Symptoms Of Toenail And Fingernail Fungus
Symptoms of nail fungus infections, or onychomycosis, are pretty easy to spot:
- Brown or yellow discoloration in the nail
- Thickening of nails, causing pain when wearing shoes and walking
- “Toe jam” under and around the edges of the nail
- Brittle nails that crumble or break
- Foul odor coming from nails
If left untreated, a fungal nail infection will spread to the entire nail and to other nails. In very severe cases, surgical removal may be the only option. If it hasn’t reached that stage, you can find treatments that may eliminate the infection. The sooner you get started, the better your chances of getting rid of toenail fungus once and for all.
Who Gets Toenail Fungus
Whileanyone can find him or herself with toenail fungus, it happens more frequentlyin men than women and among older people more often than younger people.Certain risk factors predispose people to acquire this fungal infection. Theseinclude:
- A family history oftoenail fungus
- A history ofathletes foot
Doctors Weigh Best Treatments
The best treatment for fungal nail infections is a prescription that your dermatologist can prescribe that you take every day for two-to-three months. The pill is not for everyone, since oral antifungals can interact with other medications and can affect the liver.
Fortunately if you dont want to or cant take a pill, there are topical solutions to treat nail fungus. Although topical medications are desirable because of the low risk of side effects and interaction with other medications, they have much longer treatment regimens. Generally, topical medications have a lower clearance rate compared to oral pills.
Newer topical antifungals including Efinaconazole and Tavaborole have better penetration of the nail plate and so they work better compared to older topical medications, says Dr. Ng. She says the topical medications work best if you only have partial nail involvement.
Lasers are approved by the FDA to temporarily increase the amount of clear nail. However, the cure rates are lower than oral medications and topical solutions.
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Why Does It Develop
A fungal nail infection occurs from the overgrowth of fungi in, under, or on the nail. Fungi thrive in warm, moist environments, so this type of environment can cause them to naturally overpopulate. The same fungi that cause jock itch, athletes foot, and ringworm can cause nail infections.
Fungi that are already present in or on your body can cause nail infections. If you have come in contact with someone else who has a fungal infection, you may have contracted it as well. Fungal infections affect toenails more commonly than fingernails, likely because your toes are usually confined to shoes, where theyre in a warm, moist environment.
If you get a manicure or pedicure at a nail salon, be sure to ask how the staff disinfects their tools and how often they do it. Tools, such as emery boards and nail clippers, can spread fungal infections from person to person if theyre not sanitized.
What Is The Best Over Counter Toenail Fungus Treatment What Really Works
My professional opinion for the use of MOST OTC medications for fungal toenail infection treatment Why would you do that? Why would you just go grab something off of a shelf?
You will simply be throwing money away not to even treat the source of the problem, but, in most cases, to merely hide the symptoms.
If all you are wanting to do is camouflage the symptoms of your fungus, you might as well at least hide it AND treat it at the same time with Antifungal Nail Polish! YES that does exist!
I want to provide you with the education required to select products that are FDA approved, are natural, AND can get to the root of the problem quickly and efficiently. You dont even need a prescription OR pay for a doctors visit.
I have summarized these tried-and-true over the counter products for the treatment of toenail fungus and you can read more about them by clicking the link above. They REALLY work!
Every product that I recommend has a high success rate and proven track record. I have SEEN them work hundreds of times!
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Do Fungal Nail Infections Occur On Both Hands & Feet
Fungal nail infections tend to affect toenails far more than fingernails. This is because the feet are more often exposed to the kind of environments and surfaces where this type of infection thrives.
The infection can appear on any part of your nail but usually occurs under the nail plate on the nail bed.
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.
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When To Contact A Doctor
Toenail fungus is typically not a significant problem for most people. However, if there are no improvements or complications occur as a result of home remedies, people should speak with a doctor and stop using the home remedy as soon as possible. It is also advisable to contact a podiatrist if a person notices any discoloration, thickening, or abnormality of the toenails.
Furthermore, people at higher risk for complications should seek medical treatment for their toenail fungus and avoid home remedies altogether. This includes those with diabetes or with weakened immune systems.
