Nails are part of our aesthetic so today we are going to give them some attention. They are one of those things which you don’t think of much when they are okay but they drive you crazy when they are not.
I am going to refer to the first nail disease by its scientific term but google will reveal pictures that will be clearer than a definition.
Let’s start with a little man talk:
Onychomycosis is most commonly caused by fungi such as Trichophyton rubrum. Today we are doing raw science. No jokes. Such fungi need keratin to grow. In return, they make the nails brittle, thick, and crumbly.
Men(oui), the elderly, and those with immunosuppression, athletes foot, diabetes, or peripheral vascular disease(which needs an article of its own) are all at increased risk of getting this fungal nail infection.
For all our beautiful readers, Onychomycosis can be contracted by cuticle abrasion such as when removing artificial nails and also fomites like nail polish top coat. Just giving you a heads up. The nail polish thingy (I sound so bougie) can harbor infections.
Treatment usually involves antifungal drugs which are and should be prescribed by a physician. Fungi are slower than sloths and this makes their eradication slow.
Since fingernails grow faster at about 3mm a month as compared to toenails which grow at 1mm a month, treatment for infected toenails will take longer. Don’t give up on the meds and say that they are not working.
To maintain a safe distance between oneself and onychomycosis, we need to:
-Be more gentle when doing nail care.
-Do basic foot care like drying between the toes after a shower.
-Not reuse socks that have served their day already.
-Use clean instruments during nail care.
-Clean the said instruments after use.
-Get early treatment if we have athlete’s foot because onychomycosis can start from there.
Now for some ladies’ talk:
Brittle nails are a common problem in women and are known by causing excessive ridging of the nails as well as horizontal splitting and irregularity of the free margin of the nail(the whitish end that regularly gets guillotined by a nail cutter).
Environmental triggers that promote brittle nails include filing the surface of the nail, physical trauma, and dehydration of the nail due to excessive water exposure(the irony) or the use of solvents such as cuticle or nail polish removers. We can do as much the exact opposite as possible and keep our nails very healthy and happy. We can, right?