When Should You Call For Help
or seek immediate medical care if:
- You have signs of infection, such as:
- Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness.
- Red streaks leading from the site.
- Pus draining from the site.
- A fever.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:
- You do not get better as expected.
What Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Toenail Fungus
If you have toenail fungus, you may find it helpful to ask your provider:
- What type of infection do I have?
- Do you recommend I treat it? Why or why not?
- How long will I need treatment?
- What steps can I take to stop it from coming back?
- Should I be aware of any potentially serious complications or treatment side effects?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Toenail fungus is an incredibly common infection that can be difficult to treat. The condition usually isnt painful, but it may make you feel self-conscious about how your foot looks. If it bothers you, talk to your provider about your treatment options. A trained specialist can provide guidance on whats most likely to address your concerns while protecting your overall health.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/17/2020.
How Do I Know If I Have Toenail Or Foot Fungus
Toenail fungus, also know as onychomcosis, is characterized by inflammation, thickening, swelling, yellowing, and pain of the toenail and toe. Another symptom is crumbling of the toenail. Its caused by an abnormal PH of the skin, which can happen because of poor hygiene, a bad immune system, exposure to high levels of moisture, and/or poor circulation. These toenail fungus treatments will prevent or get rid of the problem.
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Why Toenail Fungus Infection Is More Common In Elderly People
Although toenail fungus infection can affect people of all ages, those who are 60 years old and above are more likely to suffer from it than those who are younger. The condition affects nearly 20% of seniors, while it only affects 2.6% of children younger than 18. There are several factors why people over 60 are at an increased risk of nail alterations and disorders, and these point to their less-than-optimal health. Older people generally have weakened circulation on their distal extremities, impaired immune system, and faulty biomechanics. They also undergo normal age-related changes and disorders, making them more susceptible to nail fungus infections.
Also, elderly people who have health issues such as diabetes are doubly at risk of acquiring nail fungus infections.
Does Toenail Fungus Ever Go Away On Its Own
Onychomycosis even the name isnt all that attractive. But when it strikes your toenails, the effects can be downright unsightly. Toenail fungus is an incredibly common, and tenacious, condition to deal with. Once it takes hold, the fungal infection seemingly mocks your every effort at eradication, which is where we come in.
At Jeremy Moran: Foot & Ankle Specialist, our team of podiatric specialists understands the difficulty that this seemingly simple problem poses. A fungal infection in your toenails, though not dangerous, is an unwelcome guest that can take up residence and plague your toenails for months, and even years.
If youd like to explore how we help our patients in Tomball, Texas, wave goodbye to toenail fungus, once and for all, read on.
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Should I File My Toenail Fungus
With that in mind, I generally encourage healthy adult patients with mild toenail fungus to not treat it or to treat it just using topical measures. For example, you can buff the nail down with a file to keep it thin, so the fungus has less of a home to live in. You should also keep the nail trimmed.
How To Get Rid Of Toe Fungus
This article was co-authored by . Dr. Mark Co is a Podiatrist who runs his own private practice in San Francisco, California. Dr. Co specializes in treatments for bunions, ingrown toenails, toenail fungus, warts, plantar fasciitis and other causes of foot pain. He also offers custom orthotics for the treatment and prevention of foot and ankle issues. Dr. Co completed a Master of Business Administration at New York University and an MA in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Co also completed his DPM at the California School of Podiatric Medicine and a residency and internship at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Santa Clara, California. Dr. Co was awarded San Francisco’s “Top 3 Podiatrists” in 2018, 2019, and 2020. Dr. Co is also a member of the CPMA .There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 96% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,481,677 times.
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Are Some People More Susceptible To Toenail Fungus Infection
Although everyone is potentially susceptible, several risk factors make a person more likely to get infected. Many factors are lifestyle related. If you have an active lifestyle, you may be exposed to situations where contact with fungi is more likely.
Genetic and health factors can also increase the risk of infection for people who:
- are 55 years or older
- have diminished blood circulation
- have a previous or existing injury or infection of the nail
- have athleteâs foot
- have a weakened immune system due to HIV/AIDS or diabetes, for example.
Staying One Step Ahead Of Toenail Fungus
An established fungal infection is hard to eradicate, but you can stop its spread and improve your toenail’s appearance.
Toenail fungus isn’t a pressing health problem. Yet a fungal infection can ruin the appearance of your nails and cause pain as it lifts the nail away from the nail bed. And fungal infections are notoriously difficult to get rid of. “You may want to consider fungal toenail a condition to be managed rather than cured,” says Dr. James P. Ioli, chief of the podiatry service at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
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How Are Thick Toenails Treated
Although not all cases of toenail fungus need to be treated, thick toenails may be a sign that the fungus has gotten worse. Several methods are available to treat your toenails. You can try some home-based treatments first and then talk to your doctor about prescription-based options. Topical and oral medications are the mainstays of therapy.
