How fungal nail starts

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Caroline, the Director & Co founder of Havana Skin Clinic answers the question she has been frequently asked regarding fungal nail.

Toenail Fungus also known as Onychomycosis, is the most common disease of the nail. An infection occurs when fungi take hold underneath one or more of your nails. They invade your skin through small invisible cuts or through a small separation between your nail and nail bed. These small organisms thrive in warm, moist environments such as showers, swimming pools, and the inside of a hot, damp shoe.
A nail fungal infection may begin as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As the nail fungus spreads deeper into your nail, it may cause your nail to become discoloured, thicken and develop crumbling edges — an unsightly and sometimes painful problem.

What are the symptoms of toenail fungus?

You may suffer from nail fungal infection if you notice one or more of the following symptoms:

Discoloured nails
Yellow streaks under the nail
Distorted or thickened nails
Brittle, crumbly or ragged nails
Nails that are separated from the underlying skin
Build-up of debris (such as nail fragments or skin) under the nail
White spots or streaks on the nail surface
What are the treatment options?

In the past treatment options consisted of topical anti-fungal cream/lotion or oral medications.
Topical creams are the cheapest and easiest form of treatment. However, because of the location of the fungus underneath the nail, these creams (such as Lotrimin) may not always achieve desired results in treating toenail fungus.
Oral medications such as Lamisil are another option, but they can take four months or longer to eliminate the infection. They may also cause side effects ranging from skin rashes to liver damage.
Recently, laser technology has been found to be a safe and effective way to treat toenail fungus without the side effects associated with oral medication.

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