It is sad to spend your vacation indoors only due to the fact that your strange looking nails are affected by fungal nail infection. It is definitely depressing! That is the reason why, first of all, you should find out if your supposed disease is really fungal nails. What does it look like then?
There are many species of fungi that can affect nails. The most common, however, is called Trichophyton rubrum. This type of fungus has a tendency to infect the skin (dermatophyte) and shows itself in the following specific and even peculiar ways, which are as striking, as they are hard to explain.
1. The "moccasin" distribution. Fungal toenails are almost always accompanied by fine scaling, which extends a little ways up the sides of the foot, like a little fungal bootie. Many people ignore it as "dry skin," which leads to the ironic situation that while some people think they have fungus when they do not, the others think they do not have fungus when they do!
2. Feet first! For some reasons, fungus rarely affects the hands unless the feet are involved first.
3. Two feet - one hand. Even stranger is the striking tendency of fungus to affect only one hand at a time. If one or more nails are yellowish and crumbly on one hand but the other one is clean -- and both feet are involved -- fungus is likely. Otherwise, this fungus is less likely to be the culprit.
Where does it come from? Strikingly, fungus is almost everywhere, in the air, water and soil, in the pets' hair and even on our own skin. The fact is that some kinds of fungus do not affect our body. What concerns nail fungus, it is so common, that it is often hard to say where it came from. One more conspicuous fact is that fungal nail is not contagious! It is very common that finding more than one person in a household who has it is hardly more than a coincidence.
How is fungal nail treated? Creams and other typical medications are usually not effective against the fungal nail infection. The nails are too hard for external applications to penetrate. However, a new medicated nail lacquer ciclopirox (Penlac) Topical Solution 8% has been approved to treat finger or toenail fungus that does not involve the white portion of the nail (lunula) in persons with normal immune systems.
A lot more effective for the fungal nail treatment are oral medications, as it takes them less time to get to the affected place with the help of the blood flow. Oral medications, such as Sporanox (itraconazole) or Lamisil (terbinafine), may be taken for several months. While these medicines may clear the fungus in about half of all the patients, they can cause numerous side effects. Many people are not able to take these medications due to the other medications that they are taking, or other medical problems. Thus, it is really advisable to contact your physician before practicing self-treatment.
However, even if treatment goes successfully, nails grow slowly; a new, clear nail may take up to a year to replace the old one. Therefore, it is essential to remember that prevention is better than cure. That is the reason why when you are traveling or living in warm sweaty climates, prevention is all. Make your toes as inhospitable to fungal infections as possible. Keep your feet dry and your nails cut short. Nevertheless, even if despite all the measures, you got a fungal nail infection, start treating it immediately; do not let it get the upper hand!