All About Nail Fungal Infection

Nail Fungal infection is one of the most common conditions of the toenails. It makes up about 50% of the total diseases of the nails. It is also one of the most common health conditions. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) estimates that about 3%  to 12% of the world’s population has nail fungal infection. Fungus, like many other microorganisms, is found inside the human body. When these fungi grow beyond what they are expected to produce, health problems will become evident. For more related information  (i.e symptoms, causes, treatments) about this nail condition read on below.

Symptoms Associated With Nail Fungus

Nail Fungal infection is also known as Onychomycosis (clinical name) or Tinea Unguium (scientific name). It is a more common fungal infection in adults and usually appears on the big toenails. When these fungi infect the toenails, they start off as whitish or yellowish tinge on the tips of the nails. This discoloration may sometimes be taken as an effect of constant nail painting, hence may be disregarded as normal. However, the fungi can multiply rapidly. Eventually, most of the nails will be transformed. Here are other symptoms associated with nail fungal infection.

  • thickening of nails
  • the nails become brittle
  • the nails become deformed
  • the nails may break
  • the nails may be detached from the nail bed when the infection gets worse

If the condition is taken for granted, there may come a time that the affected area may become painful. Exercising, walking, even standing, may likewise become challenging once the condition worsens.

Causes of Nail Fungus Infection

The infection starts to spread when a fungus finds its way to the nail bed. There are several fungi that can cause the development of this infection. However, the fungi called dermatophytes (skin fungal) are the most common cause of the infection. There are times when yeast and molds may also because of it.

Other common causes of nail fungus are as follows:

  • skin infection (like an athlete’s foot) may spread to the toenails and start to settle underneath the nails.
  • nails that previously damaged make it easier for infection to set in.
  • a weak immune system
  • poor personal hygiene
  • places where the climate is hot or humid
  • pre-existing conditions like diabetes and psoriasis
  • direct skin contact with things or person with the infection

Common treatments for nail fungus infection

There are a number of ways that this condition may be treated. You can either resort to OTC medications or prescribed medications. You may also consider home remedies to improve the condition of your nails. Here are the common treatment method used for each of these approaches.

OTC Medications. There are several over-the-counter medications available for the treatment of nail fungus infection. The treatment process using these treatment options may require several months before the expected result is achieved. It can take up to four months before the infection is cleared out. They may not be as effective in treating the nail condition unlike prescribed medications, but they are still worth the try.

Some opt to use OTC colorless nail polish as it usually contains the ingredients amorolfine or ciclopirox. These substances are able to exterminate the fungi or hamper their growth. Other over-the-counter options include antifungal creams that contain an ingredient known as urea. Topical treatments containing the drug bifonazole are also used as another OTC treatment alternative.

Prescription Treatments. Podiatrists may have different treatment plans for depending on the intensity of the infection that a person has. Oral medications, topical applications, and surgery are the options provided for the patient. Options will be provided only after an examination and a lab test are conducted as these will ensure that the appropriate treatment is prescribed to the patient. Common oral medications prescribed for onychomycosis are itraconazole (Sporanox) or terbinafine (Lamisil) as well as Fluconazole (Diflucan).

Topical treatments prescribed, on the other hand, may be one of the following: ciclopirox (Loprox, Penlac). It can also be a cream that contains bifonazole/urea, propylene glycol-urea-lactic acid. Other cream options are imidazoles (such as ketoconazole – Nizoral Cream)  and allylamines (such as terbinafine – Lamisil Cream).

For more severe infection, the podiatrist may advise having the infected nail to be surgically removed. This will allow the removal of the infection quicker. A new nail will grow in time. Meanwhile, the patient may opt to put on a nail  acrylic to protect the nail bed while waiting for the new nail to grow underneath.

Home Remedies.  There are those who would rather resort to a more natural form of remedy to treat their nail fungus. Some of these have proven to be effective in treating the condition, including the following:

  • Mentholated cream like vapor rub. This study proved that this is an effective treatment method for onychomycosis.
  • Tea tree oil
  • Baking Soda
  • Snakeroot extract
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Vinegar

Treating nail fungus can be time-consuming. The condition itself can be self-defeating. Those who have it might find the condition to be recurring if the treatment is not effective or if the person is not well aware of how to prevent such nail condition. There are times that one with nail fungus might find it difficult to land a job as well. Hiring officers might think it will affect the effectivity and efficiency of the prospective employee. As the condition is contagious, others may also be infected if an infected person is hired. Such situations may prove to be challenging and demeaning to a person and will definitely affect the infected person’s self-esteem.