Thoughts On Over The Counter Nail Fungus Treatments Are There Any That Might Work
My doctor told me that Vicks Vapor Rub is effective in treating toenailfungus. I have been using it for approximately 3 weeks, but I cannot sayfor sure that it is having any effect. What have others said about itsuse for toenail fungus?
Your doctor is a nut.
I agree, your doctor is a real quack!
Your doctor is indeed a quack.My doctor told me the same thing and beleive mebeleive me it doesnt work AT ALL.Im right back where I started.It really seems as if theres no hope.
How long did you all try the Vicks?
Acutally, the Mayo Clinic website recommends Vicks vapor rub as a home remedy.
I WORK IN A PHARMACY IN A HOSPITAL AND WE EITHER USE LAMISIL OR VICKS VAPOR RUB.
I have beentold that Listerine is very effective in treating the fungus.
For Vicks to work you must use it everyday, it can take up to six months.Use a toothbrush to apply, making sure that you get into all the little crevices.
The doctor is right. It is the camphor in Vicks or other products that kills thefungus. But it takes work and time. Apply the Vicks to a nail that has beenroughed up with a coarse emory board. Apply the Vicks with a q-tip and then puta band-aid over it otherwise it is soon rubbed off. Depending on the severitythis will take several months of constant daily application of replacing theband-aid daily. Ive done it and it worked perfectly on a nail that had beeninfected for 20+ years.
Greg, how long did you have to treat?
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Over The Counter Nail Fungus Treatments Are There Any That Might Work
In the world of microorganisms, fungi are a pretty hardy bunch. There are generally harder to kill than bacteria and viruses. Dermatophytes, yeasts, and molds invade nails and dig themselves deep within the nail itself. Thus an already resilient organism is even further protected by layers and layers of keratin. Because of these reasons, treating onychomycoses has been difficult, historically. Even powerful oral antimycotic medications are not 100% effective. In light of this, can any over-the-counter nail fungus treatment be effective?
Fortunately there are a number of topical over-the-counter treatments that can effectively treat nail fungus infections. One over-the-counter topical onychomycosis drug that has been shown to be effective in a few clinical trials is amorolfine. Amorolfine is available without a prescription in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and certain other countries. It is marketed under the brand name Loceryl. Amorolfine is distributed as a nail lacquer and the effective concentration is also the way in which it is sold, namely 5%. Amorolfine nail lacquer is painted on the nail, like polish, and then dries, leaving behind the drug. The drug is able to penetrate the nail and reach the site of the fungal infection. This drug penetration takes place over a weeks time.
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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Over The Counter Med For White Skin Fungus Can Skin Fungus Become Ulcerated
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How Is Toenail Fungus Diagnosed
Nearly 3 million people in the United States are diagnosed with toenail fungus each year. Men are up to three times more likely to develop toenail fungus than women. You are also at a higher risk for a toenail fungus infection if you smoke or have diabetes. Also, individuals with compromised immune systems may experience toenail fungus that can turn into an infection.
When feet remain moist or damp, the fungus can grow, causing discoloration and thickening of toenails. Infection can cause discomfort and pain. The spread of fungus and infection can go from toe to toe, hand, fingernails, or skin on other parts of the body.
The toenail may become warped, cracked, or loosen itself away from the nail bed. Often the nail appears yellowish and may have white spots. Your doctor will examine your feet and potentially take a small sample of skin or nail to be sent off to a laboratory for testing. Your doctor may refer you to a dermatologist, podiatrist, or other healthcare professional if your condition is unusual or needs special care. Other foot conditions such as psoriasis can look similar to a fungal infection. Lab reports can indicate if the problem is fungal, helping the doctor prescribe the best medication for effective treatment.
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Which Medical Treatments Can Help My Toenail Fungus
Oral antifungal drugs help clear the infection from inside the body, allowing healthy nail growth to replace infected sections. You usually take the pills for six to 12 weeks and see the final result after four months or more.
Medicated nail polish is another option for toenail fungus. You paint layers of medication on your toe for a week and then clean the accumulated medication and start over. This treatment may take a year of daily application to see results.
