Onychomycosis? If you’ve never suffered from nail fungus, you may not have heard the word until now and be wondering, “what is onychomycosis?”
Along with our skin, hair, and teeth, our nails say a lot about us. For women, in particular, having onychomycosis (aka nail fungus) is not only unpleasant but also embarrassing due to its unsightly appearance.
Nail fungus affects approximately one in ten Americans at any given time. It is a condition that for the vast majority of sufferers is more annoying than anything else due to its persistence. It can, however, be painful as it progresses, and in some instances, it can spread to the skin causing athlete’s foot. This can pose a real risk for diabetics as it can lead to cellulitis, a bacterial infection which, though unlikely, could potentially result in amputation.
So exactly what is Onychomycosis? Onychomycosis (pronounced on-ee-co-my-co-sis) is the clinical term used to describe a condition in which microorganisms invade and infect the nail bed, usually via a cut in the skin or through the minute space separating the nail and nail bed. The three types of fungi involved are dermatophytes, Candida, and molds which are non-dermatophyte. The dermatophyte type fungal infection is by far the most common, being found mainly in temperate climates. Candida and mold fungus is far more likely to occur in tropical and sub-tropical environments.
The first sign that nail fungus is present is usually a change in the appearance of the affected nail or nails. Often it/they will take on a yellowish tinge or white blotches may appear, with blackening being another possibility. If left untreated the condition will generally worsen with the nail sometimes distorting, crumbling, and separating from the nail bed. If you’ve ever experienced this it’s not something you will want to go through again, believe me. The longer the nail infection is present, the longer it will take to get rid of it. Keeping the nails clean and dry and using an effective, proven treatment such as ZetaClear as soon as you notice the first signs of nail fungus can arrest the infection before the condition of the affected nails deteriorates further, and before it spreads.
While some fungal microorganisms need sunlight to survive, the types present in nail fungi do not. They do, in fact, thrive in warm, humid environments which makes the area under our nails an ideal place for them to flourish. Because our feet are so often encased in shoes, our toenails are generally more at risk of developing onychomycosis than our fingernails. Regardless of where it strikes, early treatment will provide the best chance of a fast cure.
The best treatment for toenail fungus I’ve found, and the one I recommend, is ZetaClear. For those wishing to try some home remedies check out the recipes here and here. Not having tried them myself, I can’t vouch for their effectiveness. No harm can come from trying them, but something to keep in mind is that their effectiveness has not been proven in a clinical setting. Home remedies can also be messy and time-consuming, whereas ZetaClear is quick and easy to apply and can be popped into your handbag, briefcase, or suitcase making it very convenient to transport. This is especially important if you are planning a trip away as whatever treatment you use, it will only be effective if you use it consistently until the onychomycosis resolves.