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How Can You Get Fungus On Your Nails

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A Pharmacist Can Help With Fungal Nail Infections

Speak to a pharmacist if the look of your nail bothers you or it’s painful.

They may suggest:

  • antifungal nail cream it can take up to 12 months to cure the infection and does not always work
  • nail-softening cream it’s used for 2 weeks to soften the nail so the infected part can be scraped off

The infection is cured when you see healthy nail growing back at the base.

Toenail Fungus: Causes And Risk Factors

Toenail fungus is a fungal infection in the toenail. It happens when a fungus anything from mold to yeast to other types of fungus gets in the nail bed from a cut or break in the nail or repetitive trauma to the nail, and penetrates the nail itself, says Dr. Sundling. The nail then continues to grow with the fungus. Once a nail plate is infected with fungus, it will never not be infected, and you must wait to see how it grows out and whether the new nail growing behind it is healthy. The new nail rarely grows in healthy without treatment, says Sundling.

Toenail fungus is very common 14 percent of people have it in North America, according to an article published in the journal PLoS Pathogens and its more common the older you get, adds Sundling. Wearing shoes that are too small can damage the nail and make it more vulnerable to fungus, as can having a fungal infection on the skin of the foot and not treating it, which could expose the nail to fungus. You may be more at risk to toenail fungus if you have diabetes, or a weaker immune system.

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How Do You Treat Toenail Fungus

Depending on the nature and severity of your infection, treatments may vary. Most over-the-counter treatments are minimally effective at best, but almost none of them have produced a permanent treatment. The main reason for these poor results is that the fungal infection resides deep within the nail or nail bed and the topical medications have great difficulty in penetrating to this depth. A fungus may work its way through the entire nail, penetrating both the nail plate and the nail bed. Podiatrist Dr. Burns at Arizona Foot Doctors offers penetrative nail fungus treatments to completelyremove the fungal infection. Each patient case is unique, so consult with Dr. Burns to find the best treatment option for you. Treatment may include:

  • Topical or oral medication and debridement . The newer oral antifungal medications are the most effective . Common oral medications are Lamisil and Sporanox. A common topical medication is Penlac nail lacquer.
  • Temporary removal of the infected nail
  • Permanent removal

Symptoms Of Hand Fungus Or Fungus On Fingers

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When you get fungus on your fingers or hand, youll notice the following symptoms:

  • The infected area on your hand will normally start small and gradually become larger over time.
  • The infection will start on the palm and may or may not spread to your fingers and the back of your hand.
  • The area infected with tinea will be itchy, red, and have a scaly appearance.
  • The infected area may also peel and flake.
  • The rashes will be circular with raised borders.
  • Discoloration of skin at the infected area would happen.
  • Blisters would be formed on the palms of your hands and will result in itching and burning.
  • Blisters may appear in clusters that will ooze fluid and can even bleed if your skin becomes dry or cracked.

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Treatment For Fungal Infection

Once you get a fungal infection, treating it will be difficult, costly, and wont easily go away.

Once you notice an occurring fungal infection, immediately consult your doctor. A long overdue fungal infection will lead to complete nail removal.

It will take up months to a year to treat nail fungal infection. So to prevent this from happening, practice hygiene, and take precautions.

Whos At Risk For Fungal Infections

There are many different causes of fungal nail infections. Each cause has a treatment of its own. Although many of the causes of a fungal nail infection are preventable, some risk factors increase the likelihood of developing one. Youre more likely to develop a fungal nail infection if you:

  • wear closed-toe shoes, such as tennis shoes or boots

Nail infections occur more often in men than in women, and the infections are found in adults more often than in children. If you have family members who often get these types of fungal infections, youre more likely to get them as well.

Older adults have a high risk for getting fungal nail infections because they have poorer circulation. The nails also grow more slowly and thicken as we age.

A fungal infection of the nail may affect part of the nail, the entire nail, or several nails.

Common signs of a fungal nail infection include:

  • a distorted nail that may lift off from the nail bed
  • an odor coming from the infected nail
  • a brittle or thickened nail

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Why Does My Nail Fungus Keep Coming Back

    Are you dealing with stubborn nail fungus that just doesnt seem to go away and stay gone? However frustrating it may be, the good news is, youre not alone! Nail fungus is very common, with an estimated 3 to 12 percent of the population being affected.

    It isnt always easy to determine if whats happening under your nails is a fungal infection or another skin condition. To be sure, go ahead and make an appointment with one of our experienced podiatrists, Samantha Childers, DPM, or Ricky Childers, DPM, at North Central Texas Foot & Ankle. In addition to our Decatur, Texas, location, we have an office in Roanoke, Texas, as well.

