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How To Care For Toenail Fungus

Bruise Under Toenail Melanoma

The Best Treatment for Toenail Fungus, According to a Podiatrist

Melanoma that looks like a bruise. Melanoma can develop anywhere on the skin, including the bottom of the foot, where it can look like a bruise as shown here. . Melanoma can develop under a fingernail or toenail, looking like a brown line as shown here. While this line is thin, some are much thicker. The lines can also be much darker.

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How Can It Be Treated

Treating a fungal nail can be a lengthy process it can take several months to clear. This is largely due to the time it takes for your toenail to grow.

You’ll only see a clear improvement when the damaged nail has grown out. It can take six months to a year after the treatment has finished before the nail looks normal again.

Speak to your pharmacist for advice on treating fungal nail infections. See your GP if over the counter treatment hasnt worked or if the infection is severe or has spread to other nails. Make sure you see your GP or a foot specialist if you have diabetes and develop a fungal nail infection, as people with diabetes are at an increased risk of foot problems.

Know It May Have To Be Permanent

At this point, if he or she has not discussed this with you earlier, the doctor may recommend that you have the nail permanently prevented from growing back. This is only done in severe cases of fungus or other disorders where the problem would simply keep occurring if the nail grew back.

To do this, the doctor must destroy the nail matrix, which is the part of the toe that produces keratin, the element that toenails are made of.

The matrix can be dissolved chemically, which is the most common. This is called chemical cauterization, and involves the application of a chemical called phenol. Occasionally, some patients report their nails growing back, but generally this method is effective.

If this does not work, your doctor will perform a surgical matrixectomy. A flap of skin is surgically created at the base of the nail, where the matrix is located. After retracting the flap, the matrix is surgically removed.

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The Danger Of Waiting To Treat The Fungus

The greatest danger of not treating the foot or toenail fungus is that it can spread to other parts of the body, such as the hands and groin.

If for some reason you cant treat your toenails or your feet right away, at least use an antifungal topical cream on the surrounding skin, Dr. Ng says. That will help keep it from spreading and keep the skin intact.

Why Does It Develop

10+ Best Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus

A fungal nail infection occurs from the overgrowth of fungi in, under, or on the nail. Fungi thrive in warm, moist environments, so this type of environment can cause them to naturally overpopulate. The same fungi that cause jock itch, athletes foot, and ringworm can cause nail infections.

Fungi that are already present in or on your body can cause nail infections. If you have come in contact with someone else who has a fungal infection, you may have contracted it as well. Fungal infections affect toenails more commonly than fingernails, likely because your toes are usually confined to shoes, where theyre in a warm, moist environment.

If you get a manicure or pedicure at a nail salon, be sure to ask how the staff disinfects their tools and how often they do it. Tools, such as emery boards and nail clippers, can spread fungal infections from person to person if theyre not sanitized.

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Potential Safe Uses For Bleach

The myth that bleach could treat toenail fungus may be less related to topical applications and more about using bleach to clean other items that could potentially infect the toenails, such as nail clippers or files.

Shoes and socks exposed to toenail fungus can be washed with bleach. Follow the bleach products directions for your washer and laundry load size. You can also use bleach-based solutions to clean areas where fungus may grow in your home, such as your shower tiles, bath mats, or floor.

Now that you know bleach isnt an effective toenail fungus treatment, lets look at some options that are.

A Pharmacist Can Help With Fungal Nail Infections

Speak to a pharmacist if the look of your nail bothers you or it’s painful.

They may suggest:

  • antifungal nail cream it can take up to 12 months to cure the infection and does not always work
  • nail-softening cream it’s used for 2 weeks to soften the nail so the infected part can be scraped off

The infection is cured when you see healthy nail growing back at the base.

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When To Contact A Doctor

Toenail fungus is typically not a significant problem for most people. However, if there are no improvements or complications occur as a result of home remedies, people should speak with a doctor and stop using the home remedy as soon as possible. It is also advisable to contact a podiatrist if a person notices any discoloration, thickening, or abnormality of the toenails.

Furthermore, people at higher risk for complications should seek medical treatment for their toenail fungus and avoid home remedies altogether. This includes those with diabetes or with weakened immune systems.

