Where and why did I get a fungal nail infection?
You probably got it from a warm and moist environment such as a swimming pool, a sauna, a public shower, or from your sweaty gym shoes. Fungi like to grow on and around the toenails and wet areas underneath. If your hands are exposed to dishes or water for long periods at a time, you may get an infection.
Usually the feet are more exposed to moist environments and so most fungal infections are toenail, rather than fingernail related.
If you think you have a fungus infection you can go see your doctor or a podiatrist who specializes in feet. Some tissue will be scraped off from under the nail and sent to a lab for diagnosis. If indeed you do have a fungal infection, then your doctor will prescribe a six week oral medication to take care of the problem, along with a topical cream to apply under the affected area.
There are also some things you can do to protect yourself and get on the road to a fungal nail cure:
Make sure your nails are short and trimmed.
Use a different nail file on the infected hand.
Protect your hands at all times when washing dishes with 100% cotton glove lining.
Wear 100% cotton socks, add anti-fungal foot powder in the socks to keep your feet dry, and change your socks on a daily basis.
Let your toes breath if you have toenail fungus and expose the feet to the sunlight and fresh air.
Keep away from walking barefoot in public areas such as saunas, swimming pool areas, locker rooms and gyms where it is humid and damp.
Going back to the topical antifungal medications for these infections your podiatrist or pharmacist may recommend an FDA approved nail polish called "Penlac" that has to be used for nine consecutive months. Basically you paint your affected nail with the "Penlac" brush every day, and at the end of the week, strip off the varnish.
Two FDA approved oral medications for fungal nail cure also exist called "Lamisil" and "Sporonox" which should be taken for 3 months and not more than 6 months since long term effects of these drugs can cause liver damage. It is a good idea to discuss all anti-fungal oral medication and dosage with your doctor or physician before use.