What Got Under Your Nails
Thick, discolored, or crumbly toenails are the hallmark of onychomycosis, also known as tinea unguium. According to the Merck Manual, about one in ten adults get onychomycosis. Youre more likely to develop onychomycosis as you get older, if youre a man, or if you have a condition such as peripheral artery disease that slows blood circulation to your feet.
Dermatophyte fungi cause most cases of onychomycosis. However, other organisms also trigger the condition, including yeasts, such as candida albicans, and molds. You may have onychomycosis if your toenails are:
- Dark color under the nail
- Foul smell
If your podiatrist suspects you have onychomycosis, they may need to examine a clipping of your nail under a microscope. They might also conduct a polymerase chain reaction test to determine what kind of pathogen caused the infection. They also have to make sure that your abnormal nails arent due to another condition, such as psoriasis or bacterial infection.
How Effective Are Topical Treatments
So far, only a few studies have looked into topical nail fungus treatments with nail polishes or creams. Because these studies had weaknesses, the results should be interpreted with caution. Amorolfine has not yet been well studied. Ciclopirox polish and treatment sets with urea and bifonazole cream were tested in a few studies.
Research on the effectiveness of nail polish containing ciclopirox showed that, after one year:
- About 10 out of 100 people who did not use ciclopirox no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
- About 32 out of 100 people who used ciclopirox no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
In other words, treatment with ciclopirox got rid of the fungal infection in about 22 out of 100 people. But even if the fungus had gone away, the cosmetic result wasnt always satisfying. The nails only looked healthy after treatment in 7 out of 100 people.
Treatment with sets containing urea and bifonazole cream was tested in one study. It was compared with a treatment in which only urea cream was applied and the nail was removed, but without applying bifonazole cream afterwards. Three months after treatment was completed, it was found that:
- No fungus was visible or detectable in about 41 out of 100 people who only used urea cream.
- No fungus was visible or detectable in about 51 out of 100 people who used both urea and bifonazole cream.
How Are Thick Toenails Diagnosed
See a doctor if you notice a change in the appearance of your nails. Treating a fungal infection in its early stages will help prevent the condition from worsening.
Your doctor will look at your nails to diagnose the condition. The doctor may also take a swab underneath the nail or take a toenail clipping to diagnose the condition.
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There Is A Wide Range Of Options With Varying Success Rates
Other than keeping your toenails trimmed and perhaps painted, you may not pay much attention to them unless a problem develops. Healthy toenails are pink, shiny and smooth, but a fungal infection can cause them to become discolored, thick, brittle and even painful.
Toenail fungal infection, known as onychomycosis, is a common but challenging condition toenail fungus treatments include a wide range of options with varying success rates.
Causes of toenail fungus
Fungal nail infections are usually caused by fungi called dermatophytes that infect the skin beneath the nail yeast is another common culprit. Toenails are especially vulnerable to infection when your bare feet contact damp surfaces such as showers, swimming pools and locker rooms. If you have athletes foot, the infection can spread to the nails.
Wearing closed shoes such as athletic shoes for extended periods also can contribute to infection if your shoes and/or socks are damp from perspiration or heat. Moreover, if your shoes fit snugly enough to put pressure on your toes, they can damage the nail bed, making it more susceptible to infection.
People with chronic diseases, such as diabetes or circulatory problems, also may be more prone to toenail infections.
Symptoms of toenail fungus
Toenail fungus symptoms can develop slowly over time and may go unnoticed at first. Symptoms can include:
Toenail fungus treatments
When to see a doctor for toenail fungus
Preventing toenail fungus
What Causes Thick Toenails How To Treat Them
Changes in our toenails can often go unnoticed or neglected. We might see them as signs of aging and let nature do its job. However, significant changes in your toenail can be alarming and unpleasant.
Your toenail may look abnormally thick, have a yellowish discoloration, redness, or swelling around the affected area. Thick toenails are your body whispering that something is not right.
Several causes result in developing thick toenails. The main cause is onychomycosis or fungal infection of the nails caused by dermatophytes . Physical trauma, Psoriasis,Lichen planus and diabetes may also cause thick nails to develop.
