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.
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.
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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White Vinegar Or Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar is slightly acidic, so natural remedies like apple cider vinegar work to balance the pH of the skin. It also helps to prevent the fungus from spreading and kills bacteria and fungi. Mix equal parts vinegar and water and soak the infected area for 30 minutes daily. Make sure to thoroughly dry your foot after.
Best Ways To Treat A Nail Fungus
Nail fungus can cause thick, discolored nails, and, for some patients, it can even be painful. An Internet search will bring up plenty of ways to treat the condition, but which ones are best? Dermatologist Dr. Christopher Hull discusses what nail fungus actually is, why its so hard to get rid of, and which treatments work best.
Also Check: How To Remove Fungus From Body Naturally
How To Treat Toenail Fungus With Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is a fantastic herb with powerful properties. Those looking for how to get rid of toenail fungus can use it to heal the distorted nail.
How to use?
- Put a chamomile tea bag in a cup of water
- Take it out after some time and squeeze out the excess water. After that place the tea bag on the infected nail.
- Repeat this remedy two to three times a day to see effective results.
Benefits of Chamomile
Chamomile is one of the effective home remedies for toenail fungus. It has soothing properties that calm the inflamed skin and further inhibit the growth of fungus.
Those who have suffered from allergic reactions from plants belonging to the daisy family like marigolds must avoid this remedy. Topical application of chamomile may also cause allergic reactions and the development of rashes.
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:
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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.
Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus
One of the most dreaded and, lets face it, a disgusting ailment is toenail fungus . As most who read my blogs know, I usually write about topics that I have experienced personally and/or observed in patients. Well, for this one, it is both. For years, one of my toes would become afflicted, Id treat it, and then a year or two later, it would return.
The truth is that fungus is among us! You may view yourself as one with good hygiene, but even you are loaded with fungus on your skin. Fungus does not need much to overgrow and is exceedingly difficult to get rid of when it does. The three changes in our local skin environment that cause it to grow are 1. A decrease in good bacteria , since bacteria can suppress its growth 2. Excessive water/moisture 3. Sugar.
But to get fungus on your nail, a few things must happen. Diabetics, because of elevated sugar, are at higher risk. However, many, like myself, who dont have diabetes, are still prime targets. Thats because of what I call the blotter effect. To understand this effect, imagine the following scenario. You are sitting behind a wooden desk with a glass blotter on top to protect the surface. You place a cup of water on the blotter and turn to work on your computer. As you turn, your elbow knocks over youre cup, and the water spills over the edge of the desk. You then see some water track itself under the blotter.
The following natural approaches will work whether you have taken a medication or not .
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Natural Remedies For Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus ruins the appearance of your pretty nails. It can embarrass you. People suffering from such condition resort to wearing closed footwear, but that does not solve your troubles.
Do you now that the infection is contagious, it can spread to other nails? Hence instead of hiding it, treat it with some simple home remedies for toenail fungus mentioned here. These effectively help in treating the infected nail and relieve you of all your troubles.
Best Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is a common condition that affects up to 10% of Americans. It can be embarrassing and painful when left untreated for too long. However, there are a number of home remedies that work as some of the best toenail fungus treatments out there. Heres a quick list of some of the most effective home remedies out there.
By far the best toenail fungus treatment out there, topical nail solutions come in a small, easy-to-carry bottle that includes a brush applicator for easy application. Its safe, affordable, and works quickly. Its the easiest item to use on the list. Start by cutting and filing the nail as close to the infection as possible. Wash the affected area thoroughly with warm water to loosen the skin around the nails. Dry completely before applying the treatment onto the affected nail. Usually, topical nail solutions need to only be applied twice daily.
2. Baking soda
Baking soda is a common household item, vinegar can soak up the moisture on your feet, and effectively treats the damaged or affected nail. However, the affected toenail may also loosen and fall off, making room for a healthy nail to grow. To use baking soda, make a paste out of the product with warm water, and spread it on the affected nails. Alternatively, you can also use it for a soak. Add baking soda to a bucket or tub of water, and soak your feet for 20 to 30 minutes. Make sure to thoroughly rinse your feet after, and dry them completely.
Also Check: Will Toenail Fungus Grow Out
What Causes Toenail Fungus
The growth of fungus causes the toenail infection. The most common toe fungus that affects your nails is dermatophyte. Besides it, molds and yeast may also cause the infection. Following factors may contribute to the growth of fungus on the toenails:
- Weak Immune system
Following are the kinds of toenail fungus
- White Superficial onychomycosis: White-colored deposition on the nail plate.
- Yeast onychomycosis: It causes yellow, brown or thickened nails due to the growth of the yeast called candida.
- Proximal subungual onychomycosis: The infection starts from nail cuticle and rises to the nail tip.
Preventative Steps To Take
While you cant always help your risk factors for toenail fungus, there are some preventive steps you can take:
- Bring your own sterilized instruments, such as nail clippers, to a nail salon.
