The Best Thing To Do About Your Fungal Toenails Is Treat Them
The best way to keep fungal toenails from worsening or spreading is to treat them as early as possible. And thanks to laser treatment technology, eradicating your fungal infection is a lot safer, more convenient, and more effective than it used to be.
To learn more about how we treat fungal toenails at our office, be sure to check out our service page. And if youre ready to request an appointment with Dr. Patel or Dr. Harpaz, just give us a call at or fill out the form below today!
Can I Go To The Salon At All
Unfortunately, theres no way to be 100 percent guaranteed that youll be protected from contracting or spreading nail fungus if you go out for a pedicure. Fungi like to hide in foot baths, jets, and tools that havent been completely cleaned.
If you do want to take your toenails to the salon, whether you have an ongoing fungal toenail infection or not, following these tips can help make you safer:
- Make sure the salon and all technicians are fully licensed.
- Choose salons that fully sterilize all tools using either an autoclave or UV light between guests. Tools or products that cant be sterilized should be single-use only.
- If possible, choose a salon that uses pipeless foot baths, as fungi can linger in pipes even if the basin is thoroughly sterilized between patients.
- Try to schedule an appointment earlier in the day, as theres less opportunity for baths or tools to be contaminated by other guests.
Treatment Of Nail Fungal Infection At Different Stages
Treatment of onychomycosis at the first stage is crucial as the infection hasnt exacerbated yet and therefore is easier to heal. Topical treatments, such as anti-fungal creams and gels or medicated nail polish are the most commonly used at this stage. However, it is ideal to use a topically-applied medication that not only can kill the fungus, but can penetrate the nail as well.
Most topical treatments dont work because they cant penetrate the nail to get to the fungi. It is therefore recommended for sufferers to use a topical medication that can penetrate the nail and kill the fungus. A solution with 10% undecylenic acid, which can effectively get rid of the infection, and a penetrating agent , is recommended.
For moderate nail fungus infection, such topical solutions can still work. However, many sufferers use that in conjunction with oral medicines. Many anti-fungal pills in the market can treat fungal nail infection, though it is still suggested to use such medicines along with topical solutions .
Unfortunately, oral medicines are also more likely to cause side effects to patients. They are also not recommended for the elderly, pregnant women, and those who have other medical conditions or ailments.
But again, fungi can come back, even without the nail itself. This is why its recommended for patients to use topical anti-fungal ointment to the nail bed and surrounding skin while waiting for the nail to grow back. Otherwise, the fungi will just return.
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How To Stop Your Fungal Nail Infection Spreading Through Your Family
Fungal nail infections that leave one or more of your toenails with a yellow/white discolouration, or a flaky, brittle appearance, are the cause of 50% of all diseases affecting the nails. As the nail infection progresses, your nail may also thicken, lift away from the nail bed, and make wearing certain types of shoes uncomfortable. More than the physical symptoms that a fungal nail infection produces, for many of our patients, their persistent infections leave them hiding their toes in closed shoes and socks year-round, impacting their self-esteem and confidence with their appearance.
With many pharmacy anti-fungal creams and lacquers having a poor success rate while requiring multiple daily applications, prevention is far better and easier than cure. If youre currently battling a fungal nail infection, today our podiatry team has laid out the practical steps you can take to help stop it spreading to other members within your household, as well as sharing the one most effective treatment for fungal nails weve seen in our years of podiatry that is helping our patients get superior results.
When Should I Call The Doctor
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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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.
Are There Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus
The Internet is filled with anecdotal information on how to cure toenail fungus using home remedies. Vinegar is a commonly recommended home remedy. Some people apply various oils such as tea tree oil, coconut oil, essential oils, and oil of cedar leaf to their nails as well. The effectiveness of these home remedies is highly doubtful. Application of household bleach and hydrogen peroxide is also not recommended due to lack of evidence that these treatments work. These agents can also cause unwanted skin irritation. Thickened nails that have been affected by fungus can be difficult to trim. Using topical urea cream will soften the nail and make it easier to trim. These creams do not require a prescription.
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Cure Toenail Pain From Fungus Infection
Know The Symptoms And Reasons You Shouldn’t Wait to Seek Effective Treatment
A painful, thick, yellow, green, brown or black toenail means you could have a toenail fungus infection. If you have a toenail fungal infection it won’t go away on its own. You can’t get rid of it with home remedies or over the counter topical treatments. Learn why, and how to cure it by reading more.
