We’ve focused our last two posts on fingernail problems because, even though toenail fungal infections are more common than fingernail infections, it’s easier to hide the problem away in shoes and socks.
Fingernails are, of course, much more visible than toenails. And apart from covering up with nail polish or artificial nails (not a good idea as we’ll explain in a moment) it’s hard to hide unsightly fingernail fungus symptoms. The yellow discoloration and thickened, brittle appearance commonly associated with fungus fingernails is right there for everyone to see. The fungus tends to invade from the distal end of the nail – see anatomy of the nail diagram – and spreads towards the cuticle.
When reading about nail fungus you’ll find general information on the symptoms and what to do about them, but rarely do you see discussion about the emotional or psychological impacts of the disorder, or information specifically on fingernails. We think this is an important omission as people who suffer from fungus fingernails often report loss of self-esteem, acute embarrassment and lack of social interaction. They are less likely to go swimming in public places, go to the beach, attend the gym or even summer time events that would require them to wear open-toed shoes.
Making matters worse
The natural inclination with finger fungus is to apply artificial nails and cover up the problem. But actually, this can make the fingernail infection worse. Fungi thrive in warm, dark, damp environments and by restricting air flow around the nail, that’s exactly the kind of environment that artificial nails help to create. Nail polish also can make matters worse by trapping moisture within the nail itself.
So artificial nails and nail polish can cause the fungus fingernail infection to grow faster and spread more. It’s a progressive disorder, and the more severe your fingernail fungus infection, the harder it will be to cure. To see what we mean by this have a look at our nail fungus treatment review chart to show you how different treatments are effective depending on the severity of the fingernail fungus infection.
Fingernail fungus treatment
Far better than covering up your finger nail fungus, is to seek treatment right away. There are a number of options available to you including natural remedies, home remedies and topical nail fungus treatments. Recent years have seen new research conducted on laser nail fungus treatment. Some approaches focus on removing the fungus while others work to boost your immune system and encourage healthy nails to grow. A good place to start your research is by reading the treatment reviews linked to from the sidebar on the left.