- Keep your toenails short and clean to prevent nail trauma that can lead to cracking. If you have difficulty trimming your own toenails, your doctor may recommend seeing a podiatrist to help.
- Dont share personal care items like fingernail clippers or pumice stones with another person.
- Throw away or treat potentially infected footwear.
- Wear clean socks and wash socks after use.
- Wear sandals when walking in a locker room, public shower, or any other places where fungus is likely to grow.
Toenail fungal infections have a high rate of recurrence, even after youve treated them. Thats why its important to couple treatment measures with preventive ones to give yourself the best chance for keeping your toenails healthy in appearance.
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Fungus Under Fingernail
What Is Toe Fungus
Toe fungus is a relatively common condition that can be difficult to treat. Although there are many different kinds of fungal infections, it is common for people to refer to all of them as toe fungus. But there are many different kinds of fungal infections, which can occur in different places on the body. For example, jock itch is a type of fungal infection that typically affects the groin area. Athletes foot is another kind of fungal infection. It often affects the feet and toes, but it can also cause infection in or around the nails.
/6toenail Infection Is A Contagious Disease
Toenail fungus also known as onychomycosis is a common infection of the toenail. This contagious disease can be very painful and can even spread to other parts of the body, if not treated immediately.
The most common symptom of the toenail infection is a white, brown or yellow discoloration of one or more toenails. It may spread and even cause the nails to thicken and crack.
Traditionally, anti-fungal treatments such as terbinafine or fluconazole are used to cure toenail fungus, but these treatments have some serious side effects like upset stomach, dizziness, and jaundice. Most people opt for home remedies to cure this disease.
You can also try these popular home remedies, if your toenail is troubling you.
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How To Treat Your Toe Fungus Naturally
There are many myths about nail fungus, but there are also ways to naturally get rid of it. Here are three ways you can do just that.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar Apple cider vinegar is a natural antiseptic that will disinfect the toe nails, preventing the infection to spread further. It will also help remove the dead skin cells, which is where the fungus has been living in. Mix two cups of water with one cup of apple cider vinegar daily until you see improvement.
2. Tea Tree Oil – Tea tree oil has been used for years in alternative medicine as a natural remedy for fungal infections of the nails. It is believed that tea tree oil works by making it difficult for fungi to stick to the nail plate.
3. Diet and Nutrition – A study shows that diet and nutrition are directly linked to the risk of getting nail fungus. It has been shown that eating a well-balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients may help protect your skin from developing nail fungus.
How Do I Know If I Have A Fungal Nail Infection
Because other infections can affect the nail and mimic symptoms of a fungal nail infection, the only way to confirm a diagnosis is to see a doctor. Theyll take a scraping of the nail and look under a microscope for signs of fungus.
In some cases, your doctor may send the sample to a lab for analysis and identification.
Over-the-counter products arent usually recommended to treat nail infections since they dont provide reliable results. Instead, your doctor may prescribe an oral antifungal medication, such as:
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How To Use It
Apply mentholated ointment directly to the affected nail. Do this about once a day for several weeks or until the nail shows noticeable improvements.
Vinegar is a common household product found in cooking and some home cleaning solutions. Though no clinical evidence exists to date, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that vinegar is an effective tool to help treat toenail fungus.
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What About Bleach Baths
Bleach baths are an approach dermatologists may recommend for treating skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis and recurrent Staphylococcus infections on the skin. These involve mixing a very small amount of bleach in bath water typically a half cup of bleach to a full-sized bathtub of water.
While its true that bleach baths may temporarily kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses, the effects arent long-lasting and arent likely to treat an existing toenail fungal infection.
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Tea Tree Essential Oil
Recent controlled trials using tea tree oil show promising opportunity for people suffering from stubborn toenail infections.
This is one of the few problems that uses 100% tea tree oil for maximum results. After several months of testing, doctors found that tea tree oil was on par with the results seen after using standard topical antifungal treatments.
Why use medical treatments with mystery ingredients when there is an all natural alternative that is just as effective?
Paint the oil on the affected nails twice a day for at least two months. The nail has to grow out for the fungus to be eradicated, so you may not see results for a several months.
You can find here more medicinal uses for tea tree oil or if you are interested to learn more about essential oils you can find useful information in my e-book Magical Aromatherapy. This e-book will help you to discover the power of essential oils and the most effective ways to use them.
Treating Fungal Nail Infection
Treatment may not be necessary in mild cases of fungal nail infection. For more severe or troublesome cases, antifungal medication may be recommended.
A fungal nail infection is unlikely to get better without treatment, but if you’re not bothered by it you might decide it’s not worth treating because treatment can take a long time, may cause side effects, and isn’t always effective.
Whether or not you decide to have treatment, you should still follow the self-help advice below to help stop the condition getting worse or spreading to others.
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Additional reporting for this story by Jennifer Nied
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