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Why Do I Have Toe Fungus

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Why Do I Have Toenail Fungus And How Do I Fix 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.

Tips For Keeping Toenail Fungus From Returning

Toenail fungus is a tough foe to battle. The sooner its found out, the easier it tends to be to treat. Unfortunately, most cases are not discovered until the fungus has had a good opportunity to entrench itself in your toenail.

Treatment has likely taken months, but youve reached that light at the end of the tunnel. The fungus has been declared eradicated and youre already growing new, clear toenails to replace the war-torn battlefields that once were. Well done!

Unfortunately, it can come back.

A fungal toenail infection is not like a cold. Having had it doesnt really mean your immune system is fully geared up to keep the same case from returning. And, like a cold, there is more than one type of nasty organism out there that can cause similar symptomsin this case, discolored, crumbling, thickened nails.

You know how bad it is. The last thing you want is to fight that battle over again, and people with diabetes should be especially careful of any type of infection. You also dont want anyone you live with to have to go through it, either!

So what can you do to prevent toenail fungus from coming back? Quite a lot.

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How To Prevent Toenail Fungus

Because fungi are everywhere , they can be present months before they find opportunities to strike and before signs of infection appear. By following certain precautions, including proper hygiene and regular inspection of the feet and toes, chances of the problem occurring can be significantly reduced.

  • Regularly clean and dry feet to resist disease. Follow a strict regimen of washing the feet with soap and water.
  • Change socks and hosiery daily and change out shoes on a regular basis.
  • Clip toenails straight across so the nail doesnt extend beyond the tip of your finger or toenails.
  • Wear socks that are made of synthetic fiber to wick away moisture. Cotton and wool socks dont wick away moisture as fast as synthetic fiber does. This can be helpful in denying a hospitable environment for the fungi to grow in.

Also Check: How To Get Fungus Off Toenails

What Is The Outlook For Someone With Toenail Fungus

While toenail fungus is common, its usually not harmful. Symptoms mostly affect the look of your toenail.

Toenail fungus may spread to the skin between your toes or other areas of your body. When getting dressed, put your socks on first to reduce the chance of spread.

Treating toenail fungus takes a long time, and it doesnt always work. Even then, toenail fungus often returns. Discuss the pros and cons of treating toenail fungus with your provider to determine whats best for you.

Practicing good hygiene and foot care reduces the chance toenail fungus will come back. If you have diabetes, getting regular foot exams may help you address foot problems before they get serious.

What Other Conditions Can Be Mistaken For Fungal Nails

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Here are some other conditions you may have instead of fungal nails:

  • Lines and ridges: These are common and may be considered normal. They may worsen during pregnancy. A large groove down the center of the nail can be caused by nail biting. Some people may develop these changes following chemotherapy.
  • Senile nails: As you age, the nails become brittle and develop ridges and separation of the nail layers at the end of the nail. To avoid this, try to clean solutions and don’t soak the nails in water.
  • Whitish or yellowish nails can occur due to onycholysis. This means separation of the nail from the nail bed. The color you see is air beneath the nail. The treatment is to trim the nail short, don’t clean under it, polish if you want to hide the color, and wait two to three months. Persistent onycholysis can make the nails susceptible to fungal infection.
  • Red or black nails due to a hematoma, or blood under the nail, usually occur from trauma . The discolored area will grow out with the nail and be trimmed off as you trim your nails. If you have a black spot under your nail that was not caused by trauma, you may want to see a dermatologist or a podiatrist if it involves a toenail to make sure it is not melanoma . A simple biopsy can rule out malignancy .
  • Trichophyton

    Read Also: Are There Different Types Of Toenail Fungus

    How Can Ingrown Toenails Be Treated

    In mild cases, ingrown toenails may be treated with a 15-20-minute soak in warm water. Dry cotton can be placed under the corner of the nail. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing increasing pain, swelling, and drainage of the area. Minor surgery can be performed to remove the part of the nail that is poking into the skin.

    What Is The Outcome For Someone Who Has Nail Fungus

    With treatment, many people can get rid of nail fungus. Even when the fungus clears, your nail may look unhealthy until the infected nail grows out. A fingernail grows out in 4 to 6 months and a toenail in 12 to 18 months.

    To clear the fungus, its important to:

    • Use the treatment exactly as prescribed

    • Apply the medicine for as long as prescribed

    • Keep all follow-up appointments with your dermatologist

    Nail fungus can be stubborn. If you had a severe infection, its possible to clear the infection. A healthy looking nail, however, may be unrealistic, but you can expect the nail to look better and feel more comfortable.

