Nail extensions or enhancements has become a new fad in the fashion industry.
Acrylic nails are very common these days and are seen as an alternative to naturally discolored or weak nails.
Acrylic nails consist of liquid monomer and powder polymer that is applied and shaped on the natural nails to get the desired shape and size.
Because acrylic nails look fancy, many people overlook the drawbacks associated with acrylic nails.
If the natural nails are not properly cleaned and moisture is trapped under the acrylic nails, then it can lead to fungal nail infection.
Nail fungus from acrylic nails can result in the separation of the nail from the nail bed.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about nail fungus and acrylic nails.
What Is Nail Fungus?
There are some types of fungi that live naturally inside the human body.
But, fungal infections occur when the fungus invades a part of the human body and the infection is too strong for the immune system to fight.
Nail fungus is one of the most common types of fungal infections, which is often caused by acrylic nails.
The condition is called onychomycosis.
Nail fungus causes the nail to become thick and discolored. The edges of the nail also start cracking or crumbling.
Fungal infections take time to grow; therefore, at first, you might not be able to notice the initial signs of fungal infection like discoloration or thickening.
How Acrylic Nails Cause Nail Fungus
The nail fungus from acrylic nails is caused due to improper application of acrylic nails.
If the natural nails are not cleaned properly and the application is inadequate, it leaves a gap between the natural nail and acrylic nail.
Warm and moist places are very favorable for fungal growth; therefore, nail fungus soon develops in the gaps.
The nail fungus then readily grows and spreads further, causing discoloration and deformity of nails.
The tools at a manicurist can also become a cause of nail fungus.
Nail fungus is contagious, so if the nail clippers or other tools are not disinfected after each use, the chances of fungal infection increases.
Treatment Of Nail Fungus Caused By Acrylic Nails
There are a number of treatment options for nail fungus caused by acrylic nails. You can use medication or try some home remedies.
It is important to treat the fungal infection without delay because neglecting it will only spread the infection further.
It is important that you do not stop the treatment until you are certain that the fungus is completely gone.
Here are some useful tips to treat the nail fungus from acrylic nails:
Remove The Artificial Nails
The first thing to do is to get rid of the artificial nails if you notice any signs of nail fungus.
Nail fungus spreads quickly, therefore if only one nail is infected, book an appointment and get all of your acrylic nails removed by a professional.
Hiding your nail fungus with artificial nails will only encourage the fungus to grow.
Trim Your Nails Short
After getting rid of the acrylic nails, trim your natural nails.
Short nails prevent moisture from accumulating under the nails.
It is best to let the nails grow naturally without any application of nail polish or other nail products.
These antifungal nail polishes contain ingredients that breakdown the cell membranes of the fungus.
Soak Nails In Vinegar
Soaking your fingernails in white vinegar or apple cider vinegar is a very useful home remedy to treat nail fungus.
The antifungal properties of vinegar help fight the fungal nail infection and hinder further growth.
Soak your fingernails in vinegar for 20-30 minutes daily and wait for the results to show.
Use Tea Tree Oil
Another natural remedy is using tea tree oil to treat the nail fungus caused by acrylic nails.
Tea tree oil has antifungal, antibacterial and antiseptic characteristics which help in reducing the growth of fungal infection.
You can apply tea tree oil directly on your nails or you can look for a lotion or product that contains tea tree oil.
Get Antifungal Medication
Although many antifungal medications are reported to have some side effects, they are very effective in reducing the spread of fungal infection.
You can use Lamisil Oral or Lamisil topical that takes around six weeks to show quick results.
However, these medications are not prescribed unless the fungal infection is very severe.
Consult your doctor before using oral or topical medication for nail fungus.
Laser Light Treatment
Due to advancements in the medical field, nail fungus is now also being treated with laser light therapy.
Laser treatments are not painful and save a lot of time and discomfort as compared to home remedies and medication that take a lot of time to show results.
How To Prevent Nail Fungus From Acrylic Nails
While there is no sure-fire way to prevent nail fungus, here are some things you can consider before getting acrylic nails.
Here is how you can reduce the risk of fungus:
1. Reliable Manicure Service
While choosing a salon to get a manicure service, make sure that you pick one you can trust.
Talk to the manicurist about your concerns and make sure they use clean tools.
The tools should be disinfected before they are used.
2. Keep Hands Dry
It is a good precautionary measure to keep your hands dry when you have acrylic nails.
Make sure there is no moisture under your nails.
3. Take Breaks Between Manicures
Your natural nails must also be allowed to grow naturally without the artificial covering of acrylic nails.
Get manicures for big events or occasions and give time in between to your natural nails to breathe.
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