    In the meantime, lets go over the causes of nail fungus, why it might keep recurring, and some ways to try to prevent it.

    When Should I Call The Doctor

    How to Get Rid of Toenail Fungus Effectively

    In rare cases, toenail fungus can cause an infection called cellulitis. Without prompt treatment, cellulitis may pose a serious danger to your health.

    You should seek treatment guidance from a trusted healthcare provider if you have:

    • Circulation problems.
    • Redness, pain or pus near the toenail.
    • Weakened immune system.

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    Do These Fungi Produce Pain

    Although we usually take for granted the health of our nails, any problem that may affect them, from cutting them more than they should or having an ingrown toenail, can be incredibly uncomfortable and often very painful.

    An infection in the nails is painful if not treated in time and also causes discomfort in our daily lives.

    This type of infections can even be dangerous to the health of the rest of our body. The infection of the fingernails and toenails usually begins with the periungual crease or the area around the nail. In these cases, this area becomes inflamed and reddened, so any contact with it will produce pain.

    There are cases in which you can suffer from chronic paronychia, a painful inflammation better known as a nail, which in some cases even develops pus. If the fungus invades the nail, it usually changes color to a yellowish or brown tone.

    The nail causes overproduction of keratin in the nails, which usually thicken and harden, and grooves or furrows are formed.

    In chronic cases due to lack of treatment, the nail tissue is destroyed or simply separated from the skin. As a result, it causes pain and exposes the fingers to other infections.

    Avoid Having Damp Feet

    Always ensure your feet are completely dry after youve bathed them in the foot basin and certainly before putting on shoes.

    If not, the damp, enclosed space will be a perfect area for bacteria to thrive in, and fungus will start to grow between your feet and around your nails.

    A good pedicurist will dry your feet completely before she paints your nail, including between the toes.

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    How Do You Get A Fungal Nail Infection

    Most fungal nail infections occur as a result of the fungi that cause athlete’s foot infecting the nails.

    These fungi often live harmlessly on your skin, but they can sometimes multiply and lead to infections. The fungi prefer warm, dark and moist places like the feet.

    You’re more likely to get a fungal nail infection if you:

    • don’t keep your feet clean and dry
    • wear shoes that cause your feet to get hot and sweaty
    • walk around barefoot in places where fungal infections can spread easily, such as communal showers, locker rooms and gyms
    • have damaged your nails
    • have a weakened immune system
    • have certain other health conditions, such as diabetes, psoriasis or peripheral arterial disease

    Fungal nail infections can be spread to other people, so you should take steps to avoid this if you have an infection.

    Hand Nail Fungus: Everything You Need To Know

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    Just see the signs of the presence of hand nail fungus, assist a specialist doctor to give you a treatment and so you can avoid complications.

    The hands and feet are a sign of our bodys health and well-being. Its care is a symbol of personal hygiene, especially in the case of nails. Having hand nail fungus is quite annoying physically and aesthetically.

    There are many factors that can weaken, break and even infect and destroy the nails. These compromise not only their image and comfort but our health. Fungi are one of these factors and require special care.

    We tell you everything you need to know about the care of nail fungus.

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    How To Prevent Both Foot And Toenail Fungus

    While toenail fungus and foot fungus arent the same condition, the following tips can help you prevent both, says Sundling:

    • Practice good hygiene, such as keeping your feet clean.
    • Alternate your shoes during the week. Your feet sweat all day long. Alternating your shoes allows them to dry out, so the fungus cant survive.
    • Wear moisture-wicking socks that help dry out shoes and kill fungus. You can find these at running stores and athletic stores. If your socks are exceptionally sweaty, changing them more than once per day can help.
    • Wear shoes in public places like locker rooms, pools, and gyms to limit exposure to fungus.

    What Is The Big Deal With Toenail Fungus

    Toenail fungus can easily be diagnosed. In fact, you don’t have to be an expert to notice discoloration on your toenails. The fungus often goes deep under your nails, which makes it nasty.

    People hate this issue because of the visual effect. However, the fact it is hard to remove makes it so much more troublesome. It also quickly spreads, which means that it needs constant attention.

    Unfortunately, antifungal drugs are powerful and can cause various side effects.

    Perhaps the biggest issue is how these drugs impact the liver. They are very dangerous for people who have any liver issues, which is why you have to test your blood before taking drugs for toenail fungus. Even if everything looks fine, there is still a chance complications will occur.

    As an alternative, doctors will often recommend topical creams. These products are much better as they don’t cause severe side effects. However, they are not as strong as regular oral drugs, which prolongs the whole treatment. Patients usually have to apply topical cream for several months until they notice any progress.

    Home remedies are also a popular alternative.

    Besides various oils and vinegar, many people use baking soda for toenail fungus.