    Even with clearing, nail fungus can return. Youll find steps to reduce your risk in Tips: 12 ways to prevent another nail infection.

    ImageGetty Images

    ReferenceGold LFS and Rosen T. Onychomycosis: Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies. Dermatology News . March 2016:2-15.

    Read Also: How To Remove Nail Fungus Fast

    How Can I Tell If I Have Toenail Fungus

    Toenail fungus usually starts subtly, so you might not notice anything different with your nail immediately. After a while, though, you see some noticeable differences that indicate a fungal condition. Nails become:

    • Thicker
    • Discolored
    • Tender

    Because a nail infected with a fungus is compromised, it can also break or split easily. As the condition progresses, itchiness and pain can occur, and the nail becomes separated from the nail bed.

    Why You Should Never Let Toenail Fungus Go Untreated

    Why do I have a Toenail Fungus infection? Question and Answer with Michael Bilinsky, DPM

      Have you retired those adorable strappy sandals, even though theyre the perfect complement to your summery outfits? They definitely wont work with whats going on with your toenails so youve had to opt for a closed-toe option. Toenail fungus is definitely not a good look.

      There are plenty of home remedies, but they dont seem to work. And nail fungus doesnt just go away on its own. Fortunately, the team at Easton Dermatology Associates can address any nail fungus issue you may have with a diverse menu of treatment options. We customize our approach to your particular infections history and severity.

      Also Check: Can Removing Toenail Cure Fungus

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      What Causes Nail Fungus

      Usually, nail fungus occurs when fungus enters the nail through a small trauma in the nail. Nail fungus is not caused by poor hygiene. Nail fungus can be spread from person to person. It may be hard to determine exactly where or how a fungal infection is acquired. However, a warm, wet place is a good place for a fungus to grow.

      Don’t Miss: What Over The Counter Medicine Is Good For Toenail Fungus

      Can You Prevent Toenail Fungus

      If your toenail fungus is caused by something in your control , then yes. You can:

    • Wear shoes in public areas, especially ones that are typically wet, like pools and gyms.
    • Keep foot injuries clean and covered until they’re healed.
    • Protect your overall health by not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight.
    • Wear supportive and breathable shoes.
    • You also may see a reduction in bouts of toenail fungus by keeping your toenails consistently clean, dry, trimmed, and free of nail polish .

      However, many causes of toenail fungus are caused by other conditions, like chronic illness, old age, and diabetes, and there may not be much you can do to prevent fungus in these situations. Dr. Spielfogel does recommend using preventative products if you know you’re at risk for fungal infections the Dr.’s Remedy line of nail care products, for example, includes an antifungal cuticle oil that can be used nightly to reduce the risk of fungal growth.

      Mayo Clinic Q And A: Toenail Fungus Often Difficult To Eliminate Completely

      7 Reasons Why You Get Toenail Fungus  Vino Med Spa

      DEAR MAYO CLINIC: What causes toenail fungus, and what can be done to treat it? Is it contagious?ANSWER: Toenail fungus is an infection thats usually caused by a microscopic organism called dermatophyte fungus. These infections can be contagious, and they are often difficult to eliminate completely. Fortunately, for most healthy adults toenail fungus doesnt pose any serious health risks.

      Toenail fungus is a common condition that begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your toenail. As the infection goes deeper, nail fungus may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and crumble at the edge. Fungal infections are more likely to happen in your toenails than in your fingernails because toenails often are confined in a dark, warm, moist environment inside your shoes where fungi can thrive. Toes also have less blood flow than fingers, making it harder for your bodys immune system to detect and stop the infection.

      The older you are, the more likely you are to get toenail fungus. Thats because as you age, your immune system changes. In addition, your nails become more brittle and drier over time, creating more cracks where fungus can live.

      You may see ads publicizing laser treatments for toenail fungus. I usually dont recommend them. They tend to be quite expensive, and at this time most medical insurance does not cover that type of treatment.

      Also Check: Will Epsom Salt Cure Toenail Fungus

      Why Do I Keep Getting Toe Fungus

      January 24, 2017 by Foot Specialists of Birmingham

      You know it when you see it. You look down and notice your toes look a bit yellowed. You bend down a little closer and realize theres some swelling. Once you finally sit down and really inspect your toes, you realize your nail is even crumbling a bit.

      Yep, youve got toe fungus. And theres a huge chance this isnt your first rodeo. So, why do you keep getting toe fungus, and how can you treat and prevent it? Lets discuss.

      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.

