Regular pedicure can keep away nail fungus
Health & Beauty
June 16, 2006
Regular pedicure can keep away nail fungus

by Randa Velox 16.JUN.06

A nail fungus infection develops when a microscopic organism grows under the nail bed and lives off the keratin which is the protein in our nails. The medical term for a nail fungus infection is “Onychomycosis”, pronounced: EE*KO*MY*KO*SIS*

Fungus organisms reproduce by means of spores like plant seeds.{{more}}

These spores migrate from the infected toenail and attach themselves to the lining of the shoe; in this manner, the fungus can spread to all of the toenails. The infection is a very slow progressing problem. It can be caused by yeast or ringworm, and usually starts in the distal corner of the nail plate.

Infected nails generally have a brown or yellow discoloration, which if it goes unnoticed or untreated, will gradually spread over a period of time to infect the entire nail bed. At a later stage, the nail will become thick, flakey, deformed, discolored and have a foul odor. The nail may also start to split and crumble.

Nail fungus infection affects many people. The risk factors for developing toenail fungus increases as we age and have to deal with such matters as poor circulation, nail trauma, sweaty feet, poor hygiene, foot fungus, and a weak immune system. Because their hands and feet are exposed to moisture and they are often in locker rooms and swimming pools where bacteria is prone, athletes too tend to suffer a lot from this condition.

Nail fungus infection is more commonly found in toenails rather than finger nails, although it can occur in either place.

The onset of nail fungus can be treated effectively in most nail salons with anti-fungal products and regular nail care services.

There are other options such as home remedies, and over-the-counter products. Some home remedies that can be used include bleach, grape seed extract and Vicks Vapor Rub. If you use one of these therapies, make sure to use it every day. Use a Q-tip swab to apply bleach, rub the nail surface and distal corner. The skin can be irritated by bleach and some individuals may have skin reaction to Vicks; but generally, they are safe products.

For feet that sweat excessively, use an anti-perspirant spray or solid and apply on clean dry feet. For feet with an odour, mix one teaspoonful of ginger with one teaspoonful of cornstarch, dust the mixture over your clean dry feet with a large brush. Ginger has anti-bacterial properties and cornstarch has absorbent properties. This combination home remedy gets rid of foot odours.

The best form of treatment, however, is prevention. Pay attention to your feet. Nail fungus grows very slowly, the sooner you spot and treat it, the faster you can get rid of it. There is no reason to keep living with nail fungus infection. See a doctor if you have severe nail fungus infection. Severe nail fungus infection requires medical attention and is best treated with prescription medicine. Nail technicians are trained to recognize the onset of nail fungus infection. Nail salons should have anti-fungal cream, oils or lotions which are effective but do not have the strength of prescribed medication. The onset of nail fungus can be treated effectively in most salons provided that the owners invest in anti-fungal products.

Take care of your feet and they will take care of you. Get a pedicure bi-weekly to maintain clean healthy toenails. Remember, treatment will take time because nail plates grow very slowly.

Look down at your toenails and call now.

• Randa Velox: Nail Technician and Consultant. Nails by Design (located at Sion Hill Intersection to Dorsetshire Hill)
Email: Tel: 456-4504