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Toe Nail Fungus - Natural Home remedy for Toe Nail Fungus

Toenail fungus, also called onychomycosis, is a relatively common condition that disfigures and sometimes destroys the nail. Onychomycosis can be caused by several different types of fungi (microscopic organisms related to mold and mildew). These fungi thrive in the dark, moist and stuffy environment inside shoes. As they grow, they feed on keratin, the tough protein that makes up the hard surface of the toenails. In most cases, the fungus belongs to a group of fungi called dermatophytes, which include Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton interdigitale . Other, less common causes of onychomycosis include yeasts and molds.

Fungal toenail infections are relatively common. Like other fungal foot infections (athlete's foot), it's thought that the fungus can be picked up while walking barefoot in locker rooms or public shower facilities. Fungi love warm, moist places, so imagine how happy the lil' critters are if you don't dry your feet well! Once you've got a fungus growing on one toenail, it can easily spread to other nails on that foot, to nails on your other foot, and even to your fingernails (although, granted, this last possibility is pretty rare).

Causes of toe nail fungus

Onychomycosis is caused by a fungus. Often a person has had athlete's foot for a long time prior to the development of onychomycosis. Sometimes trauma or damage to a nail predisposes to the development of onychomycosis.

Treatment of toe nail fungus and onychomycosis

Prevention of injuries to the nail is very important.  Once the nail is injured, the door of susceptibility swings open, allowing entry of the fungus.  There are some very simple preventative measures that can be taken on a regular basis.  Keep the feet dry.  Keeping the feet dry will inhibit the ability of the fungus to thrive.  You can do this in several ways.  Frequent changes of socks, the use of powder, such as baby powder and rotating shoes so that they are worn only every other day, can help tremendously.

Medications for onychomycosis fall into two categories; topical and oral.  There are any number of effective topical medications available over the counter.  Topical medications are most helpful in treating early, small infections and for maintaining clear nails.  Topical medications do have a limited ability to penetrate the nail to reach all of the fungal elements.  Topical medication inhibit the growth of the fungus allowing for faster growth of the nail.  Remember, the fungus doesn't take a day off.  Compliance is a big issue when using topical antifungals.

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