Keep Your Nails Trimmed And Straight
While you may like the look of rounded or tapered toenails, keeping your nails straight is better for your foot health. Cutting your toenails straight across keeps them strong and helps you avoid ingrown toenails.
Youll also want to keep your toenails short. Short toenails help minimize debris buildup and help reduce your chances of snagging or breaking your toenails. This is important because when your toenails are broken or damaged, theyre more vulnerable to infection.
Six Ways To Prevent Toenail Fungus
SIX WAYS TO PREVENT TOENAIL FUNGUS
Newswise SCHAUMBURG, Ill. Although fungal nail infections are usually painless, the condition can be unsightly. If you get nail fungus more common on the toenails than the fingernails your symptoms could include yellow or brown nails, or nails that lift up from the nail bed or split or crumble. Without treatment, say dermatologists from the American Academy of Dermatology, nail fungus can worsen and make it painful to wear shoes.
Fungal nail infections are common and tend to run in families because of an inherited tendency, although not everyone is susceptible, said board-certified dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, FAAD, an assistant professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. Since fungal nail infections are contagious, its important to take precautions to reduce your risk of getting an infection.
To help prevent nail fungus, Dr. Zeichner recommends the following tips:
Nail fungus is better prevented than treated, said Dr. Zeichner. However, if you notice a problem with your nails, see a board-certified dermatologist right away. Nail fungus can take up to a year to clear, so its important to begin treatment as soon as its diagnosed.
If caught early, nail fungus may clear with an over-the-counter antifungal cream, lotion, gel or lacquer. However, most fungal nail infections require prescription antifungal medications. Laser treatments may also be used.
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The Initial Causes Toenail Fungus And Hair Loss
The main cause of hair loss is stress. While most of us shed about 50 to 100 strands of hair daily, we also continue to grow new ones at the same rate. This shedding is normal, and its perfectly natural to replace lost hair with new ones. However, if youre losing hair that is excessively slow or isnt growing back, youre experiencing hair fall. There are many possible causes for this condition, but theres no one single solution.
Tinea capitis, also known as scalp ringworm, is a fungal infection that affects the scalp. Symptoms include bald spots and patches of hair loss. Infection may be caused by fungus, and scaly, red patches may develop. In severe cases, sores may develop on the scalp and oozing pus may be present. Treatment with a prescription may be necessary, but the long-term results of taking these medications are not always permanent.
In some cases, temporary hair loss may be the result of a hormonal imbalance. While some women experience hair loss due to hormonal fluctuations, others may experience permanent loss of hair. These changes can be caused by hormones in the body, such as those produced by the thyroid or by the adrenal glands. In severe cases, the loss of hair is caused by medical conditions. Inflammatory diseases can cause an excess of androgen, a male hormone. High levels of vitamin A in the blood and in the body can also result in hair thinning.
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How To Avoid Toenail Fungus
By | Submitted On August 15, 2009
Opened toed shoe season is upon us, but many don’t wear opened toed shoes because they are embarrassed by toenail fungus. Nail fungus can actually occur anytime of the year, so it is important to pay attention to your toes so you can be ready for sandal season.
Nail fungus attacks toe and finger nails. More often, we get toe nail fungus because we create an environment in which bacteria love to grow. Toenail fungus also known as a nail infection and happens because our feet or hands have been exposed to warm moist places. Shoes, showers, swimming pools all provide the warm moist environment where bacteria grow.
People often begin to think they have a fungus problem on the nails because the nails begin to crumble or white and yellow spots appear under the nail. Fungus gets into the nail through cracks in the nail. Bacteria settle into these cracks start growing and we get unsightly nails.
To avoid picking up a nail infection you need to limit times in warm moist areas. That is not complete possible we all want to have our daily showers. So, once you finish your time in the warm moist area pay close attention to cleaning your feet and hands. Bacteria grow and spread quickly once it invades the nail area. One reason this happens is because the bacteria slows the blood flow to the nail making it hard to build new nail cells which keep our hands and feet clear of infection.
Doctors Weigh Best Treatments
The best treatment for fungal nail infections is a prescription that your dermatologist can prescribe that you take every day for two-to-three months. The pill is not for everyone, since oral antifungals can interact with other medications and can affect the liver.
Fortunately if you dont want to or cant take a pill, there are topical solutions to treat nail fungus. Although topical medications are desirable because of the low risk of side effects and interaction with other medications, they have much longer treatment regimens. Generally, topical medications have a lower clearance rate compared to oral pills.
