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Is There a Test for Nail Fungus?

Onychomycosis or nail fungus infection is a common skin problem caused by a microscopic organism called dermatophytes. This fungus thrives in wet and warm environments. Infection is often prevalent in toenails than in fingers since feet are more exposed to where fungus exists. Common symptoms of nail fungus infection are thickening and discoloration of the infected nail or visibility of white, splotchy areas on the nail.

Perhaps many of us have previously had the habit of walking around in barefoot, which is often among the reasons for our parents to reprimand us. It may have been fun back then and we unconsciously, were making ourselves as easy victim to this microscopic organism. Parents indeed know best. So then, always make sure to wear slippers, especially in public places such as swimming pools, locker rooms, and shower rooms.

Also, practicing a proper foot hygiene can help prevent getting infected. Make sure to have your feet completely dry after shower or soak, especially before wearing socks and shoes. Carelessness can often result to creating a favorable environment for this fungus to breed in. Wear appropriate socks and shoes. Socks made of absorbent fiber are recommended. Likewise, wear shoes that are not tight and provides sufficient ventilation for your feet. Do not wear the same shoes and socks every day. Neither will you share or use someone else’s.

Validating the infection

Seeing your doctor at the very sight of symptoms will be helpful since early cure or treatment can be made thus avoiding possible further complications. Your doctor can use several samples from you to confirm whether you indeed have onychomycosis, or perhaps just another infection.

The doctor can either use (1) a small portion of tissue by scraping, (2) a small clip of your nail, (3) the whole nail of infected toe, or (4) debris. The sample will undergo microbial lab test to validate cause of the infection. The sample is cultured aerobically using a selective media. Testing may take some few weeks before results are obtained. A culture positive for dermatomycoses – oncyhomycosis proves the doctor’s theory. And it is only after proving can the doctor recommend necessary procedure or treatment for the infection.

Various kinds of treatments are available. Some are applied topically whereas some orally. These treatments also differ in cost, therefore it is recommended to always discuss with your doctor which treatment or medication is practical to use, a treatment which is proven effective and not expensive. Regardless of diverse cures or treatments, prevention still is considered the best remedy.