Toenail fungus can be a very painful occurrence and, if left untreated, can become a dangerous one as well. A number of risk factors are known to increase the likelihood of developing toenail fungus, including age, a family history of the infection, smoking, heavy perspiration, etc. In addition, a humid or moist environment may also cause bacteria to form and may be a leading cause for toenail fungus, as is uncomfortable socks or shoes, walking barefoot, etc. Anyone with diabetes, circulatory problems and a weak immune system may be at greater risk for developing toenail fungus.
In order to prevent toenail fungus, it is important to understand what causes it. Anyone who wants to avoid having to watch for a toenail fungus symptom can best accomplish this by taking preventative steps toward making sure the bacteria never appears in the first place. In order to prevent toenail fungus, individuals should keep their toenails and fingernails short and clean. This will eliminate the ability for bacteria to grow and worsen. Keeping nails dry will also help to hinder the occurrence of toenail fungus. Anyone who visits a salon should also be aware that bacteria are easily transmitted on nail treatment products. In order to avoid having this happen, the salon must take extra care to clean all of their equipment before using it on another customer.
If toenail fungus is suspected, there are several symptoms that can help to diagnose the condition early so that an effective treatment program may begin. Symptoms can include a white or yellow discoloration underneath the tip of the nail or a thickening or crumbling of the nail. The discoloration is due to the bacteria that is forming and cannot be overlooked. If left untreated, toenail fungus can lead to a more serious infection and may spread to other nails. This ailment is especially dangerous to anyone who suffers from diabetes, but can pose a serious danger to anyone who does not seek proper treatment. In addition, toenail fungus may cause permanent nail damage.
Nail fungus is responsible for approximately half of all nail disorders and, because it can be difficult to treat, the best way to treat the ailment effectively is to detect it early. Another common toenail fungus symptom is a nail that has become distorted in its shape. If it seems to be dull or lacking luster, this is also a toenail fungus symptom. An unpleasant odor and pain in the nail area are discomforts that are often a very definitive toenail fungus symptom. If any of these signs are present, or the condition worsens, a physician should be contacted in order to gain a proper assessment of the infection and how to treat it most effectively.