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Fungal nail infections are a common, usually aesthetic, concern that millions of people develop at one point or the other. Even though the infection affects toenails primarily, it can develop in fingernails as well. Fungal infections on fingernails have a major impact on your self-esteem. For example, many people don’t feel comfortable hanging out in bigger groups thinking everyone is looking at their fingers. Fortunately, it’s entirely possible to beat this problem. Scroll down to learn more about fingernail fungus treatment.
What causes fingernail fungus?
We tend to associate fungal infections with feet and toenails only, but hand nail fungus is also a common occurrence. Before we discuss different treatment options, it’s crucial to address common causes of fungus affecting your fingernails. They are:
- Weak blood flow – without proper blood flow, your immune system cannot function adequately, and it cannot fight against infections, including this one. Also, diminished blood circulation indicates that your nails don’t get much-needed nutrients to stay healthy and strong
- Trauma – injuring your finger in nail area can be yet another cause behind finger fungus. This happens because when nails hit something hard, they may lift from the nail bed. The fungus spreads and multiplies under that nail, thus causing infection
- Environment – fingernail fungus thrives in the wet, moist, and alkaline environment. If your hands are exposed to such an environment for long-term, the risk of infection increases
- Weak immune system – when the immunity cannot protect your body from invaders, including fungus, nothing stops the infection from spreading and affecting your nail
Treatment of fingernail fungus
Most people with fingernail fungus make the same mistake – they notice changes in their nails and assume they will go away on their own. Wrong! When you see subtle changes in your nails, you should contact a healthcare provider. While fingernail fungus treatment options are available, when left untreated the problem can aggravate and become difficult to resolve. Therefore, the first thing you need to do is to consult a healthcare professional who will recommend an adequate treatment.
Bear in mind that fungal nail infections are difficult to treat and they rarely go away without any treatment. In order to get rid of them, you need to be proactive. The first line of treatment is the use of prescribed medications such as:
- Terbinafine (Lamisil) – an antifungal medication prescribed for fungal nail infections and it works by interfering with the ability of fungi to make sterols, chemicals that are vital for membrane surrounding fungal cells and keeping them together
- Itraconazole (Sporanox) – an antifungal drug with the same mechanism of action as terbinafine, but it shouldn’t be used for the treatment of hand nail fungus in persons with heart problems
- Griseofulvin (Gris-Peg) – specifically created to treat skin infections and fungal infections of fingernails, toenails, and scalp
It is of enormous importance to take these medications according to doctor’s prescription. You shouldn’t increase or decrease dosage without consulting your doctor. Although you may notice finger fungus shows signs of weakening while taking medications, you should continue with the treatment.
Although many people are reluctant to take medications, fingernail fungus rarely goes away without them. That said, you can combine them with other treatment measures such as antifungal nail lacquer or other topical solutions.
Antifungal nail lacquer and other topical products for your nails are found in over-the-counter form, i.e., they do not require a prescription. The Lacquer is applied in the same manner as regular nail polish, but you need to do it regularly in order to achieve desired results.
While it may seem easy for women with hand nail fungus to cover their nails with nail polish or artificial nails, this can only make the infection worse. Be patient and avoid using these products while you’re fighting the infection.
Fingernail fungus is stubborn; it doesn’t go away overnight. Affected men and women usually feel like their problem will never go away, but that is not entirely correct. Fingernail fungus treatment depends on strong willpower, adherence to doctor-recommended treatment options, and care for your nails. Improve your immune system, avoid exposing your nails to wet and moist environment for long-term, and try not to use nail polish or fake nails while fighting the infection.