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.
Making The Vinegar Foot Soak
Vinegar will not hurt your feet, but you should still dilute it for a foot soak. Generally, using 1-part vinegar to 2-parts water is a good ratio. If youre tolerating the diluted vinegar soaks, and not noticing any difference, you can use a stronger soak.
While the soak will smell strong, the odor will dissipate after the vinegar dries from your feet. You can also use essential oils to change the scent slightly.
What You Should Eat During Antibiotic Therapy
And dont stop with supplementseating foods that are rich in probiotics and prebiotics can help your stomach stay strong. Prebiotics are the high fiber foods that your body cant digest. As they pass through your digestive tract, they feed the probiotics living there. In other words, they help the good bacteria in your gut flourish.
When youre taking antibiotics, its a good idea to eat a diet thats rich in both prebiotics and probiotics.
Try eating these prebiotic rich foods, such as:
- Leafy bitter greens, like dandelion greens, seaweed, and spinach
- Onions, garlic, and leeks
- Roots, like chicory root and jicama root
- Jerusalem artichoke
These can all help to increase beneficial bacteria like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus.
Then, add more probiotic-rich foods to your diet, like:
- Fermented food like raw, unpasteurized sauerkraut , tempeh, and kimchi
- Yogurt , kefir, and buttermilk
If you are trying to incorporate pre-and probiotic foods into your diet, be sure to double check with your doctor or pharmacist about foods and drinks that may interfere with your antibiotics.
Recommended Reading: Will Epsom Salt Cure Toenail Fungus
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How To Use It
Apply mentholated ointment directly to the affected nail. Do this about once a day for several weeks or until the nail shows noticeable improvements.
Vinegar is a common household product found in cooking and some home cleaning solutions. Though no clinical evidence exists to date, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that vinegar is an effective tool to help treat toenail fungus.
Also Check: Does Alcohol Kill Fingernail Fungus
Toenail Fungus Affects Everyone
A toenail fungal infection can be extremely hard to treat but with the potency of bleach can help.
Toenail fungus is medically known as onychomycosis, which affects about 15% of the American population, including myself. Well, I did, but I got rid of it.
If you have toenail fungus then it will be comforting to know that 50% of the people in the podiatrist office are in there for a nail fungal infection.
Bleach can be effective in the battle of fungus. If you are not comfortable using bleach, I wrote an article on how to get rid of toenail fungus naturally.
If you just want to get rid of toenail fungus as fast as possible, I wrote about how I cured fungus on toenails.
Which Probiotics Should You Take With Antibiotics
Your pharmacy probably has shelves filled with different bottles of probiotics. How do you choose the right probiotics to take with your antibiotics? Dr. Bryan Tran, cofounder of DrFormulas, recommends looking for probiotics that have the three Ds:
Dose: The amount of active micro-organisms in a probiotic is measured in colony-forming units, or CFUs. You want a dose with 10 billion CFUs or higher, Dr. Tran says. This dose may appear on the product label as 1 x 1010. And while you may see probiotics with 100 billion or more CFUs, according to Dr. Hoberman, you generally stop reaping added benefits after about 20 billion.
Diversity: The label on a bottle of probiotics will also tell you which bacteria strains the capsules contain. Look for probiotics that have five to 10 unique strains. Studies that compare single-strain probiotics to multi-strain probiotics have found that a variety of strains is more effective at reducing diarrhea, Dr. Tran says.
Delayed-release mechanism: Finally, look for probiotics that use delayed-release capsules. When you take probiotics orally, you expose them to your stomach acid and that reduces the effective dosage that makes it to the gut, Dr. Tran says. Probiotics with delayed-release mechanisms wont release the microorganisms until they go past the stomach.
Precautions For Avoidingtoe Nail Fungus
Since toe nail fungus takes time to heal completely, youwont be pleased if it reappears. For this reason, you must get it treated as early as possible and in the correct way.After healing, you will have to take some precautions to prevent its reoccurrence. Home remedies to prevent toe nail fungus include:
- Trim your affected nails after soaking them in warm water for half an hour.
