What Does Fungal Nail Look Like
Usually, it first appears on the edge of your nail, under the tip, as a white or yellow streak. This streak gradually spreads down the side of your nail to the base.
Eventually, your nail becomes brittle, discoloured, thickened and distorted. It can become so thick that it hurts when pressed against the side of a shoe.
The nail may end up crumbling and splitting, and separating from the skin. It often turns yellow or brown.
The surrounding skin may also become infected and may itch, crack, form a blister, or appear white especially between the toes. Its important to act quickly if you notice any of these symptoms. If you dont treat the infection, theres a chance it will worsen and spread to other nails.
How Effective Are Tablets In Treating Nail Fungus
Tablets for the treatment of nail fungus have been tested in several studies. All participants had an infection on their toenails caused by a skin fungus. Overall, the study results showed that tablets are considerably more effective than nail polishes or creams.
One year after a three-month treatment with terbinafine:
- About 17 out of 100 people who didnt have this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
- About 76 out of 100 people who had this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
In other words, the treatment with terbinafine got rid of the fungal infection in about 59 out of 100 people.
Itraconazole also proved to be effective. After one year,
- 7 out of 100 people who didnt have this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
- About 43 out of 100 people who had this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
In other words, the treatment with itraconazole got rid of the fungal infection in about 36 out of 100 people.
Some studies directly compared itraconazole and terbinafine with each other. They confirm that terbinafine is somewhat more effective than itraconazole.
Treatment with breaks is thought to be about as effective as continuous treatment. But that has only been looked into in a few studies.
Soak In Listerine And White Vinegar
The combination of Listerines antifungal ingredients and vinegars acidity makes an inhospitable environment for fungi. This treatment is effective for green nails which may have whats called atypical organisms, says Dr. Goldenberg. If you have true toenail fungus, its less likely to work, though.
How to use it: Combine the two in equal portions and soak your toes in the solution, ideally for 45 to 60 minutes daily.
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Topical Therapy How Do You Get Fungus On Your Toes?
Topical therapies are much safer, but also much less effective and sometimes quite expensive. Popular prescription topicals include Ciclopirox laquer , Carmol® 40 and Keralac® Nail Gel. Dont expect miracles from these medications, but they can help decrease discoloration and thickness, prevent progression and are a great adjunct therapy. How Do You Get Fungus On Your Toes?
Over The Counter and Home Remedies
1. Place an anti-fungal powder or spray in the shoes every other day.
2. Make sure you rotate your shoes often and keep them in a cool dry place. Use a shoe dryer in the winter if necessary.
3. Change your insoles frequently, and make sure they dry out between use. How Do You Get Fungus On Your Toes?
4. Try using an antiperspirant spray on your feet before your workout, if your feet sweat excessively.
5. Wash your shower mat regularly in hot water, or step out of the shower, onto a towel, which is washed after each use.
6. Bleach out the shower on a weekly basis. Bleach works better than antimicrobial cleaners.
7. Make sure your shoes fit well. Ill-fitting shoes can lead to jamming at the toes. Jamming at the toes leads to microtrauma at the nails and increases the chance for fungal infection.
8. If you belong to a gym or health club, wear sandals in the locker room and dont walk around barefoot. Dont keep your shoes in the gym locker where they cannot dry out. How Do You Get Fungus On Your Toes?
Avoid Sketchy Nails Salon
If you are going to any of the nails salon then always ask they have properly sterilize their tools and tubs after giving service to every client. If you are not comfortable to ask the owner or you are unsure about the sterilize tool then it is best to take your own nail kit. Ask them to use your own tools and polish to complete your pedicure or manicure. You should also stop painting your nails or getting fake nails altogether. As the nail polish trapped moisture in your nails and give you small cuts that attract bacteria which damaged your nails.
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What Is A Fungal Nail Infection
Fungal nail infections are a common problem that can affect any nail, but most often affects the toenails.
Theyre caused by the growth of fungal spores that make their way between the toenail and the skin underneath the nail bed. The spores feed off the skin or the keratin in the nail.
The type of fungi responsible for athletes foot, another common foot condition that affects the skin mainly between the toes, can cause the infection to spread to the nails.
More rarely, fungal nail infections can be caused by other types of fungi, usually yeasts, which tend to attack nails that are already damaged because they are easier for the fungi to invade.
