Yellow Or Brown Discoloration
You generally want the toes to be clear and pink. When they present with other colors such as black or purple brown, yellow or white, they should look into it, Dr. Miguel Cunha, founder of Gotham Footcare and a practicing podiatrist based in Manhattan, told TODAY.
The most typical discoloration is yellow brown and thats most often an indication of fungal nails.
Fungal nails are basically when fungus, which is an organism similar to a mold or a yeast, feeds on dead skin or dead nails, he said. It grows in dark, moist environments.
Toenail discoloration due to fungus can often be treated with over-the-counter medicine. However, it could also spread to other toes and may need require prescription ointment or medication.
Yellow, brittle nails could also be a sign of nail psoriasis, which causes changes in the nails like discoloration. One study found that about 80 to 90 percent of people with plaque psoriasis also have nail psoriasis. Aging is also a cause of nail discoloration, typically with nails turning a grey or light yellow color.
Due to the potentially different causes of discolored nails, youre better off seeing a podiatrist to get it checked out. If it is in fact toe fungus, it can easily spread to other toes if left untreated. And if its a sign of something more serious, its better to know, Cunha said.
Preventing Toe Fungus Its Possible
Here are some tips to help you prevent toe fungus:
- Do not share towels or nail clippers with someone who has athletes foot.
- In warm weather, wear open shoes such as sandals, or shoes made of breathable materials such as cotton, wool, or other natural, absorbent fibers.
- Avoid walking barefoot in wet, public places such as locker rooms, pools, gyms, and public showers.
- While at home, do not wear shoes so that your feet can air out.
- Avoid wearing thick clothing for long periods during warm weather.
- Change your socks every day.
- Keep your nails short, dry, and clean as often as possible.
- Use antifungal spray or powder if you are at a higher risk for developing toenail fungus.
- Avoid picking or trimming the skin around your toenails, regardless of whether there is an infection present.
- Air out your shoes between uses.
What Is Foot Fungus
Itâs a skin infection caused by mold-like germs that live in dead cells on your skin, hair, and nails. There are more than 80 types of fungi on your feet. That’s way more than on other parts of the body, even the palms of your hands. But while some of these fungi may get a bad rap, you can relax. Most arenât harmful.
Athleteâs foot is the most common type of foot fungus. Up to 25% of people will get this itchy, even painful infection at some point. It usually grows between the toes but can spread to the soles and toenails. If you scratch your foot and then touch other parts of your body, like your armpits or groin, it can spread there, too.
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There Is A Wide Range Of Options With Varying Success Rates
Other than keeping your toenails trimmed and perhaps painted, you may not pay much attention to them unless a problem develops. Healthy toenails are pink, shiny and smooth, but a fungal infection can cause them to become discolored, thick, brittle and even painful.
Toenail fungal infection, known as onychomycosis, is a common but challenging condition toenail fungus treatments include a wide range of options with varying success rates.
Causes of toenail fungus
Fungal nail infections are usually caused by fungi called dermatophytes that infect the skin beneath the nail yeast is another common culprit. Toenails are especially vulnerable to infection when your bare feet contact damp surfaces such as showers, swimming pools and locker rooms. If you have athletes foot, the infection can spread to the nails.
Wearing closed shoes such as athletic shoes for extended periods also can contribute to infection if your shoes and/or socks are damp from perspiration or heat. Moreover, if your shoes fit snugly enough to put pressure on your toes, they can damage the nail bed, making it more susceptible to infection.
People with chronic diseases, such as diabetes or circulatory problems, also may be more prone to toenail infections.
Symptoms of toenail fungus
Toenail fungus symptoms can develop slowly over time and may go unnoticed at first. Symptoms can include:
Toenail fungus treatments
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What Are The Most Common Fungal Skin Infections
Many common fungal infections can affect the skin. In addition to the skin, another common area for fungal infections is mucous membranes. Some examples of these are vaginal yeast infections and oral thrush.
Below, well explore some of the most common types of fungal infections that can impact the skin.
What Kind Of Doctor Treats Athletes Foot
Dermatologists specialize in the treatment of skin disorders, including athletes foot. You may find a board-certified dermatologist through . Additionally, family medicine physicians, internal medicine physicians, pediatricians, podiatrists , and other practitioners may also treat this common infection. Most primary care physicians can treat athletes feet successfully.
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The Best Fungus Supplements For 2022
As mentioned above, home remedies can only lower the symptoms and could not give you permanent solution, laser treatment and medications can also be risky. Therefore, it is best to look for herbal supplements that can give you natural solution without any dangerous side effects. Below, I have listed some of the best supplements for toenail fungus.
