What Causes Nail Fungus
Tiny, microscopic organisms called fungi cause a fungal nail infection.
Many people pick up the fungi when they have skin-to-skin contact with someone who has a fungal infection such as athletes foot or ringworm on their hands.
Another common way to get a fungal nail infection is by walking barefoot in a warm, moist area such as a pool deck or locker room. These fungi thrive in warm, moist areas.
You can also get a fungal nail infection by sharing an infected nail clipper or towel.
But you dont have to catch it from someone. You can get it if your nails are frequently moist or you often wear sweaty socks and shoes.
The fungi usually infect a nail by getting into a:
Small cut in the skin surrounding your nail
Crack in your nail
The area under a nail gives fungi a warm, moist place to grow. The infection can then spread to other nails and even your skin.
ReferencesGupta A and Brintnell W. Onychomycosis: A complex disease? Poster presented at: 69th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology 2011 Feb 4-8 New Orleans.
Gold LFS and Rosen T. Onychomycosis: Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies. Dermatology News . March 2016:2-15.
Verma S and Heffernan MP. Onychomycosis. In: Wolff K, Goldsmith LA, et al. Fitzpatricks Dermatology in General Medicine . McGraw Hill Medical, New York, 2008: 1817-20.
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.
Acrylic Nail Fungus Symptoms
If you are an acrylic nail lover, it is imperative for you to understand the symptoms of Acrylic nails fungus first. So, that you may rush to the treatment on the slightest symptoms. Otherwise, you may lose the entire nail.
Below are the commons symptoms that you can note if you get fungus on your nails.
- Discoloration. Your nail may turn whitish, yellow or green. In severe cases it will become black, if not treated on time.
- A slight pain around your nail. This is the time when the fungus has started growing under the nail.
- Redness around your nail.
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What Are Fungal Nail Infection Treatments
In the past, medicines used to treat fungal nail infection were minimally effective. Fungal nail infection is difficult to treat because nails grow slowly and receive very little blood supply. However, recent advances in treatment options, including oral and topical medications, have been made. Newer oral medicines have improved treatment of fungal nail infection. However, the rate of recurrence is high, even with newer medicines. Treatment has certain risks, and recurrence is possible.
Add Shine With Pampering Polish
No need to hide your toes while waiting for your treatment to kick in! New high-tech nail polishes let you add gloss to your tootsies as you quash fungal spores, thanks to their tea tree oil-infused formula. University of California scientists say when used for 16 weeks, this natural antifungal ingredient stamps out nail fungus as well as an Rx! One to try: Dr.s Remedy Enriched Nail Polish.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Womans World.
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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.
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?
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How Fungi Infect The Nail
Onchomycosis, or toenail fungal infection, is an invasion by a microscopic organism that thrives in warm, damp environments. Fungal spores are in the air, and they will grow if they land on a receptive surface like your toenail. They feed off the nail tissues, burrowing into the skin under the nail. Over time the nail thickens and may lift off the nail bed as fungal debris accumulates. Once your nail is raised off the nail bed, it won’t reattach, and a new nail won’t grow from that part of the nail bed. However, your nail will continue to grow from the root at the base.
What Tests Might I Have For Toenail Fungus
Your provider will probably take a small sample from underneath your nail to further analyze it. Viewing the cells under a microscope can confirm a toenail fungus diagnosis. If the initial test is negative, a scraping can be sent to see if the fungus grows out in a culture. It also helps your provider identify the type of fungus.
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Fungal Nail Infection Symptoms
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.
Nail Fungal Infection Treatment
Prescription medicines can treat a fungal nail infection. Oral antifungal medicines help a new nail grow. This will replace the infected nail. You may need to take antifungal medicine for 6 to 12 weeks. Some oral medicines are not safe for people who have liver problems. They are not safe for people who have a history of congestive heart failure. Tell your doctor if you have one of these conditions. Your doctor will decide which medicine is right for you.
Apply topical treatments to the top of your nail. Topical medicines usually do not cure fungal nail infections.
In severe cases, a doctor might remove the nail completely. It can take several months to a year for the infection to go away.
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Top 12 Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Nail Fungus Naturally
Commonly known to the layman as fungal nail infection, Onychomycosis is an infection that occurs when fungus forms beneath the nails. The condition can develop as a result of poor foot hygiene, continuous exposure to moist environments, wearing unbreathable synthetic socks, accumulation of sweat in shoes, imbalanced pH levels of the skin, a compromised immune system, and conditions like diabetes that constricts blood flow.Upon infection, Onychomycosis will cause the nail to thicken, discolor, and eventually crumble into pieces. If left untreated, the condition can become painful. As the infection progresses, areas around the infected toenails or fingernails may swell and begin to give off a foul smell too.
Acrylic Nail Fungus Treatment With Urgent Fungus Destroyer
Urgent fungus destroyer is a great probiotics source that will directly treat the main root cause of nail fungus that is the immune system.
It will treat the nail fungus gradually. So, the probiotic solution is suitable for those who can bear the nail fungus for more than 1 month.
Diet and Fungus destroyer, with proper care, one can get faster results. It will take almost 6-8 weeks to kill the nail fungus. As it is designed to keep the sufferer healthy so, it can be used for general weaknesses as well.
It contains different vitamins, such as ascorbic acid also known as vitamin C, and vitamin E. Both are great antioxidants to treat skin infections, and repair the damaged skin.
Moreover 10% Lycopene is actually a bomb. It will boost the working of the immune system, cleansing all the harmful fungal supporting bacteria in your blood by reducing the immature cell damage as well.