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    How To Prevent Hand Fungus

    • Use the medicine completely and as recommended. The fungus may still be present long after it is no longer visible as a rash.
    • Keep feet clean, cool and dry. Change socks. Wear shoes that breathe like leather, rather than plastic.
    • Make sure shoes fit correctly and are not too tight.
    • Apply an anti-fungal cream, like Lotrimin or Lamisil, or a prescription antifungal cream to the bottom of the feet, and on the nails, about twice a week.
    • Avoid walking barefoot, especially in bathrooms, locker rooms, gyms, on carpeting, and in public bathing areas.
    • Keep toenails short, cut straight across and avoid ingrown nails.

    Sources:Hand Fungus, Hx Benefit website, October 12, 2017 Hand Fungus, Health Blogger website, September 26, 2017 Malone, S., Hand Fungus, Hand Fungus, Healthool website

    Fungal Nail Infection Symptoms

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    Symptoms are different depending on which type of fungal nail infection you have. They usually start mild and get more serious.

    • At first, you may only see a white or yellow spot under your nail. Over time, this spreads and can turn your whole nail white, yellow, green, or black.
    • The nail may thicken and could be hard to trim.
    • It may start to curl up or down or loosen from the nail bed.
    • Your nail could become brittle and crumble when you touch it.
    • Your nail may become misshapen.
    • You may notice a bad smell.

    Itâs easy to ignore fungal nail infections at first, since you may not have any pain. But if you donât treat them, it can hurt to put any pressure on the area. If an infection gets bad enough, it could even become hard to walk.

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    Toenail Fungus Prescription Medications

    Sometimes prescription medications are needed to treat a toenail infection that just wont go away with natural remedies or over-the-counter medication in a few months. In this case, prescription-strength antifungal medication can eradicate stubborn onychomycosis.

    Topical medications often are effective in treating mild to moderate toenail fungus. Topical solutions may include medicated nail polishes or liquid medications. Loprox , Penlac , Kerydin , and Jublia are among the top prescription drugs for toenail fungus.

    Oral medications can come in capsules, tablets, or liquid. Some common prescriptions are Diflucan , Lamisil , Onmel , and Sporanox .

    Keep Your Nail Care Items Exclusive

    At home, make sure to never share your personal hygiene items such as nail clippers, nail files, and feet scrubbers with anyone, including your family.

    This is the quickest way to spread toenail fungus and is a reason why when one child in the family gets a fungus, its only a matter of time before the others start to pick it up.

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    What The Experts Say

    The most common presentation of toenail fungus is a white/yellow discoloration of the nail that is thick and filled with yellow/white keratin debris. The more severe the toenail fungus, the thicker the nail, and the more nails involved makes it that much harder to treat the nails even with effective therapies.” Orit Markowitz, MD, founder and CEO of OptiSkin treatment center in New York City.

    A Quick Lowdown On Nail Fungus And How To Catch It

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    What exactly is nail fungus, and how does it affect nails? As the name implies, nail fungus is a fungal infection of the nails. Nails affected by this fungus have a light-beige to brownish discoloration on their surface. As previously mentioned the affected nails may become brittle as well as thickened over time. Different types of fungus can cause the disease almost all of which can be found just about everywhere in the environment.

    In fact, nail fungus affects about 3% to 12% of the population. Men are also more likely to get nail fungus compared to women, although its still not clear why. Older people are also more prone to this condition compared to younger people, as well as people with certain medical conditions, like diabetes, or a weakened immune system. People with siblings or relatives who have gotten nail fungi are also more likely to develop the condition.

    Nail fungus also affects the toenails much more than the fingernails. This is because the fungus that causes the disease thrives in a moist and warm environment kind of similar to the conditions in your shoes, especially if you have sweaty feet. Similarly, if you are suffering from athletes foot, you could get nail fungus, since the fungus that causes athletes foot is similar to the fungus that affects your nails.

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    What Causes Fungal Nail Infections

    • Spread from a fungal skin infection. For example, athlete’s foot is a fungal skin infection of the toes. This may spread to the toenails if the skin infection is not treated early. See the separate leaflet called Athlete’s Foot .
    • Fingernail infection may occur after a toenail infection has become established. The fungus may spread to a finger if you scratch your itchy toes and toenail.
    • Fingernail infections are also more likely to occur if you wash your hands frequently, or have them in water a lot. For example, if you are a cook, a cleaner or a hairdresser. Constant washing may damage the protective skin at the base of the nail. This may allow fungi to enter.
    • A nail that has recently been damaged is also more likely to become infected.
    • You have an increased risk of developing a fungal nail infection if you have various other conditions – for example:
    • In some cases there is no apparent reason. Fungal germs are common and an infection can occur ‘out of the blue’.

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