Q: What Are The Symptoms Of Toenail Fungus
1. The affected nail turns white-yellow or yellow-brown and the nail may thicken.2. A crust develops and the surrounding area may become red and swollen, causing discomfort.3. The nail becomes pitted and misshapen with grooves or ridges.4. Thickening, discoloration, and irregularities are present in the nail.
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What Causes A Fungal Rash
When your skin comes into contact with a harmful fungus, the infection can cause the rash to appear. For example, if you borrowed a pair of shoes from someone who had athletes foot, the fungus could come in contact with your foot and infect you. Rashes often pass from person to person or from animal to person by direct contact.
Soak Your Feet In Vinegar
Heres another pantry item that can deliver optimal results for toenail fungal infections. According to Hayag, applying white vinegar to the fungal-infected areas can prove worthwhile, thanks to its antibacterial properties.
Similar to oregano oil, applying white vinegar topically on fungus-infected toenails has some anecdotal evidence that supports its antibacterial benefits. Soak your foot in one part vinegar to two parts warm water for up to 20 minutes daily, she suggests, saying that this can help with the fungus, help with just the discoloration, or it may not help at all, depending on how your toes react.
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Ingrown Toenail: Topical Antifungal Nail Treatments
There are several over-the-counter topical nail products for ingrown toenails available wherever health products are sold. Some of these antifungal treatments contain botanical ingredients such as menthol and tea tree oil designed to decrease your inflammation. Additionally many topical agents will contain a salicylic acid. Salicylic acids relieve pain and soften nails. Do not use over the counter remedies if you have diabetes, AIDS, an infection of the foot or poor circulation.
Make sure to wear shoe that fit well and have enough room for your toes. If your shoes are not well-fitting and roomy, they can apply constant pressure to the nail, causing it to embed into the skin. This helps both ingrown and fungal toenails!
How To Treat Toenail Fungus
You can use simple home remedies to get rid of toenail fungus, or a podiatrist can take care of toenail fungus, particularly if it is caught early.
Topical or oral treatments can also work on toenail fungus, as well as the removal of the infected nail. A temporary removal can work to treat the area, but a permanent removal so that the bad nail wont grow back can also be performed.
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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.
When To Get Treatment
Cellulitis is always a medical emergency. If you see a red streak moving up your foot, get immediate medical help.
Cellulitis is typically caused by a break in the skin. It’s especially common in people with diabetes or poor blood circulation. S. aureus and Streptococcus are the most likely causes.
Simple cases may be treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics for between five and 14 days. Serious cases may require hospitalization with intravenous antibiotics and fluids.
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Ask The Doctor: Athletes Foot That Wont Quit
Q.I have been struggling with persistent athleteâs foot. I have tried several over-the-counter medications for several weeks without improvement. How can I rid myself of this rash.
A. Athleteâs foot, a common rash on the soles of the feet and in between toes, is caused by a skin fungus . The rash usually improves with use of antifungal creams and sprays for two to four weeks. If not, you have several options.
First, you might not actually have athleteâs foot. Other skin conditions, especially eczema and dry skin, can mimic the symptoms of athleteâs foot. Your doctor can confirm athleteâs foot by scraping a small bit of scale off the foot and examining it under a microscope.
If you do have the fungus, changing your socks frequently to keep your feet dry will improve the chance that over-the-counter remedies will work. If the rash persists despite your best efforts, talk to your doctor.
Trying a different antifungal cream may also be helpful. Some studies have reported that products containing terbinafine were more effective than those with clotrimazole and similar medications. Prescription oral medications may be required to treat more severe cases.
William Kormos, M.D.
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Using Antifungal Nail Polish
Curanail is a very popular treatment and gets excellent reviews, including one reviewer said she found it a great alternative to prescription Ciclopirox.
There are many different brand names, and some anti-fungal polishes are available in colors so you can more effectively disguise any discoloration.
- Curanail only needs applying once a week and one pack has all you need for about three months.
- You should not treat more than two nails at once. If you have more than two affected nails, see your doctor for advice and possible alternative treatments.
- Be patient, as it can take as long as a year for the nail to completely grow out if the big toe is the one affected. But you will start to see results sooner so you will know it is working.
- Dont use normal nail polish on affected nails, nor to use this method on any nail affected by Candida fungus, which will need antibiotics.