Most prescription medications may also have side effects, hence a constant consultation with the specialist is necessary. To ensure that you won’t get the infection, it is best to keep your toenails and fingernails always properly trimmed, clean, and dry. It is best to be in places where cleanliness is maintained and where equipment and tools are always sanitized. You also need to make sure to keep your immune system healthy. It is also best that you keep your nails protected from injury and unnecessary pressure.

Nail Fungus can easily be eradicated if at the onset you will take the necessary steps to kill the fungi. Keeping your body healthy is one of the best ways you can do to ensure that your body’s defense mechanism will be strong enough to ward off the harmful microorganisms that will try sneak in and breed a battalion that can endanger your nails.

The Day To Be Thankful

Instead of writing last night as I would have, I decided to write a special blog today on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving, as everyone knows, is a day to remind yourself of everything you have and be thankful for that. Well I’ve been doing a lot of that lately, thinking that is, and I wanted to share what I am thankful for.

As some of you may know, my life isn’t easy. Every day is a struggle sometimes and sometimes I’m given more than I can handle. I get through it, though, with the help of a few people.

1. My family. First and foremost I am thankful for my family. It may not be the most functional family out there by far. We have our fights, we have pele not talking to other people, and we have our own differing opinions. But all that aside, my family is the strongest and the most dependable type of people that I have. No matter whether we are fighting or not speaking, when the going gets rough my family is always there for one another. We stick up for one another and fight for one another. There is nothing that my parents, or step-parents wouldn’t do to keep my sisters and I safe, happy, and loved. They would literally lay down their lives for us and I know that we would do the same.

2. My sisters. Although my sisters are part of my family, I am also thankful for just them. I am thankful to have two sisters who are there for me, who I can confide in, and who would always keep me from any harm. Whether it be texting me in the middle of the night to see if I’m okay because she heard me crying (Nikki) or driving me a half hour to see of my fiancé was okay because he wasn’t answering my calls (Sam) my sisters always have my back. I know that, when I have kids, they are going to have not one but three mother like figures who will help them grow and mold into amazing people.

3. My fiancé. Gosh I don’t even know what to say about my fiancé. He is the type of guy who acts all macho and as if he doesn’t care but deep down he’s nothing like that. Deep down he is caring, sensitive, and full of passion that he only let’s out when you least expect it. When I first met him I was broke. My heart was broken and my self esteem was shot. Through the four and a half years that we’ve been otter, slowly he’s been trying to restore the parts of me at I’d lost before I met him. It hasn’t been easy and this year has been a struggle but we’ve gotten through it together. He’s my rock, my confidant, and my own Knight in shining armor. I can’t imagine my life without him and I know that, no matters what life throws at us, we will be able to weather it together. I am so thankful that I met my fiancé when I did and that we’re still together.

4. My friends. In high school I used to have a bunch of friends…there were a whole group of us who used to hang out almost every weekend and after school. We were close enough to be like family…or at least I thought wee we’re. Once we graduated though, my group fell apart. Specifically everyone fell away from me. Why? I have no idea. But that happening showed me that it didn’t matter how many friends you had but the quality of the iend ship. Now I can count on two hands how many close friends I have. If I say ten that would be a lot.bits more like five or six. But I’m okay with that because these are friends that I know will always be there for me. These are friends who I can call at ten at night crying if I need to…or text early in the morning just to say hi. With friends like these I don’t need more than a few and I love them for it.

5. The VACTERL people. If you didn’t know this yet, I have a condition called VACTERL. I’ve had it all my life and finally, a few years ago, I learned about others who have it as well. Though I’ve only actually met two of the people, I know that I can turn to all of them online. They get my troubles when no one else does and they understand my frustration.bi can complain about something to them, something that has to do with the condition and I know that immediately they would understand. They can relate to me the way that normal, healthy peels can’t. This year haas been hard, especially when it comes to my medical stuff, but I was able to start working through it all with their help. I am so glad I met them even if it is only online.

