The Ugly Truth of Nail Infections: How to Spot and Treat It

Our nail experts, Cutex, have provided us with an article this month to reveal the sneaky truth behind nail infections- how to spot it and how to treat it.

As nail experts we take pride in knowing all the tips, tricks and techniques to getting beautiful looking fingers and toes, but is pretty polish enough?  Absolutely not.  Besides keeping your nails polished and pretty, it is important to know the ins-and-outs of healthy nails, including the signs of fungus that cause infections.  Read this quick guide about fungal nail infections and how you can prevent your beautiful fingers and toes from suffering.


What is a fungal nail infection?

A fungal nail infection occurs when a fungus attacks one or more of your nails.  Fungi attacks fingernails, toenails and the nail bed through cuts and openings on your skin, nail or between your nail and nail bed.


What are symptoms of a fungal nail infection?

Fungal infections are easily identified on both fingers and toes.  Always pay attention to the color and texture of your nails, in addition to the surrounding skin.  If you notice any of the symptoms below, see a doctor; a fungal infection can leave permanent damage if left untreated.

  • Streaks of yellow appearing under the nail
  • White specks or streaks on top of the nail
  • Distortion of nail shape
  • Dull nails, lacking luster or shine
  • Dark color as a result of debris under the nail
  • Thick nails separating from the nail bed
  • Weakening, breakable nails that crumble
  • Inflammation, redness or irritation


What causes a fungal nail infection?

Fungal nail infections are caused by yeasts, molds and different kinds of fungi, most commonly belonging to the dermatophytes group.


Nail fungus is more common in toenails than fingernails because of the environment in which fungus thrives.  Dark, warm, moist places are breeding grounds for fungi.  Fungal nail infection can be contracted from walking barefoot, especially in public showers, pools or locker rooms.  Sharing personal items, such as nail clippers or towels, can also transfer fungi.

How are fungal nail infections treated?

Although home remedies are a popular way to treat fungal infections, we recommend seeing a doctor.  Most often, nail infections are easily cured with a prescription, either an oral antifungal medication or a topical cream or polish.


How can fungal nail infections be prevented?

Take precautionary steps like wearing flip flops in public places.  When visiting a nail salon, be sure to choose a reputable business known for their sanitary practices and bring your clippers and nail polish.  Always keep your nails clean and wear gloves when using cleaning solutions.


A nail fungal infection can be a frightening ordeal, but is easily avoided.  To keep your digits out of danger, follow our simple preventative measures and be mindful of your beautiful nails.

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