Newer topical antifungals including Efinaconazole and Tavaborole have better penetration of the nail plate and so they work better compared to older topical medications, says Dr. Ng. She says the topical medications work best if you only have partial nail involvement.
Lasers are approved by the FDA to temporarily increase the amount of clear nail. However, the cure rates are lower than oral medications and topical solutions.
What To Expect After The Procedure
Many people see results after one appointment! If multiple sessions are required, speak with your podiatrist about expectations and any questions you might have about the process. Although pain relief can be immediate, it may take 612 months for the nail to grow back to its natural, healthy appearance.
Clean Socks And Shoes
Regularly changing your socks and shoes can also cut down on the growth of unwanted foot fungus. Both socks and athletic shoes can also be washed in hot water to rid the growth of yeasts and fungi that may be growing on the fabric. Some shoes can be machine dried. Drying shoes in the sun is another option when cleaning footwear.
Adding a half-cup of baking soda or one cup of vinegar to the washing machine can help eliminate bacteria or fungus on socks or shoes.
Boots and other footwear that are not machine washable could be wiped out with a vinegar and water solution or sprayed with an over-the-counter antifungal spray. Medicated powders are also helpful in treating shoes for foot fungus.
Allowing the feet to breathe by taking off shoes and socks when possible can prevent fungal growth. Protect your feet by wearing breathable footwear and clean socks. Antimicrobial socks and shoes made from bamboo, copper, or specialty fabrics are also available. They can help reduce unwanted bacteria and yeast from growing in your footwear.
A proactive approach to keeping your feet clean and dry can prevent the spread of toenail fungus. You can wash or soak feet with warm soapy water or a foot bath using everyday household items. Soaking your feet in an all-natural, homeopathic concoction can be beneficial in reducing or eliminating toenail fungus.
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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.
How To Use Hydrogen Peroxide For Nail Fungus
Hydrogen peroxide can be used separately to kill toenail fungus or in combination with other active antifungal agents such as vinegar.
Hydrogen peroxide foot or hand soak
It is a fact that using hydrogen peroxide for nail fungus is quite effective but how do you go about it? Soaking the affected nail in hydrogen peroxide will increase the oxygen level around the infection which is hostile to nail fungus. This is called an oxidate therapy.
- Get hydrogen peroxide with concentration level not higher than 3% to prevent skin damage
- Dilute hydrogen peroxide with warm water in a bucket or basin
- Soak the affected hand or foot in the hydrogen peroxide solution for about half an hour at least once a day
- Then dry the nails thoroughly
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Sizing Up Risk Factors
People who have chronic athletes foot are at risk for developing toenail fungus, and there seems to be a genetic predisposition. Sometimes the fungus gets into the nail bed after the nail was cracked or cut too short. The fungus also lurks in shared showers, around pools and a lot of Vlahovics patients tell her their troubles started after getting a pedicure.
The very place where people go to beautify their feet and toenails is often responsible for spreading disease, says Tennessee podiatrist Dr. Robert Spalding. He has written a book called Death by Pedicure and has been on a decade-long crusade to make nail salons safer.
They use contaminated instruments, in some cases, or they dont take the time to properly disinfect and follow their state protocols, Spalding said. Nail fungus and other microorganisms are really tough to kill, and Spalding says the only sure-fire way to sterilize the instruments is to use something called an autoclave.
An autoclave is basically a pressure cooker, he said. Its steam under pressure, for a certain amount of time. Its how instruments are cleaned for surgery.
The foot-soaking tubs are another cesspool of infection that Spalding says some salons are eliminating. Now they are going to tubs that have liners. They dont use the jets as much. And they are coming up with something called a dry pedicure, where they just take hot towels and soak the feet, Spalding said.
Causes Of Toenail Fungus And How To Prevent It
Toenail fungus is a common condition that affects about 1 in every 10 people. Onychomycosis, the medical name for a fungal nail infection, usually begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of the nail that can spread to the rest of the nail. Many cases of toenail fungus are benign, but that doesnt mean getting a fungal infection on your toenail isnt bothersome. No one wants toenail fungus, so understanding some of the common signs, causes, and ways to prevent toenail fungus is crucial for maintaining good foot and overall health.
Common signs of toenail fungus include:
- Discolored toenails or nails that are yellow, brown, or white
- Thickened or hardened toenails
- Fragile or cracked toenails
Dermatophytes, a type of fungus, are the most common cause of fungal nail infections, but there are ways other than direct exposure to developing a fungal nail infection.
