What Other Conditions Can Be Mistaken For Fungal Nails
Here are some other conditions you may have instead of fungal nails:
Epidemiology Of Toenail Fungus
The occurrence of onychomycosis has been reported 23% across Europe and 20% in East Asia. In north America the statistics are found to be 14%, with fungal infections constituting the 50% of nail related diseases. Since this infection is contagious and can be transmitted directly or by using the belongings of an infected person, this serves as the reason for such wide spread rate of this infection.
Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus
| | | | |
Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis or tinea unguium, is a common nail condition affecting millions of people in the United States. Fungal nail infections can develop on the nail from various organisms such as molds, yeasts, and fungi. This usually occurs after these organisms come into contact with a cracked nail or skin surrounding the nail as the opening provides a portal of entry for these organisms.
Don’t Miss: Does Alcohol Kill Fingernail Fungus
What Is The Big Deal With Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus can easily be diagnosed. In fact, you don’t have to be an expert to notice discoloration on your toenails. The fungus often goes deep under your nails, which makes it nasty.
People hate this issue because of the visual effect. However, the fact it is hard to remove makes it so much more troublesome. It also quickly spreads, which means that it needs constant attention.
Unfortunately, antifungal drugs are powerful and can cause various side effects.
Perhaps the biggest issue is how these drugs impact the liver. They are very dangerous for people who have any liver issues, which is why you have to test your blood before taking drugs for toenail fungus. Even if everything looks fine, there is still a chance complications will occur.
As an alternative, doctors will often recommend topical creams. These products are much better as they don’t cause severe side effects. However, they are not as strong as regular oral drugs, which prolongs the whole treatment. Patients usually have to apply topical cream for several months until they notice any progress.
Home remedies are also a popular alternative.
Besides various oils and vinegar, many people use baking soda for toenail fungus.
How To Prevent Both Foot And Toenail Fungus
While toenail fungus and foot fungus arent the same condition, the following tips can help you prevent both, says Sundling:
- Practice good hygiene, such as keeping your feet clean.
- Alternate your shoes during the week. Your feet sweat all day long. Alternating your shoes allows them to dry out, so the fungus cant survive.
- Wear moisture-wicking socks that help dry out shoes and kill fungus. You can find these at running stores and athletic stores. If your socks are exceptionally sweaty, changing them more than once per day can help.
- Wear shoes in public places like locker rooms, pools, and gyms to limit exposure to fungus.
You May Like: What Kills Toenail Fungus Home Remedies
What Is Nail Fungus How To Treat Nail Fungus
Nail fungus infections can be caused by various fungi. The most well-known is a type of fungus called dermatophyte. Yeast and mold fungi also cause nail infections.The ideal breeding environment for fungi is warm and humid areas.For this reason, it is often seen between the toes, inside the mouth, toenails, fingernails, scalp, groin and female genitalia.
Toenail fungus is more common than hand nail fungus. Nail fungi are highly contagious microbial organisms.
Can Tinactin Be Used On Nail Fungus Can Foot Fungus Cause Numbness
What Prescription Medications Are Used For Fungus On Your Toe Will Toenail Grow Back After Removal If You Have A Toenail Fungus How To Cure A Fungus Under The Toenail. Mycocide Nail Fungus Treatment Fungus Skin Lotion. Pictures Of Beginning Stages Of Toenail Fungus Can You Use Hydrogen Peroxide To Get Ride Of Toenail Fungus. Laser Nail Fungus Treatment Mckinney Tx Home Remedies For Toenail And Foot Fungus.
Cure Fingernail Fungus In One Day Essential Oils To Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus. Is There A Pill Form For Toenail Fungus Toenail Fungus Medication Mascot Will A Toenail Grow Out Normal After Fungus. Home Care For Foot Fungus Fingernail Fungus Medi.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Rid Of Tomato Fungus
How Do You Get A Fungal Nail Infection
Most fungal nail infections occur as a result of the fungi that cause athlete’s foot infecting the nails.
These fungi often live harmlessly on your skin, but they can sometimes multiply and lead to infections. The fungi prefer warm, dark and moist places like the feet.
You’re more likely to get a fungal nail infection if you:
- don’t keep your feet clean and dry
- wear shoes that cause your feet to get hot and sweaty
- walk around barefoot in places where fungal infections can spread easily, such as communal showers, locker rooms and gyms
- have damaged your nails
- have a weakened immune system
- have certain other health conditions, such as diabetes, psoriasis or peripheral arterial disease
Fungal nail infections can be spread to other people, so you should take steps to avoid this if you have an infection.
What To Watch For When Taking Oral Medication For Toenail Fungus Treatment
All of the pills for toenail fungus can cause liver toxicity. This is rare and is reversible after the medication is stopped. Still, liver function blood testing will be done before you start your treatment and again midway through your treatment.
Medications like Terbinafine and Itraconazole can also interact with certain drugs. Your healthcare provider will look at your medication list to make sure there arent any drug interactions.
Recommended Reading: Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Toenail Fungus
Softening And Scraping Away The Nail
As it can take a long time for antifungal medication to work, some people may prefer to use a treatment that involves softening and removing infected parts of nail over a few weeks.
