What is Nail Fungus?

Nail fungus, sometimes known by its scientific names Onychomycosis or Tinea unguium, is made up of microscopic organisms that dwell around the toenails and fingernails. Most of the time, our toenails and fingernails operate as very effective barriers. They keep dirt, bacteria and fungi out-most of the time. While our nails are generally good at keeping superficial infections from entering and taking hold, sometimes they are overwhelmed. When fungi break the barrier, they tend to settle in for long-term residence. However, the barrier that usually protects us from infection also makes it difficult to treat infections that made it through. Nail fungal infections develop rather slowly, and can be difficult to treat. Once they have made it behind the barrier protection, they can be difficult to reach.

Over 35 million individuals are affected by nail fungal infections in the United States. The fungus thrives in the warm dark and protected environment behind the nail. Women who wear nail polish and acrylic nails are more likely to develop nail fungal infections. This is because plastic or acrylic nails can trap moisture and creating a moist and dark environment where fungus can thrive. Most of the time, nail fungal infections appear in the toenails. Socks and shoes keep our feet sheltered in a dark and moist environment that is also inviting for fungi. In fact, some doctors estimate that the nails are at least six to seven times more likely to developing a nail fungal infection. Fungal infections start at the base of the nail and then spread upwards. The nail may become brittle, crumbly in appearance, red, and irritated. As the fungal infection spreads, the nail may begin to grow irregularly. The nail may begin to change in appearance.
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More articles on nail fungus 

An Overview of Nail Fungus
It may or may not come as a consolation to you to learn that nail fungal infections are incredibly common. When nail fungal infections strike, it's hard to look past the physical signs of this condition.

Antifungal Agents To Treat Fungus
Nail fungal infections were once dismissed as purely cosmetic, but now doctors are beginning to realize that these infections can cause serious health complications. People with compromised immune systems...

What is Nail Fungus?
Nail fungus, sometimes known by its scientific names Onychomycosis or Tinea unguium, is made up of microscopic organisms that dwell around the toenails and fingernails. Most of the time, our toenails and fingernails operate...

Home Remedy for Nail Fungus
Nail fungal infections are very common and can be difficult to treat. Prescription oral medications can have harsh and serious side effects, and over the counter agents tend to be ineffective.

Hygiene Keys for Outsmarting Nail Fungus
Nail fungus is a nasty little problem that can be embarrassing, unsightly, and even painful. Fungal infections develop slowly over time and can be difficult to treat. Once they have invaded your nails...

Nail Fungus and the Nature of Fungal Infections
Nail fungal infections are one of the most common types of fungal infections. All fungal infections are conditions caused by a proliferation of fungal organism. Although most people tend to think of fungal...

Risk Factors and Complications of Nail Fungus
Nail fungus is a nasty problem that can be hard to get rid of. Over ten million Americans are afflicted with some kind of nail fungal infection. Once you have become infected, it can be difficult to get rid of nail fungus.

The Progressive Nature of Nail Fungus
Nail fungal infections can be characterized as a progressive condition that develops rather slowly and can be difficult to overcome. It is officially known as onychomycosis, and is characterized by thickened discolored nails...

Tips For Keeping Your Nails Healthy
Keeping your nails free from fungal infections is relatively simple when you take certain precautions. Healthy looking nails are often the sign of good overall health. Fungal infections tend to appear in...

Types of Nail Fungus
Fungal infections are very common, affecting an estimated 11 million Americans. How do you know if you have a nail infection? Because nail fungal infections tend to develop gradually over time...

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