Toenail fungus is common and it can develop when dry, brittle nails develop cracks that allow fungus to enter the nail unit. A toenail fungus infection most often occurs when excessive moisture gets under your toenail and is trapped by your socks and shoes, allowing fungus to grow and thrive. Nail fungus can also be caused by yeast and mold.
Left untreated toenail fungus can become a foot fungus, spreading from your toenail, to the skin in between your toes, your arch and the heel of your foot.
Scratching it or picking at it can also spread it to your fingers, and then to other parts of your body. You can also spread it to other people if you are sharing a shower or tub.
What Is A Fungal Nail Infection
A fungal nail infection is a common condition that can leave you with brittle, discolored nails, usually on your toes.
Its formal name is onychomycosis, and itâs a lot like athleteâs foot. But instead of affecting the skin on the bottom of your feet or between your toes, it invades your nails.
Fungi are tiny organisms you can only see through a microscope. Many different types can cause a nail infection. Sometimes they live on your skin and donât make any trouble. But if you have a lot in one area, you might get infected.
Donât be embarrassed if you have toenail or fingernail fungus. Itâs way more common than you think.
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Special Groups At Risk For Complications In Severe Onychomycosis
Delaying the treatment of a nail fungus until its late stages can be excruciatingly challenging. For some people with other diseases/conditions, avoiding the onset of severe onychomycosis is essential. The dangers that involve the end-stage nail disease can lead to an even more harmful situation for them.
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Toenail Fungus Can Spread Internally
Toenail fungus can also enter the blood, causing a fungal blood infection. Its symptoms may include:
This problem mostly occurs in those who are at the following risks:
- Have serious problems with fungal infections.
- Have undergone chemotherapy.
- Have diabetes, severe burns or renal failure.
- Have HIV.
So, get your toenail fungus treated immediately. And contact a doctor if you think youre experiencing a fungal blood infection.
One: Help Avoid And Actively Remove Spores From Your Environment
- Wipe down your showers, floors and high-risk surfaces with an antifungal detergent
- Hot-was your bed sheets and socks with an antifungal laundry wash like Canesten
- Wear thongs in public areas like swimming pools, showers and changing rooms
- Treat any existing Athletes foot infections
- Keep your toenails trimmed and remove the build-up of dead skin, dirt and bacteria from beneath your toenails
- Dont share shoes or socks with someone who has a fungal nail infection
- Avoid nail salons that have questionable hygiene practices or dont sterilise their instruments
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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.
Is Toenail Fungus Contagious
Spring is here, and youre looking forward to letting your feet see the light of day again. Unfortunately, fungi are lying in wait, and theyre looking for a host namely your feet and toenails.
To avoid contracting toenail fungus this spring , you remain vigilant about protecting your feet against this fungal infection.
To help ward off toenail fungus, the highly qualified podiatry team here at Neuhaus Foot and Ankle thought wed outline a few prevention techniques to keep your feet looking great this spring and summer. As part of this discussion, we take a look at whether toenail fungus is contagious and how we can treat the problem should you become infected.
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How Does Toenail Fungus Spread
Toenail fungus is also known as onychomycosis or tinea unguium. Its a medical condition in which fungi infect the nails, leading to nail discoloration. The infection is not dangerous, but can cause changes and itchiness to your nails. Doctors recommend using an over-the-counter antifungal cream for treatment. If left untreated, toenail fungus can lead to foot odor, foot pain or even loss of nails. Moreover, toenail fungus can be highly contagious. If you ignore the infection, it can spread and become worse. Heres everything you need to know about toenail fungus.
What Is The Best Way To Prevent A Toenail Infection
- Avoid going barefoot in public spaces, especially pool areas, gyms and public or hotel shower areas. Use a pair of plastic sandals, flip flops or shower shoes in pool areas and public showers or baths.
- Avoid using the same shower area with family members that have athletes foot or a toenail infections, or use shower shoes. Do not share bath towels, washcloths, nail trimmers or other pedicure tools.
- Keep your feet dry. Trim nails carefully and straight across. Clean your nail trimmer and other tools in isopropyl alcohol for 30 minutes before you use them.