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Unexpected Ways In Which To Get Toenail Fungus:
1. You might have done it to yourself! If you have athletes foot, that can spread to your toenails. You can also catch foot fungus by walking barefoot in a communal area such as a gym locker room, swimming pool, campground shower, or dorm shower.
2. Listen to your mom! Dont share personal items. Another way to get a fungal infection is by sharing items such as towels, toenail clippers, shoes, or socks. Be sure to put on those silly little sockies at the shoe store before you try on new shoes.
3. And you thought that pedicure was your big reward! Unfortunately for you, toe fungus was the prize. Some salons do not sanitize their equipment properly between clients. Additionally, when pedicurists cut the cuticle, they leave your skin open to infection by sneaky fungus.
4. Those killer stilettos pose a peril to your toes. Wearing tight shoes or hosiery which have been squeezing your toes and traumatizing them, leaves them open to infection.
5. People with weakened immune systems, poor circulation, or diabetes are more likely to get infected.
6. Men are more likely to be infected than women. Women often wear open-toed shoes, so maybe they air their feet out more.
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What Is Toenail Fungus & Its Causes
Toenail fungus is a localized infection of one or more toenails caused by fungal organisms. The most common of these is called dermatophyte. Yeast and mold can also cause infection. Most of these infections begin when the agents that cause athletes foot spread into the nail. It is unusual to get an infection from someone else, but damp areas such as locker rooms can spread them.
Laser Procedure For Toenail Fungus Under The Nails
Using a laser directly on the toenails helps to reach those areas underneath and inside the nail. This is because the type of light used can penetrate through the tough layers of the nails. Laser procedures are very convenient because they can be completed in under 10 minutes per foot.
The PinPointe foot laser is FDA-approved for the temporary increase of clear nail in patients with onychomycosis.
This machine can be used on almost all patients because it has virtually no side effects. In one study, over 83% of people who received three sessions with a laser and improved their foot hygiene had no fungi after 18-months.
Some people start to see visible improvement after just one visit, although you may need to return a small number of times for follow-up.
The laser works by targeting the fungi without hurting your skin and nails. Its designed to be at the right level to penetrate your nail and damage the infecting fungi, while not being too high to cause burning or pain for your feet. Most people dont feel anything, or they just feel a warming sensation.
At the time of the procedure, the toenail will usually not become instantly clearit takes time to grow out. As long as your infection is treated and you dont get re-infected, you should see new healthy, clear nail as it grows out within 12-18 months.
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Preventing Toenail Fungus From Spreading
While you can’t avoid contact with the microscopic organisms that cause toenail fungus its present anywhere that is warm, dark, or moist keeping your feet clean and dry and clipping your nails properly can help prevent an infection.
For fungus to grow, there needs to be some type of trauma to the nail where the nail-skin junction, or natural barrier, is disrupted, says Sheth. For example, from a pedicure, ill-fitting shoes, or the repetitive trauma of running or hiking that causes the nail to lift or get pressed on from shoes or boots.
Still, some people are more vulnerable than others, she adds. Some people have it only on one toe or one foot, and some have lived with a partner who has it but they never get it,” Sheth says. “And for some you see it in their entire family. It’s not as straightforward as it seems, and it’s an annoying problem.
If you do get a toenail fungus infection, these measures can help stop it from spreading:
Getting rid of established toenail fungus can be difficult. Successfully eliminating it depends on careful adherence to a treatment plan.
“What happens over time is that the fungus breeds in the nail tissue and goes from being just a little bit on the nail, to a really discolored and thickened nail, to a nail that is totally embedded with fungus,” explains Marlene Reid, a doctor of podiatric medicine in Naperville, Illinois, and a spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association.
What Are Treatments For Toenail Fungus
Do you need to treat your nail fungus? Maybe it doesn’t hurt, and the yellow, thick nails don’t bother you.
But nail fungus doesn’t go away by itself. And if you don’t treat it, there’s 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 doesn’t look bad. Some people also swear by home remedies like menthol rub, tea tree oil, mouthwash, or snakeroot extract — 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 itâs 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.
Prescription medications. One of several antifungal pills may help. They work, but it may take many months to do the job. They also come with side effects like nausea, vomiting, and headaches. They may cause liver damage too, so your doctor will watch you closely while you take them. Be sure to tell them about any other meds youâre taking — some antifungal pills might not work well with them.
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What Is The Most Effective Treatment For Toenail Fungus
The most effective toenail fungus treatment for you will largely depend on your symptoms and situation. Your provider will consider several factors before recommending a treatment plan thats customized to you.