Traditionally, oral antifungal treatments were prescribed. However, due to various side effects of these drugs, topical treatments, and laser treatments have also proven to be effective treatments. Complete treatment of nail fungal infections may take several months hence it is advisable to get effective diagnosis and treatments at an early stage.
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Treating Toenail Fungus Medically
Treatment Options For Thick Nails
The best way to treat your thick toenails varies on the underlying cause.
For all cases of thickened toenails, clipping your toenails correctly and some work with a nail file can help with the thickness and overall appearance. If you are not comfortable with filing your toenails yourself then you could go to a podiatrist, who can do this for you.
They may also use a mechanical grinder to file down the nail, which can be less painful and quicker. Although this typically assists the appearance of the nails, it will not tackle any of the underlying issues such as a fungal infection.
In order to get healthy toenails, you need to address what is causing the thickness.
If you have a fungal infection then there are a myriad of treatments you can follow. The treatments range in price, effectiveness and side effects of the products. The treatments vary from topical creams, sprays, oral medications, and laser treatment.
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What Is Black Toenail Fungus
If you have a dark, thick toenail, it could be toenail fungus, which is usually caused by a type of fungus called dermatophytes. It affects the toenail and the area beneath the nail and causes color changes, thickening, and abnormally shaped nails.
Its fairly common, with at least 12% of American adults diagnosed with it, according to Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery. Older adults and people with diabetes, circulation problems, or a weakened immune system are more likely to have toenail fungus.
This infection doesnt usually go away on its own, and it can take a year or more to treat it with prescription medications. These are applied to the nail or taken in pill form.
Thick Toenails: Causes And Treatment
There are plenty of reasons as to why thick toenails form but there are many ways to combat them. Find out the causes and how to fix thick toenails.
Most nail techs have seen themthick toenails that resist easy clipping and may show signs of yellowing, the presence of fungus or other nail-related concerns.
By remaining aware of the problem and its possible causes, you have the ability to help these clients both at your station and between appointments with homecare suggestions. We spoke to medical experts to find out more about what causes thickened toenails and how to help people who have thick toenails when faced with the situation in your salon.
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Take It Slow And Steady
Thick fungal nails have a tendency to crumble, too. If you try to take off too much at once, the fragile nail might split and fracture in various ways you did not intend it to.
Clip only a small part of your nail at a time, starting at one corner and moving straight along the nail. Make sure these clips are relatively straight and uniform to try to avoid any jagged edges that could snag against socks.
Do not round your nails off at the corners, as this can increase the odds of ingrown toenails. Painful, inflamed, and potentially open skin is not something you want next to toenail fungus.
How Effective Are Tablets In Treating Nail Fungus
Tablets for the treatment of nail fungus have been tested in several studies. All participants had an infection on their toenails caused by a skin fungus. Overall, the study results showed that tablets are considerably more effective than nail polishes or creams.
One year after a three-month treatment with terbinafine:
- About 17 out of 100 people who didnt have this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
- About 76 out of 100 people who had this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
In other words, the treatment with terbinafine got rid of the fungal infection in about 59 out of 100 people.
Itraconazole also proved to be effective. After one year,
- 7 out of 100 people who didnt have this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
- About 43 out of 100 people who had this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
In other words, the treatment with itraconazole got rid of the fungal infection in about 36 out of 100 people.
Some studies directly compared itraconazole and terbinafine with each other. They confirm that terbinafine is somewhat more effective than itraconazole.
Treatment with breaks is thought to be about as effective as continuous treatment. But that has only been looked into in a few studies.
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Best Ointment: Fungi Nail Anti
Infused with five oils for skin healing
Easy-to-use brush applicator
Only for mild infections
Doesn’t heal the nail plate
Fungi Nail Antifungal Ointment uses an innovative design to address multiple forms of fungal infections one can find on their feet. Its wide-tip applicator applies the appointment on larger areas of the feet, such as the soles and in-between toes. Then the smaller applicator works to get around the nail cuticles and underneath the nail.
Once applied, the maximum-strength ointment kills the fungus with the active ingredients of zinc undecylenate and undecylenic acid to help treat toenail fungus. The ointment also soothes itching and burning that can come with an infection, all while healing the skin. For best results, apply twice a day to clean, dry feet.
The ointment also soothes itching and burning that can come with an infection, all while healing the skin. For best results, apply twice a day to clean, dry feet.
