“Onychomycosis” is the medical term for a fungal nail infection, but it may be easier to just call it what it looks like: “toenail rot.”. Nail fungus can make your toe nails and even your fingernails look like they are rotting away when the nails turn an unsightly yellow and become unnaturally thick.
Nail rot is more than a cosmetic problem. Nail rot is not a hereditary condition. Onychomycosis is contagious. Never ignore a nail fungus infection and hope it will go away on its own. Recent studies show that certain home remedies for nail rot can be very effective if the early infection is not ignored or covered up.
Fungal infections can occur in the nails of both the fingers and the toes, but toe infections are more common. A fungal infection of the nails is usually easy to recognize by thickened, brittle nails that lose their luster and become discolored – yellow, brown, black or even green. “Toe nail rot” is not an accurate description, even though that is what it may appear like to the toe nail fungus patient.
The fungi that cause the infection invade the skin through small cuts or separations between the nail and the nail bed. Infections usually take hold after repeated exposure to warm, moist environments. The fungus can be transmitted in public showers and swimming pools, old shoes with closed toes, or even home showers that are used by other people with fungal infections.
Athlete’s foot, which is an infection of the skin, is caused by the same fungi as toenail rot.
The infection can spread between nails (and from person to person); the longer it goes untreated, the harder it is to eliminate. If you catch a nail rot infection early, you may be able to treat it with a natural nail rot remedy. However, because of the damage that can result from long-term infection, it is very important to seek medical help and to obtain access to prescription drugs rather than just relying on home remedies, if you are not quickly successful with a natural remedy.
Your doctor can suggest several different prescriptions to treat your nail fungus infection. Some of the prescriptions your doctor might recommend are itraconazole, fluconazole, or terbinafine. Remember that it takes many weeks of daily treatment to cure a nail fungus infection with oral medication, so do not stop taking the prescribed medicine early just because your nails start to look better and you think your “nail rot” is cured. Improved nail appearance does not mean the infection is completely eliminated. The medicine must be taken long enough to kill all of the fungus, or the nail rot “cure” will not be permanent.
Oral prescription treatments for nail fungus can have serious side effects, so be sure to discuss your options completely with your doctor before you agree on a course of treatment. Other medical treatments that your doctor might recommend include daily use of an antifungal nail lacquer (ciclopirox), or a topical cream with an active ingredient such as econazole nitrate. If a toenail rot infection goes untreated for too long, surgical removal of the affected nails may be necessary.
Early nailrot treatment is important, but it is also imperative that you guard against getting re-infected after you get your onychomycosis cured. If you want more information about toenail rot and its treatment, there are a number of informative articles at the Med News You Can Use Nail Fungus Articles Archive.