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 .
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 youre not bothered by it you might decide its not worth treating because treatment can take a long time, may cause side effects, and isnt 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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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.
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What Causes Athletes Foot
Athletes foot occurs when the tinea fungus grows on the feet. You can catch the fungus through direct contact with an infected person, or by touching surfaces contaminated with the fungus. The fungus thrives in warm, moist environments. Its commonly found in showers, on locker room floors, and around swimming pools.
Anyone can get athletes foot, but certain behaviors increase your risk. Factors that increase your risk of getting athletes foot include:
- visiting public places barefoot, especially locker rooms, showers, and swimming pools
- sharing socks, shoes, or towels with an infected person
- wearing tight, closed-toe shoes
There are many possible symptoms of athletes foot, which include:
- itching, stinging, and burning between your toes or on soles of your feet
- blisters on your feet that itch
- cracking and peeling skin on your feet, most commonly between your toes and on your soles
- dry skin on your soles or sides of your feet
- raw skin on your feet
- discolored, thick, and crumbly toenails
- toenails that pull away from the nail bed
Top Prevention Strategies For Toenail Fungus
For these reasons it’s important to take the necessary precautions to prevent a fungal nail infection. These recommendations will also help reduce the chance of spreading the infection to your other toenails and other people and is best practice when you get toenail fungus treatment.
Don’t use the same nail trimmer or file on healthy nails and infected ones .
Keep your toenails short. When your toenails get long and start to hit the top of your shoe, the nail bed is more likely to lift and letting in fungus.
Wear socks made of wicking material to draw moisture from the skin (an excellent sock is the Copper Anti-bacterial Antifungal Low Cut Socks these are wicking and anti-microbial. If you’re a hiker a sock liner from Fox River will keep the moisture away from your feet. Avoid wearing cotton.
Change your socks when they are damp from sweat or your feet get wet.
Wear clean, dry socks every day and apply over-the-counter antifungal powder inside socks to keep feet dry.
Wear shoes with good support and a wide toe area .
Avoid walking barefoot in public areas, such as locker rooms .
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Side Effects Of Toenail Fungus Medication
One of the many benefits of using a homeopathic remedy is that there are little to no adverse side effects. Topical treatments often prescribed to treat toenail fungus can potentially burn or blister the skin. Oral medications for treating onychomycosis can cause liver or gastrointestinal damage. Be sure to read your medications list of potential side effects. Consult your pharmacist, physician, or specialist if you are concerned about side effects of prescription drugs.
Trying Other Preventative Strategies
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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.
My Final Thoughts On The Prevention Of Toenail Fungus
It is way easier to prevent toenail fungus than to cure it.
Take all the steps necessary to make certain that you are doing everything possible to ensure that you are protected from this unsightly condition.
Should you begin to notice any changes within your toenails such as thickening or discoloration, it is best to begin treatment right away!
There are many treatments out there for toenail fungus that just do not work however, there are currently THREE products that are the most effective cures for toenail fungus.
Get one and treat early!
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Tea Tree Oil Has Soothing Properties That Can Help In Pain Management
- Tea tree oil, or melaleuca oil, is a natural oil that comes from Australias Melaleuca alternifolia plant. Not only does tea tree oil possess antifungal properties, it also relieves itchiness, discomfort, and inflammation. There are many topical anti-fungal solutions that carry this natural ingredient in their product. An example is EmoniNail, which is an FDA-approved effective treatment for onychomycosis. If you choose tea tree oil and remedy it on your own, one must be reminded that it needs to be diluted. Direct application of tea tree oil is not ideal. This can easily be fixed by diluting it with coconut oil.
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What Are The Main Types Of Toenail And Fingernail Fungal Infections
There are many types of fungal nail infections that develop over time and can be caused by a different class of fungi. Since the development of infection is a gradual process so a slight change in the texture or look of the nail should be considered seriously before it gets much worse. Some of the most common types of fungal infections that affect majorly the areas surrounding fingernails and toenails are listed below. All these nail infections are sub-classes of onychomycosis.
Distal subungual onychomycosis
The most common type of fungal nail infection is DSO caused by the same fungi that are behind the Athlete’s foot. It is the infection that affects the nail and the skin present under the nail, known as the nail bed. The infection originates from the nail bed and partial nail turns yellow or white, which is the first indication of DSO. In this type of infection debris, bacterial dirt, broken nail fragments and pieces of dead skin accumulate under the nail and as the condition worsen the nail could also crumble and break. DSO is a lifelong infection that can be difficult to overcome and even harder to treat. Improper care and wearing tight shoes may worsen the condition.