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When Should Someone Seek Medical Care For Athlete’s Foot
If you notice any redness, increased swelling, bleeding, or if your infection is not clearing up, see your health care professional. If a bacterial infection is also occurring, an antibiotic pill may be necessary. If you have fungal nail involvement, are diabetic, or have a compromised immune system, you should also see your physician for treatment.
- Body skin fungus
- Secondary bacterial infections
This type of fungus generally likes to live in the skin, hair, and nails. It does not invade deep, go into body organs, or go into the blood system.
Fungal infections of the nails are called tinea unguium or onychomycosis. Nail fungus may be very difficult to treat. Antifungal pills may be required in cases of more advanced toenail fungal infections.
People with diabetes, HIV/AIDS, cancer, or other immune problems may be more prone to all kinds of infections, including fungus. In patients with diabetes, fungal infections may lead to potentially dangerous foot ulcerations.
When the skin is injured or damaged, the natural protective skin barrier is broken. Bacteria and yeasts can then invade the broken skin. Bacteria can cause a bad smell. Bacterial infection of the skin and resulting inflammation is known as cellulitis. This is especially likely to occur in individuals with diabetes, chronic leg swelling, who have had veins removed , or in the elderly. Bacterial skin infections also occur more frequently in patients with impaired immune systems.
When Should I See My Doctor About A Rash
Most rashes are not serious. But its always a good idea to see your healthcare provider if you have skin changes. Your provider can recommend a course of treatment to help you feel better and diagnose any underlying conditions.
- Is all over your body.
- Starts suddenly and spreads quickly.
- Is painful, blistered or infected.
- Happens along with a fever.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Fungal skin rashes can be uncomfortable and itchy, but they are treatable. See your healthcare provider if you notice any rashes or changes in your skin. Typically, a course of antifungal creams will clear up the rash and relieve the itchiness. Your healthcare provider can also discuss preventive steps to keep the rash from coming back.
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Causes Of Foot Fungus
When a person has foot fungus it will usually attack your skin and nails which are referred to as dermatophytes. They cause diseases that are parasitic in nature. Onychomycosis is the scientific terminology for nail fungus. There are many different causes of foot fungus. Many times what the cause is depends on what type of foot fungus you have.
- Candida nail infection what is responsible for this type of foot fungus is yeast called Candida and is the worse type of fungal infection to have.
- Proximal subungual onychomycosis dermatophytes is the main culprit that causes this type of foot fungus.
- Distal subungual onychomycosis this foot fungus infection is caused by an organism called trichophyton rubrum
- White superficial onychomycosis trichophyton mentagrophytes is the organism that causes this type of foot fungus.
Other causes of foot fungus that can affect your toenails can include:
- Have trauma to your toenails
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Wearing underwear that is closed off and tight
- Showering in public places like dressing rooms at public pools, gyms, schools, etc.
- Activities that involve exertion
Your Options For Treating Toenail Fungus
If you think you may have toenail fungus, you should see a podiatrist or dermatologist, who will send a specimen or a piece of your nail to a lab. Different types of fungus are treated slightly differently, so its important to know which type you have, says Sundling.
Also, sometimes the root of the problem is not a fungus at all, but rather another condition, or some kind of trauma to the nail bed for instance, if you dropped something on your toe. There is no treatment for toenail trauma, but removing the nail may be an option if the nail is painful.
If you do have a toenail fungus, your doctor will likely recommend one or more of the following treatment options:
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How Soon After Treatment Will I Feel Better
With proper diagnosis and treatment, your athletes foot should go away in one to eight weeks. And be sure to follow your healthcare providers instructions.
Its important to finish your full course of medicine, too. During the early healing stages, itchiness and irritation will fade. Even if your symptoms go away, you may still have athletes foot. If you do not finish your full course of medicine, your athletes foot can come back and be harder to treat.
Toe Fungus Treatment Options For You
Because the infection is located on the toes, it may be difficult to treat. Treatment will be based on the severity of the infection and the type of fungal infection you haveskin or nail. Treatment options may include:
- Prescription drugs
- Antifungal medication, either topical or oral
- Avoiding tight hosiery or improper footwear
- Changing of footwear
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Foot Fungus Symptoms: How To Get Rid Of Foot Fungus
Foot Fungus, otherwise known as onychomycosis is a common fungal infection that affects the toes. It is generally spread by two methods: direct and indirect. Direct spread happens when the affected individual breaks or crumbles a pair of socks, or enters a public shower where the spores have been introduced by dirty water.
Indirect spread occurs when fungi are living on or in clothes or on items brought into the home, such as towels and clothing stored in closets. The first step in catching an athletes foot fungus is to check your shoes for signs of an infection.
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