Toenail fungus, medically known as onychomycosis, is a common infection of the toe but could also affect the fingernails. The keratin found in nail tissue forms the base of toenail fungus. This leads to discoloration of the nail; the more the discoloration, the faster the infection gets. It leaves the nail thickened, crumbly and ugly.
Most nail polishes are not advisable
Because of the ugliness of the infected nail, it is only natural that we would seek ways to hide it. Nail polish is definitely one of the first things that come to mind. At least, you get to wear whatever you want without hiding your feet. As tempting as this sounds, it is not advisable.
Toenail fungus infection can deteriorate quickly if covered with most of the nail polishes available. Fungus does well in a dark and moist environment, both of which are offered by nail polish. Nail polish does not allow moisture in the nail bed to escape as fast as they normally would and also reduces the level of light exposure of the nail bed.
With acrylic properties, nail polish prevents moisture from escaping from the nail bed hence presenting a great opportunity for fungi to flourish under the nail. Covering an infected nail with most nail polishes will strengthen the fungus to thrive and spread. Also, it is an extra coat on the nail which makes the treatment of toenail fungus more difficult because most treatment solutions are topical.
Some do work
However, some nail polishes are loaded with antifungal properties. They are specifically made to offer treatment for toenail fungus. Some ingredients such as tea tree oil give nail polish the needed edge. Tea tree oil as well as apple cider vinegar are as far as I am concerned one of the best home remedies for nail fungus treatment. Invariably, you can wear this kind of nail polish with toenail fungus. They don’t just cover the ugly nail, they also address the main problem. So, if you want to hide your toenail fungus, these nail polishes with antifungal properties are perfect.
Wearing medicated or antifungal nail polish
Trim your nails: ordinarily, your nails should be well-trimmed and neat. This becomes even more important when you have toenail fungus. To prevent this notorious infection from spreading, ensure your nails are as short as possible. Thickened nail is a part of the symptoms presented by toenail fungus, you will need clippers with long handles for the cutting. After usage, disinfect clippers with alcohol.
Wash your nails: after trimming the nail, wash thoroughly with soap and water. This is to ensure all dirt is properly washed off to avoid spread.
Apply a base coat: base coat plays two roles – protecting nails from stains as well as anchoring the polish to the nail.
Apply an antifungal polish: after proper application of a base coat, then apply the nail polish. Usually, three coats are required. The first followed immediately by the second. After about 5 minutes, apply a top coat to seal the polish and make it shine.
Other ways of hiding toenail fungus
Ø Wearing breathable footwear
- Moisture-wicking socks: these socks will keep your toes dry hence curtailing toenail fungus.
- Sandals: one of the best things you can do for a toenail with fungus infection is to let it breathe. The more the fresh air you allow, the quicker your toenail fungus will heal.
Treatment of toenail fungus
- Over-the-counter products: several over-the-counter products are proven to be effective for the treatment of toenail fungus. E.g. EmoniNail, Naturasil, etc.
- Home remedies: there are oils e.g. coconut oil with antifungal and antiseptic properties helping to fight toenail fungus at home.
- Medicated nail polish
- Oral antifungal medication
How to keep fungus at bay
Sweaty feet: sweaty feet are one of the key causes of toenail fungus. Fungus thrives in moist environments hence the need to keep your feet as dry as possible. One of the ways people with sweaty feet can reduce the risk of having toenail fungus is changing socks at least once during the day. As you keep moisture level down, you also keep chances of fungus infection down. You can also use antifungal powder to keep your feet dry.
Spray your shoes with antifungal spray to ward off the fungus.
Dispose of your old shoes especially if not rubber. This may sound simple until it gets to your favorite shoes. Old shoes could be an amazing breeding ground for fungus.
Note: consult a doctor if you have toenail fungus to be certain it is not caused by underlying health issues such as diabetes. If it is, prompt and proper steps can be taken.