Thrush Infection Nail Yeast

Our bodies are home to many organisms. Generally, these organisms have no effect on our health and even help us stay healthy. Yeast is one of these organisms. While usually harmless, yeast can sometimes grow out of control and create infection. When the yeast grows uncontrollably in the fingernails or toenails, nail yeast infections can result. Luckily, however, nail yeast infections are a common and easily treatable affliction.

Spotting a Nail Yeast Infection

The most common yeast that lives on our bodies is called Candida Albicans. When the yeast gets under the nail and begins to reproduce, infection ensues.

Nail yeast infections are characterized by a yellowing of the nail. In addition, the nail tends to pull away from the finger or toe. If left untreated, the nail can completely separate from the underlying skin, and the finger or toe may develop an itchy rash with discharge.

Causes of Nail Yeast Infections

Yeast infections of the nails can be caused by a number of things. Yeast requires moisture to reproduce. People who wash their hands many times throughout the day, such as cooks, dishwashers, painters, etc., increase the moisture around their nails, creating an environment that can allow yeast to multiply more quickly than normal. The yeast will then make a home for itself under the nail, resulting in infection.

Another cause of nail yeast infections is the overuse of antibiotics. Overusing antibiotics can create an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the body. As a result, yeast might thrive.

Fake nails are also a cause of nail yeast infections. Covering the real nail with acrylic overlays keeps the nail and the nail bed from getting enough oxygen. This allows moisture to collect and yeast to multiply.

Treating Nail Yeast Infections

Diagnosis and treatment of nail yeast infections is usually easy and painless. Your doctor will review your medical history, visually examine your nails and then take a small sample. He will then examine the sample under a microscope to determine if it is actually Candida Albicans that is causing the infection.

If your doctor determines that you do indeed have a yeast infection, he will go over your treatment options. For most cases, a general anti-yeast topical ointment can cure the infection. In more advanced cases, oral anti-fungal medications may be required.

Preventing Nail Yeast Infections

Nail yeast infections are not usually acquired from others, although they can be contagious. Avoid physical contact with anyone you know to be afflicted with an infection.

Here are some other tips for preventing nail yeast infections:

  • Antibacterial soaps can help prevent nail yeast infections.
  • Avoid sharing items that come into contact with your nails, such as nail clippers and socks, and be sure to keep these items clean.
  • Be sure to keep your hands and feet clean and dry. This helps to keep the yeast from taking hold in any at-risk areas.

Finger and toenail yeast infections are common and easy to treat. Proper hygiene and precaution can help stop yeast from getting out of control and creating an infection.

Resources

Healing Natural Oils (n.d.). Yeast Infections — What Causes Them to Grow In the Nails? Retrieved July 12, 2007, from the Healing Natural Oils Web site: http://www.amoils.com/treatment/yeast-infection/yeast-infection-causes-nails.html.

myTelus Health (n.d.). Fungal Skin or Nail Infections. Retrieved July 12, 2007, from the myTelus Health Web site: http://health.mytelus.com/condition_info_details.asp?disease_id=327