I am guessing that this topic does not pertain to many of you. But human beings do some interesting things to their skin and I wanted to share this with my readers.
Modifying the human body has become faddish the past several decades. I have seen innumerable piercings in every imaginable surface and orifice. Implants of rings, bars, pearls, and bones abound. And tattoos, well they are so pedestrian these days it is uncommon to see someone without ink.
In medicine, just as in life, things are not always what they appear to be. Chances are that if you have a funky looking or off-color toenail, someone has helpfully informed you it is fungus. If they are very helpful, they even mentioned that your doctor has a pill for it. The cause of distorted nails is myriad. We see frustrated patients who have been shelling out co pays for medications but just “can’t seem to get rid of this fungus!”
Toenail fungus plagues about 12% of Americans. Some are genetically prone to getting it; and therefore will probably get it again despite the best of treatments. Going barefoot, being an athlete, and having a weak immune system are other risk factors. Fungi love warm dark moist places, be it old rotting logs in the forest or your earthy smelling sneakers.
We paint them. Polish them. Trim and manicure them. Bite them. Run them down chalkboards. Our hands are intimate parts of our being and the nails are their crowning symbols. They broadcast our health, diseases, and personalities.
"We are supposed to sing Twinkle-Twinkle Little Star and not stop washing our hands until the song is over," a boy told me. "Do you think it is contagious? We've been having him wash with antibacterial soap. Several other kids in his class have the same thing," said his mother.