How Do I Know If I Have A Fungal Nail Infection
Because other infections can affect the nail and mimic symptoms of a fungal nail infection, the only way to confirm a diagnosis is to see a doctor. Theyll take a scraping of the nail and look under a microscope for signs of fungus.
In some cases, your doctor may send the sample to a lab for analysis and identification.
Over-the-counter products arent usually recommended to treat nail infections since they dont provide reliable results. Instead, your doctor may prescribe an oral antifungal medication, such as:
Who Gets Nail Fungus
People who live in hot and humid climates have an increased risk of infection due to their living environment. Your medical situation also plays a big part in whether such a fungus can thrive on your body. Those who have the following conditions are more susceptible:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Those Who Frequent Gyms, Spas, or Swimming Pools
Preparing For An Appointment
You’re likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. In some cases when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred immediately to either a doctor who specializes in skin conditions or one who specializes in foot conditions .
To make the most of your time with your doctor, it’s good to prepare for your appointment.
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What About The Cost Of Oral Medications For Fungal Nails
A further consideration is cost. Because newer oral antifungal agents are very expensive, some insurance companies balk at paying for what they consider a “cosmetic issue,” unless nail fungus causes pain or other functional symptoms. Terbinafine and fluconazole are now available as generic drugs and are quite inexpensive.
Lifestyle And Home Remedies
Often, you can take care of a fungal nail infection at home:
- Try over-the-counter antifungal nail creams and ointments. Several products are available. If you notice white markings on the surfaces of the nails, file them off, soak your nails in water, dry them, and apply the medicated cream or lotion.
- Trim and thin the nails. This helps reduce pain by reducing pressure on the nails. Also, if you do this before applying an antifungal, the drug can reach deeper layers of the nail.
Before trimming or using a nail file to thin thick nails, soften them with urea-containing creams. If you have a condition that causes poor blood flow to your feet and you can’t trim your nails, see a health care provider regularly to have your nails trimmed.
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Benefits Of Probiotics For Nail Fungus
Probiotics are good bacteria that have positive effects on the human body when consumed. Unlike other bacterias that cause ailments, these probiotics can have healing effects in the body. As you might have gone through yogurt advertisements where they promote the use of healthy bacterias that are good for the gut.
Probiotics help in maintaining the proper functioning of the stomach. They help keep away gastrointestinal diseases. Apart from keeping away internal disorders, probiotics are also useful in treating external fungal infections. Many doctors recommend taking probiotics in case of toenail fungus. Toenail fungus is an infection that is visible on the toe as a spot below the nail. If not given proper attention, it can grow into a colored disfiguration of the entire toe.
There are many treatments for this ailment, and adding probiotics to your diet is one of the most prominent. One of the most popular ones is Restoration by Viva Nutra, a trusted and well-reviewed supplement for treating toenail fungus.
Let us understand why probiotics are essential in treating toenail fungus.
But first, we will read the real reason why toenail fungus occurs.
Diagnosis And Treatment Of Nail Problems
Any abnormal changes to your nails should be medically investigated. See your doctor for treatment or possible referral to a dermatologist. If the cause of your nail problem is not immediately apparent, your doctor may take nail clippings and scrapings from beneath the nail for laboratory analysis. Fingernail infections usually respond faster to treatment than toenail infections.Depending on the cause, treatment may include:
- Antibiotics for bacterial infections
- Antifungal preparations, mainly oral tablets, for fungal infections in the nails
- Treatment for any contributing skin disease
- Advice on appropriate nail care.
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How To Treat Nail Fungus And Why You Always Should
Aside from the pain and discomfort, its crucial to treat nail fungus because it can spread and cause permanent damage to your toenail beds. Plus, it is more difficult to treat when it advances, and it does not just go away on its own.
For those with diabetes or a weakened immune system, nail fungus can increase the risk of an infection of the surrounding skin.
Treatments include medicated nail polish, topical antifungal creams, and oral medications. At Town Center Foot & Ankle, podiatrist Dr. Stephen G. Eichelsdorfer offers an effective high tech treatment to get rid of toenail fungus and prevent it from returning. He uses PinPointe FootLaser system to destroy the fungus on the affected toe as well as the surrounding toes.
