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How Is Nail Fungus Treated
Because nail infections can be difficult to treat, it’s important to see a podiatrist to have professional care as early as possible. Some nail infections may be treated with prescription-strength topical medications designed to penetrate the nail bed, especially if damaged nail tissue is first removed. Sometimes, a large portion of the nail or the entire nail will need to be removed in order to enable the medicine to penetrate. Other infections can be treated with oral anti-fungal medicines. Depending on the extent of the infection, eradication of the fungus can take several months. Cutting nails straight across and avoiding going barefoot in areas where the fungus is likely to grow can also help.
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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.
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Podiatrist Located In Greater Los Angeles Arcadia Ca
Nail fungus is unsightly and painful, and it can be very difficult to treat, especially without a doctor’s intervention. As a leading podiatrist in Arcadia, CA, Dr. Wenjay Sung, DPM, offers state-of-the-art solutions for the treatment of nail fungus, helping patients eliminate the fungus and restore the healthy nail
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How Can I Prevent Toenail 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.
When To Go To The Doctor
If you suspect that you have nail fungus, dont hesitate to seek medical treatment. Over-the-counter antifungals may help keep the fungus from spreading to other nails, but they arent as effective at treating the nail bed as prescription medications. The dermatologists at The Dermatology Clinic can diagnose nail fungus and determine which course of treatment would be the most effective for your specific case. In addition, they can recommend ways to prevent nail fungus from reoccurring after it has been treated. Schedule an appointment today.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Toenail Fungus
Usually nail fungus starts as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your toenail. The infection can go deeper, causing symptoms such as:
- Change in nail color
- Bad toenail odor
Toenail fungus can spread to other toes and your fingernails, so it is important that you keep your nails clean and use treatments to eliminate fungus.
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Is It Possible To Prevent The Recurrence Of Nail Fungus
Tinea pedis, also known as athlete’s foot or foot fungus, can cause recurrence of fungal nails. Therefore, it is important to manage this condition. One can apply over-the-counter antifungal medicines such as clotrimazole or terbinafine cream as directed to affected skin. Keeping footwear and socks clean can be helpful. You can also use portable UV light sanitizers to disinfect shoes.
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How Can I Take Good Care Of My Nails
Poor nail care can cause nail problems. To keep your nails healthy, dermatologists recommend the following:
- Keep your nails clean and dry. This helps prevent nail infections. Wear breathable socks, and use flip-flops at public pools, gyms, locker rooms and
- Cut your toenails and fingernails straight across, rounding slightly in the center. This keeps your nails
strong and helps prevent ingrown toenails.
- Keep your toenails short. This minimizes the risk of nail
- If your toenails are thick and difficult to cut, soak your feet in warm salt water for five to 10 minutes. After drying your feet, apply a cream that contains urea or lactic acid to soften the skin and
- Smooth rough edges with an emery board. This helps prevent nails from snagging, reducing your risk of nail injury. To avoid an infection, do not share emery boards. If you visit a nail salon, make sure the equipment is sterilized.
- Avoid biting your nails. Nail biting can not only ruin the look of your nails, but also damage the skin around your
nails, increasing the risk of infection. Avoiding the temptation to bite your nails is especially important if you have or are prone to nail disease. To help patients stop nail biting, dermatologists often recommend applying a bad-tasting nail polish. Behavioral therapy also may help break this habit.
problem, see your dermatologist.
How Is Toenail Fungus Treated
Toenail fungus is notoriously tricky to treat. You may need to treat the condition for several months to get rid of the fungus. Still, toenail fungus often comes back.
A dermatologist or podiatrist can explain your treatment options. If you have a mild case that doesnt bother you, your provider may recommend no treatment.
Toenail fungus treatment options include:
- Oral antifungal medication: You take prescribed medication, such terbinafine , itraconazole and fluconazole , to treat the fungi. You will need to take this medication every day for several months . Your provider may use blood tests to check for potential medication side effects. These medications can affect the liver and interact with other medications, so oral antifungals are not for everyone.