- Remove the unattached part of the nail and scrape off the fungus.
- Use a clean nail scissor or nail clipper to trim your nail instead of tearing it off.
- Vicks VapoRub application to nails while they are dry can aid the healing process.
- Soaking feet in vinegar and water lowers your nails pH, preventing fungus.
If you believe you have a fungal toe nail infection, you should make an appointment to see your doctor and begin treatment as soon as possible.
What Other Conditions Can Be Mistaken For Fungal Nails
Here are some other conditions you may have instead of fungal nails:
A Pharmacist Can Help With Fungal Nail Infections
Speak to a pharmacist if the look of your nail bothers you or it’s painful.
They may suggest:
- antifungal nail cream it can take up to 12 months to cure the infection and does not always work
- nail-softening cream it’s used for 2 weeks to soften the nail so the infected part can be scraped off
The infection is cured when you see healthy nail growing back at the base.
What If It Does Happen Again
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, a fungal infection can return. The good news is, you likely know what to look for in your nails by now, and catching it early will most likely mean a much easier and shorter treatment time than your first go.
Our treatments, including Lunula laser therapy, are ready for you when needed. We will be perfectly happy if we never have to use them for you again, however.
If you ever have any questions or suspicions regarding a potential fungal nail infection, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Call our Princeton office at or our Roselle Park office at . You also can consult our free downloadable guide on fungal nails for some more tips!
Stop This Skin Infection In Its Tracks With These Over
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Verywell / Sabrina Jiang
Toenail fungus is a common fungal condition that often starts after a rash on the foot spreads to the nails. When mild, it looks like white and yellow spots growing under the nail beds. But if left untreated, the fungus can grow severely by hardening the nails and spreading to other toes.
The fungus often begins in the form of athlete’s foot between the toes or on the soles of the feet. At this stage, the fungal infection is easier to treat with over-the-counter medication. But Shari Lipner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine, told Verywell Health toenail fungus can be difficult to treat because of how slow the nails grow. The more severe the toenail fungus, the thicker the nail, and the more nails involved makes it that much harder to treat the nails even with effective therapies, she says.
Diagnosing the fungal infection early is key to make treatments effective. Dr. Lipner recommends visiting a board-certified dermatologist to properly treat the infection if it grows to be too severe.
Here are a few of the best over-the-counter toenail fungus treatments on the market.
What Type Of Footwear Should I Use For Sporting Activities
Besides what was actually discussed, sporting activities or even managing footwear should supply additional padding, have a larger heel height for onward propulsion, as well as be actually more pliable at the midfoot.
There are actually various type of operating shoes:
Neutral-stability athletic shoe, which create most of running footwear, are suitable for overall sports and physical exercise fitness like Zumba.
Smart running shoes for without shoes managing do not deliver sufficient assistance for sideway activities required in situations . There is actually also not enough heel and ankle help.
Footwear for ball as well as court activities. Players must wear their certain court footwear when possible as they give great overall help for side to edge activities.
How To Use Vicks Vapor Rub For Toenail Fungus
While it can be tricky applying the Vicks to your toenail, with a few tips, you will be treating your toenail fungus in no time.
Once you notice the fungus, apply the Vicks immediately. First make sure your toenail is completely dry as noted above, a wet environment can cause the fungus to grow further and spread.
Next, trim your toenails short. The less toenail you have to treat, the better.
After trimming, make sure you clean your toenail clipper thoroughly with hot, soapy water, and then wash it with rubbing alcohol. The fungus can easily spread to other toes if you use the same clipper without cleaning it.
Now start by using a spoon or something similar to scoop out the Vicks. You dont want to be smearing the rub on your toe and then putting your fingers back into the tub.
Apply the medication thoroughly to your nail. To get to the edges, into the cuticle, and around the nail bed, use a cotton swab or a Q-tip.
Make sure to rub the Vicks in as thoroughly as possible, and then cover your toes with a bandage. This will help the treatment absorb rather than rubbing off on everything you step on. Repeat this process twice a day.