This method enables Dr. Eichelsdorfer to destroy fungus that is present on neighboring toes but has not caused symptoms yet. This way you destroy all the nail fungus at once to prevent a recurrence. Recurrences are fairly common.
For more information on how to prevent, diagnose, and treat toenail fungus, call Town Center Foot & Ankle with offices in Kingwood and Atascocita, Texas, or make an appointment online.
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Nail Fungus Is Easy To Remove With 6 Natural Remedies
Nail fungus affects people of all ages however it is more common in men than in women and in the elderly than the young. Older men and women are particularly at risk due to factors such as bad circulation in the extremities like the hands and feet. This means your immune system has trouble reaching your nails to fight the infection.
Symptoms of nail fungus are:
- The nail becoming thickened and discoloured: white, black, yellow or green
- Accumulation of smelly debris
- Thickening of the affected nails
- Crumbling and ragged nails
- Loosening of the nail
- Appearance of spots on the sides of nail
- Inflamed and painful skin underneath and around the nail
So how can you treat this fungus without resorting to expensive methods? Considering the infection tends to recur, you may like to try some of these natural remedies and save the article so you have them on hand.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
This is one of the best remedies for toenail fungus because ACV is mildly acidic and can help prevent toenail fungus from spreading. At the same time, it kills bacteria and fungi. Mix one part ACV and one part Epsom salts with six parts hot water. Soak feet up to twice daily for at least 30 minutes to kill fungus. Another option is make an anti-fungal exfoliating scrub by mixing some coarsely ground rice flour with a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Apply this paste on and around the affected nail and gently scrub the area.
2. Tea Tree Oil
3. Coconut Oil
4. Baking Soda
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Mayo Clinic Q And A: Treatment For Toenail Fungus Isnt Always Necessary
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I am in my late 50s, and a few of my toenails have turned a yellowish color and seem to have thickened. Is this something I should be concerned about? Is there anything I can do to fix this?
ANSWER: What youre likely experiencing is a fungal nail infection. Fungal nail infections are common, especially among older adults. As nail growth slows with age, its easier for fungus to establish in the nail bed. Treatments are available, although they may take some vigilance and are not always necessary.
Toenail fungus usually is caused by a microscopic organism called dermatophyte fungus. It often begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your toenail. But as the infection goes deeper, nail fungus may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and crumble at the edge. These fungal infections are more likely to happen in your toenails than in your fingernails because toenails often are confined in a dark, warm, moist environment, where fungi can thrive. Toes also have less blood flow than fingers, making it harder for your bodys immune system to detect and stop the infection. But it is possible for fingernails to be affected.
The older you are, the more likely you are to get toenailfungus. Thats because as you age, your immune system changes. Inaddition, your nails become more brittle and drier over time, creating morecracks where fungus can live.
See A Dermatologist To Pinpoint The Problem
Foot fungus wont just go away on its own, Dr. Ng says. If you think you have foot or toenail fungus, see your dermatologist, she says. There are several tests that your dermatologist can perform to identify exactly whats going on.
Its important to be aware that there are other diseases which can cause nail changes, she says. For example, we do see things like squamous cell skin cancers in the nail beds and even melanomas, which have a brownish or blackish discoloration.
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Candida Onychomycosis Or Yeast Infection Of The Nail
This is a yeast infection that can affect all your toenails simultaneously. It can discolor your nails, making them green, white or brownish. They will also be oddly shaped. Your nails may get thicker and the skin next to it may also show signs of infection it might feel tender or warm, become red, and swell up. Unlike other fungal nail infections, this kind of infection may cause pain. However, this kind of infection is not very common and is generally seen in fingernails rather than toenails.
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- Nails support and protect the sensitive tips of our fingers and toes.
- Common causes of nail problems include injury, infection and skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis.
- Some conditions need professional treatment from a doctor or a dermatologist.
- People with diabetes or compromised immune systems have a higher risk of fungal nail infections.
- Toenail problems tend to be more common among older people.
