Early Treatment Is Key
When it comes to treating toenail infections, early diagnosis and proper treatment is key to eradicating the fungus as quickly as possible. Once one toenail is impacted, the infection can spread to your other toenails, making treatment more challenging. Even worse, untreated nail fungus easily spreads to other people.
At Family Foot & Ankle Center of South Jersey, we often begin treatment by cutting back the infected nail to where it attaches to the toe. We may scrape the area to help get rid of some of the fungus and prescribe an oral antifungal medication. Taken over the course of 6-12 week, this medication allows a new, fungus-free nail to grow and replace the infected nail. Because of the slow growth of toenails, it can take up to four months for the infection to be truly eradicated.
For those with minor cases, an antifungal topical treatment may be enough to fight the infection. Depending on each individual case, antifungal nail polish or cream may be recommended. These topical treatment approaches are effective, but they work slower than oral antifungal medications and can take as long as 12-18 months to totally do away with your fungal infection.
Toenail fungal infections can be stubborn, but when you stick with your treatment method and use them exactly as your doctor recommends, youll be ready for summer and sandal season before you know it!
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Why Do My Toenails Curl
Toenails curl for many reasons. It could be the result of an ingrown nail or pincer nail. Or it could be because of genetics, infection, or cutting your toenails improperly. Occasionally, it could be something more serious, such as in response to a health condition or medications, that course abnormality to the nails.
If youve noticed your nails curling, theres a good chance that youre very concerned.
After all, when things dont grow correctly, there can be pain involved.
Or you may just be worried about the way that it looks.
Its not unusual, and its something that can be concerning.
However, the causes are almost always something relatively minor.
So you can relax!
First, look at how your nails are curling. That can separate the different causes.
Is Fungus Or A Fungal Skin Infection A Mold
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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.
How Do Dermatologists Diagnose Nail Fungus
To find out if a patient has nail fungus, a dermatologist examines your nails and nearby skin. Its important to check the skin because the fungus can spread. You may already have a skin infection caused by fungus like athletes foot.
To get rid of the infection, you will need to treat all infected areas.
Before giving you the diagnosis, your dermatologist may also take some samples. Collecting a bit of debris from beneath a nail, trimming off part your nail, or scraping off a bit of skin can be very helpful. In a lab, these samples can be examined under a microscope to find out whats causing the problem.
Are you hiding an infected nail with nail polish?
Be sure to ask your dermatologist if you can wear nail polish while treating nail fungus.
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And When You Start Taking This Amazing Solution In A Short Time
- Youll completely eliminate the dangerous toenail fungus that affects millions without side effectsâ¦ without expensive medical billsâ¦ and without the torture that most people go through to see progress right away!
- You wont have to worry about doctors visits or other embarrassing run-ins with people wholl judge you for your unsightly nails.
- And you will see and feel the difference in your toenails for the rest of your life.
Just imagine when you wake up, look down at your toes to see the fungus is GONEâ¦ knowing you and your loved ones are safe from the same humiliating fungal diseases that have plagued you and millions of others like youâ¦
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Surgical Treatment For Thick Toenails
In some cases, the thick toenail can be surgically removed in order to relieve pressure and eliminate the infected tissue underneath. Topical anti-fungal medication is then applied until the nail completely returns. If the nail thickness and pain persists, a chemical can be applied to the nail root and prevent the nail from returning.
The procedure is performed in the office with local anesthetic or occasionally at an out-patient facility under sedation . Full weight bearing is allowed immediately without restrictions.
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How Are Thick Toenails Treated
Although not all cases of toenail fungus need to be treated, thick toenails may be a sign that the fungus has gotten worse. Several methods are available to treat your toenails. You can try some home-based treatments first and then talk to your doctor about prescription-based options. Topical and oral medications are the mainstays of therapy.
