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Fungal Infection


4 Different Kinds of Fungal Infection (And How to Treat Them)

Posted Thursday 20 December 2018 16:16 by Tim Deakin in Antifungal

ringworm fungal infection

Nobody likes to think too hard about fungal infections, but understanding the condition is key to treating it effectively

Fungus is not an inherently bad thing. Some of our favourite ingredients are classed as fungi, including mushrooms. What’s more, many different types of fungi make their home on our bodies and, in most cases, they don’t cause any issues.

However, sometimes a fungus can change, and this can lead to an infection. There are many different kinds of fungal infections, all of which can affect different parts of the body, and in different ways.

We’re going to take a closer look at some of the most common fungal infections, in order to give you a clearer understanding of how to recognise and treat these conditions in the best way.

Thrush

Thrush is a particularly common fungal infection, and is usually either an oral or genital condition. In fact, up to three quarters of all women will have at least one bout of vaginal thrush in their lives.[1] But the condition isn’t exclusive to women – it can also be contracted by men.

Thrush is usually harmless but can be uncomfortable and resilient. Symptoms include white discharge from the genitalia, irritation and itchiness, burning and stinging when having sex or using the toilet.

Like most fungal infections, thrush is best treated with effective antifungal medication. This can be an oral tablet, a tablet inserted into the vagina or a cream to relieve irritation. Recurring thrush may be caused by a wider issue, and advice should be sought from your GP.

athlete's footAthlete’s foot

Between 15-25% of people are likely to experience athlete’s foot at any one time.[2] As the name suggests, the infection affects feet, usually appearing between the twos but also on the soles or side of the feet. If left untreated, it can spread and lead to fungal nail infections.

Athlete’s foot can cause raw, tender, flaking or split skin. It can also cause fluid-filled blisters to appear. The condition can be treated with creams, sprays and powders. You can also help to prevent it occurring by drying your feet after you wash them, wearing clean socks every day and avoiding walking around barefoot – particularly in public changing rooms and showers.

Ringworm

Ringworm is often the name given to a generic fungal infection, as it occurs when the tinea corporis fungus infects the skin. When it occurs in the feet, it can cause athlete’s foot; when it occurs in the groin, it can cause another infection called jock itch. It is also common on the scalp or the beard.

Although specific figures are hard to gather, ringworm is a frequent problem in most countries, particularly those with less access to effective hygiene.[3] The main symptom of the condition is a red or silver rash which can be itchy, swollen or dry. Antifungal medication in the form of a cream, gel or spray is often prescribed.

Fungal nail infections

Fungal nail infections occur when a fungus infects the top, body or bed of the nail. They are more common in toenails, but can occur in fingernails too.[4] This is because the fungus thrives in warm and moist environments, and our feet spend much more time encased in shoes and sock,s which can get hot.

When infection occurs, the nail can become thicker, drier and begin to crumble. It may also become more yellow in tone and can even come off altogether. Fungal nail infections can take a long time to heal completely, but the best way to treat it effectively is with proven antifungal treatment. Lacquered medications like Curanail can be applied directly to the nail to trap and tackle the infection.

Find effective treatment for fungal nail infections right here at Express Pharmacy, and get it delivered swiftly and discreetly to your home. You can also contact our pharmacists today by calling 0208 123 07 03 or by using our online live chat system.


Fall in Love With Your Feet Again This Summer

Posted Thursday 26 July 2018 14:10 by Tim Deakin in Express Pharmacy

Fungal nail infections can not only knock your confidence, but can also lead to pain and discomfort down the line

For many of us, summer is the time of year when we finally let our feet breathe in sandals and flip-flops after months cooped up in shoes. This is especially true if you’re planning a trip abroad to somewhere hot and sunny over the coming months.

However, for those with conditions like fungal nail infections, the thought of getting your feet out in public can be a daunting one. With any condition, understanding it is the first step to beating it, which is why we’re going to show you how to spot, prevent and treat fungal nail infections this summer.

What is a fungal nail infection?

A fungal infection can affect any part of the body, and is normally present alongside various bacteria. When the fungus starts to grow, an infection can occur. Onychomycosis, also known as tinea unguium, is the name of the fungal infection which grows specifically in the fingernails or toenails.

What causes a fungal nail infection?

A fungal nail infection occurs as the result of an overgrowth of fungi in, on or under the nail. These fungi thrive in warm and moist environments, making them more common on your toenails as your feet spend more time confined within shoes and socks.

Fungal nail infections can also be spread through contact. If you receive a manicure or pedicure at a salon, it’s important to query whether the tools have been effectively disinfected, as emery boards and clippers can spread fungal infections from person to person if not sanitized.

Who is at risk of fungal nail infections?

Anyone can get a fungal nail infection if they put themselves at risk. However, certain people have been shown to be more susceptible. Infections are more common in men than women, and more likely to occur in adults than children, especially those older than 65. If you have a relative who often gets fungal nail infections you are also more likely to get them.

Other risks factors include:

  • Having diabetes
  • Having a disease that causes poor circulation
  • Swimming in a public pool
  • Suffering a nail injury or an injury to the skin around the nail
  • Wearing artificial nails
  • Having a weakened immune system
  • Wearing closed-toe shoes

What are the signs of a fungal nail infection?

Fungal nail infections can affect part of a nail, the whole nail or more than one nail. Symptoms usually include:

  • Scaling under the nail (subungual hyperkeratosis)
  • A distorted nail that lifts off the nail bed
  • White or yellow streaks on the nail (lateral onychomycosis)
  • An odour coming from the infected nail
  • Crumbing corner or tip of the nail (distal onychomycosis)
  • A brittle or thickened nail
  • White flaky areas on the nail surface
  • Yellow spots at the bottom of the nail (proximal onychomycosis)
  • Loss of the nail completely

How do you prevent a fungal nail infection?

Thankfully, fungal nail infections are preventable with a few simple lifestyle changes. Taking care to ensure your nails are clean, dry and well trimmed is the best way to avoid infection. You can also:

  • Dry your feet well after showering, especially between your toes
  • Use antifungal sprays regularly
  • Reduce your use of artificial nails and nail varnish
  • Avoid being barefoot in public places
  • Wear socks that minimise moisture

How do you treat a fungal nail infection?

If you do suffer with a fungal nail infection, take comfort in the knowledge that effective anti-fungal medication is available. Curanail is a treatment specifically designed to fight infections in fingernails and toenails. It has been clinically proven to clear over 75% of fungal toenail infections (and 85% of fungal fingernail infections) within six months.

Anti-fungal medication like Curanail is available from Express Pharmacy. Get in touch with our team of expert pharmacists today by calling 0208 123 07 03 or by using our discreet live chat service.


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