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How Toenail Fungus Occurs
Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is an infection that develops when microorganisms grow under the surface of your nail. It typically occurs after your toenail has had contact with a dermatophyte fungus, though it can also be related to molds or yeasts.
Anyone can have toenail fungus, but its more common in older adults. The condition affects about 75% of people over age 60. With age, your nails become more brittle and cracks develop on the surface. These cracks are the perfect entry points for fungi.
The Overcoming Onychomycosis Program Final Verdict
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Disclaimer: Please understand that any advice or guidelines revealed here are not even remotely a substitute for sound medical advice from a licensed healthcare provider. Make sure to consult with a professional physician before making any purchasing decision if you use medications or have concerns following the review details shared above. Individual results may vary as the statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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What Is Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is a widespread fungal infection that affects the toenails. Less commonly, nail fungus infects the fingernails. Nail fungus is also called onychomycosis.
Toenail fungus happens when fungi get between the toenail and the toenail bed . This usually happens through a crack or cut in your toe.
What Is The Prognosis Of Fungal Nails
Curing fungal nails can be difficult and treatment can take up to 18 months. Relapse and reinfection are common. Trying to remove or modify your risk factors, if possible, is essential to preventing reinfection. People who have medical illnesses that predispose them to fungal nails can have an even more difficult time eradicating the fungus.
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Softening And Scraping Away The Nail
As it can take a long time for antifungal medication to work, some people may prefer to use a treatment that involves softening and removing infected parts of nail over a few weeks.
Treatment kits are available from pharmacies that contain a 40% urea paste, plasters and a scraping device. The paste softens the infected parts of the nail, allowing them to be scraped away so they can be gradually replaced with healthy nail.
To use the treatment:
Emuaidmax First Aid Ointment
Some manufacturers believe that providing the body with the right items can easily forge a fight against fungus and eliminate it. An excellent example of such is the creator behind emuaidMAX First Aid Ointment.
The supplement contains three key ingredients that are said to help it actualize its set goals. 10X tea tree oil, 2X Bacillus ferment, and 50X vitamin E are the three components we are talking about.
Using these ingredients, the eczema cream is purported to work from outside-in. In essence, the cream is first applied to the affected nail . Once this is done, the product is absorbed and starts working to eliminate fungal infections from within the body. It is also believed to treat rashes, jock itch, shingles, and yeast infections.
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Is It Toenail Fungus Or Something Else
Odd-looking toenail? It may be a fungal infection, but there’s a good chance that another condition could be to blame.
If you notice an odd spot on your toenail, you might assume its a fungal infection. However, theres a good chance that its not.
Spots or discolorations on or under a toenail could be bruises resulting from trauma to the nail, blood blisters, warts, or even subungual melanoma, a type of skin cancer, says Ami Sheth, a doctor of podiatric medicine in Los Gatos, California, and a spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association.
Since nail irregularities can be caused by diseases besides these as well, its best to get it looked at, says Dr. Sheth.
Richard Goad, a doctor of podiatric medicine at Baylor Scott & White Health in Waco, Texas, concurs. Sometimes the nail will be the first place to show another underlying problem, Dr. Goad says.
So is it a fungus, a false alarm, or another condition entirely?
What Other Conditions Can Be Mistaken For Fungal Nails
Here are some other conditions you may have instead of fungal nails:
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Signs And Symptoms Of A Fungal Nail Infection
A fungal nail infection may not cause any obvious symptoms at first.
As it progresses, the infection can cause:
- discolouration of the nail it may turn white, black, yellow or green
- thickening and distortion of the nail it may become an unusual shape or texture and be difficult to trim
- pain or discomfort particularly when using or placing pressure on the affected toe or finger
- brittle or crumbly nails pieces may break off and come away completely
Sometimes the skin nearby may also become infected and be itchy and cracked or red and swollen.
Runners And Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungal infections are often a health issue for runners. “Distance runners sweat quite a bit,” Zinkin says. And sweaty socks and tight running shoes create the perfect moist environment for the growth of toenail fungus. Try using special socks that wick away moisture to keep feet dry. It’s also smart to alternate running shoes and allow each pair to dry out completely between wearings.
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