How Can I Prevent Toenail Fungus
Theres no way to guarantee that you wont get toenail fungus. But you can take several steps to help prevent it:
- Avoid going barefoot in communal areas such as hotel rooms / showers, public showers, locker rooms and swimming pools. Most people pick up fungus in these situations. It helps to wear flip flops in these public areas.
- If you have a family member with foot fungus or nail fungus, try to use different shower or wear flip flops in the shower to avoid coming in contact with it.
- Trauma due to accidental or aggressive clipping of the nails can turn into portals of entry for the fungus.
- Clean your nail trimmer before using it.
- Do not tear or rip your toenails on purpose.
- If you have diabetes, follow all foot care recommendations from your healthcare provider.
- Keep your feet dry. Make sure to fully dry your feet after a shower.
- Soak toenails in warm water before cutting them. Or you can cut your nails after a shower or bath.
- Trim toenails straight across .
- Wear shoes that fit correctly. They should not be too loose or tight around the toes.
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What Causes Toenail Fungus
It is very unlikely that a few exposures to an unclean environment will cause a fungal infection. Walking barefoot once or twice in a public shower will not generally spread the infection. Similarly, it is also unlikely that a single visit to a pedicurist will cause the infection. Lengthy exposure to a contaminated environment is often required in order to contract the fungal infection although individuals may be more susceptible to fungal infections than others.
Best Alternative: Vicks Vaporub Ointment
Yes, you read that correctly. Vicks VapoRub is often mentioned as an effective nail fungus treatment because of both the active and inactive ingredients it contains. says Dr. Stern. Thymol, menthol, camphor, and oil of eucalyptus have shown efficacy against dermatophytes in a lab setting, she explains. The caveat? If youre using this regularly and not seeing any improvement after two months for fingernails or four months for toenails, see a dermatologist, she advises.
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Do Probiotics Help With Toenail Fungus
Studies are continuing in regard to toenail fungus which is the same fungus responsible for athlete’s foot infections. Taking a proper Probiotic for a 2-3 month period will help reset your gut/immune system and allow your own body to fight the fungal infection without the use of drugs or topical medications.
How To Get Rid Of Nail Fungus Under Nail Br
A warm, damp atmosphere is needed for the growth and spread of nail fungus.
Approximately one to two % of the inhabitants suffers with WSO, with the situation being more customary among people of Italian descent whore over the age of 65.
It will also be quite really useful if youre capable of search the Internet for knowledge health concerns that you may encounter.
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Ways To Safely Treat Toenail Fungus At Home
Stocksy/Design by Cristina Cianci
Toenail fungus sounds funky, but believe it or not, its much more common than you think. Thats because the pesky foot issuewhich most often presents as yellowing, cracking, and thickening of the nailscan be caused by everything from slower-growing nails and excessive sweating to athletes foot and walking barefoot in communal areas such as pools, shower rooms, gyms, and the like.
Most infections are caused by tinea species, but can involve harder-to-treat species of dermatophytes,” says Francisco Oliva, DPM. He adds that infections usually occur when theres a combination of issues affecting the toenail. Sometimes there is an injury to the nail at some point, he explains. The effects can be delayed for months and years. Once the fungus invades the nail, the keratin layer of the nail becomes a difficult barrier to penetrate.
Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus
One of the most dreaded and, lets face it, a disgusting ailment is toenail fungus . As most who read my blogs know, I usually write about topics that I have experienced personally and/or observed in patients. Well, for this one, it is both. For years, one of my toes would become afflicted, Id treat it, and then a year or two later, it would return.
The truth is that fungus is among us! You may view yourself as one with good hygiene, but even you are loaded with fungus on your skin. Fungus does not need much to overgrow and is exceedingly difficult to get rid of when it does. The three changes in our local skin environment that cause it to grow are 1. A decrease in good bacteria , since bacteria can suppress its growth 2. Excessive water/moisture 3. Sugar.
But to get fungus on your nail, a few things must happen. Diabetics, because of elevated sugar, are at higher risk. However, many, like myself, who dont have diabetes, are still prime targets. Thats because of what I call the blotter effect. To understand this effect, imagine the following scenario. You are sitting behind a wooden desk with a glass blotter on top to protect the surface. You place a cup of water on the blotter and turn to work on your computer. As you turn, your elbow knocks over youre cup, and the water spills over the edge of the desk. You then see some water track itself under the blotter.
The following natural approaches will work whether you have taken a medication or not .