Over the days/weeks that you apply the Vicks, make sure to keep your toenails short so that the formula can soak into as much of your nail as possible. And be patient! This could take up to five months before you start to see some effects. .
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.
Toenail Fungus Prescription Medications
Sometimes prescription medications are needed to treat a toenail infection that just wont go away with natural remedies or over-the-counter medication in a few months. In this case, prescription-strength antifungal medication can eradicate stubborn onychomycosis.
Topical medications often are effective in treating mild to moderate toenail fungus. Topical solutions may include medicated nail polishes or liquid medications. Loprox , Penlac , Kerydin , and Jublia are among the top prescription drugs for toenail fungus.
Protection And Treatment Outside Your Home
- Wear shower shoes or flip flops in communal areas. Its not just walking through locker rooms barefoot thats a problemwear your footwear as you shower.
- The American Podiatric Medical Association recommends not using nail polish on infected toenails.
- Ask your salon about how they sanitize their implements. Metal tools should be sanitized in high-temperature autoclaves, but often they are just allowed to soak in disinfectant. Used pumice stones can also harbor bacteria.
- Buy professional pedicure tools and ask your pedicurist to use your tools. Let him or her know not to cut cuticles, just to push them back. While sharing nail polish at the salon doesnt seem to be a problem due to the chemicals in the polish, better safe than sorry. Bonus: You can do your own touch-ups if you use your own nail polish.
Dangers Of Traditional Treatment Options
Fungal nail infection is treatable with oral anti-fungal drugs, topical medications, surgery, or laser treatments. The problem with these modern treatments, however, is that they can sometimes cause complications. Depending on the chosen treatment, some of the possible side effects that may occur include skin rashes, blisters, loss of appetite, gastrointestinal issues, headaches, respiratory problems, abnormal nail growth, or liver damage.
Due to the many risks associated with modern treatments for fungal nail infection, many people are now opting for alternative remedies that are relatively safer. As an added bonus, its also possible to treat fungal nail infection using just a few basic ingredients one already has available at home.
Complications: What If The Infection Is Left Untreated
If the nail fungus spreads deeper into the nail bed, it will cause the nail to thicken and turn green, yellow, brown, or black. As the infection progresses, the infected nail becomes brittle and pieces of it will start to break off from the toe or finger completely. Should the condition be left untreated, it can spread to other nails or cause skin around the infected nail to become inflamed. In more advanced stages, a foul smell may develop and white or yellow patches may be seen on the exposed nail bed. Over time, severe fungal nail infections can cause permanent damage to the nail root or nail bed.
It can be quite embarrassing to have this condition since this is an infection thats hard to hide. People with Onychomycosis may also find it difficult or painful to wear shoes, walk, or stand for long periods of time if their toenails have been infected severely.
Baking Soda For Toenail Fungus
People have used Sodium bicarbonate for centuries.
It is a substance that can help us with various conditions, not only with fungus. However, it is especially useful when it comes to skin and nail conditions due to its antifungal and antiseptic properties.
NaHCO is great as it exfoliates surface skin, which in turn destroys layers of fungus located on them. But, that is only a small reason why people use baking soda for toenail fungus. Its alkaline properties are much more important. Sodium bicarbonate creates an acidic environment making it quite hard for fungus to survive.
Baking soda also helps balance the pH level of the surrounding skin. That way, spores are no longer able to reproduce and inhabit the surrounding areas. This localizes the issue, making it easier to eradicate later on.
Another great benefit lies in soda’s ability to absorb moisture. Again, your feet need to be dry at all times. Toenail fungus will affect the whole toenail but is especially persistent beneath them. This area is really hard to dry, unlike surface nail, making it easier for fungus to inhabit. Baking soda effectively puts a stop to it. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should stop paying attention to whether or not your feet are dry. You will also have to do your part in eradicating this nasty condition.
Obviously, there are a lot of pros that should at least persuade you to try it.