What Is Toenail Fungus

How to Prevent Toenail Fungus | Foot Care

Toenail fungus is an infection that gets in through cracks in your nail or cuts in your skin. It can make your toenail change color or get thicker. It can also hurt. Because toes are often warm and damp, fungus grows well there. Different kinds of fungi and sometimes yeast affect different parts of the nail. Left untreated, an infection could spread to other toenails, skin, or even your fingernails.

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Nail Fungus: Polish Cream Or Tablets

Nail fungus can be very persistent. Topical treatment with nail polish may take up to one year. Tablets for treating fungal nail infections usually have to be taken for several weeks or months. They are much more effective than topical treatments, but they have more side effects.

Brittle nails and a whitish-yellowish or brownish discoloration are typical signs of nail fungus. The nails may also become thicker and change shape. The affected part of the nail sometimes detaches from the nail bed. The treatment options for nail fungus include nail polishes and creams as well as tablets. Nail polishes and creams are available in pharmacies without a prescription.

Is Tea Tree Oil For Fungus Treatment Safe

The use of tea tree oil for fungus is becoming more popular as people are realizing that its relatively cheap and readily available at your local grocery store. It seems to be one of the better-known alternative treatments and has a long track record of being successful. This article looks into whether using tea tree oil for your fungal infections is safe or not. Who knows, it might work for you.

Whats the story behind tea tree oil for fungus? There are a number of fungi that cause infections around the body and they can sometimes get out of hand. For instance, ringworms on the feet can cause horrible sores. Theres also dermatitis, a sort of rash where the skin becomes inflamed as well as psoriasis, which can look and feel very much like eczema. All these conditions are caused by fungi and while theres not a whole lot you can do to prevent them, there are some things you can do to help alleviate the symptoms. One such remedy is tea tree oil and while it may not work for every single case of fungal skin infection, it does stand out as an effective treatment for many of them.

So, is tea tree oil for fungus treatment safe? It sounds like it might work for some but its really best to consult with a doctor before you try anything new. In any case, if you are already taking prescription medicine for your condition, you might want to use tea tree oil to complement what youre already taking.

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Treatments For Fungal Nail Infections

Treatment isn’t always needed for a mild fungal nail infection because it’s unlikely to cause any further problems and you may feel it’s not worth treating.

Whether you decide to have treatment or not, you should still practise good foot hygiene to stop the infection getting worse or spreading to others.

Speak to your GP or pharmacist if you’re bothered by the appearance of the affected nail, or it’s causing problems such as pain and discomfort. They’ll probably recommend:

  • antifungal tablets tablets taken once or twice a day for several months
  • antifungal nail paints special paints applied directly to the nail over several months
  • nail softening kits where a paste is used to soften infected parts of the nail, before they’re removed with a scraping device

A procedure to remove the nail completely may be recommended in severe cases. Laser treatment, where a high-energy laser is used to destroy the fungus, is also an option. But this is only available privately and can be expensive.

You can reduce your risk of developing a fungal nail infection by:

Nail salon equipment can sometimes be the source of fungal nail infections. If you regularly visit a salon, make sure any equipment used is properly sterilised between uses.

Tips To Prevent Fungal Nail Infections

6 Remedies For Toe Fungus #FootSoakForDryFeet #FootSoakDiy

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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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 don’t treat the infection, there’s a chance it will worsen and spread to other nails.

Dangers Of Using Bleach For Toenail Fungus

Bleach may actually cause toenail fungus to worsen and increase the likelihood of a toenail infection.

According to an article in the Asian Journal of Research in Dermatological Science, use of topical bleach can increase the risks for fungal infections because it can damage the skin and nails. This allows opportunistic fungus to come in through the damaged skin or nail and cause an infection.

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What Is The Outlook For Someone With Toenail Fungus

While toenail fungus is common, its usually not harmful. Symptoms mostly affect the look of your toenail.

Toenail fungus may spread to the skin between your toes or other areas of your body. When getting dressed, put your socks on first to reduce the chance of spread.

Treating toenail fungus takes a long time, and it doesnt always work. Even then, toenail fungus often returns. Discuss the pros and cons of treating toenail fungus with your provider to determine whats best for you.

