WHERE DOES NAIL INFECTION COME FROM?
Nail infection is caused by contact with dermatophytes which
are everywhere in our environment. Common sources of infection
include swimming pools, public showers, gyms and nail spas.
Tight fitting shoes and nail trauma can also lead to infection.
Genetic susceptibility, poor health and increasing age are also
factors that increase the risk of nail infection.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF NAIL INFECTION?
You may suffer from nail infection(onychomycosis) if you have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Discolored nails
- Yellow streaks under the nail
- Distorted or thickened nails
- Brittle, crumbly or ragged nail
- Nails separated from the underlying skin
- Buildup of debris (nail fragments, skin)
under the nail
- White spots or streaks on the nail surface
WHAT TREATMENTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR NAIL INFECTIONS?
Current treatment options for nail infection include oral drugs,
topical drugs and laser. No single treatment is effective in all patients and there
are risks and benefits associated with each one. Be sure to discuss
all your treatment options with your doctor.
Oral drugs can be very effective in eliminating nail
infections and restoring clear nails. The drugs must be taken for 6 to
12 weeks and may cause side effects including headache, diarrhea, upset
stomach and skin rash. Serious side effects include risk of liver damage
and heart failure. Weekly blood tests may be
required to monitor liver function. These drugs are not used for patients
in poor health or who have liver disease.
Topical drugs are less effective
in treating nail infections and restoring clear nails.
The drugs are applied directly to the nails daily for
up to 12 months. In some patients, the drug is ineffective
because it cannot pass through the nail to reach the infection. There are no significant side effects.
Laser treatments are effective in
eliminating nail infections and restoring clear
nails. Most patients experience at least some
improvement. During treatment most patients
experience a warm feeling in their toes.
A clinical study reported no adverse effects
related to the laser.