Fungal nails refers to any number of fungal nail infections that can occur on the foot. Since fungal nails are usually more resistant and more difficult to treat than Athlete's Foot, topical or oral antifungal medications may be prescribed. Note: Please consult a physician before taking any medications. Permanent nail removal is another possible form of treatment for tenacious fungal nails.
Not everything that causes a nail to change color, detach from the nail bed or thicken is created by fungus. There are numerous conditions that cause changes in nails. The only sure way to tell if you have a fungal infection is to run a special test on a piece of the nail to see if fungus is actually present. Many conditions are treated as fungus that are not fungal infections at all; therefore the treatment is doomed to failure.
Reducing Risk of Fungal Nail Infections
After a fungal nail infection has cleared up, take steps to prevent the infection from recurring. Keeping fungi at bay will help prevent a fungal infection of the skin from reinfecting the nail. Before bed, thoroughly wash and dry your feet, and apply a nonprescription antifungal cream to the entire foot from the ankle down. Use the cream every night, then gradually apply it less often. Keep your feet dry. Dry feet are less likely to become infected. Apply powder to your dry feet after you take a shower or bath.
Other suggestions for preventing fungal nails include:
-Don't share nail clippers or nail files with others.
-Don't share shoes or socks with others.
-Try not to injure your nail, such as by cutting it too short (trauma to the nail may lead to infections).
-Wear dry cotton socks and change them two or three times a day if necessary.
-Wear dry shoes that allow air to circulate around your feet (tight, enclosed, moist shoes contribute to fungal toenail infections).