Know Not To Be Afraid
Surgery can be nerve-wracking and scary. Nobody likes pain, hospitals, scalpels, cuts, and anesthesia. The whole idea can be very unpleasanteven reading about it can turn the stomach!
But, it is very important to remember that thousands of people have experienced nail removal and have lived to tell about it! While there may be some discomfort and pain following the procedure, if a qualified doctor or other medical professional has concluded this is the best treatment for your specific problem, let that give all the comfort it should. We are very blessed to live in a world where so many health problems can be easily corrected!
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Keep Your Fungal Nail Trimming Equipment Separate
Nail clippers and other equipment that comes in contact with fungal areas are not objects that should be used anywhere else, or for anyone else. Doing so invites a greater chance for a fungus to be carried from one set of nails to another.
This is not just a warning against sharing toenail trimmers between family members you should also not use that set of trimmers on your fingernails, either! It is quite possible for a fungal infection to be transferred from toenails to fingernails, and you cant exactly hide the latter in a pair of socks all day.
Similarly, only use proper trimming equipment on your toes. Using smaller fingernail clippers not only increases the risk of transferring the fungus if you slip up, they are likely also not going to work very well.
It is also wise to regularly disinfect your equipment, just in case. A soak of a few minutes in rubbing alcohol or diluted bleach will do the trickjust make sure to completely dry any metal parts to avoid rusting. Also make sure all nail debris and matter is cleaned off.
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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What Other Conditions Can Be Mistaken For Fungal Nails
Here are some other conditions you may have instead of fungal nails:
Why Acrylic Toenails Are Not Recommended
Fungus thrives in moist and warm places which is no surprise why it is most common in areas such as our crotch and toes. There are a bunch of ways online to completely eradicate toenail fungus for good.
First and foremost, when battling toenail fungus, you want to allow your feet to breath. An infected toenail needs some reprieve and time to breathe to eliminate the conditions that are allowing fungi to grow.
And adding an acrylic nail to the situation brings a negative effect since it will be causing more dampness and trapping moisture. This will allow the fungus to grow even stronger and spread even faster.
On top of that, a fake toenail will prevent any treatments that you are putting on your nails to actually penetrate and get to the fungus. See, when a nail infection occurs, the discoloration is due to the nail bed generating fungus. It is already difficult enough for OTC treatments to penetrate fungus-ridden nails. Now imagine putting a shield on top of that. It would be nearly impossible to effectively treat toenail fungus.
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When Should You Call Your Doctor
- Increased pain, swelling, redness, tenderness, or heat.
- Red streaks extending from the area.
- Discharge of pus.
- Fever of 38Â°C or higher with no other cause.
- A fungal infection appears to be spreading to the skin under the nail, the nail itself, or the surrounding skin.
- The infected area is painful.
- A thickened toenail causes discomfort.
- Your nail’s appearance concerns you.
If you think you have a fungal nail infection, see your doctor. Your doctor can check your nail and recommend ways to treat it.
When Home Remedies Make Sense:
For most people with mild to moderate nail fungus, home remedies are an option, especially when a trip to the doctor seems intimidating. Readers of our syndicated newspaper column have been sharing their success stories for over 40 years.
Lisa points out that patience is a critical component for overcoming nasty nail fungus:
I fought toenail fungus for several years. It seemed like I had two different kinds. One made the surface of the nail white and rough, and the other turned the nail yellow or orange. That one also caused the nail to crumble over time.
After reading about it on the Peoples Pharmacy, I tried tea tree oil first. It was very effective on the white toenail fungus. The nails grew out clear and stayed that way.
I tried Vicks next, and it worked on the yellow toenails. That was a slower process, as there was more damage. Several times when I was just getting one nail finished, the fungus would start on another one. It took about three years to get every nail clear, but I have had no new fungus for over a year now. The treatments were inexpensive and easy, but patience is required!
Lisa is absolutely on target. Even pricey prescription nail fungus treatments are tested for about a year. You can read about a pricey prescription anti-fungal liquid at this link:
FDA Approves Jublia for Fighting Nail FungusJublia is a topical liquid for treating nail fungus. How good is Jublia? Not that great. How pricey is Jublia? Very! Is it worth the cost?
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Cosmetic Answer For Toenail Loss
CLEVELAND, Ohio Losing your toenail sounds like a little thing, until you are traveling somewhere warm on vacation or its sandal season here.
And there are lots of reasons for toenail loss maybe youre a runner and your toenails are damaged from all that road time. Or, you have a nail or fungal infection , or you suffer from diabetes, or are going through chemo and your feet show the effect by shedding their nails.
For Maria Barile, a Cleveland barber, it was as simple as a big box falling on her big toe about five years ago. First the nail turned black and blue and then, just in time for summer, it fell off, she says.
She began searching for a way to deal with the unsightliness and began buying Band-aids and nail adhesives, To the point where I should have bought stock in Johnson & Johnson.
