Your Nastiest Nail Issues Solved
We all deal with chipped polish and a hangnail here and there. Next time you have a nail issue that's truly gross, here's what to do about it
Fungal or yeast infection (aka Athlete's Foot)You probably don't think of a yeast infection as a nail problem, but it's a common issue. It's basically Athlete's Foot on your nail instead of your skin, and you can get it whenever you come into contact with fungus. "We live in a world filled with bacteria and fungal organisms, so an injury on a nail is open to infection," says Bailey. And, unfortunately, she says a fungal infection is harder to treat than a bacterial one.
If your nail is infected, you'll start to see yellow or green discoloration, and the nail will become thick, says Sutera. Then, it'll start to become flaky and develop a crumbly appearance; creating thick debris under the nail that looks almost like Parmesan cheese you can scrape out (again, so gross, we know).
Before your nail starts flaking away, try over-the-counter remedies like Fungi Cure, tea tree oil, or Lotrimin -- the same OTC treatment Bailey recommends for paronychia. Drip it under your nail morning and night to help kill the fungus. "The problem, however, gets worse when water gets stuck under the nail, enabling the organisms to flourish and grow again," says Bailey. So after water contact, Bailey recommends patting the nails dry, and applying rubbing alcohol to the nail as an antimicrobial. But if the nasty Parmesan action starts happening, you'll want to go to the podiatrist.
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