Practicing good hygiene and foot care reduces the chance toenail fungus will come back. If you have diabetes, getting regular foot exams may help you address foot problems before they get serious.

What Other Conditions Can Be Mistaken For Fungal Nails

How to Cure Nail Fungus

Here are some other conditions you may have instead of fungal nails:

  • Lines and ridges: These are common and may be considered normal. They may worsen during pregnancy. A large groove down the center of the nail can be caused by nail biting. Some people may develop these changes following chemotherapy.
  • Senile nails: As you age, the nails become brittle and develop ridges and separation of the nail layers at the end of the nail. To avoid this, try to clean solutions and dont soak the nails in water.
  • Whitish or yellowish nails can occur due to onycholysis. This means separation of the nail from the nail bed. The color you see is air beneath the nail. The treatment is to trim the nail short, dont clean under it, polish if you want to hide the color, and wait two to three months. Persistent onycholysis can make the nails susceptible to fungal infection.
  • Red or black nails due to a hematoma, or blood under the nail, usually occur from trauma . The discolored area will grow out with the nail and be trimmed off as you trim your nails. If you have a black spot under your nail that was not caused by trauma, you may want to see a dermatologist or a podiatrist if it involves a toenail to make sure it is not melanoma . A simple biopsy can rule out malignancy .
  • Trichophyton

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    How To Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus

    Keeping nails trimmed and filed can help to reduce the amount of fungus in the nails and is highly recommended. This also provides pain relief when thickened nails cause pressure-related pain.

    Creams and other topical medications have traditionally been less effective against nail fungus than oral medications. This is because nails are too hard for external applications to penetrate. It is also cumbersome to adhere to topical medication regimens. Oftentimes, these medications require daily applications for a period of time up to one year to see results. One of the major advantages of topical treatment is the minimal risk for serious side effects and drug interactions compared to oral therapy.

    Prescription topical medications for fungal nails include the following:

    Ciclopirox topical solution 8% is a medical nail lacquer that has been approved to treat finger or toenail fungus that does not involve the white portion of the nail in people with normal immune systems. In one study, ciclopirox got rid of the fungus 22% of the time. The medication is applied to affected nails once daily for up to one year. The lacquer must be wiped clean with alcohol once a week.

    Amorolfine topical solution 5%: There is some evidence that using an antifungal nail lacquer containing amorolfine can prevent reinfection after a cure, with a success rate of about 70%. However, this drug is currently unavailable in the United States.

    Creams & Topical Treatments For Toenail Fungus

    Over-the-counter fungal creams like clotrimazole dont work well for treating toenail fungus. Prescription nail polishes are available, but they take longer to work and arent effective for severe cases. Thats because they dont penetrate the nail very well. That said, they are still a good option for people with mild cases of toenail fungus, or for those who cant take the oral antifungals. Examples include:

      Side effects are usually minor and include redness or burning at the application site.

      You might hear or read about medicated chest rub as a treatment for toenail fungus, but its mostly hype. Its a tempting option because its so safe, easy to use, and cheap. But its not likely to help.

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      How Is Toenail Fungus Treated

      Toenail fungus is notoriously tricky to treat. You may need to treat the condition for several months to get rid of the fungus. Still, toenail fungus often comes back.

      A dermatologist or podiatrist can explain your treatment options. If you have a mild case that doesnt bother you, your provider may recommend no treatment.

      Toenail fungus treatment options include:

      • Oral antifungal medication: You take prescribed medication, such terbinafine , itraconazole and fluconazole , to treat the fungi. You will need to take this medication every day for several months . Your provider may use blood tests to check for potential medication side effects. These medications can affect the liver and interact with other medications, so oral antifungals are not for everyone.
      • Topical medication: You regularly apply a medication right on the nail. The medication treats the fungi over time. Topical medications are most effective when paired with oral medications.
      • Laser treatments: Your provider directs a high-tech laser beam and special lights at the toenail to treat the fungus. Lasers are FDA approved for temporary increase of clear nail in nail fungus but is not a cure. Cure rates for laser treatment are lower than oral and topical mediations so they are not typically used as first-line treatments for nail fungus.

      How Fungi Infect The Nail

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      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.

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