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. When they are not okay they drive you crazy. No one likes experiencing crazy. Especially the scientific one.
I am going to refer to the first nail disease by its scientific term but I will include pictures because 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, those with immunosuppression, athletes foot, diabetes , or peripheral vascular disease(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. This can happen when removing artificial nails. Fomites can also pass the infection around. An easy example of a fomite is nail polish top coat. The nail polish thingamabob can harbor infections.
Treatment usually involves anti fungal drugs which are and should be prescribed by a physician. Fungi are slower than sloths and this makes their eradication slow. Fingernails themselves grow at about 3mm a month. Toenails grow at 1mm a month. Treatment for infected fingernails is not a few days affair. Toenails will take longer. Don’t give up on the meds and say they are not working.
To maintain a safe distance between oneself and onychomycosis, we need to be more gentle when doing nail care. While at it, we should do basic foot care like drying between the toes after a shower and not reusing socks that have served their day already. Use of clean instruments during nail care and cleaning the said instruments after use will stop the instruments from being pathogen sympathizers. Early treatment for athletes foot is requisite coz onychomycosis can start from there.
Now for some ladies talk:
Brittle nails are a common problem in women. When there is excessive ridging or horizontal splitting of nails you can suspect brittleness. Another reason to surmise brittle nails is 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 physical trauma such as filing the surface of the nail. Dehydration of the nail is another trigger. It can occur due to excessive water exposure(the irony)or use of solvents such as cuticle or nail polish removers. We can do as much of the exact opposite as possible and keep our nails very healthy and happy. We can, right?