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What Does Nail Fungus Come From

What Happens When Fungus Gets Under Your Toenail

What is toenail fungus?

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Who Is Most Likely To Experience These Issues

Anyone with a weak immune system are more likely to experience the spreading of these terrible fungi. A fungal infection rarely spread below the surface of the skin to cause any serious illness.

But people with HIV/AIDS, may find it very difficult getting rid of the infection. Also leaving toenail fungus untreated can cause variety of health issue. The most common ones are:

Toenail Loss If the toenail fungus is left untreated, the cracking and chipping can become so severe that the only option leave is to remove the nail completely. Which can be a permanent problem.

Pain If toenail fungus should go untreated for too long, the nail can become hard and brittle and it may cause discomfort when wearing a shoes which will make it even harder to walk.

Spreading to Other Parts of The Body As we explained above, toenail fungus can be easily spread. So if nail fungus is left untreated it can eventually spread to other nails or to other areas of your body.

How To Spot A Nail Fungal Infection

Nail fungal infection, or onychomysis, is easy to spot. However, it is also easy to be mistaken for another nail disorder. Yellow nails, brittle nails, or blackened nails dont necessarily mean nail fungus they may be signs of other diseases or abnormalities. So what does a nail fungus look like? The infection starts with a fungusmost commonly dermatophytesthat infects one nail at first by getting in through the cracks of the nail. It is often painless, only making the nail look thickened and discolored. However, there are cases when the nail fungus infection can cause pain and discomfort. The nail may also begin to crumble from brittleness, or there may be white or yellow patches if the nail has been lifted from the skin underneath it . The fungus may also spread to and infect other nails.

As some of these symptoms can also be found in other nail and skin conditions, its recommended that the nail is assessed by a doctor. Proper diagnosis of the condition can mean proper treatment.

Read Also: Does Bleach Kill Fungus On Nails

Tips To Prevent Fungal Nail Infections

Making a few simple lifestyle changes can help prevent a fungal infection of the nails. Taking good care of your nails by keeping them well trimmed and clean is a good way to prevent infections.

Also avoid injuring the skin around your nails. If youre going to have damp or wet hands for an extended amount of time, you may want to wear rubber gloves.

Other ways to prevent fungal infections of the nails include:

  • washing your hands after touching infected nails
  • drying your feet well after showering, especially between your toes
  • getting manicures or pedicures from trustworthy salons
  • avoiding being barefoot in public places
  • reducing your use of artificial nails and nail polish

Products to help you avoid nail fungus

If youre prone to excessive moisture around your fingernails or toenails, consider buying:

When To Refer To Podiatry

Toenail Fungus Blog ~ Warning Signs of Toenail Fungus

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.

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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.

Is Toenail Fungus Really Such A Problem

If youre thinking you can just live with it, we dont advise letting toenail fungus go untreated. Its an insidious problem, and without treatment, you have to deal with the discomfort of the nail as well as feeling self-conscious about its unsightliness.

If you let a nail fungus infection go for too long, several problems emerge. The infected nail can become misshapen and increasingly separated from your nail bed. Itching and pain are unpleasant side effects if theyre too severe, you can have trouble wearing shoes or walking.

You need to be especially attentive to treating toenail fungus if your immune system is compromised. If youre living with diabetes, its critical not to ignore the fungus. Even a mild infection like this can snowball into something more serious, like cellulitis, a severe bacterial skin infection.

Another problem is that untreated fungus eventually can spread to either neighboring toenails or to the skin of your foot, causing athletes foot. Possibly the worst outcome of untreated nail fungus is needing to have your nail surgically removed.

Also Check: How To Grow Healthy Toenails After Fungus

Living With A Nail Fungal Infection

If you have a nail fungal infection, some things can help:

  • Keep your nails cut short and file down any thick areas.
  • Dont use the same nail trimmer and file on healthy nails and infected nails. If you have your nails professionally manicured, bring your own nail file and trimmer from home.
  • Wear waterproof gloves for wet work . Wear 100% cotton gloves for dry work.
  • Wear socks made of wicking material . This pulls moisture away from the skin. Change your socks when they are damp from sweat or if your feet get wet. Put on clean, dry socks every day. Put over-the-counter antifungal foot powder inside your socks to keep your feet dry.
  • Wear shoes with good support and a wide toe area. Dont wear pointed shoes that press your toes together.
  • Avoid walking barefoot in public areas, such as locker rooms.

