If you see that your nails are discolored then more than likely you have contacted a nail fungus. Nail fungus and toenail fungus treatment will vary depending upon what kind of fungus you have.
The causes of nail fungus whether it is the fingernails or the toenails are warm most areas such as swimming pools especially those in gyms where they are used by everybody. Wearing tight fighting sweaty shoes will also cause the fungus to grow. Elderly people with underlying health problems such as diabetes can contact the fungus. The nail fungus is not highly contagious. You are not going to catch it simply by touching someone who has it.
There are different types of the fungus but the most common type is “distal subungal onychomycosis“. This one is more common in the toenails rather than the fingernails. It normally starts with a discolored area at the corner of the big toe and the spreads towards the cuticle. After awhile the toenail becomes thick and flaky with signs of athletes feet.
The one that is most uncommon is the fungus called “proximal subungal onychomycosis“. It is a lot like the most common one but it starts at the cuticle base and spreads towards the nail tip.
The one that occurs most I the fingernails is caused by a yeast called Candida. It causes a yellow, brown, or white color in the nails or they might become thickened.
While none of these cause pain you can tell that you have something wrong with your nails by the discoloring or the thickening of the nails. While there are other things that could cause the nails to discolor the only way to be sure that you have a fungus is to have a piece of your nails tested by a lab.
One of the things that you have o do is to keep the nails trimmed and filed. Your doctor may shave off the top layer of the nail or even remove part of the nail. This is done in order to reduce the amount of fungus in the nail.
Nails are so hard that external applications usually do not penetrate to the fungus. There are some nail polishes that contain a tropical solution that can be applied but it does not work all the time. There is a nail polish that contains anti-fungal medication that does help prevent re-infection once the fungus is gone.
There have been some new medications recently approved for use in the fungus. With the new medication daily application is necessary for forty-eight weeks. Even with oral medications it takes a while to see if it is working. Oral medications can take nine to twelve weeks as it takes this long for the nail to grow out.
Some home treatments include the use of vinegar and various oils but this has not actually been proven yet.
Since the most common way of catching the fungus is in using communal showers or pools you may want to completely avoid these areas. If you cannot then wear shower shoes of swimming slippers and when you get out of the shower or the pool be sure to dry the nails off completely.
Daily washing and drying of the nails can help prevent you from contracting the fungus.