nail fungus at its grossest, click here
In all seriousness, nail fungus can be uncomfortable and may be embarrassing, but doctors say the issue is really not a huge deal. With proper treatment, you can be back to barefoot in no time.