White superficial onychomycosis
Proximal Subungual onychomycosis
Tips To Combat Foot Fungus
The best way to combat foot fungus is to reduce your exposure to it. There are simple things you can do to prevent from contracting foot and nail fungus.
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Are Oral Medications For Nail Fungus Toxic
The newer drugs are unlikely to cause any liver problems in patients without known liver disease. Blood tests are not needed for once-weekly treatment with fluconazole however, people taking longer courses often have their liver function tested before starting the medicine and then retested during the course of treatment. It is important to notify the doctor of all side effects while on the medication. You should tell your doctor of all current medications to prevent potential serious drug interactions.
How Can I Stop A Toenail From Curving Inward
The nail on one of my big toes is starting to curve in like a C while the other one is still normal . Does anyone know what causes that and more importantly, how to stop it? I have not changed the type of shoes I wear.
Asked by fawn 30 months ago Similar questions: stop toenail curving Health.
As in the case of skin, your fingernails say a lot about your health condition. Nail diseases As in the case of skin, your fingernails say a lot about your health condition. Nail diseases and disorders can be easily identified because fingernails or toenails will be a different color, shape, or texture.
A nail showing deformity or thickening, usually starts peeling and it may eventually result in nail plate loss. For example, an iron deficiency, usually brought about by anemia, may cause some nail disorders, such as raised ridges. It may also make them concave and thinner.
This is called Koilonychia, and it is necessary to consult a physician and follow some treatment. Beaus lines are linear depressions, usually horizontal. This nail disease is caused by darkened cells because of the interruption in the nail plate formation.
They often appear as a result of trauma, a fingernail disease or malnutrition, chemotherapy or any metabolic problem. Sources: nailcaresalon.com/nail-diseases-disorder .
A doctor can best advise you on what you need to do.
A doctor can best advise you on what you need to do.
How do I get rid of toenail fungus?
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When To See A Doctor
In most cases, toenail fungus is considered a cosmetic problem. Still, it may cause serious complications for some people.
If you have diabetes, toenail fungus may lead to foot ulcers or other foot problems. According to a 2012 study, chronic toenail fungus is a significant risk factor for bacterial cellulitis of the leg.
If you have diabetes or a weakened immune system, you shouldnt use home remedies for toenail fungus. Contact your doctor for the appropriate course of action.
Causes Of Toenail Fungus
- Onychomycosis stems from a number of fungal pathogens, primarily a certain group of fungi known as dermatophytes. Other relatively less common carriers of this infection are yeast and mold.
- Your susceptibility to this type of infection increases with age as older people tend to have increasingly brittle and dry nails that may allow the fungus to slip in through the cracks.
- Direct skin-to-skin contact with people grappling with fungal infections like athletes foot or ringworm on their hands can transmit the fungus onto you, paving the way for a toenail infection.
- A warm, moist environment such as a pool deck or a locker room provide the ideal breeding grounds for these infection-causing fungi. Therefore, people who walk barefoot in such areas tend to pick up this infection quite easily.
- Another common way of catching a fungal nail infection is by sharing an infected nail clipper or towel.
- Moreover, people who are prone to having moisture-ridden nails or often wear sweaty socks and shoes are increasingly predisposed to getting a fungal nail infection all by themselves.
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Checking Your Nails For Infection
Although common and contagious, detection of fungal infections is easy. You can find signs of an early fungal infection by looking at your nails and the skin around them. Check for these signs at least once a month. You want to look out for:
âChanges in nail color, such as a white spot or brown or yellow streak
âChanges to the texture of your nails
âSoreness or swelling around a nail
âDry, itchy skin
If you notice any signs of infection, make an appointment right away. The longer you leave fungal nails untreated, the more likely they are to spread.
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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Why Does The Onychomycosis Fungus Attack Toenails And Fingernails
Even though fungal infections are not only limited to nail areas, there are other type of fungal infections as well, for example, fungal paronychia which is the inflammation of the tissue folds surrounding the nail. However, the most common areas for fungi to cause infection is still around fingernails and toenails, toenail holding the highest probability for infections, the reason behind this is easily understandable. The area surrounding our nails is prone to accumulate most of the dirt and bacteria that are not even visible to the naked eye. While we use our hands to touch everything throughout the day, from tying our shoe laces in the morning to holding doors and handles in the bus for support, then using the same hands to eat food, we don’t even realize how many germs we consume in our body. Besides that, fungal infections are so easily transmittable from one person to another, while borrowing gloves from somebody else or getting a manicure/pedicure at the salon you might think you are getting your nails cleaned which is not the case always. So, it is advised to ask for clean healthy tools every time you visit a salon, that will sound annoying and nosy but it is worth preserving your health.