Nail Enemies and Infection

Feb 19 17:16 2008 Ricky Hussey Print This Article

When you consider how rough humans are on their fingers and toes, you realize why nails have to be tough.

  Nails are the barrier between our skin and hard surfaces,Guest Posting hot water, chemicals, and physical trauma. Yet nails are also vulnerable. You may not realize this, but many everyday activities and situations can weaken, dehydrate, break, or even cause infections in nails or the nail bed.If you experience separation of the nail from the nail bed, crumbling or splitting of the nail, redness and swelling of the skin around the nail, or discoloration of the nail, talk to your doctor. You may have psoriasis - a chronic skin disease.Nail infectionsInfections not only undermine nail health, they can make nails downright unattractive. When present in and around the nails, infections can cause redness, swelling, pain, blistering, oozing puss, discoloration of the nail, and deformation of the nail. Should you experience any of these symptoms, see a dermatologist or podiatrist immediately!Bacterial infections occur when bacteria enters the skin around or under the nail. The nail is usually well-fortified to keep the many types of bacteria we are exposed to each day. However, flaky skin, a cut, or an injury either to cuticle or the area underneath the nail (perhaps from aggressive grooming with a sharp, metal instrument) is just the portal bacteria needs to enter your body. Once under your skin or nails, the bacteria attack healthy tissue. Bacterial infections almost always feature pus, and often involve blisters, redness, swelling, separation of the nail from the nail bed, and pain. An antibiotic ointment can clear things up; in severe cases, your doctor may also prescribe an oral antibiotic.Fungal infectionsA form of microscopic plant, fungus can attach itself to a variety of surfaces. Fungal nail infections occur when these small plants take up residence in your nails' keratin. The best way to treat fungal infections is prevention. Fungus breeds in dark, damp, warm environments, so avoid walking barefoot in locker rooms, through mud, or in swampy areas. Furthermore, fungus loves dark, damp shoes and socks, which means toenails are more frequently plagued than fingernails. If you should get a fungal infection, your doctor will prescribe an antifungal ointment or oral antifungal medication. Fungal infections are particularly vexing since they must grow out with your nail. This means that even with care, an infection can take up to 7 months to cure. If left untreated, fungus-infested nails will become yellowed and deformed.The majority of nail problems are caused by improper trimming, minor injuries, or repeated nail trauma.

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Ricky Hussey
Ricky Hussey

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