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Trim Your Toenails Short And Straight
Keeping your toenails neatly trimmed short and straight across can prevent sharp edges that could injure your nail bed or become ingrown, making your toes more susceptible to fungal infections. Always disinfect your nail clippers after each use, since fungus spreads easily, and only receive pedicures from reputable nail salons that disinfect their tools between customers.
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Why Trust Verywell Health
As a seasoned health writer, Danielle Zoellner knows the importance of finding just the right product to fit your medical needs. Throughout her career, Danielle has interviewed a variety of experts in the medical and health fields while reviewing dozens of products. Her experience and knowledge in the field work together to help readers like yourself find the best products for your daily life.
Additional reporting for this story by Jennifer Nied
For over 10 years, Jennifer Nied has reviewed products, interviewed experts, scrutinized ingredients, and pored over research studies and claims, to help readers like you understand what works for your specific conditions. Every product in this piece was selected taking into account recommendations from doctors, published research, and real customer reviews.
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What Causes White Toenails And How Do I Fix Them
Do you have white toenails or white spots on your toenails?
Lets get to fixing this ugly problem right away.
Step 1: Lets do some basic diagnosis and try to find the cause of your white nails.
Three main things cause white toenails
Do you have any of the following symptoms?
- If you do, then speak to a doctor urgently.
- If not, then lets move on.
Chronic liver disease as a cause is less common than injuries or fungus. Also, white nails are going to be one of the later symptoms of liver disease. Youre likely to experience nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and jaundice before you get white nails. So, if you have white nails without any of the other symptoms you can likely discount liver failure as a cause. If you have white nails and are experiencing nausea, abdominal pain or yellowing of your skin, see your local doctor immediately.
Treatment options for white nails caused by liver disease
See your local doctor as soon as possible for a check up. This could be a serious medical issue and should not be taken lightly. Professional qualified medical assistance will help return your health and nails to normal.
- Rough manicure?
- If not, move on.
Treatment options for white nails caused by injury
If you have white spots from injury, unfortunately you are just going to have to wait for the healthy nail to grow out. Prevention is better than cure for white spots on nails caused by injuries.
Treatment options for fungus
The Supplements And Medicine For Fungus Removal
You can treat the toenail fungus through internal treatments. It is possible by working on your immune system, and letting the body clean the toenail fungus on its own.
Many supplements are exclusively designed to treat toenail fungus or any other skin infection. They may contain probiotics, immunity boosters, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant compounds. These supplements are going to make your body stronger and treat toenail fungus internally.
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Can Severe Toenail Fungus Be Cured
Yes but not by just topical medication!
- Many people with toenail fungus are never able to successful treat their toenail fungus.
- It is unfortunate because they desperately try every home remedy and buy expensive topical creams that state they are a miracle cure. But nothing ever works out.
- This is because they are treating the symptoms of the disease and not the cause.
- The toenail must become weak and the nail bed must be damaged before the fungus ever enters into the picture.
- According to current scientific literature, less than 30% of all deformed and thick nails were initially caused by toenail fungus.
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Fungal Toenails Yellowed Or Deformed Toenails
The most common cause of yellowed, thick and /or deformed toenails is a fungal infection of the toenail. The fungus that infects the nail, most commonly, is the same fungus that causes athletes foot. It tends to be slowly progressive, damaging the nail to a greater and greater degree over time. The infection usually starts at the tip of the nail and works its way back. It usually is not painful and often not noticed until it has gotten well established. A single toenail or any number of nails can be affected. It can also occur on just one foot. Over time, the nail becomes thickened, crumbly, and distorted in appearance. Sweaty feet contribute to the initial infection process and contribute to its spread. The fungus prefers an environment that is moist, dark, and warm, which is why it affects the toenails much more often than fingernails. It does not spread through the blood stream. The infection limits itself to the nails and skin. It is often found in association with areas of dry scaly skin on the bottom of the foot or between the toes. The dry scaling skin is frequently found to be chronic athletes foot. It is not highly contagious, and family members are almost as likely to contract it from some other source as they are from the family member who has the infection. Keeping common showering areas clean is recommended, and sharing shoes should be avoided.
