Our hands are truly remarkable. The average person has incredibly dexterity and range of movement when it comes to their hands. From writing the countless symbols and shapes that go into language, typing the words you are reading now, throwing a baseball, or carefully moving object around, our hands are invaluable. While our hands represent one of the primary ways we interact with the world around us, they are also susceptible to a wide range of injuries, diseases, and disorders.
Comprising 27 bones, a range of joints, muscles, and tendons, the hand is one of the most delicate parts of our body. Along with sustaining stress fractures and physical injury, repetitive motion injuries and several different kinds of diseases often occur in the hands. A frequent disease that more then 10% of American adults struggle with is fingernail fungus.
Also known as onychomycosis (which applies to both fingernail and toenail related fungi,) nail fungus can occur for a wide range of reasons including poor hygiene, health issues, and simple bad luck. While there are a range of treatments as well as causes of onychomycosis, lets take a moment to explain exactly how a fungus in your nails can happen. From there, we will explore the different kinds of fungus that can cause this problem with your fingernails, as well as the causes and treatments available to you. Well, with all of that out of the way, lets get started!
6What Is Fingernail Fungus?
As stated above, onychomycosis can represent as a type of fungal nail infection. So what is a fungus and why is it infecting your nails? There are thousands of different types of fungus all around us. Every day we breathe them in, we use them in making bread, beer, and even use fungus as a spread. We eat mushrooms everyday, are exposed to fungus constantly, and rarely if ever develop problems because of it. So why is fungus suddenly bad for us?
Well, it depends on the type of fungus we are dealing with. There are four primary sources for fungus of the fingernails, and three of them are directly related to fungus as the primary cause. Onychomycosis is the blanked term given when there is fungal infection in the nails, and it refers to the toenails as often as it does the fingernails. In either place, the fungus can grow and spread, generally ruining your day and adding additional worry on top of that. The potentially harmful fungus is all around us, and 99% of the time our body fights it off. However, if we are unlucky, have a compromised immune system, or live in a way where we are exposed to conditions where the fungus can thrive, the we are at an increased risk of getting it. As these potential causes come together in old age, it is no wonder that nearly twice as many elderly people are dealing with some form of nail fungus (20% of total population.) If you are worried that what you have may be a fungus of your fingernails, then the first thing you will want to do is identify what the discoloration you are seeing means. Below are the four primary causes of onychomycosis in your fingernails along with what you should watch out for.