Some of the most common and persistent infections of the skin on the hands are caused by fingernail-based fungi. While not dangerous, these infections are unsightly and can do permanent damage to the nail bed. Fortunately, you can often treat a fingernail infection using a few simple items; below is more information on some effective home remedies that you should consider trying:
How to identify a fingernail fungal infection
Fungal infections of the nails usually occur more often in the toenails of individuals, but fingernail-based infections are also prevalent. Identifying a fungal infection is usually fairly easy; below are a few symptoms that will point to a fungus as the cause of the problem:
Changes in the character and quality of the fingernails, such as thickening, cracking, and darkening, are telltale signs of a fungal infection.
Some fungal infections will cause a slight, but distinct, odor.
Most fungal infections of the nails are not necessarily painful. However, if they are permitted to continue without treatment, the combination of nail thickening and nail bed alterations can lead to a gradual buildup of pain.
How to treat a fungal infection at home
Fungal infections can be treated using a variety of medications, but there are several good home remedies that you should try:
Apple cider vinegar soaking - a popular choice for self-treating fungal infections of both the toenails and fingernails, apple cider vinegar is an acidic chemical that kills a variety of nail fungus diseases. To soak your fingernails, begin by removing any clothing that is in the way, such as long sleeves and placing your hand inside a glass bowl. Pour approximately a cup of apple cider vinegar into the bowl, then add another cup of water to dilute the contents slightly. Move your fingers around inside the bowl to mix the contents and to introduce the chemical into your fingernail beds. Following that, soak your fingertips for at least 10 minutes per session at a time. Rinse your fingertips thoroughly with clean water, then dry them with a hair dryer or other blower. Do not use a towel or other cloth items that might carry fungal spores to new locations
Thin the nails - since fungus-based infections create a thick layer of nail material, you will need to figure out how to handle this issue. First, it is important to soften the nails by using urea cream. Simply rub the cream on top of the nail and permit it to sit undisturbed for a period of time specified by the manufacturer. Protect the unaffected skin areas nearby with a thin layer of petroleum jelly around the application point. In addition, keep a bandage on top of the urea cream, then remove everything after a few hours. You can use a nail file at this point to shave down the excess nail thicknesses.
Topical over-the-counter products - a couple of topical medications have been demonstrated to show success in treating nail fungal disease. These include the use of a menthol chest rub as well as products that dry out the nail bed; keep in mind these are not approved uses of these medicines, so be sure not to overdo their application in order to prevent possible injury.
How to know when to get help
Even though you can successfully treat nail fungus in many situations, don't hesitate to get help from a qualified dermatologist should the condition linger or spread. If you have a disease that has compromised your immune system or diabetes, then be sure to consult with a doctor before initiating treatment options on your own. Finally, always seek professional help if there is excessive pain, bleeding or discharge from the site. Visit a site like http://desertdermatology.net/.