Types Of Fungal Nail Infections
There are four main kinds of fungal nail infection. Each looks slightly different:
- Distal or lateral subungual onychomycosis. This is the most common kind. It results from a fungus called a dermatophyte. You can get it in your fingernails or toenails. It starts in the nail bed, underneath the nail. Youâll see a yellowish colored area that spreads from the edges of the nail to the center, and places where it comes apart from the nail bed.
- White superficial onychomycosis. This is less common and only affects the nail surface, mainly on your toenails. It starts as white spots, which become powdery and cause the nail to crumble.
- Proximal subungual onychomycosis. This appears first as white spots in the center of the nail bed at the cuticle. They move outward as the finger or toenail grows. Itâs rare and usually affects people who have immune system problems, like HIV infection.
- Candidal onychomycosis. Yeast causes this infection that usually affects your fingernails. The area around the nails is often swollen and inflamed, and the nails may come off entirely. It tends to happen to nails that have been damaged by an injury or another infection.
How Long Does Tea Tree Oil Take To Work On Nail Fungus
Results vary, but most people see a marked improvement within 2 to 3 weeks.
Tea tree oils effectiveness relies on a couple of things: the strength of the tea tree oil and the length of treatment.
Gentle massaging with 1 or more drops is recommended every night before going to bed but ideally for no less than 8 weeks.
To make tea tree oil, add a few drops of this essential oil into 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Massage it on the affected area and allow it to air dry .
After 2 hours or more, put on socks to let them soak in for the night. Do this daily for at least 8 weeks.
Nail During Treatment For Fungal Nail Infection
The fungi that are killed with treatment remain in the nail until the nail grows out. Fresh, healthy nail growing from the base of the nail is a sign that treatment is working. After you finish a course of treatment, it will take several months for the old infected part of the nail to grow out and be clipped off. The non-infected fresh new nail continues growing forward. When it reaches the end of the finger or toe, the nail will often look normal again.
Fingernails grow faster than toenails, so it may appear they are quicker to get back to normal. It may take up to a year after starting treatment before toenails look completely normal again and six months for fingernails to look completely normal.
Consult a doctor if there does not seem to be any healthy new nail beginning to grow after a few weeks of treatment. However, the infection can still respond to treatment even after you finish a course of medication. This is because the antifungal medication stays in the nail for about nine months after you stop taking medication.
You May Like: How Long Does Toenail Fungus Take To Go Away
What Tests Might I Have For Toenail 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.
How To Treat Fungal Nail Effectively
Owing to the high recurrence rate of fungal nail infections, pharmacy professionals should be able to advise patients on effective treatment and preventative and appropriate self-care strategies to avoid re-infection.
Fungal nail infection is a mycotic infection caused by fungal invasion of the nail structure and is one of the most common nail disorders, representing half of nail abnormalities in adults. Its prevalence in Europe is around 4.3% over all age groups and 15.5% of all nail dystrophies in children. OM is more commonly diagnosed in men and older people, affecting 2050% of people aged over 60 years. An increased incidence among older people may be attributed to multiple factors, including reduced peripheral circulation, diabetes, inactivity, relative immunosuppression, and reduced nail growth and quality. Toenails are affected more commonly than fingernails.
This article will cover the causes, types and treatment of OM, practical information to help guide patient consultations and when to refer to podiatry.
Don’t Miss: What Causes Nail Fungus On Hands
Acrylic Nail Fungus Home Remedies
The first step after noticing an infection is to have the acrylic nail removed and to wash your fingernail with soap and water. Avoid putting on a new nail until the infection clears.
Anecdotally, some people claim the following home remedies have helped them clear their infection:
- Vinegar. Vinegar contains acid that can inhibit the growth of fungi and bacteria. Try soaking your finger in a 2:1 ratio of warm water to vinegar.
- Vicks VapoRub. An older 2011 study found Vicks VapoRub seemed to have a positive clinical effect on killing toenail fungi. You can try applying a small amount to your finger once a day.
- Tea tree oil. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health , one small study found evidence that tea tree oil may help treat nail fungus, but more research is needed. Try applying oil to your nail twice per day.
- Oregano oil. The chemical thymol found in oregano oil may have antifungal properties. Try applying oregano oil to your nail twice per day with a cotton swab.
- Listerine mouthwash. Listerine contains ingredients that have antifungal properties. Some people claim soaking your finger in original Listerine for 30 minutes a day may help clear the infection.
Lavender Oil For Fungal Infections
Lavender is another essential oil that is effective for getting rid of a fungal infection on your hands or feet.
The Journal of Medical Microbiology reported on the antifungal properties of lavender essential oil. Studies have shown that lavender can help to kill off dermatophytes that cause fungal skin infections. It was also found that lavender oil is an effective antifungal agent even when hand fungus infections are resistant to pharmaceutical drugs.11
To use lavender oil to help get rid of a fungal infection from your hand, all you have to do is mix 2-3 drops of essential oil with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Apply to the affected patch of skin on your hand daily.
Lavender can also be used to keep your skin looking youthful and healthy.
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.
