A number of fungi cause diseases in humans and other vertebrates. In general, these fungus infections, or mycoses, develop slowly, recur more frequently than bacterial infections, and do not produce a lasting immunity in the body. A mycosis is classified in one of two groups, depending on the part of the body that is infected. A dermatomycosis is an infection of the skin, hair, or nails, such as ringworm or athlete’s foot. These infections rarely progress to the internal organs. Most respond well to medication, although treatment may take several weeks.
Fungal infection of toenails is a common foot health problem. A majority of victims don't seek treatment, maybe don't even recognize the existence of a problem. Studies estimate that it afflicts three to five percent of the population; however, doctors of podiatric medicine think that because so many cases go unreported, the incidence is much higher than that.
Probably one reason that so many people ignore the infection is that it can be present for years without ever causing pain. Its prevalence rises sharply among older adults (20 to 30 percent, the studies say, though podiatric physicians think it's much higher). Because the older adults may be experiencing much more serious medical problems, it is understandable that fungal nails can be passed over as very minor, though it is anything but that.
Whatever the case, the disease, characterized by a change in a toenail's colour, is often considered nothing more than a mere blemish -- ugly and embarrassing. It is apparently assumed that since white markings or a darkening of the nail are minor occurrences, the change represents something minor as well, even when the blemish spreads. It may be that cosmetologists see this condition as often as doctors. Nail polish is an easy solution for many women, rendering the problem "out of sight, out of mind."
In many cases, however, that change in colour is the start of an aggravating disease that ultimately could take months to control. Fungal infection of the nails is known to podiatrists and other physicians as onychomycosis. It is an infection underneath the surface of the nail, which can also penetrate the nail. If it is ignored, its spread could impair one's ability to work or even walk. That happens because it is frequently accompanied by thickening of the nails, which then cannot easily be trimmed and may cause pain while wearing shoes. This disease can frequently be accompanied by a secondary bacterial and/or yeast infection in or about the nail plate.
What is a Fungal Nail?
Onychomycosis is an infection of the bed and plate underlying the surface of the nail, and is caused by various types of fungi, which are commonly found throughout the environment. Fungi are simple parasitic plant organisms, such as moulds and mildew, that lack chlorophyll and therefore do not require sunlight for growth. A group of fungi called dermophytes easily attack the nail, thriving off keratin, the nail's protein substance.
When the tiny organisms take hold, the nail may become thicker, yellowish-brown or darker in colour, and foul smelling. Debris may collect beneath the nail plate, white marks frequently appear on the nail plate, and the infection is capable of spreading to other toenails, the skin, or even the fingernails.
Because it is difficult to avoid contact with microscopic organisms like fungi, the toenails are especially vulnerable around damp areas where people are likely to be walking barefoot -- swimming pools, locker rooms, and showers, for example. Injury to the nail bed may make it more susceptible to all types of infection, including fungal infection. Those who suffer chronic diseases, such as diabetes, circulatory problems, or immune-deficiency conditions, are especially prone to fungal nails. Other contributory factors may be a history of athlete's foot and excessive perspiration.
Because fungi are everywhere, including the skin, they can be present months before they find opportunities to strike, and before signs of infection appear. By following precautions, including proper hygiene and regular inspection of the feet and toes, chances of the problem occurring can be sharply reduced, or even put to a halt.
Clean, dry feet resist disease; a strict regimen of washing the feet with soap and water, remembering to dry thoroughly, is the best way to prevent an infection. Shower shoes should be worn when possible, in public areas. Shoes, socks, or hosiery should be changed daily. Toenails should be clipped straight across so that the nail does not extend beyond the tip of the toe. Use a quality foot powder -- talcum, not cornstarch -- in conjunction with shoes that fit well and are made of materials that breathe.
Avoid wearing excessively tight hosiery, which promotes moisture. Socks made of synthetic fibre tend to "wick" away moisture faster than cotton or wool socks, especially for those with more active life styles.
Artificial Nails and Polish
Moisture collecting underneath the surface of the toenail would ordinarily evaporate, passing through the porous structure of the nail. The presence of an artificial nail or a polish impedes that, and the water trapped below can become stagnant and unhealthy, ideal for fungi and similar organisms to thrive.
Always use preventive measures when applying polishes. Disinfect home pedicure tools and don't apply polish to nails suspected of infection ñ those on toes that are red, discoloured, or swollen, for example.
Depending on the nature of the infection and the severity of each case, treatment may vary. A daily routine of cleansing, over a period of many months, may temporarily suppress mild infections. White markings that appear on the surface of the nail can be filed off, followed by the application of a liquid antifungal agent.
However, even the best-over-the-counter treatments may not prevent a fungal infection from coming back. A fungus may work its way through the entire nail, penetrating both the nail plate and the nail bed. If an infection is not overcome, or continues to reappear, further medical attention is strongly recommended.
Sources: Santé et Corps Humain, Soft Collection Micro Application, Encarta Encyclopedia Microsoft® 2003. © 1993-2002 Microsoft Corporation.
Action of JadeNail
The nail is a keratin plaque made of: for its visible part:
- lunula, pinkish area, free edge
- for its hidden part: matrix, starting layer.
JadeNail nurtures the nail and provides the elements necessary to strengthen its structure starting from the matrix. Apply on the nails and let permeate for 10 minutes, wipe dry do not wash.
JadeNail is also an antifungal (antimycotic) product, it efficiently treat mycosis and other conditions caused by microscopic fungus (mushrooms).
JadeNail should be used in the following situations:
- mycosis and fungus related conditions
- grooved or ridged nails (due to aging, menopause, dermatological problems)
- transversal grooves (sickness, crushing of the matrix)
- dry or brittle nails (chemical or physical aggression caused by housework or professional conditions, use of false nails and glues
Depending on the situation, JadeNail may give quick and visible results from the very first applications for dry and brittle nails. However, for the treatment of mycosis, numerous and repeated applications are necessary.
PRODUCT RELATED TO THIS SYMPTOM