Some of the most common types of toenail fungus are:
- Yeast and mold infections
- Toenail injuries or toenail surgeries
- Reduced blood circulation to the feet causing less immune coverage of the area
- Foot fungus that starts in the feet and spreads to the toenails
- Excessive foot sweat
- Walking around barefoot in communal areas like gym locker rooms, showers, and swimming pools
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Keep Your Feet Clean And Dry
If you have toenail fungus, keeping your feet clean and dry can help prevent it from spreading. Keeping your feet clean and dry can also protect your toenails from getting infected.
If your surrounding area is moist, this gives the fungus a chance to grow. Dont share socks and shoes with other people because toenail fungus is contagious.
The Signs That You Have Nail Fungus And How To Prevent It
Having mushrooms is more common than you think. Thus, 18% of the adult population suffer from onychomycosis, an annoying toenail fungus infection that is much more frequent in summer. Know those signs you may have fungus on the nails and especially to prevent them.
Although we can have this problem in the nails of the hands, it is more common in those of the feet, a fungal infection whose main risk factors are aging, humidity, heat, genetic predisposition or suffering from skin diseases.
What indicates that we have nail fungus?
The color change in the nail is one of the signs of onychomycosis, according to Mario Arques, from Arques Clinic, as it usually manifests itself by a change in color or shape in a nail, generally that of the big toe. Thus the nail is thicker, yellow and with a fragile, brittle or deformed structure.
Although at first we do not give importance to it, we must go to the doctor because there may be an infection that spreads and pain appears that can even become chronic.
How to prevent this problem?
From Arques Clinic they present some of the preventions to prevent foot fungus from getting out.
What treatments to apply?
We have the creams, the drugs and the laser. In addition, Orly has an extra strong Fungus MD serum, a fungicidal ally that eliminates them and is indicated for athletes foot, with a topical antifungal ingredient approved by the FDA.
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Tips For Keeping Toenail Fungus From Returning
Toenail fungus is a tough foe to battle. The sooner its found out, the easier it tends to be to treat. Unfortunately, most cases are not discovered until the fungus has had a good opportunity to entrench itself in your toenail.
Treatment has likely taken months, but youve reached that light at the end of the tunnel. The fungus has been declared eradicated and youre already growing new, clear toenails to replace the war-torn battlefields that once were. Well done!
Unfortunately, it can come back.
A fungal toenail infection is not like a cold. Having had it doesnt really mean your immune system is fully geared up to keep the same case from returning. And, like a cold, there is more than one type of nasty organism out there that can cause similar symptomsin this case, discolored, crumbling, thickened nails.
You know how bad it is. The last thing you want is to fight that battle over again, and people with diabetes should be especially careful of any type of infection. You also dont want anyone you live with to have to go through it, either!
So what can you do to prevent toenail fungus from coming back? Quite a lot.
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Instructions: How To Treat Nail Fungus With White Vinegar
Warning: nail fungus does not heal on its own. A lot of patience and discipline is required for successful treatment. Nail fungus should therefore never be tackled with home remedies such as vinegar alone, says dermatologist Dr. Wolfgang Klee from Mainz. Like tea tree oil, vinegar against nail fungus can kill fungi to a small extent. But the antifungal effect is not enough to completely eliminate the nail fungus.
However, there is nothing to prevent you from trying vinegar against nail fungus in consultation with your dermatologist to accompany drug therapy. Here is the mix recommended by dermatologists for the local application of vinegar against nail fungus.
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Change Your Socks Often
Preventing nail fungus can be difficult but with a little effort, you can keep it from reoccurring. There are many things you can do to help. Find out some simple tips that will help prevent your toenail fungus from coming back.
Change Your Socks Often. Do you wear the same pair of socks every day? Thats like putting on your shower shoes in the wrong pair. Make sure to rotate your socks regularly so that you dont share the fungi spores. If you have very thick socks, this can be especially hard to do.
Trim Your Nails Regularly. Nail fungus is hard to fight off once it sets in. Try to cut your nails a few times a week. Every two weeks would be better. This will cut down on the spread of fungus and allow for good circulation of blood.
Avoid Tight Socks. There is one very obvious reason to avoid wearing tight socks. You are increasing the likelihood of getting a toe nail fungus. Tight socks have a lot of seams that allow the feet to breathe easier.
Buy Different Shoes For Different Activities. Even though running is supposed to be good for the feet, dont wear flip flops on the beach. Dont wear tennis shoes to the grocery store. You may be walking around all day in the same pair of shoes.
Use Shoes With Wicking Material. You should consider using waterproof shoes if you live in a hot climate. If you do decide to use these, make sure to use fabric that wicks away moisture. You can wear insoles under your shoes that wick away moisture as well.
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.
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