Toenail fungus is an a slow and infectious disease that typically begins by showing a yellow or white spot underneath the tip of the toenail or fingernail. As the fungus progresses, symptoms begin to worsen and may show in the form of nail thickening, becoming brittle and/or weak, discoloration, and crumbling of the nails. It is also common for some nails to appear infected and others adjacent not, however this does not necessarily mean that the ones that appear clear are not infected. Below are just a few of the common misconceptions involving nail fungus:
- “The fungus will go away on its own.” This is false. Nail fungus is not like a cold or flu symptom that can sometimes just dissipate on its own, it is an infection that gets worse and worse when left untreated. Furthermore, the fungus may spread to the skin and fingernails. Lastly, fungus weakens the nail bed and can cause the nail to fall off altogether.
- “Only unhygienic and/or “dirty” people get nail fungus.” Everyone and anyone are susceptible to nail fungus. Since fungi live on all surfaces, but only a few are infectious, it is quite easy to obtain the infection, which is why it is crucial to be precautionary and keep good hygiene.
- “You must remove the nail.” Another false statement, removing the nail actually does not solve the problem of toenail fungus. In fact, removing the nail rarely has cured anyone of nail fungus and is a very common misconception. The fungal spores live beneath the surface of the nails. Moreover, our nails serve as a protective shield to block out bacteria and germs to enter the body.
- “Home remedies will cure the nails.” There are countless home remedies bleach, tea tree oil, vinegar soaks, you name it. These home remedies however have also very rarely ever proved to work. Household products and other liquids used for external purposes should never be used on our body parts, especially to come in direct contact with our skin.
- “Nail fungus is incurable.” Although nail fungus is an extremely difficult infection to get rid of, it is still curable when doing proper treatments.