Now that I’ve told you what I’m thankful for I would love to know what you’re thankful for. Family? Friends? That special someone? During times like these, especially with the war going on and the tragedy of Hurricane Sandy, I think it would do everyone good to sit back and remember what’s really important. Remember who and what you can count on when you can’t count on anything else.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope you are all blessed with happiness, family, and closeness to you on this day. And I thank the people in my every day life for shaping me to be the person I am today.

Reconstruction

Lately, as a lot of you may know from reading my previous posts, I’ve been feeling very…out of sorts. I felt like I had no direction and I didn’t know what I was doing with my writing or anything else. But mostly my writing. Well, because of that feeling, I have created a whole reconstruction plan for my writing for the next year.

I am changing my blogging from once a day for five days to three times a week: Monday, Wednesday & Friday. It allows to me to have more freedom/more inspiration with my blog posts. I won’t run out of material as fast and I still keep up with my readers.

I have decided to start brand new with my writing come January 2013. After doing some research, I found that the way you usually promote a new work is before the work is published. You build up an audience before the book is finished and ready to go public. Then, from there, you promote even more. I don’t know why it took me so long to realize that but I’m glad I finally did. So, since I didn’t really like Beneath the Surface, the novel I wrote this summer, and my NaNoWriMo novel leaves a lot to be desired, I’m starting fresh.

I’m taking the next month an a half to come up with new ideas for stories, maybe a series even, and do a complete outline, not my usual vague outlines. I’m hoping that, not only will it keep me structured and on task, but the time away from writing will help me become more inspired to write. I used to love to write all the time but lately it feels like a chore because I’m not happy with it. The goal is that the time away will change that.

The next year I will actually have a launch date set in my mind so that I have something to work towards and a deadline I HAVE to keep. I won’t just be publishing these stories without anyone knowing about it until it already happens.

I am determined to attend at least one writing conference on the East Coast. I’m keeping it small because I’ve never been to a conference before and I don’t know what to expect. I don’t want to overwhelm myself. I am also determined to enter at least one contest this year, but hopefully two or three. This goes along with trying to get myself out there. If I have other things I’m working on, I won’t be harping too much on publishing and my novel. I will broaden my horizons which, in turn, will make me a better writer.

So, like I said, it’s a brand new beginning for me. I’m crossing my fingers that this will work because, if it doesn’t, I’m not sure what else to do to get myself out there as an author. The other option I have is to try and find an agent/publisher but I did that once with no luck. I’m not sure that the second time would be that different.

I am very excited for my plans and to carry them through. I’m excited to have a structure and an actual idea in my head about what I am going to to do in the near, and farther, future. It feels good to have something to grasp on to.

In a Funk

I realized yesterday that I’m in a funk. Right now I’m kind of frozen in everything I do. I have a temporary job for the holidays but after that who knows? I have self published books that I don’t really know how to promote and I’m trying to get an agent for my books so I’m sending query letters out.

That stuff isn’t bothering me that much…I mean it bothers me a little but not too much. What’s really bothering me is my writing itself. As much as I love writing young adult romance novels I’m getting bored of them. The ideas are always the same and it’s almost always a happy ever after. It’s just so…mundane to me right now. I want something else, something more exciting to write about. Then again I’m worried that I won’t be good at writing any other genre. I usually mostly read romances so I’m comfortable with writing stories like that. But other genre’s…as much as I have read some of them, I’m not so comfortable with them and I’m concerned that I wouldn’t be good with writing them.  Then again, I probably won’t know until I try.

I just feel stuck right now. Stuck with everything, especially my writing. I never thought getting known for my writing would be easy but I definitely didn’t think it would be this hard. I guess I should have realized that. So now I’m trying to figure out what exactly my next move is going to be.

