HEALTH CENTER

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Q. and A. with Dr. Kiskila- This Month’s Topic: Nail Fungus

dr. kiskilaDo you try to hide your nails at the company meeting?  If you are embarrassed at work by your hands or feet, you are not alone.  Millions of people have a nail fungus.

Question- Dr. Kiskila, what is nail fungus?

Answer- Nail fungus is a disease called onychomycosis that consists of a fungal infection that attaches to the fingernail or toenail. Its estimated that six to nine million are Americans have onychomycosis and over 35 million worldwide have it.

Question- How do I get nail fungus?

Answer- Fungi gets underneath toe and fingernails causing a nail infection. Nails that grow slower and are exposed to fungi more often are more likely to develop nail fungus. Older people, and people with weaker immune systems or diabetes may be more prone to develop nail fungus. People whose nails are often wet due to a profession or hobby may develop a nail fungus.  Feet that are often damp or sweaty can be more likely to develop fungus.

Question- What are the symptoms of nail fungus?

Answer- The main symptom is the change in the appearance of the nail which may appear thick, pale, yellow or brittle. Rarely the nail may become painful, or have a slightly foul odor.

Question- What is the treatment for nail fungus?

Answer- The treatment consists of antifungal medicines. Some are home remedies or over-the-counter, but some are prescription strength. Prescription strength antifungals come in oral pill form, topical antifungal creams, sprays, and medicated nail polish. Sometimes in severe cases the treatment may be nail removal.

Question- Are there any natural ways to treat nail fungus?

Answer- Apple cider vinegar mixed with Epsom salt and warm water then soaking nails for 30 minutes twice a day may kill nail fungus. Application of tea tree oil may help cure nail fungus.

Question- How do I prevent nail fungus?

Answer- Because fungus needs an acidic environment to grow, mixing water with baking soda to form a paste and applying to nails can kill the environment the fungus needs to grow and help prevent nail fungus. Probiotics can promote healthy gut bacteria and hinder the growth or spread of fungal infections.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.