A Nail Fungus Infection is basically an infection within the nail caused by microscopic fungi.
Nail Fungus Infection – Signs to Watch Out For
Onychomycosis is a technical term that simply means fungal infection of the nail.
It is a common disease and constitutes about half of all the abnormalities in nails.
Onychomycosis is caused by dermatophytes, a common label for a group of three types of fungus that commonly causes skin disease in animals and humans.
Simply, dermatophytes cause infections of the skin, hair and nails due to their ability to obtain nutrients from keratin. Keratins are a family of fibrous structural proteins that are tough and insoluble which form a hard but un-mineralized structure.
This hard and un-mineralized structure creates a problem when trying to cure your infection.
Your immune system does an excellent job at cleaning your circulatory system and surrounding tissue, however as your nails are comprised of dead cells that are not connected to this system your immune system cannot attack the infection within the nail.
Thus the nail fungus infection can grow virtually unhindered.
You may have noticed that your nail fungus infection has spread to your other toes before you realised you even had it.
Your toes are usually the first place where the fungal infections start as it a warm dark moist growing environment.
So how is it possible for nail fungus to spread?
Well, the fungal growth usually starts with the toes where your nail breaks from the end of the nail bed. This area is dark, sheltered from washing and rubbing, and stays moist providing a perfect hiding place for a fungal attack.
As the fungi are microscopic any small tear allows the fungus to invade under the nail and get a foothold within the nail matrix structure.
There the fungi multiply growing into a colony.
As the colony get bigger and more established it will start producing spores. These spores then can spread to other toes, your socks and shoes, carpets, bedding and showering areas where they can start a new colony.
Under the right conditions a new nail fungus infection will start.
This is why it is important to treat areas of your household to prevent a reoccurrence.
Here is how you can treat your shoes for nail fungus infestations. This will greatly reduce the likelihood of a reoccurrence of an infection during and after a course of treatment.
Click here to find how ozone works on nail fungus
Advanced Nail Fungus Infection
In an advanced nail fungus infection the actual nail completely breaks down. The nail becomes thick and flaky, even powdery as the fungus spreads throughout the matrix of the nail digesting the keratin.
During this digestion many of the dermatophytes produce pigmented secretions ranging in colour from yellow, green, brown, black, and even red.
During a severe fungal infection the skin around the nail often becomes inflamed as well. As our skin also contains keratin the dermatophytes can infect the skin too.
The skin may become red and irritated, or look dry and scaly.
Given time your foot will probably become quite uncomfortable, itchy, smelly and may be quite painful. The itchiness will force you to seek medical help.
How Long to Cure My Fungus Infection?
A nail fungus infection will often clear up within 6 weeks with treatments if caught reasonable early.
However will take many more weeks to be grown out entirely for complete cure. In extreme cases for badly infected toenails this could take up to 2 years.
Your fingernails only grow 2-3 millimetres per month, where as toe nails typically 1 millimetre per month. So for a complete cure a treatment has to stop the fungus from continuing to spread into the new growing nail, thus allowing the dead or weakened trapped fungus to grow out.
Many people would be aware that prescription drugs are available to stop the fungus growing.
However as people are becoming more aware and susceptible of side effects from prescription drugs natural alternative called Zeta Clear has been developed showing considerable success, and is far cheaper.
Unfortunately for a nail fungus infection to clear new nail has to grow faster than the infection can infect the new nail.
The new nail grows at the cuticle and as more nail grows this forces the nail out onto the nail bed.
As toe nails grow much slower however the infection may take 4 months or more to cure. It is not uncommon for 6-8 months of treatment for disfigured toe nails as the dead fungus within the nails needs to grow out.