How To Treat Fingernail Fungus From Acrylic Nails
Here is how you treat fingernail fungus from acrylic nails& how to get rid of fingernail fungus from acrylic nails:
Don’t Miss: How To Disinfect Clothes From Fungus
How Do Health Care Professionals Diagnose A Finger Infection
The diagnosis of a finger infection begins with a history and physical exam. A directed history will help identify the likely cause as well as the correct diagnosis. People who have a localized finger infection will be treated differently than someone with a chronic or severe infection. Coexisting problems such as diabetes or blood vessel disorders of the arms and legs will complicate the infection and may change the degree of treatment.
Important information that the doctor will need to know will include the following:
- How did the injury or infection start?
- When did this first occur or begin?
- Where did it occur? Home? Work? In water? In dirt? From an animal or human bite?
- Is it possible a foreign body is in the wound?
- What have you done to care for this before seeing your doctor?
- When was the patient’s last tetanus shot?
- Any previous injuries to the area?
- Any other medical problems that the patient may have not mentioned?
Specific information may help pinpoint the type of finger infection:
Acrylic Nail Fungus Symptoms
If you are an acrylic nail lover, it is imperative for you to understand the symptoms of Acrylic nails fungus first. So, that you may rush to the treatment on the slightest symptoms. Otherwise, you may lose the entire nail.
Below are the commons symptoms that you can note if you get fungus on your nails.
- Discoloration. Your nail may turn whitish, yellow or green. In severe cases it will become black, if not treated on time.
- A slight pain around your nail. This is the time when the fungus has started growing under the nail.
- Redness around your nail.
Also Check: How Can I Get Rid Of Nail Fungus
Read Also: How You Get Rid Of Foot Fungus
Treatment Failure And Relapse
Rates of treatment failure can be extracted from published trials, but data on relapse are less readily available. Post-treatment follow-up is long, drop-out rates in many studies are significant or unreported, and most studies have not allowed crossover of treatment regimens. Furthermore, especially in outcomes of clinical improvement , evaluation criteria have not been standardized and often include subjective assessments that are difficult to quantify. Published studies have not specifically addressed the management of treatment failures or relapse.
Despite these difficulties, several measures may be helpful in managing unsuccessful treatment or relapse. The first step is to confirm mycology. If the initial diagnosis was based on a KOH preparation alone, culture of properly collected specimens is mandatory. Culture reports often identify multiple organisms, including possibly nonpathogenic molds, and treatment should be directed at the organism most likely to be causative. A microbiology or infectious disease consultation may be valuable in interpreting the culture report.
Of note, there has been some concern about evolving drug resistance among fungal pathogens, particularly with the widespread use of systemic fluconazole therapy to treat oropharyngeal and recurrent vaginal candidiasis.5 However, the impact of antifungal resistance on the treatment of onychomycosis is not yet clear.
How To Cure Nail Fungus
This article was medically reviewed by Luba Lee, FNP-BC, MS. Luba Lee, FNP-BC is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner and educator in Tennessee with over a decade of clinical experience. Luba has certifications in Pediatric Advanced Life Support , Emergency Medicine, Advanced Cardiac Life Support , Team Building, and Critical Care Nursing. She received her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Tennessee in 2006. This article has been viewed 331,808 times.
Onychomycosis, or nail fungus, is a common infection that affects toenails and, less frequently, fingernails. It is caused by a group of fungus called dermatophytes, which thrives in warm, moist environments, like your shoes. If you suspect you have a nail infection, try to treat it quickly and routinely, as the fungus will continue to come back if allowed to take hold.
Read Also: Does Vicks Vaporub Kill Toenail Fungus
Facts You Should Know About Fungal Nails
Fungal infection of the nails sometimes makes the condition sound contagious or related to poor hygiene. In fact, up to 10% of all adults in Western countries have fungal infection of the nails. This percentage increases to 20% of adults who are age 60 or older. Toenail fungus is much more common than fingernail fungus.
In reality, abnormal-looking nails may be caused by a number of conditions including, but not limited to, fungal infection. There are many other reasons why your nails may look different.
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.
Also Check: How To Treat Fingernail Fungus
What Are The Symptoms Of Fungal Nail Infection
Often the only symptom is difficulty trimming your nails but other symptoms of fungal nail infections are:
- The nail gets thicker.
- Change in colour of some or all of your nail turns yellow, white, blue, purple or black.
- The skin near the nail may itch, or crack.
- Pain around the nail area which can make it uncomfortable to walk or exercise or put on shoes.
Can You Apply Tea Tree Oil Directly To Toenails
Yes, some people have applied tea tree oil directly to their nails and seen great results.
But you should not do this, if:
a) You have open wounds or diabetes
b) You are allergic to tea tree oil
c) You notice that the product gives off a strong smell.
See Keravita Proa supplement for nail fungus, brittle nails, damaged cuticles, slow growth, splitting, or thinning hair.
You May Like: How To Treat Yellow Nail Fungus
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.
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.
Recommended Reading: How To Relieve Nail Fungus
What Other Conditions Can Be Mistaken For Fungal Nails
Here are some other conditions you may have instead of fungal nails: