Nail Disorders

We often don’t think of our fingernails and toenails unless we’re getting a manicure or pedicure. Proper hygiene involves making sure that the toes and fingers are clean and free from bacteria and disease. Unfortunately, there are plenty of grimy and gross nail disorders that can attack the fingernails and toenails, making for a very uncomfortable and unsightly situation.

Take care of your fingers and tootsies by educating yourself about the various nail disorders that can make a mess of your fingernails and toenails.

While there are too many nail disorders to list here, these two are fairly common:

Pseudomonas

This bacterial infection takes place between the nail plate and the nail bed. When the bacteria attack the nail, it results in a green, moldy-colored appearance. Also known as “the greenies,” Pseudomonas feeds off the dead tissue found within the nail plate. As the bacteria feed, the moisture within the nail bed increases, promoting the growth of the infection, as Pseudomonas thrives in moist areas. If left untreated, the nail will become darker in color. The darker the nail color, the deeper the infection has spread through the nail plate. Once Pseudomonas enters the area between the nail plate and the nail bed, it is possible for the nail plate to lift away from the nail bed. Treatment for Pseudomonas can include the use of antibiotics as well as topical agents.

Fungal Infection

Fungal infections can occur in both the fingernails and toenails. Because fungi are everywhere, it is easy to contract this type of infection. The most common forms of entry for fungi happen when there is a minor cut or injury to the toenail or fingernail. When the nail separates from the nail bed of the finger or toes, this makes it very easy for the fungi to enter and make itself at home. Fungal infections cause the nails to become thick, yellow or brownish in color. Foul-smelling, moist debris will begin to build up underneath the nail as the fungus grows, causing painful pressure, swelling and redness. Treatment should begin as soon as the infection is diagnosed. Oral and topical medications are common forms of treatment, however, there is always the possibility of the fungus reoccurring.

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In order to prevent dealing with uncomfortable and unsanitary conditions such as fungal infections and Pseudomonas, it is essential to always take proper care of both fingernails and toenails. By avoiding improper trimming, repeated trauma, and minor injuries and cuts, you can keep your nails clean and safe from infection. To keep your toenails in shape, wear well-fitted shoes.

When it comes to getting your nails professionally done, always make sure the nail technician washes his/her hands before and after each client. Check to make sure that all the towels are clean and that a new and unused nail file is used each time. Make sure the nail technician doesn’t cut your cuticles too deep since this can result in broken skin, which makes your nails fair game for infections.