Dr. Yamini can also prescribe a medicated cream that you apply to the nail after softening it with water, a file, or urea lotion. If your nails dont respond to medication, Dr. Yamini can remove diseased portions of the nail and apply an antifungal medication directly to the infected area.
Since treatment correlates with the slow rate at which toenails grow, its important to be patient and consistent with your treatment. No matter how you treat your toenail fungus, reinfection is always a possibility. Check in with Dr. Yamini as soon as you can if you notice the fungus returning.
If your toenail fungus bothers you and hasnt responded to at-home treatments, contact Dr. Yamini online or over the phone.
See A Dermatologist To Pinpoint The Problem
Foot fungus wont just go away on its own, Dr. Ng says. If you think you have foot or toenail fungus, see your dermatologist, she says. There are several tests that your dermatologist can perform to identify exactly whats going on.
Its important to be aware that there are other diseases which can cause nail changes, she says. For example, we do see things like squamous cell skin cancers in the nail beds and even melanomas, which have a brownish or blackish discoloration.
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How To Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus
All treatments can take up to a year to work, so you need to be consistent and commit to following the treatment plan for the long haul.
These infections are hard to treat because its difficult for medications to get into the keratin that makes up nails and the blood vessels dont connect to the nail. Many people find it hard to continue to use the medications for as long as is needed and may give up after months or even weeks.
Sometimes the nail will start to look better, but the fungus is still there. Your toenail fungus isnt cured until your doctor cant detect the fungus in your toenail clippings.
There are a lot of folk remedies and over-the-counter topical treatments, but if you really want to get rid of this infection, youre probably going to need to take oral medication. Dr. Jacobsen
What Oral Medications Are Available
To treat fungal nail infections from inside the body, you can take tablets that inhibit the growth of fungi or kill them. They are all prescription-only. Terbinafine and itraconazole are typically used for this purpose.
- Terbinafine is preferred if the nail fungus is caused by a skin fungus . This is usually the case.
- Itraconazole is generally used if the nail infection is caused by yeast or mold.
Itraconazole and terbinafine tablets can both be taken either continuously or with breaks between treatments. But they are used differently:
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Do Prescription Topical Nail Fungus Medicines Work
In fact, there is are three topical medications on the market that has been shown in reputable studies to actually help kill the fungus AND make infected nails look better. It is important to note, however, that while they have been shown to help, none of them work particularly well. The best ones only work about 15% of the time.
The oldest one is the medication Ciclopirox. Ciclopirox Nail Lacquer is a topical nail solution that actually has been studied and found to be effective at clearing the nail in some patients. In addition, Ciclopirox is much cheaper than many OTC topicals. Ive seen in available for under $12 for a 3 month supply. You can read more detailed information here about Ciclopirox.
But here is the kicker even Ciclopirox only works about 8% of the time.
The reality is that no topical medication works well to clear nail fungus in most cases. None of them penetrate deep enough to make a difference in most people with the fungal infection.
We often use Ciclopirox to help prevent reinfection of the nail after treating the fungus with oral medication or laser, but do not consider any topical as an effective treatment on their own.
Nail Fungus Treatments Evaluation Methodology
We studied over 15 different nail fungus treatments that can cure your finger or toenail infection. For the purpose of writing this report and ranking these products, we completed extensive research about toenail fungus causes and ways dermatologists, homeopaths, naturopaths, herbalists and other industry professionals advise to address them. We also conducted in-depth research about each product and recruited site visitors having nail problems to share their experience with these treatments.
The criteria used to study and rank nail fungus treatments included:
The products that were discarded had:
- Significant negative feedback
- Pricing that was too high considering their actual results
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Top Treatments For Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus, medically called onychomycosis, is a common problem that causes thickened, yellow toenails. It is contagious, which means you can give the fungus to someone else. You may have caught it by walking barefoot in the same area someone with the infection walked just before you, or from someone in your home. Common places to catch the fungal infection are pool decks, locker rooms, and gym showers. Infections like this should be treated promptly, especially if you have an underlying medical problem, like diabetes. Learn about some common toenail fungus treatments, including prescriptions, and home remedies.
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