Treatment kits are available from pharmacies that contain a 40% urea paste, plasters and a scraping device. The paste softens the infected parts of the nail, allowing them to be scraped away so they can be gradually replaced with healthy nail.
To use the treatment:
Pills For Toenail Fungus Treatment
Oral medications, or those that come in pill form, generally work more quickly than topical medications for toenail fungus treatment. They have higher cure rates and the overall treatment time may be shorter than topical options. Pills to treat toenail fungus, however, will require a prescription. It is also important to note that improvement will continue AFTER oral therapy is stopped, and it may take 9 to 12 months for you to see full results.
The top treatments for toenail fungus are:
Recommended Reading: Does A Dermatologist Treat Nail Fungus
Yellow Fungus Under Toenail And Nail Polish
If you are one of those people who cannot do without nail polish on toenails and more so layers without a base coat, then you are at risk of getting yellow fungus under toenail. Polish your nails for only special events and do not let it stay on your nails for a long time.
Furthermore, ensure that you use a base coat before adding the nail polish to it. You may want to stick to light instead of dark colors for your nail polish as well.
Dangers Of Traditional Treatment Options
Fungal nail infection is treatable with oral anti-fungal drugs, topical medications, surgery, or laser treatments. The problem with these modern treatments, however, is that they can sometimes cause complications. Depending on the chosen treatment, some of the possible side effects that may occur include skin rashes, blisters, loss of appetite, gastrointestinal issues, headaches, respiratory problems, abnormal nail growth, or liver damage.
Due to the many risks associated with modern treatments for fungal nail infection, many people are now opting for alternative remedies that are relatively safer. As an added bonus, its also possible to treat fungal nail infection using just a few basic ingredients one already has available at home.
Recommended Reading: What Do Doctors Prescribe For Toenail Fungus
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.
Prevention Of Toenail Fungus
Adopting a few preventive measures can mitigate your chances of getting infected by nail fungus or reinfections as well as athletes foot :
- Keep your hands and feet clean by washing them regularly. Be especially mindful of avoiding contact with an infected nail, and in case you do, wash your hands thoroughly. Moisturize your nails after washing.
- Keep your nails properly trimmed, file the rough edges to make them smooth, and file down thickened areas. Make a habit of disinfecting your nail clippers thereafter.
- Wear socks that absorb perspiration or change your socks throughout the day.
- Wear shoes made of materials that breathe.
- Let go of any old shoes or treat them with disinfectants or antifungal powders. Alternatively, consider using a medicated shoe spray after every use.
- Either carry your own manicure tools when visiting a nail salon or opt for a salon that uses sterilized tools for each customer.
- Abstain from using nail polish and artificial nails.
- Wearing shower footwear in hotels, gyms, public pools, and showers is essential to prevent reinfection.
You May Like: What Does Nail Fungus Come From
Making The Vinegar Foot Soak
Vinegar will not hurt your feet, but you should still dilute it for a foot soak. Generally, using 1-part vinegar to 2-parts water is a good ratio. If youre tolerating the diluted vinegar soaks, and not noticing any difference, you can use a stronger soak.
While the soak will smell strong, the odor will dissipate after the vinegar dries from your feet. You can also use essential oils to change the scent slightly.
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.
Read Also: Is Black Mold A Fungus
How To Cure Toenail Fungus: Can Vinegar Help
This article was co-authored by Zora Degrandpre, ND. Dr. Degrandpre is a Licensed Naturopathic Physician in Vancouver, Washington. She is also a grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. She received her ND from the National College of Natural Medicine in 2007.There are 7 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. This article received 19 testimonials and 88% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,073,560 times.
Nail fungus refers to a fungal infection that starts underneath your toenails. It could cause discoloration, thickening, or crumbling on one or more of your nails. This is a frustrating problem, so youll naturally want to get rid of nail fungus as soon as possible. One remedy you may have heard of is soaking your foot in vinegar to clear the infection. Vinegar is acidic, so it will kill bacteria and fungus.XResearch source However, this remedy has very limited success because the vinegar cant penetrate under the nail. You can try it if you want to, but visit a podiatrist for further treatment if you dont see any results in 2 weeks.
Why Does It Develop
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.
Recommended Reading: What To Do About Toe Nail Fungus
How Nail Fungus Occur And What Should We Do To Prevent It
The most important reason for a healthy individual to catch fungal infections is fungi in wet and humid environments. Places such as gyms, showers, baths, swimming pools, locker cabins are contagion points. Fungi are likely to be transmitted through a small cut or crack in the nail. Fungi entering from here cause serious infections and spread quickly, and their contagiousness is high.To prevent nail fungus: We should wash and dry our hands and feet regularly. After touching an infected nail, we should wash, dry and moisturize our hands very well. We should cut our nails straight. We should prevent it from thickening with a rasp. We should disinfect our nail clippers. We should wear sweat absorbent socks and change them daily. We should wear shoes made of breathable materials. We should wear shoes in pools and changing areas. We should pay attention to the use of sterilized manicure tools. We should give up nail polish and artificial nails.
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.
Also Check: What Is Japanese Fungus Remover