With various fruit and vegetables complexes it is an all organic supplement to treat the nail fungus. For fast and effective results you need to have two tablets a day for almost 4 months.
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Diagnosis Of Hand Fungus Or Fungus On Fingers
The diagnosis done by the clinical exposition and other skin diseases that have a similar aspect should be excluded.
Further diagnostic examinations are the same as for other dermatophyte contaminations and may include skin scrapings, fungal cultures or biopsy.
A characteristic clinical sign that is evocative of the skin rash being fungal in origin is called the two feet one hand syndrome. In this instance, both feet may have the same dermatophyte rash and one hand .
It is typically the commanding hand or hand that is used for grooving the feet that are infected with the rash.
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What Causes A Nail Fungal Infection
The infection is usually caused by exposure to a fungus. The fungus grows in wet, dark conditions. The fungus grows when your feet are in warm, sweaty environment . It enters your nail through a crack in the nail.
Nail fungal infections happen at any age. They are more common in adults older than 60 years of age. They are common in people who have diabetes or circulation problems. They also are common in people with a weakened immune system. Men are more likely than women to get fungal nail infections.
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Is It Possible To Prevent The Recurrence Of Nail Fungus
Tinea pedis, also known as athlete’s foot or foot fungus, can cause recurrence of fungal nails. Therefore, it is important to manage this condition. One can apply over-the-counter antifungal medicines such as clotrimazole or terbinafine cream as directed to affected skin. Keeping footwear and socks clean can be helpful. You can also use portable UV light sanitizers to disinfect shoes.
What Are Treatments For Toenail Fungus
Do you need to treat your nail fungus? Maybe it doesnât hurt, and the yellow, thick nails donât bother you.
But nail fungus doesnât go away by itself. And if you donât treat it, thereâs a chance it could get worse. It could spread to other nails or through your body. It could cause pain when you walk.
There are a number of ways to take care of it, including:
Nonprescription options. You can buy antifungal creams, gels, and nail polish at the store and online without a prescription. You might want to try one of them first if the infection doesnât look bad. Some people also swear by home remedies like menthol rub, tea tree oil, mouthwash, or snakeroot extract â but studies show mixed results.
Prescription polish and creams. Your foot doctor will likely trim your nail and file away its dead layers. They may also take a piece of your nail and send it to the lab to make sure itÃ¢s really a fungus and to find out what type it is.
The doctor might suggest an antifungal drug that you paint on your nails. This may work on its own, or they may suggest you take it with antifungal pills.
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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.
Nail Anatomy And Onychomycosis Infection
Figure 1 shows the composition of the nail, including the nail plate , nail bed and nail matrix.
Figure 1: Nail anatomy and physiology
The nail plate and nail bed are joined by layers of hard, translucent, keratinised cells. The nail bed and nail matrix are vascular components of the nail, with nail cells located within the nail matrix where the nail plate is formed. The thickness of the nail plate determines the length of the matrix
- Apply cosmetic nail varnishes or artificial nails
- Walk without footwear in public areas
- Cut nails too short.
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What Is The Treatment For Fungal Nails
Oral antifungal therapy has a high cure rate, depending on the medication. It can take nine to 12 months to see if it has worked or not, because that is how long it takes for the nail to grow out. Even when therapy works, the fungus may come back. Currently, an oral antifungal therapy is considered the best treatment for toenail fungus because of higher cure rates and shorter treatment duration compared to topical therapy.
Prescription oral medications that are effective against nail fungus include the following:
There are several innovative treatments that are still being tested:
- Laser therapy or uses application of light-activated agents onto the nail followed by shining light of a proper wavelength on the nail.
- Use of electrical current to help absorption of topical antifungal medications into the nail: This is also called iontophoresis.
- Use of a special nail lacquer that changes the micro-climate of the nail to make it inhospitable for the fungus to grow: If this works, it may be an inexpensive way to treat this problem in the future.
One way to definitively get rid of toenail fungus is by surgery. Surgical treatment of onychomycosis involves nail removal. However, this often only provides temporary relief, and recurrence is common unless additional antifungal medication is simultaneously used. However, surgical removal may be warranted when the affected nail is associated with other factors such as trauma and or infection.
Tips To Treat Nail Fungus Caused By Acrylic Nails
Once you have a nail fungus, fungi have an effect on one or more of your nails. This situation frequently takes place in individuals wearing acrylic nails, in view of the fact that fungus-causing moisture is ensnared beneath the nails. Because nail fungus can trigger soreness and appear ugly, you will desire to remedy the situation. Here are tips on how to treat nail fungus caused by acrylic nails.
Tip #1: Get Rid of Acrylic Nails
The initial phase you have to do is eliminate the acrylic nails or artificial nails. If you are going to use acrylic nails to conceal the infectivity, you can exacerbate the situation. Request a respectable nail salon to eliminate the nails.
Tip #2: Cut the Artificial Nails
Once you had eliminated the artificial nails, cut your natural nails short and in a straight line. Leave behind nail polish so as to let the nails restore to health appropriately.
Tip #3: Utilize Anti-fungal Nail Lacquer
If you have nail fungus, you must visit your physician concerning medication. He/she might prescribe Penlac, a nail polish that remedies fungus once painted on contaminated nails and adjacent skin.
Tip #4: Obtain a Prescription for an Oral Antifungal Medicine
Even though medicines might not at all times clear up nail fungus immediately, they can aid avoid the infectivity from proliferating and exacerbating. Your physician might recommend that you ingest Diflucan for six weeks or more.
Tip #5: Eliminate Fingernails
Tip #7: Learn about Air Pockets
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