It seemed like every woman shed encountered had once dealt with the same problem loss of a toenail but never found a solution.
Acrylic fingernails dont work on toes, and dont adhere to skin. The podiatrists Barile checked with didnt have any solutions either.
So Barile decided to invent a cosmetic solution to address what is also, for many, a medical issue.
Eventually, she got different samples of adhesives, found one that would work, and fashioned a nail prototype that women can wear on exposed toes. Barile hired a patent agent to do the paperwork and ensure her idea couldnt be stolen.
How Gold Mountain Beauty Fungal Nail Eliminator Works
The Puredia Seaberry oil, omega 3, 6, 7, and 9, as well as the 1% tolnaftate content help with toenail cell regeneration and boost skin hydration while also fighting off fungal infections. You should notice results in as little as seven days with complete effects kicking in during the weeks that follow. Unlike pills or stronger medication that your doctor may prescribe, these remedies are unlikely to have any side effects. In fact, Gold Mountain Beauty Fungal Nail Eliminator is dubbed safe for use by diabetics too!
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The Importance Of Hygiene
When treating a fungal nail, always wash your hands after applying a treatment and remember to use a separate towel for your feet when youre drying them. Its a good idea to tell those close to you about your fungal nail infection so they can take precautions too. Dont share shoes or socks with them as it can be contagious.
Rates of treatment failure can be extracted from published trials, but data on relapse are less readily available. Post-treatment follow-up is long, drop-out rates in many studies are significant or unreported, and most studies have not allowed crossover of treatment regimens. Furthermore, especially in outcomes of clinical improvement , evaluation criteria have not been standardized and often include subjective assessments that are difficult to quantify. Published studies have not specifically addressed the management of treatment failures or relapse.
Despite these difficulties, several measures may be helpful in managing unsuccessful treatment or relapse. The first step is to confirm mycology. If the initial diagnosis was based on a KOH preparation alone, culture of properly collected specimens is mandatory. Culture reports often identify multiple organisms, including possibly nonpathogenic molds, and treatment should be directed at the organism most likely to be causative. A microbiology or infectious disease consultation may be valuable in interpreting the culture report.
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
Should You Use Fake Toenails To Cover Up Nail Fungus
Using fake toenails can be a quick cover up for damaged or infected nails. Unfortunately, by sweeping the problem under the carpet, you could be causing further damage. By hiding the visible signs of infection, you may not notice if things are worsening. If youre treating your nails, most remedies require you to apply the serum or ointment directly to the affected area. The fake toenails will block access to the affected skin and nail and render the treatment ineffective.
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Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus
Nature has an abundance of natural antifungal ingredients. Use these to your advantage for a quick and easy solution to beat fungal infections including toenail fungus.
- Baking soda is a great antifungal remedy that can be used in foot soaks and homemade topical treatments to keep fungal problems in check.
- Epson salts have the additional benefit of also helping bring you relief from any pain you may currently be experiencing as a result of your toenail fungus.
- Vinegar added to clean warm water can make for a relaxing home remedy for toenail fungus.
- Tea tree oil added to a foot soak is another effective antifungal remedy.
Whichever remedy you decide to try, dont forget to wash your feet and pat them dry with a fresh, clean towel each time. While the fungal infection may clear, you might need to be patient for the nail to look completely normal again. Toenails take around 12 to 18 months to grow out fully.
Penetrating The Nail Bed:
As you have correctly pointed out, getting anti-fungal ingredients under the nail is challenging. You cannot lift the nail without causing serious harm. Long soaks though, appear to allow enough penetration to begin the assault on nasty nail fungus.
As our readers above have noted, patience is the critical ingredient. We have found this to be true for ourselves. Reading a book for half an hour or watching television while you soak your tootsies once a day is a great start. But it could take anywhere from six to nine months to see the nails growing out pink and healthy.
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Treat Toenail Fungus Dont Try To Hide It
You could just cover up your toenail fungus with nail polish and it seems like problem solved, but youre not solving anything. Thats kind of like noticing that your roof has started leaking and you decided to just put up a tarp over the spot its leaking instead of fixing it.
Eventually, the rot and mold will spread and weaken the entire structure, animals take up residence in your attic, the roof will start to leak in other places, and pretty soon the whole building is rotted out.
Toenail fungus will not go away on its own, it only gets worse and spreads.
Toenail fungus, like all fungal infections, is contagious. So not only can you spread it to other people, but it will spread to your other nails and spread to your skin causing a skin fungal infection, like athletes foot.
If left untreated, toenail fungus may eventually take over the entire nail and spread to other nails.
Dont forget to disinfect your nail clippers
Advanced cases of toenail fungus often result in misshapen nails. These misshapen nails can grow back into the skin in awkward ways and cause painful ingrown toenails and bacterial infections in the skin, including cellulitis.
Toenail fungus has been found to put you at a significantly higher risk of cellulitis of the leg, which can lead to amputation and even death.