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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Toenail Fungus, Injury and Good Health Habits


Toenails are pretty fragile, especially in the hotter Regions if you live there. Fungus is easily contracted.
When the big toe or other nails fall off, the term is onychoptosis, it literally means "falling nail" in Greek) it can be blamed on two major reasons, fungus or injury.

 Fungus has several differently types of microscopic fungi that can cause onychoptosis, by feeding on the keratin that is the tough protein that makes up toenails. Onchohptosis caused by fungus isn't at all that rare of a problem.  Around 5% of Americans are affected and around 20% worldwide.

If you suspect fungus here are some things to watch for that you may experience:

Nails that turn yellow, brown or white
Nails that become very thick and overgrown

Keep it covered with anti fungal medicine on it when wearing sandals especially if you lose your toenail.

Nails that are very soft, white crumble and fall off

Nails that fall off because of a fungal infection will grow back. Sometimes the new nail is infected like the old one. It also may grow in bumpy. The condition hardly ever goes away by itself. However I have had good experience using anti fungal medicines and Vick's Vapor rub. I actually applied it three times a day and kept a sock on to keep it in place for one month. The fungus went away. It doesn't always work on some strains.
I also have tried ordering online some anti fungal toenail polish that keeps it at bay. If it continues to be a problem a foot doctor normally will prescribe medication orally such as Lamisil. Read all the side effects before taking this drug. You will always be susceptible to this condition if you have had it once.
I personally have tried Lamisil a half pill every day for three months. You will have to test your liver.
It worked and my toe was fungus free for three years.  I stubbed my toe recently and it came back. Light trauma can cause this condition to come back. 

Some things to be aware of with the fungi that causes onychoptosis. It thrives in dark moist environments, wearing tight shoes, socks and stockings as well as thick nail polish will increase your risk in developing the condition. This is also transferred from foot to foot. So be careful trying on clearance shoes! Locker room, bowling shoes, etc.

Injury is also a concern. Kicking a soccer ball, jammed toes in shoes and any other type of trauma can result in nail loss. Smacked hard enough your trauma can have caused blood under the nail causing a subungual hematoma, it would be a good idea to go to a health care provide to help drain the blood from under the nail.
Whatever the cause of your nail loss, a replacement should grow back within 7 months.

Here are best practices to keep your toenails in healthy condition:

Wear clean socks made of cotton.
Buy shoes that fit and never worn by another person. Should have plenty of rooms no squished toes!
Keep toenails trimmed straight across
Make sure you use a medicated powder on your feet to keep them dry or a foot spray that kills bacteria