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Fungaway Review People who have a weakened immune system may be more susceptible to toenail (and other) fungus. Sufferers of AIDS and HIV are good examples. Age, smoking habits and other medical conditions, such as diabetes and poor circulation are also strong contributors.
Participating in good foot hygiene is one of the biggest preventers of toenail fungus. Make sure you keep your feet clean and that you're thoroughly drying them after you clean them. Wearing protective footwear and bringing your own towel to the local gym or pool can be a key factor in prevention.
Symptoms sometimes include blackened or discolored, dry, itchy, cracked and brittle nails, but experiencing those symptoms doesn't necessarily mean you're suffering from a toenail infection. Other contributors such as nail trauma or psoriasis may be the reason for fungus-like symptoms.
If left untreated, toenail fungus can become a chronic condition. It can be especially serious for people with diabetes. A doctor can collect a sample from the infected nail and have it lab tested to distinguish which fungus it is. He or she will then recommend the best course of treatment for that particular type of fungus.
Treatments vary from oral medications, to topical creams, to paint-on lacquers. If the infection persists or spreads, a different medication may be prescribed. Patients should be aware of side effects from long-term use of such oral medications and should speak to their physician immediately if side effects are suspected. Treatment can last anywhere from 12 weeks to 1 year, depending on the severity of the infection.
Be sure to change your socks often and keep your feet clean and dry to avoid future toenail fungus outbreaks. Make sure you complete any treatment regimen completely and that your doctor tells you he or she feels the infection is cured, as many treatments only treat fungal infection, but do not cure it completely.