Nail problems are not only painful — they can be downright embarrassing. One treatable but common nail problem is nail fungus. While this is indeed easy to manage, it is important that you catch and deal with the problem early — if you do not, you could lose one or more of your nails.
At Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center in Windermere, we want to preserve your nails and get you feeling better as quickly as possible. However, to catch nail fungus early, it is important that you are aware of the risk factors and symptoms associated with it so you can seek out our help.
Nail Fungus Risk Factors
Many of the risk factors related to nail fungus are intuitive — if you swim in public pools, or walk in public places barefoot, your likelihood of developing a nail fungus increases. Wearing artificial nails and closed toed shoes can also increase your chances.
However, there are some risk factors associated with nail fungus that may not be as obvious. Men develop fungal nail infections more often than women do, and infections are found in adults more frequently than children. Having diabetes or a disease that causes poor blood circulation also increases your risk.
Watch the Toes
Your toenails are much more likely to develop nail fungus than your fingernails. This increased likelihood is the blame of the dark, warm, moist environment where your toes typically reside: your shoes. This is an environment where fungus thrives.
Additionally, toes usually receive less blood flow than the fingers, making it more difficult for your body’s immune system to fight infection there.
Physical Signs of Nail Fungus
Nail fungus takes a while to manifest itself physically, so you may feel a difference in your nail before you see it. Nonetheless, here are some physical signs to watch out for; you might have a nail fungus if one or more of your nails are:
- Brittle, crumbly, or ragged
- Distorted in shape
- Dull, showing no shine
- A dark color
- Displaying white or yellow streaks
- Separated from the nail bed
If you notice one or more of these signs, you should have you nails looked at by a professional.
If you think you might have a nail fungus, it is important that you get it looked at and treated as soon as possible. Contact Dermatology and Skin Cancer today for your initial consultation. We will determine if you have a nail fungus and treat it quickly and efficiently.