Onychomycosis, or tinea unguium, is a contagious fungal nail infection that affects approximately 10 percent of the adult population. It is characterized by the nail becoming thickened and discolored—turning yellow, green, or even black. Fungus loves warm, moist environments, so toenails are more susceptible to fungal infection than fingernails—especially if you walk around a pool, locker room, or public shower without shoes. The easiest way to deal with toenail fungus is not to get it at all—and that requires preventative measures to keep your feet fungus-free. When prevention fails, both conventional medicine and natural home remedies offer quite a few options for treatment.
Your doctor may prescribe a medicated nail cream to apply to affected areas after soaking. The cream works best when the nail is thinned because it needs to get all the way through to the fungus to treat it. A doctor may thin the nail with a file, or recommend a lotion to use on the nail to thin it. As an alternative to the cream, your doctor may prescribe an antifungal nail polish which is also applied directly to the infected nail.
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