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Why Does Vinegar Soak Work
The idea behind vinegar foot soaks is relatively simple: vinegar is acidic, which gives it antifungal and antibacterial properties.
To explain a bit further, vinegar is a diluted form of acetic acid . As a result, it is an antifungal agent meaning it slows down the growth of some types of foot fungus and may kill fungus entirely.
It might also make your body less hospitable to fungus because the acidity affects the pH level of your skin. This makes fungal overgrowth and infection much more unlikely.
Its worth noting though, that there is no scientific evidence that shows vinegar soaks is a reliable method for treating toenail fungus.
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If You Have Toenail Fungus Under Your Nails Remember
Once your diagnosis is confirmed, you have several options available to deal with it. You and your podiatrist can decide on the best course for you: anti-fungal pills, medicated nail polish, and/or laser therapy. The reason I prefer laser procedures is that theyre very safe and effective at improving the look of unsightly nails due to fungal infections.
Regardless of which method you use, for lasting results, its important that you follow-through with proper foot hygiene to reduce the risk of getting it again.
Im Dr. Kelly Geoghan, DPM, Board Certified Surgeon and Aesthetic Podiatry Specialist. If youre in the Baltimore area, contact me for an appointment for your personalized plan for flawless feet at:
- Lutherville: 753-4422
- Dundalk: 753-4422
Foot Hygiene For Lasting Results
Using medications or procedures can vastly improve the appearance of your toenails if you have a fungal infection. However, for lasting results, you need to step up your foot hygiene habits. Remember, there is always a chance of reinfection because the fungus is present everywhere in the environment.
Here are some suggestions:
- Be nicer to your feet by wearing comfortable well-fitting shoes. Dispose of your oldest footwear and use an antifungal power in other footwear.
- Keep your feet clean and dry with daily washing with soap and thorough drying with a clean towel. Wear cotton socks, or none at all if youre in a warm, humid climate.
- Keep your toenails trimmed and regularly disinfect all tools you use to cut, file, or otherwise attend to your feet.
- Never share your footwear with others and wear something on your feet whenever you go to a swimming pool, gym, or another warm place where people walk around barefoot.
How To Treat Toenail Fungus
Despite what you may hear, covering your infection with nail polish or artificial nails will not get rid of toenail fungus, says the AAD.
There are a few different ways to get rid of toenail fungus, whether youre looking for home remedies or stronger prescribed treatments. Just know this, per Dr. Goldenberg: Treating toenail fungus is extremely difficult.
But the earlier you treat the nail infection, the more likely you are to cure it, explains, Joshua Zeichner, MD, a New York Citybased board-certified dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Treatment can take several months, even up to a year, as you need to wait for healthy nail to grow out, which is a slow process, he says.
If you prefer to go the natural route first, these are the home remedies worth tryingplus, stronger prescription options to ask about if the infection persists. It usually takes three months of treatment to cure a toenail fungal infection.
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On My First Visit Dr Patel Diagnosed The Problem As Plantar Fasciitis And Began Treatment
I was dealing with nearly unbearable pain in my left foot. I was barely able to get through each day. I was sure my neuropathy was the problem. I went to a local podiatrist who told me the only problem I had was the neuropathy in my feet and I needed to see a neurologist. After conferring with my family doctor he referred me to Dr. Sanjay Patel.
On my first visit, Dr. Patel diagnosed the problem as Plantar Fasciitis and began treatment. After following Dr. Patels advice I no longer have pain in my left foot.
Soak Your Feet In Vinegar
Heres another pantry item that can deliver optimal results for toenail fungal infections. According to Hayag, applying white vinegar to the fungal-infected areas can prove worthwhile, thanks to its antibacterial properties.
Similar to oregano oil, applying white vinegar topically on fungus-infected toenails has some anecdotal evidence that supports its antibacterial benefits. Soak your foot in one part vinegar to two parts warm water for up to 20 minutes daily, she suggests, saying that this can help with the fungus, help with just the discoloration, or it may not help at all, depending on how your toes react.
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How To Prevent Toenail Fungus
Because fungi are everywhere , they can be present months before they find opportunities to strike and before signs of infection appear. By following certain precautions, including proper hygiene and regular inspection of the feet and toes, chances of the problem occurring can be significantly reduced.
- Regularly clean and dry feet to resist disease. Follow a strict regimen of washing the feet with soap and water.
- Change socks and hosiery daily and change out shoes on a regular basis.
- Clip toenails straight across so the nail doesnt extend beyond the tip of your finger or toenails.
- Wear socks that are made of synthetic fiber to wick away moisture. Cotton and wool socks dont wick away moisture as fast as synthetic fiber does. This can be helpful in denying a hospitable environment for the fungi to grow in.