What by weight and size is the largest organism in the world? If you guessed Blue Whale then you are close but still off. The largest organism in the world is a honey fungus, living in Blue Mountains of Oregon. Stretching for miles underground and weighing more the any other creature, this particular fungus sets a number of records. However, the honey fungus is not the only fungus setting records.
Also known as onychomycosis, toenail fungus is among one of the most wide spread detrimental fungi that millions of Americans have to deal with annually. Turning a regular day into a chore and presenting a worrying range of symptoms, nail fungus needs to be treated when it is discovered.
The problem, however, is that many people don’t realize they have onychomycosis or will try to ignore it instead of seeking help. With that in mind, lets take a moment to learn more about nail fungus. In particular, we will look at what fungus and nail fungus is, where it will appear in the nail, signs that you can look out for when determining whether or not you have nail fungus, and a list of types of nail fungus that you can watch out for. While fungus in general plays an important role in our ecosystem and can be impressive, it is best to take action and learn how to remove it if you become infected.
4So What Exactly Is Toenail Fungus?
To understand nail fungus, we must first understand fungus in general. In a kingdom of its own, fungus is all around us. There are thousands of different kinds of fungus that range in purpose. The vast majority of fungus out there is completely non-threatening to us. For example, if you have ever enjoyed beer or cider, then you have fungus to thank. Also, the principle rising agent in bread is yeast, a form of fungus. Every time you eat any kind of leavened bread or drink alcoholic drinks, you have yeast to thank.
So what is toenail fungus and why is it harmful to people while the majority of fungus out there is safe? Well, there are three types of fungus that just happen to thrive on people’s skin in the right conditions. When it comes to onychomycosis, the biggest cause of nail fungus is a dermatophyte called Trichophyton rubrum. In addition, Trichophyton rubrum mentagrophytes as well as the yeast candida albicans are also known to cause a few cases of onychomycosis as well.
Onychomycosis occurs in and around the nails because the toes are particularly susceptible to the right conditions for growth. Remember, fungus floats freely in the air, and it is only a matter of bad luck that can lead to an infection. Nail fungus has an increased risk of occuring with poor hygiene, as well as in conditions where the feet are submerged, damp, or wet for prolonged periods of time. This provides the fungus with the opportunity to get into your nails where they use the heat to grow. Public places like public pools and locker rooms where there is a lot of water and bare foot traffic can pose some risk. As it currently stands, an estimated 10% of adults have onychomycosis, while more then 20% of the elderly have had recently or is currently dealing with onychomycosis.
Additional Causes And Places Onychomycosis Will Appear
There are additional causes of onychomycosis beyond exposure to warm humid temperatures and liquid. Generally speaking, while onychomycosis can happen to the healthiest among us, different lifestyle choices as well as medical conditions can increase and decrease the risk of getting onychomycosis. Individuals suffering from chronic diseases are at an increased risk of getting nail fungus. In addition, patients with circulatory problems, immune-deficiency conditions are prone to getting nail fungus. If you have any of these conditions or live a lifestyle where wet conditions are typical, then be aware that you are at an increased risk for onychomycosis.
Onychomycosis will appear under the nails of your toes. There will be discoloration, as well as a slow change in the consistency and look of the nails. You can have nail fungus for years before feeling any pain or discomfort resulting from the fungus itself.