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How To Remove Fungus From Fingernails

How Can I Prevent Toenail Fungus

How to Cure Nail Fungus

Theres no way to guarantee that you wont get toenail fungus. But you can take several steps to help prevent it:

  • Avoid going barefoot in communal areas such as hotel rooms / showers, public showers, locker rooms and swimming pools. Most people pick up fungus in these situations. It helps to wear flip flops in these public areas.
  • If you have a family member with foot fungus or nail fungus, try to use different shower or wear flip flops in the shower to avoid coming in contact with it.
  • Trauma due to accidental or aggressive clipping of the nails can turn into portals of entry for the fungus.
  • Clean your nail trimmer before using it.
  • Do not tear or rip your toenails on purpose.
  • If you have diabetes, follow all foot care recommendations from your healthcare provider.
  • Keep your feet dry. Make sure to fully dry your feet after a shower.
  • Soak toenails in warm water before cutting them. Or you can cut your nails after a shower or bath.
  • Trim toenails straight across .
  • Wear shoes that fit correctly. They should not be too loose or tight around the toes.

Do Fungal Nail Infections Occur On Both Hands & Feet

Fungal nail infections tend to affect toenails far more than fingernails. This is because the feet are more often exposed to the kind of environments and surfaces where this type of infection thrives.

The infection can appear on any part of your nail but usually occurs under the nail plate on the nail bed.

What Are Causes Of Nail Fungus

The majority of cases of nail fungus happen as a consequence of the fungi causing athletes foot which infect the nails. Those fungi usually live harmlessly on the human skin however, they could sometimes multiply and cause infections. Fungi prefer dark, warm, and moist environment like the feet.

You will be more likely to suffer from a nail fungus if you:

  • Wear shoes which cause the feet to get sweaty and hot
  • Dont keep the feet clean and dry
  • Walk around on barefoot in the places where fungus could spread easily, like locked rooms, gyms, and communal showers
  • Have a weaken immunity
  • Have damaged nails before
  • Have some other health issues like psoriasis, diabetes, peripheral arterial disease

Remember that nail fungus could be spread to other individuals, so you had better take necessary steps to avoid transferring it to others.

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Which Treatment Is Right For Me

Nail fungus is usually harmless. But many people find discolored or thickened nails unpleasant to look at and want to get rid of the fungus as soon as possible. Fungal nail infections can also spread, and may infect other people. Regardless of the treatment you choose, it will take a while until the nail looks normal again. Its especially important to be patient where toenails are concerned. It can take a year for a healthy big toenail to grow back. Nail fungus can sometimes be very persistent despite treatment. It can also come back after successful treatment.

Topical treatment isnt likely to get rid of a fungal nail infection. Treatment with tablets is considerably more effective and takes less time. But some people cant take tablets because of the very rare, yet serious risks. How you feel about the pros and cons of the different treatment options is a personal matter. You can also discuss the options with your doctor.

Toenail Fungus And Diabetes

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Toenail fungus is about twice as common in people with diabetesin fact, one in three people with diabetes have had it. Because diabetes causes nerve damage in the feet, a person may not notice the symptoms of toenail fungus and accidentally cause further damage or infection. Gone untreated, toenail fungus increases the risk of amputation.

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Tea Tree Oil And Castor Oil

With natural antiseptic and antifungal properties, castor oil and tea tree oil for nail fungus have been used for centuries. Undiluted tea tree oil can be applied directly to affected nails to help kill fungus ten minutes after application, gently massage the oil into the nail using an old toothbrush.

When applied to surrounding skin, tea tree oil is best diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut or olive oil. Continue to use daily until several weeks after new nail growth has occurred to prevent the fungus from returning.

Factors That Increase The Risk Of Nail Fungus

  • Wearing tight shoes all day. Sandals are better try to wear them when you can.
  • Playing a lot of sports. Long-distance running or any other endurance sport can make your feet very sweaty. Remaining in that state for a long period of time puts you at high risk.
  • Not changing your socks frequently enough. Socks can absorb moisture and create a breeding ground for fungus.
  • Athletes foot. The fungus that causes this condition can spread to your nails.
  • A humid environment. This makes it easy for you to develop fungus on both your fingernails and toenails.
  • Damage to the nail particularly if it occurs regularly. Wounds are especially prone to infection.
  • Going barefoot in communal areas. In places such as locker rooms and around swimming pools, its better to wear flip-flops.
  • Using artificial nails. They can cause an allergic reaction or wear down the nails, making them more vulnerable.

