Broadgate Clinic London Wall advises some tips to help you to get rid of a Fungal Nail Infection

Somewhere between 3% and 8% of people here in the UK suffer from the nail infections at some stage of their lives, so providing some tips on how to get rid of a fungal nail infection, is something that will interest a great many people. As one of the many conditions we frequently deal with here at Broadgate Clinic London Wall this brief article contains several tips on the treatment.

It’s usually the toenails rather than the fingernails that are affected. It’s also something that is more common in people aged over 55. It does however affect young people too, particularly those who share communal shower facilities such as swimmers and athletes.

Where do fungal nail infections come from?

Fungal nail infection is often started by a fungal skin infection. A typical example would be Athlete’s Foot, an infection which grows in between people’s toes. If the skin infection is not treated early, it may then spread to the toenails causing a fungal toenail infection.

A fungal fingernail infection is more likely to occur following a toe nail infection. The infection can easily be transferred to the fingers if the person infected scratches or touches an infected area.

Regularly washing hands can lead to a fingernail fungal infection

Strange as though it may at first seem, fingernail infections are actually more common amongst people who wash their hands frequently, or who put their hands in water often; people for example who work as cooks or cleaners. This is because the constant washing process can cause damage to the protective layer of skin at the base of the nail. Once damaged this skin then allows access to the infection.

Nail damage and other health conditions

Fungal nail infections often start when a nail has been damaged as the damage makes it more susceptible to infection.

Some other health conditions can also make you more likely to develop a fungal nail infection these conditions include things like a compromised immune system, diabetes, poor circulation, and psoriasis. Having AIDs or being on a course of chemotherapy can also open the door to a fungal nail infection.

Smoking also increases the chances of developing a fungal nail infection as those living in hot or humid climate. In some instances however there is no apparent. Fungus germs are very common and it is therefore quite normal for an infection to appear “out of the blue” as it were.

The symptoms of a fungal nail infection

In many instances a fungal nail infection affects only one nail. However it can also affect other nails too. In the beginning, the infection is normally painless. Infected nails become thickened and discoloured taking on a greenish-yellow hue.

When the infection worsens you may eventually lose the nail. When you do, the skin underneath the nail (the nail-bed) may develop white or yellow patches. The nail itself can become soft and quite crumbly, and the skin next to the nail may become inflamed and/or scaly. If left untreated, the infection can eventually destroy both nail and the nail-bed, becoming more painful. In some instances walking can cause pain and can be an uncomfortable experience.

To summarise symptoms:

  • Nils become thickened
  • Nails become discoloured (greenish0yellow)
  • Nails become crumbly
  • Surrounding areas may be affected
  • You may lose your nail.
  • You may lose your nail-bed

Having a fungal nail infection test at Broadgate Clinic London Wall

Not all of nail infections are fungal. Minor fungal infections and non-fungal infections usually disappear in a relatively short space of time without treatment. If you have a more serious infection it will need firstly to be diagnosed, and then to be specifically treated.

If you live and/or work here in London you can walk in to our private GP clinic at Broadgate Clinic London Wall. No appointment is necessary. One of our experienced doctors will examine your nails and take a small quantity of clippings for testing.

If you are diagnosed with a fungal nail infection, treatments are available here at Broadgate Clinic London Wall. The treatments most commonly used are an antifungal medicines that are painted onto the infected nails, or tablets which are taken orally. Both types of medication can be bought over the counter at our in-house pharmacy.

It is usual to have to go on applying the medication for a period of several months and sometimes longer. Treatment is of course optional.