Active Ingredients: Zinc undecylenate 20% and Undecylenic acid 5% | Dose: Tube and brush applicator delivers the appropriate amount. Apply thin layer on affected area twice daily or as directed by a doctor. | Uses: Treats and prevents fungal infections fights athletes foot and ringworm
Stop This Skin Infection In Its Tracks With These Over
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Verywell Health / Sabrina Jiang
Toenail fungus is a common fungal condition that often starts after a rash on the foot spreads to the nails. When mild, it looks like white and yellow spots growing under the nail beds. But if left untreated, the fungus can grow severely by hardening the nails and spreading to other toes.
The fungus often begins in the form of athlete’s foot between the toes or on the soles of the feet. At this stage, the fungal infection is easier to treat with over-the-counter medication. But Shari Lipner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine, told Verywell Health toenail fungus can be difficult to treat because of how slow the nails grow. The more severe the toenail fungus, the thicker the nail, and the more nails involved makes it that much harder to treat the nails even with effective therapies, she says.
Diagnosing the fungal infection early is key to make treatments effective. Dr. Lipner recommends visiting a board-certified dermatologist to properly treat the infection if it grows to be too severe.
Here are a few of the best over-the-counter toenail fungus treatments on the market.
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How To Get Rid Of Ingrown Toenails Permanently
Ingrown toenails can be a nightmare for those affected. A seemingly innocuous problem, they can cause you undue pain and discomfort besides making your feet look unsightly. When you have ingrown toenails, your nails begin to grow into the skin instead of over it.
Thankfully, it is possible to get rid of ingrown toenails permanently with the right combination of care and treatments. Whats even better is that many of these remedies are quick and easy to administer and can be done comfortably at home or anywhere on the go without the need for prescriptions or specialist help.
Whats most important when it comes to ingrown toenails is tending to the problem as soon as possible to prevent things from getting worse or letting an infection spread further. Here are some pointers to help you diagnose and treat the problem with the best treatments for ingrown toenails and home remedies that will help you get rid of ingrown toenails for good.
Preventive Measures For Toenail Fungus Infection:
The following precautions should be followed to prevent toenail fungus, reinfections, and athletes foot, which ends in causing nail fungus:
- Wash hands and feet regularly, especially after touching an infected nail. Moisturize nails after washing.
- Trim nails straight across, smoothen the edges with a file.
- Disinfect nail clippers after each use.
- Wear socks that are sweat-absorbing and change your socks daily.
- Choose shoes made of breathable material.
- In pool areas and locker rooms, always wear footwear.
- Ensure that you choose a nail salon where sterilized manicure tools are used.
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Take Quick Action To Root Out Foot Fungus
The more developed a fungal infection becomes, the more challenging it becomes to completely eliminate it from your system. Toenail fungus can get stubborn, so its best to begin treatment as soon as you start to notice symptoms. Dont wait for your toenail fungus to develop out of control.
While over-the-counter treatments for foot fungus are available, you might not see effective results over time and may face a recurrence of your symptoms. Dr. Ike recommends that you come into the office for tailored individual care in order to completely root out your fungal infection.
We offer cutting-edge treatment options such as:
- The PinPointe FootLaser system, providing safe and effective laser energy to destroy fungus and restore your toenails
- Oral or topical antifungal medications and creams to target the infection
- Medicated nail polish
To get started treating your toenail fungus as soon as possible, contact Town Center Foot & Ankle right away. You can schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Ike by or by using our online tool to request an appointment.
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Preventative Treatment Options For Toenail Fungus
Although there are some preventative measures you can take to avoid developing toenail fungus, your body might not make it so easy. Often, toenail fungus can develop as a result of the fungi that are naturally in your body. If you have a weakened immune system or poor circulation, you may also be more prone to fungal infections. However, when taking the proper preventative steps, you may be able to avoid contracting toenail fungus. Here are some ways to avoid toenail fungus:
- Maintain proper foot hygiene by washing your feet with water and mild soap, then completely drying your feet afterwards.
- Avoid showering barefoot in communal showers, such as those in gyms, dorms, or pools.
- Avoid frequently swimming in public pools.
- Change your socks regularly.
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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.