Although I’m going to email query letters to agents, I’m debating which would be better: trying to get an agent or trying to promote everything by myself. If anyone has any ideas for me, let me know. I’m open to any ideas, really. I just want to start moving forward again. I want to have a goal again and be able to work at it. Right now I don’t feel like I have that goal. Maybe that’s my problem…

 

EDITED: 10:00 AM…Still in a funk but I have a new plan

I know that within the hour or two since I’ve posted this, I seem to have a different perspective. It’s actually because I’ve been doing a lot of research on self publishing/ promotion for self publishing and I think I’ve got an idea of things now. I’ve been harping on getting the word out on my very first novel that I self published. I’ve been trying to promote that. However, I realized that every time that I’ve researched promoting books its the UPCOMING book, not the book that has already been published. So, instead of putting my energy into a book that’s been published for two years, I’m going to focus on the manuscript that I have finished, Beneath the Surface. That was I can rustle up interest in the book BEFORE it’s ready to get published as well as get press releases out, maybe some ARC reviews, etc. It may not work but it’s worth a shot, don’t you think?

Wish me luck everyone!

A New Outlet!

Lately I’ve been feeling down and out about my writing. It seemed like I was writing the same story, with the same type of characters, in the same genre. I was getting bored and frustrated. It didn’t help any that no matter how hard I’d try, I was never able to get my stories out there like I’ve wanted to. It really bummed me out.

So my fiance suggested that I should try a new outlet for my writing. That maybe the young adult genre might not be for me. He also suggested that I focus on things other than my writing (which I’m getting to eventually). Originally I was like, no way. I mean writing YA books were what I did…what I knew I was good at. I’ve never even touched another genre…it just never happened.

But I was thinking about it last night and I realized (after doing a bit of research) that there was an idea that I could actually work with. It’s a kernel of an idea but it includes changing my genre from YA stories (which I will still write eventually) to something completely different. A children’s book.

I never thought about writing a children’s book, not more than a passing thought at least, but as I thought about it I couldn’t help but to ask myself why I hadn’t thought of it before. Something clicked in my head and it fit so well that it felt like I had the thought in my head all along. Weird, right?

Thus, I decided to test my hand in writing a children’s book. A book that not only entertains the kids but kind of has a moral/lesson as well. This is going to be my first attempt so I’m sure that it’s not going to be so easy but I’m really excited about it. I’m excited about the prospect of producing something different and I’m excited about expanding my writing abilities. This is going to be a new, eye-opening journey. A journey that I’ve been needing for quite some time.

Christmas Time!

It is 11:53 AM on Black Friday and for me that means that it is officially the Christmas season. I don’t care that Thanksgiving was just yesterday, I don’t care that we’re still in November. To me, it’s Christmas time and I am so very excited.

The one thing that excites me the most about this time is the Christmas music! I LOVE Christmas music to the point where I will actually secretly listen to Christmas music throughout the year on my iPod. Some people know this and give me weird looks but I’m okay with it because I love it. The songs make me happy, make me smile and that’s all that matters, right? Right.

I have Christmas songs ranging from Alvin and the Chipmunks, Winnie-the-Pooh, Martina McBride, 98 Degrees…and that’s just a few of the artists. I have over two hundred Christmas songs on my iPod that I get to rock out to when I’m wrapping Christmas gifts. Which, of course, will be soon because I bought all of the gifts that I need to buy.

I actually bought all my Christmas gifts about two months ago, in October, and they’ve been in my closet since then. I think I’m going to start wrapping them this weekend to get it out of the way. Am I crazy? Sure, most definitely…but can you blame me? Something about the holiday season makes me go a little nuts. The songs, the lights, buying gifts for people…it brings out the kid in me again. And you can’t honestly say that you don’t feel the same way. I mean you can say that but I don’t think that it would be particularly true. How can someone NOT love the holiday season?

I guess the reason that I like the holidays so much is because I know that those are constants. Despite what’s going on in my life, or with my family/friends/fiance, I know that every holiday season we will come together, decorate the tree, eat amazing food and just spend time together. It’s like, the holiday season marks. a new beginning with anyone and everyone. No matter what happened that year, it’s all washed away when the holidays come to light. Or at least that’s how I feel about it. I don’t know what others think.

So, as finish this, I wait for my sister to come home with wrapping paper so can really get the holiday season underway. Happy Holidays everyone!