- Topical medication: You regularly apply a medication right on the nail. The medication treats the fungi over time. Topical medications are most effective when paired with oral medications.
- Laser treatments: Your provider directs a high-tech laser beam and special lights at the toenail to treat the fungus. Lasers are FDA approved for temporary increase of clear nail in nail fungus but is not a cure. Cure rates for laser treatment are lower than oral and topical mediations so they are not typically used as first line treatments for nail fungus.
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What Does A Fungal Nail Infection Look Like
When nails are infected by a fungus, they often become thicker and discolored. You also may notice flakes under the nail, white or yellow streaks on the nail, or crumbling at the corner or tip of the nail. Nails also may split or lift away from the skin.
When caught early, a fungal nail infection may clear with a topical antifungal treatment. Many fungal nail infections, however, require medicine that works throughout the body. Your dermatologist may prescribe an antifungal medicine that comes in pill or liquid form. Laser procedures also may be used to treat the nail.
Its important to see a board-certified dermatologist before starting any treatment for a suspected fungal nail infection.
Other conditions may look like nail fungus, and you should not use an antifungal treatment if you dont have a fungal infection.
Symptoms Of Toenail Fungus
There are various symptoms to watch out for when you are trying to self-diagnose toenail fungus. These symptoms can include:
- The toenail becoming brittle and ragged with edges that seem to be crumbling.
- A thickening of the toenail that is more than normal.
- The toenail growing into a distorted shape and thickening as it grows.
- When the nail turns a darker shade because of trapped dirt.
- There is a foul smell coming from the nail itself.
- The toenail is turning a different colorlike a yellow-brown or a white-yellow.
If you are experiencing any or more of these symptoms, it might be time to try some home remedies or treatments. You can either deal with them at home, by using over-the-counter medications like nail creams or ointments. Or you can alter the nail yourself and then add the medication. Altering the nail may include thinning it down with a file or trimming it down with a clipper or nail scissors. Being able to get to the infected parts of the nail is important when applying medicine.
Dont get to this point if you can. There are a few preventative care measures you can take right now of your nail:
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What Is An Ingrown Nail
When the corner of a nail curves downward into the skin, it causes an ingrown nail. Ingrown nails are most common on the big toe. An ingrown nail may be caused by not cutting the nail straight across, tight shoes, poor hygiene, injury or even a genetic predisposition.
An ingrown nail can be painful and can become infected. Treatment can help these problems.
Fungal nail infection
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Can I Wear Nail Polish If I Have Toenail Fungus
You may feel tempted to cover up a discolored toenail with nail polish. If you are using a topical antifungal, you probably should not use polish. Some providers may tell you not to wear it in any case. Polish traps in moisture from the nailbed . Because fungi thrive in moist environments, wearing nail polish may make a fungal infection worse. However, the nail continues to grow with or without polish.
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.
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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
When to see a doctor for toenail fungus
Preventing toenail fungus
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How Does Laser Nail Fungus Removal Work
Laser nail fungus treatment involves the use of a 1064nm wavelength laser. Depending on the type of laser, light or carbon dioxide heats the nailbed, killing fungi and any spores present.
Why does laser nail fungus removal work better than other treatment methods?
This modern solution targets infections deep within the nail bed. During treatment, you can help recovery progress by keeping your feet as dry as possible, wearing protective footwear in public showers and locker rooms, not sharing nail clippers, and paying attention to your blood sugar levels.
How Is It Treated
Whether to treat a fungal nail infection is up to you. If it isn’t treated, it won’t go away. It might get worse.
If you decide to treat a fungal nail infection, you can try a non-prescription antifungal medicine that comes in a cream, lotion, or nail polish. Your doctor can also prescribe a stronger medicine. You may need to use this medicine for a few weeks or for as long as a year. Even so, it may not get rid of the infection.
Antifungal pills give the best chance of curing a severe fungal nail infection. But they may cost a lot and have serious side effects. You will need to see your doctor for regular testing if you take these pills.
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