      Also Check: What Doterra Oil Is Good For Toenail Fungus

      What Is Toe Fungus

      Onychomycosis is a very persistent infection that occurs within the nails. It can occur on both your hands and feet. If left untreated, toe fungus will continue to grow, leading to greater discoloration, inflammation, or even the loss of your entire nail. In the worst of cases, toe fungus has spread to become athletes foot, jock itch, and has even resulted in weakening peoples immune systems as a whole.

      What Does The Color Of Your Toenails Mean

      Why do I have a black toenail?

      A healthy toenail is a shade of pale pink, much like your fingernail. Any yellowing or tinges of black color means something is not right. For example, if your toenails become yellow, you probably have a fungal infection. Yellowing can also be the result of smoking or a side effect of diabetes or a liver condition.

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      Treating Toenail Fungus Medically

    • 1Recognize the signs. Before you can treat toenail fungus, you need to know what to look for. Nail fungus does not necessarily have consistent symptoms. The most common sign that you have nail fungus is tenderness or pain in the nail. Signs of a fungal infection include thickened, discolored, or brittle nails.XExpert SourceExpert Interview. 21 April 2020. The nail will usually get yellow or white streaks on the side of the nail. There is usually due to a buildup of debris under or around the nail, a crumbling and thickening of the outside edges of the nail, a loosening or lifting up of the nail, and nail brittleness.XResearch source
    • Although treatment is usually sought for cosmetic reasons, nail fungus can be serious and should be treated. For example, if it is a severe infection, it can cause permanent damage to your nails. The infection can also spread beyond your nails, especially if you are in a high risk group, such as people with diabetes or impaired immune systems. High-risk people can develop cellulitis, a skin tissue infection, if toe fungus isn’t treated.XTrustworthy SourceNational Health Service Public healthcare system of the UKGo to source
    • Toenail fungus is caused by fungi such as trichophyton rubrum. It is also caused by non-dermatophyte molds and yeast, most commonly from the Candida species.XTrustworthy SourceAmerican Academy of Family PhysiciansOrganization devoted to improving the health of patients, families, and communitiesGo to source
    • Can Toenail Fungus Be Black

      Yes, certain types of black yeast and black bacterial infections can cause the toenails to turn black.

      In our opinion, we see this much less frequently than dry blood underneath the toenail.

      In roughly 99% of scenarios that we see: the thick fungal toenail detaches from the underlying skin, and dry blood forms underneath the toenail.

      This prevents the toenail from reattaching to the skin and creates a thick black toenail that can cause pain.

      Read Also: How Do You Kill Fungus In Your Yard

      Know Not To Be Afraid

      Surgery can be nerve-wracking and scary. Nobody likes pain, hospitals, scalpels, cuts, and anesthesia. The whole idea can be very unpleasanteven reading about it can turn the stomach!

      But, it is very important to remember that thousands of people have experienced nail removal and have lived to tell about it! While there may be some discomfort and pain following the procedure, if a qualified doctor or other medical professional has concluded this is the best treatment for your specific problem, let that give all the comfort it should. We are very blessed to live in a world where so many health problems can be easily corrected!

      Are Oral Medications For Nail Fungus Toxic

      Why Do I Have a Black Spot Under My Toenail?

      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.

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      How To Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus

      First, the bad news: Dr. Jenkins and Dr. Spielfogel both admit that toenail fungus is extremely hard to treat, especially at home.

      “The most effective treatment is an oral systemic antifungal medication, such as Lamisil, once per day for 12 weeks,” says Dr. Jenkins. “It cures around 75% of patients, but 25% won’t be cured and will need repeat treatment or even a surgical treatment, like removing the toenail.”

      For the most part, Dr. Jenkins says Lamisil is generally safe for use, though it canin rare casescause liver enzyme abnormalities. She adds that this side effect is almost never seen in children, and that your doctor will monitor these enzymes and perform frequent blood work during your course of treatment to ensure Lamisil is not negatively affecting your liver.

      If you’re still concerned about Lamisil as a treatment option or you have an existing medical condition that prevents you from safely taking it, your doctor may prescribe a topical treatment instead…but those take a lot longer to work and only have a 25%-30% cure rate.

      Finally, you can try a home remedy for toenail funguswhile most of them aren’t terribly effective, they don’t come with many side effects, either. If your toenail fungus is mild, you might be able to see results over time.

      If you’re going to attempt an at-home remedy, it’s important to give your toenail some extra TLC, says Dr. Spielfogel: “Keeping the area clean and dry may help keep the infection under control.”

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