- Change your socks each day and do not rewear wet or sweaty socks. Wear shoes that fit correctly and do not crowd your toes. Avoid wearing older, unbreathable shoes.
Toenail fungus usually only spreads to other toes. But in some cases, it can spread to the skin between the toes , the groin area or the scalp . If you have a case of athletes foot, it is important to treat this to prevent it from spreading to your toes.
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The Spread Of Nail Fungus
The way nail fungus or any fungus for that matter spreads is through the fungal spores. Fungal spores are the reproductive units of nail fungus, and they are basically dormant forms of the fungus. When you come into contact with fungal spores, they try to reach the nail bed underneath your nail. Usually, the nail acts as a barrier from doing that. However, if you have a cut on the skin surrounding your nail or a crack in the nail, the fungal spores can easily reach the nail bed.
Once they do, the fungal spores grow and proliferate to cause a nail fungus infection, which then goes on to feed on the keratin protein of the nail and infect the nail, creating the change in texture and appearance of the nail that is characteristic of nail fungus.
Tips To Prevent Fungal Nail Infections
Making a few simple lifestyle changes can help prevent a fungal infection of the nails. Taking good care of your nails by keeping them well trimmed and clean is a good way to prevent infections.
Also avoid injuring the skin around your nails. If youre going to have damp or wet hands for an extended amount of time, you may want to wear rubber gloves.
Other ways to prevent fungal infections of the nails include:
- washing your hands after touching infected nails
- drying your feet well after showering, especially between your toes
- getting manicures or pedicures from trustworthy salons
- avoiding being barefoot in public places
- reducing your use of artificial nails and nail polish
Products to help you avoid nail fungus
If youre prone to excessive moisture around your fingernails or toenails, consider buying:
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Check Your Nails To Find Early Signs Of Infection
Following these precautions will reduce your risk of getting another infection. Fungal infection, however, are very common. You can get another one. Early treatment delivers the best outcome.
You can find signs of an early fungal infection by checking your nails and the skin around them at least once a month. You want to look for:
Changes in nail color, such as a white spot or brown or yellow streak
Changes to the texture of your nails
Soreness or swelling around a nail
Dry, itchy skin
If you notice any signs of infection, make an appointment to see your dermatologist.
ReferenceGold LFS and Rosen T. Onychomycosis: Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies. Dermatology News . March 2016:2-15.
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.
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Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus
There are some good quality antifungal powders, creams, lotions, and sprays you can buy over-the-counter to deal with onychomycosis, and you might want to try them if your infection is mild and not too uncomfortable. To treat a fungal infection youll have to apply these products for several months or at least a year. Remember, it takes that long for a new nail to grow in completely. If the infection fails to respond, or if it worsens, see your doctor, who may refer you to a DPM or dermatologist.
Among many home remedies available, tea tree oil is a favorite. It has excellent antifungal properties and, when mixed with a carrier oil and a selected herb or two, its easy to use and has a pleasant smell. Youll need to apply it 3 or 4 times a day, and its also effective at preventing reinfection.
Other remedies include Vicks Vaporub for topical application vinegar , which also has antifungal properites and you can add Lysol to your wash to kill athletes foot fungus. Soak your feet in baking soda or a small amount of diluted bleach. Both are antifungal agents, and hydrogen peroxide kills fungus and bacteria on the surface of the foot. For both treatment and prevention, use an antibacterial spray in shoes, boots, and on sandals, and wash all socks in hot water with bleach or Lysol to kill fungal spores. Wash your feet thoroughly every day and dry them carefully, especially between the toes.
Wearing Single Pair Of Shoes
If a person will only wear a single pair of shoes all day, both for the indoors and outdoors, then chances are that he might develop the toenail fungus. The reason for it is the exposure to the outside dirt and the already existing spores in the environment.
For example, if he went for a walk in the same shoes, and then wore those shoes for the entire day, you never know when the fungal spores in the park got stuck with his feet.
Another reason is when people take outdoor shoes inside their house, then the richness of toenail fungus increases. As many people have carpeted floors, so if any of their family members would come inside the house with the dirty shoes, then the fungal spores might stay on the carpet.
Now healthy feet will be easily exposed to the fungal spores, this way the chance of getting toenail fungus will increase.
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