Warning Signs Of Toenail Fungus

How to Get Rid of Toenail Fungus Effectively

Toenail fungus is an unsightly and embarrassing infection that is contagious and often difficult to get rid of. And while some of you may have a mild case and barely even notice the fungal growth at all, others actually suffer from intense pain as their infection grows and spreads.

When patients visit our office looking to relieve pain caused by toenail fungus, they are usually finally doing something about the infection after months or even years! of ignoring the condition and allowing it to thrive.

Waiting to seek treatment they soon find is a huge mistake!

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Whenever you have an infection, you shouldnt wait to seek medical care the sooner you get the care you need, the quicker and more effective treatments will be.

Its like the old saying goes, the early bird gets the worm. And this is true when it comes to toenail fungus looking for symptoms of this pesky condition before they become a problem will help you make the most of treatment opportunities and minimize complications.

The bottom line is that the more you allow fungus to grow and spread under your nail, the more difficult it will be to actually get rid of it. So staying aware of symptoms and catching them early can really make a huge difference for your recovery.

And of course, if you want to catch it early, you need to know what to exactly look for thats why we are here!

Also Check: Does Bleach Kill Fingernail Fungus

Preventing Nail Fungus While Wearing Artificial Nails

Nail fungus from artificial nails can be prevented by performing some precautions, such as:

  • Making sure you are not allergic to any artificial nails and nail glue. To know this, do a little allergy test by having only one nail applied initially. Pay attention to any itching, redness, or pain occurring afterwards.
  • Avoid applying artificial nails if you have infected skin around the natural nails, as this may cause bacteria or fungus to be trapped in between the nails, causing nail fungus effects.
  • If you are experiencing artificial nails that are detached from the natural nails, clean the gap by soaking your finger in alcohol solution before re-gluing the artificial nail. Re-gluing without firstly clean the gap will cause fungus to be trapped inside the nail and may cause it to eventually spread.
  • Avoid wearing artificial nails for more than three months, as these nails might have been exposed to humid, moist, and dirt environment that can be perfect for fungus growth. Replace the artificial nails regularly and give your natural nails a chance to breathe before attaching the new ones.

What Are The Potential Complications Of Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus rarely results in serious complications in people who are otherwise healthy. However, many people find the look of toenail fungus embarrassing. People with diabetes, circulation problems, or weakened immune systems have a higher risk of complications. The main one being cellulitisa bacterial infection of the surrounding skin.

Left untreated, toenail fungus can spread to other nails. It can also progress to nail thickening and detachment. This can make walking or wearing shoes painful. Untreated toenail fungus can lead to permanent nail damage as well. Even after successful treatment, severe infections can leave nails with enduring changes. Recurrence is also common. As with most other conditions, seeking early treatment when symptoms are mild usually results in the best outcome. Once treatment is over, talk with your doctor and ask about ways to reduce the risk of toenail fungus returning.

  • Fungal Nail Infections. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • How to Prevent Athletes Foot. American Academy of Dermatology.
  • Kamrani P, Pillarisetty LS. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Toe Nails. . In: StatPearls . Treasure Island : StatPearls Publishing 2021 Jan-. Available from:
  • Nail Fungus. American Academy of Dermatology.
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    What Are Fungal Nail Infection Risk Factors

    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.

    Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Gloss

    7 Definitive Toenail Fungus Treatments (That Work ...

    2. Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Sally Hansen is one more preferred trademark name in the nail technology market. Sally Hansen is gel nail gloss line of product is the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel system. Just what makes this system various compared to OPI or various other brand names is that it does not need a skim coat or an LED light to set. After using the skim coat, it could use up to 5 mins to completely dry prior to using the Miracle Gel leading layer. Sally Hansen is Miracle Gel line is budget friendly as well as is available in over 70 various spectacular and also classy tones. It is likewise simple for clients to use as well as get rid of without buying extra chemicals, revealing skin to an LED light and even tipping foot right into a beauty parlor.