Onychomycosis

Onychomycosis is the proper term for nail fungus. Common symptoms are thickened, brittle, and discolored nails.

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How To Heal Nail Fungus At Home

Conventional treatments for nail fungus involve various antifungal creams, ointments, and oral medications. Oral antifungal medications can have significant side-effects. Be sure not to take them if youre pregnant or breastfeeding.

Laser treatment can be performed to remove nail fungus, but its expensive, and there are doubts as to whether its really effective. Its not normally covered by insurance.

Thankfully, there are also a number of useful natural remedies that can solve the problem. Before using any of these remedies, trim your nails so that the remedy has the best chance of working.

The Importance Of Hygiene

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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.

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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.

How To Trim Toenails With Fungus

This article was co-authored by . Marta Nagorska is a Nail Technician and Nail Art Blogger based in London, UK. She runs the blog, Furious Filer, where she gives tutorials on nail care and advanced nail art. She has been practicing nail art for over 5 years and graduated from Northampton College with distinction with a Nail Technician and Manicurist degree in 2017. She has been awarded the top spot in the OPI Nail Art Competition.There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 48,865 times.

Fungal infections can thicken your toenails, making them difficult to trim. You might also be worried about spreading the infection to your other nails during trimming. Fortunately, you can make the trimming process safer and easier by choosing the right tools and softening your nails before you trim them. You can also protect your healthy nails by properly disinfecting your nail care tools after each use.

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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.

How To Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus

FUNGUS, FUNGUS, FUNGUS! Toenail Removal

By Joan Clark

A lot of people take their feet for granted and tend to neglect them. Foot health is a part of overall health, however. Cracked, yellowing, or discolored toenails do more than just affect your ability to wear flip flops it may be the result of a nail fungus. Onychomycosis more commonly referred to as toenail fungus can cause nails to thicken, yellow, and crack, as well as cause pain, swelling, and inflammation of the toe.

And while fungal toenail infection may not be life-threatening, youll still realize the importance of your feet. You might feel self-conscious about the appearance of your toes, or you might have a symptom of a larger problem .

Whatever the case, youre better off avoiding a fungus infection. Or, if you already have one, here are a few ways for how to get rid of toenail fungus.

  • Closed-toe shoes

While fingernail infections can occur, toenail fungus infections are much more widespread, because of the conditions of the hands versus the feet.

A particular fungus known as dermatophyte yeast causes fungal infections. The fungi typically live and thrive in warm, moist environments such as pools and showers because shoes recreate these conditions, toenails are at a much higher risk for developing fungus.

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What Are Fungal Nail Infection Symptoms And Signs

    • Fungal nail infection usually does not cause any symptoms unless the nail becomes so thick it causes pain when wearing shoes. People with fungal nail infection usually go to the doctor for cosmetic reasons, not because of physical pain or problems related to fungal nail infection.
    • As the nail thickens, however, fungal nail infection may interfere with standing, walking, and exercising.
    • Paresthesia , pain, discomfort, and loss of agility may occur as the disease progresses. Loss of self-esteem, embarrassment, and social problems can also develop.
    • Severe cases of Candida infections can disfigure the fingertips and nails.

    Symptoms or signs of fungal nail infection based on subtype

    Fungal nail infection is divided into subtypes that can be identified based on where the infection appears to be located relative to the structure of the nail.

    Know It Need Not Be Your Only Option

    As already mentioned, nail removal is usually a last resort, after other methods have failed to be effective. As such, your doctor is not likely to recommend or even mention nail removal before trying oral and topical medications, ointments, and various other treatments.

    Depending on the precise issue, many people have found great success and healing using all kinds of other treatments. Because nail fungus is a very common reason for toenail removal, look at thesedifferentoptions for how to safely and effectively treat toenail fungus.

    However, the more severe the case and the longer it has gone without treatment, the more likely your doctor will insist on nail removal as the only possible option.

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    When To Refer To Podiatry

    Before initiating topical or oral therapy, patients should ideally be referred to a podiatrist for nail trimming and debridement. This assists with removing as much fungus as possible and improves topical drug penetration. Debridement alone cannot be recommended for the treatment of OM patients using a combination of debridement and topical nail lacquer have shown a significant improvement in mycological cure compared with debridement only. Patients with nail trauma owing to footwear, dystrophic toenails affecting other toes or who describe discomfort when walking owing to thickened toenails should also be referred.

    When there is treatment failure with topical, oral and combination therapies, a podiatrist may be able to carry out a chemical or surgical nail avulsion .

    If there is doubt over the original diagnosis, or where no improvement has been seen with treatment, pharmacists should refer patients to a podiatrist or their GP.

    Supported by RB

    RB provided financial support in the production of this content.

    The authors were paid by The Pharmaceutical Journal to write this article and full editorial control was maintained by the journal at all times.

    What Tests Might I Have For Toenail Fungus

    HOW TO REMOVE NAIL 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.

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    What If Nail Removal Is Considered

    With laser therapy, topical medications, and oral antifungals in our arsenal, we almost never have to actually remove toenails to treat a fungal infection. It does still remain a rare possibility, however, if the case is extreme or continues to come back.

    Why not consider nail removal earlier? Because when nails are fully removed, it doesnt necessarily guarantee that the new nail will grow in properly. The nail can grow back misshapen.

    If the new nail comes back in an unpleasant manner or the fungus just continues coming back no matter what, we can treat the underlying nail matrix to prevent new nail from ever growing again . This does not place your nails at any real disadvantage, but its still nice to be able to keep your toenails if you can!

    What Causes Fungal Nails And What Are Some Of The Risk Factors

    In normal, healthy people, fungal infections of the nails are most commonly caused by fungus that is caught from moist, wet areas. Communal showers, such as those at a gym or swimming pools, are common sources. Going to nail salons that use inadequate sanitization of instruments in addition to living with family members who have fungal nails are also risk factors. Athletes have been proven to be more susceptible to nail fungus. This is presumed to be due to the wearing of tight-fitting, sweaty shoes associated with repetitive trauma to the toenails. Having athlete’s foot makes it more likely that the fungus will infect your toenails. Repetitive trauma also weakens the nail, which makes the nail more susceptible to fungal infection.

    Elderly people and people with certain underlying disease states are also at higher risk. Anything that impairs your immune system can make you prone to getting infected with the fungus. These include conditions such as AIDS, diabetes, cancer, psoriasis, or taking any immunosuppressive medications like steroids.

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    What Is The Treatment For Fungal Nails

    Oral antifungal therapy has a high cure rate, depending on the medication. It can take nine to 12 months to see if it has worked or not, because that is how long it takes for the nail to grow out. Even when therapy works, the fungus may come back. Currently, an oral antifungal therapy is considered the best treatment for toenail fungus because of higher cure rates and shorter treatment duration compared to topical therapy.

    Prescription oral medications that are effective against nail fungus include the following:

    There are several innovative treatments that are still being tested:

    • Laser therapy or uses application of light-activated agents onto the nail followed by shining light of a proper wavelength on the nail.
    • Use of electrical current to help absorption of topical antifungal medications into the nail: This is also called iontophoresis.
    • Use of a special nail lacquer that changes the micro-climate of the nail to make it inhospitable for the fungus to grow: If this works, it may be an inexpensive way to treat this problem in the future.

    One way to definitively get rid of toenail fungus is by surgery. Surgical treatment of onychomycosis involves nail removal. However, this often only provides temporary relief, and recurrence is common unless additional antifungal medication is simultaneously used. However, surgical removal may be warranted when the affected nail is associated with other factors such as trauma and or infection.

    What Are Fungal Nail Infection Risk Factors

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    Risk factors for fungal nail infection include family history, advancing age, poor health, trauma, living in a warm climate, participation in fitness activities, immunosuppression , bathing in communal showers , and wearing shoes that cover the toes completely and don’t let in any airflow.

    Fungal nail infections, especially toenail infections, can be contagious person to person from direct and indirect contact with an infected person or their clothing, such as wearing an infected person’s shoes or socks. The incubation period for a fungal nail infection is about 3 to 6 days.

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