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Can I Wear Nail Polish If I Have Toenail Fungus
You may feel tempted to cover up a discolored toenail with nail polish. If you are using a topical antifungal, you probably should not use polish. Some providers may tell you not to wear it in any case. Polish traps in moisture from the nailbed . Because fungi thrive in moist environments, wearing nail polish may make a fungal infection worse. However, the nail continues to grow with or without polish.
What Is The Outcome For Someone Who Has Nail Fungus
With treatment, many people can get rid of nail fungus. Even when the fungus clears, your nail may look unhealthy until the infected nail grows out. A fingernail grows out in 4 to 6 months and a toenail in 12 to 18 months.
To clear the fungus, its important to:
Use the treatment exactly as prescribed
Apply the medicine for as long as prescribed
Keep all follow-up appointments with your dermatologist
Nail fungus can be stubborn. If you had a severe infection, its possible to clear the infection. A healthy looking nail, however, may be unrealistic, but you can expect the nail to look better and feel more comfortable.
Even with clearing, nail fungus can return. Youll find steps to reduce your risk in Tips: 12 ways to prevent another nail infection.
ReferenceGold LFS and Rosen T. Onychomycosis: Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies. Dermatology News . March 2016:2-15.
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Signs Of A Toenail Fungal Infection
- Discolored toenails. Nails can be brown, black, white, or yellow. Usually a small area changes color at first and it slowly spreads.
- Thickened toenails. Over time, the nail becomes thick, material builds up under the nail, and the nail can develop an irregular shape, grooves, or a crumbling appearance.
- Affects one or more toenails. The fungus may spread to other toenails. The big toe is most commonly affected. The fungus can also occur in fingernails.
- Starts at the end or side of the toenail. The infection gradually spreads toward the cuticle.
- Usually painless unless there are skin changes or injury to the nail bed or if shoes press on the thick nail.
- Athletes foot. Some people will also have skin fungus on their feet, which looks like red, peeling skin between the toes.
Patients may say that they are embarrassed to go to the pool or the beach, or they avoid wearing sandals. They describe their nails as thick, crumbling, and abnormally colored. One patient described their nails as looking like an animals horn, which is pretty accurate. But they are so thrilled when they see results from treatment! Dr. Anne Jacobsen
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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.
Horizontal Ridges On Toenails
When your toenails have lines which run from left to right, over the entire structure of the nail, theyre usually accompanied by deeper grooves than their vertical counterparts.
Horizontal ridges on toenails usually, though not always, indicate untreated health issues within a person.
Seattle Foot Doctor states that a number of serious illnesses can prompt horizontal ridges, also known as Beaus lines.
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Treatment For Black Toenail Fungus
The best scenario is to catch a fungal infection early. Then, you can treat it at home with over-the-counter topical treatments. These are easy to use and dont require a prescription. The best ones are available online.
Severe black toenail fungus cases may require a prescription. While oral prescription medications are effective, they are expensive and have worrisome side effects like diarrheas, upset stomach, and potential liver damage. These side effects might be scary since even cases of death were reported. Thats why people affected by black toenail fungus prefer to avoid prescription drugs and look for other solutions.
Laser treatment is another option. Its very expensive. A one-time treatment can cost $1,000. Additional treatments are $500 each. The cost often isnt covered by medical insurance and there is no guarantee that the nail fungus wont recur.
Do a Google search and youll find lots of home remedies like chlorine bleach, beer, vinegar, Vicks Vaporub, tea tree oil and more. These remedies arent proper treatments for toenail fungus because they rarely obtain definite results and they are difficult to apply daily over a long period of time.
Most people opt for over-the-counter topical treatments because their ingredients are blended in therapeutic dosage for maximum effect, they have no side effects, and they are easy to use. As mentioned above Emoninail is the leading topical treatment currently on the market.