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    Who Gets Nail Fungus

    Nail fungus is common, and anyone can get it. However, some people have a higher risk of developing a fungal nail infection. Your age, health, and even your lifestyle can increase your risk.

    Age. The risk of developing a fungal nail infection increases with age. Its most common in old age and least common in children.

    Before the age of 6, its rare to develop a fungal nail infection.

    Climate. Living in a hot, humid climate increases the risk of developing a fungal nail infection.

    Health. You have an increased risk of developing a fungal nail infection if you have one or more of the following:

    • Athletes foot

    • Cancer and are receiving chemotherapy

    • Diabetes

    • Injured a nail or recently had nail surgery

    • People in your family frequently get nail infections

    • Poor circulation

    • Weakened immune system due to a disease like human immunodeficiency syndrome

    Do you have frequent nail infections?

    If you get frequent nail infections, you may have untreated athletes foot.

    Lifestyle. Your risk of getting a fungal nail infection increases if you:

    • Have wet feet or hands frequently throughout the day

    • Smoke

    • Spend a lot of time in water

    • Walk barefoot in a hot, humid place like a pool, public shower, or locker room

    • Wear tight-fitting, closed-toe shoes, especially if you have sweaty feet

    • Wear plastic gloves for hours every day

    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.

    Shutterstock

    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.

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    When To See A Doctor About Toenail Fungus

    If you are experiencing persistent toenail fungus or pain is present, you may need to see a specialist. A dermatologist or podiatrist may be able to assess your symptoms and send a small sample of the affected toenail or flesh to a laboratory to be analyzed as there are various types of fungi and yeasts that cause onychomycosis. Knowing the specific cause of your foot fungus can help identify what route to take to treat your condition.

    Nail changes can also be caused by underlying conditions, like psoriasis and diabetes, so its important to seek professional medical advice if your condition persists or worsens. Bacterial and fungal infection of skin in diabetes patients often result in hospital admissions, and in severe cases, can result in amputations. If you are at a higher risk for infection, you should skip home remedies and seek professional medical treatment.

    Why Toenail Fungus Is So Stubborn

    4 SYMPTOMS OF FOOT FUNGUS! | Holistic Toenail Fungus Cures Part 1 | Dr. Kim, Holistic Foot Doctor

    A fungal infection in your toenails is typically caused by a tiny organism called dermatophyte fungus. This type of fungus thrives in warm, moist environments think public swimming pools or locker rooms where it can be easily transferred between people.

    Once you pick up the infection, it can spread fairly quickly, largely because you keep your feet inside shoes, creating the perfect environment for fungal growth.

    Making matters worse, your toenails are fairly thick and made up of many layers, which means the fungus can set up shop deep within these layers, making it more difficult to target. In moderate-to-severe cases, the fungus can even get into the matrix of your nail, which means any new toenail growth is already infected.

    Rounding out the list of hurdles is the fact that your toes dont benefit from great circulation, so your immune system is less likely to detect and fight off the foreign invaders.

    What all of this amounts to is that many people think that a toe fungal infection is coming back when it never really went away in the first place.

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    Is It Toenail Fungus Or Something Else

    Odd-looking toenail? It may be a fungal infection, but there’s a good chance that another condition could be to blame.

    If you notice an odd spot on your toenail, you might assume its a fungal infection. However, theres a good chance that its not.

    Spots or discolorations on or under a toenail could be bruises resulting from trauma to the nail, blood blisters, warts, or even subungual melanoma, a type of skin cancer, says Ami Sheth, a doctor of podiatric medicine in Los Gatos, California, and a spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association.

    Since nail irregularities can be caused by diseases besides these as well, its best to get it looked at, says Dr. Sheth.

    Richard Goad, a doctor of podiatric medicine at Baylor Scott & White Health in Waco, Texas, concurs. Sometimes the nail will be the first place to show another underlying problem, Dr. Goad says.

    So is it a fungus, a false alarm, or another condition entirely?

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