Overall, oral antifungal medications may offer the most treatment potential. Pairing oral drugs with topical antifungal medication may make treatment more effective.
How Do Dermatologists Treat A Fungal Nail Infection
Treatment usually begins with your dermatologist trimming your infected nail, cutting back each infected nail to the place where it attaches to your finger or toe. Your dermatologist may also scrape away debris under the nail. This helps get rid of some fungus.
To completely get rid of the infection, most people also need one or more of the following treatments:
Medicine you apply to the nail: If you have a mild infection, a medicine that you apply to your nails may get rid of the infection. This treatment helps keep new fungus out while the nails grow. Fingernails typically grow out in four to six months. Toenails take longer, usually takes 12 to 18 months.
Probably the most difficult part of this treatment is remembering to use it as often as prescribed. Some treatments must be applied every day. Others you apply once a week. To get the best results, its essential that you apply these medicines exactly as directed.
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the following medicines that you apply to the nail to treat nail fungus:
Side effects from these medicines are generally mild. Possible side effects include redness and swelling, an ingrown toenail, and stinging or burning when you apply the medicine. In clinical trials, none of these side effects caused patients to stop using the treatment.
The FDA has approved the following systemic medicines to treat nail fungus:
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Natural Ways To Defeat Toenail Fungus
Dont let this sometimes painful condition sideline you. Treat it early with these easy, natural solutions.
The showers at the local gym may have left you with an unwelcome gift: onychomycosis, otherwise known as nail fungus. Or maybe its a souvenir from a barefoot run or just a sign that you arent changing your running socks often enough. Although it starts innocuously enough, as a white or yellow spot underneath your toenail, the nail can start to thicken and even crumble as the fungus penetrates deeper and deeper. And, while it can can appear on your fingers, the fungus is more likely to appear and persist in your toenails because of the warm, moist environment of your shoes, where these little buggers can thrive, and unfortunately, where its most likely to affect your running.
If you see a dermatologist, youll most likely get a prescription for an antifungal oral medication such as Lamisil or Sporanox, which tend to be expensive and carry side effects ranging from skin rashes to potentially toxic liver damage. Thats not pleasant, which is why so many people look for a drug-free alternative, says Joe Graedon, MS, a pharmacologist at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy at Chapel Hill and author of The Peoples Pharmacy. There are newer topical treatments, such as Kerydin, but they also require a prescription and can take up to a year to work. Here are some of Graedons top drug-free remedies for toenail fungus.
Complications Regarding Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungal infections are typically painless or at least start off that way. But without proper self-care and treatment, the condition can spiral into a more severe case of nail fungus, which can be painful and may cause irretrievable damage to your nails.
Moreover, the toenail infection can sprout other serious infections that can spread beyond your feet, particularly if you have a suppressed immune system due to certain medications, diabetes, or other conditions.
Because people with diabetes are already predisposed to reduced blood circulation and nerve supply in their feet, their odds for catching toenail infections as well as bacterial skin infection are quite high.
Thus, it is imperative for people with diabetes to seek professional medical help for any seemingly minor foot injury including a nail fungal infection to avoid any future complications.
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When Are The Different Treatments Considered
Most doctors recommend treating nail fungus with nail polish or cream if
- not much more than half of the nail is affected by the fungus,
- the base of the nail is not infected, and
- only some nails are affected.
Topical treatment is also usually recommended for children. One reason for this is that most oral medications arent suitable for children. Another reason is that children have thinner nails that grow more quickly, so its assumed that treatment with nail polish or creams is more likely to work in children than in adults. White superficial onychomycosis is also often treated with a nail polish or cream.
If several nails are infected by the fungus, or if the infection has spread out more on the affected nails, its usually necessary to take oral medication. And if the infection started at the base of the nail, its highly likely that only tablets will help.
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Top Home Remedies To Treat Toenail Fungus
While fungal toenail infections tend to be fairly common in all ages, older adults are more frequently diagnosed. Toenail fungus occurs when fungi are allowed to enter small cracks in the toenails or the surrounding skin. Walking barefoot in high-risk environments, like gyms, pools, and salons is the most common reason for being diagnosed with a toenail fungus infection.
There are certain situations in which youre more likely to get toenail fungus, such as when you have a toenail injury, athlete’s foot, diabetes, a weak immune system, and/or blood circulation problems.
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