How To Care For Your Nails
You can prevent many nail abnormalities by taking good care of your nails. Follow these general guidelines to keep your nails healthy:
If you have a problem with brittle or weak nails, keep them short to avoid breakage. Use lotion on your nails and cuticles to keep the nail and nail beds moisturized.
A Pharmacist Can Help With Fungal Nail Infections
Speak to a pharmacist if the look of your nail bothers you or itâs 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 itâs 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 Happens If You Dont See A Doctor For Toenail Fungus
Severe toenail fungus can lead to some serious issues, especially if you already have the pre-existing conditions listed above.
Toenail fungus, if left untreated, can lead to permanent disfiguration of the nail and infections that spread to other areas of the body, such as foot ulcers or even bacterial cellulitis of the leg.
Bacterial cellulitis is a skin infection, characterized by a red, swollen area that is hot to the touch. This can quickly spread to other tissues below the affected area and into the bloodstream. If left untreated, it can become life-threatening.
Your feet carry you throughout your life. Why not take good care of them?
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How Much Is Laser Toenail Fungus Removal
While laser toenail fungus treatment is FDA approved, very effective, and very successful, most insurance companies, unfortunately, do not cover it.
- See us for a no-obligation consultation to see if it is the right choice for you, as there are numerous options for toenail fungus treatment.
- See a toenail specialist like a podiatrist to see if this is the best option for you!
Can A Doctor Fix Toenail Fungus
If you recognize the symptoms of toenail fungus, you must meet with the right doctor, a podiatrist, for proper treatment. Podiatrists will treat toenail fungus by using topical creams, removing part of the nail, and or using more modern methods like laser therapy to eliminate the infection.
What kind of doctor takes off toenails?
Although many types of doctors, including family physicians, pediatricians, urgent-care walk-in physicians, and dermatologists, can treat ingrown toenails, podiatrists are uniquely qualified among the medical professionals to treat this condition.
What doctor treats white superficial onychomycosis?
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.
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Do Oral Medications Help
Taking a course of oral antifungal medication is likely your best treatment option. Like topical treatments, oral medication can require the patient to commit to a lengthy treatment time. Dr. Wagenseller explained, Oral medication is most effective, but it requires at least three months of treatment. Unfortunately, the most effective pill has possible systemic side effects. Its important for patients to work closely with the dermatologist and/or a general physician throughout the treatment process to ensure safety and avoid long-term damage from the potential side effects of antifungal medications.
Signs & Symptoms Of Toenail Fungus
Because there are varying types and levels of severity for toenail fungus, its important to have your condition diagnosed by a podiatric physician. If you are worried that you might be suffering from a fungal infection in your nails, perform a self-evaluation to look for the following common symptoms:
- Scaling under the nail
- White or yellow streaks on the nail
- Foul odor from the infected nail
- Crumbling corner or tip of nail
- Flaking white areas on the toenails surface
- Loss of the nail
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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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What You Need To Know About Onychomycosis
Onychomycosis is the scientific name for nail fungus. The condition can be caused by a number of things, such as an injury to the nail. A weakened immune system makes it difficult to fight off the fungi. Diabetes also increases the risk of fungal nail infections. These treatments are often painful and require several months of treatment. Usually, the best option for treating nail fungus is to consult a doctor and seek treatment.
One of the first things to do is visit your primary care physician, who can prescribe a prescription for an anti-fungal medication. The medication can be applied to the affected area and is designed to work on the infected area. However, it is recommended that people with a serious infection consult a medical practitioner before starting the treatment. Topical medications require daily application and can affect other medical conditions. The best treatment is a combination of oral and topical medications.
If you have a fungal infection, you must avoid wearing shoes or socks. While you should not walk while wearing shoes, you should avoid using artificial nails. If your toe is impacted, it is important to have your nail trimmed straight across. If possible, wear comfortable socks and change your shoes in public places. A doctor will often send the clippings to a lab for identification. Changing your socks and wearing sneakers is also recommended.
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What Are The Symptoms Of An Injured Nail
A fine red to reddish-brown vertical line under your nail may be caused by an injury with bleeding under the nail. This is known as a splinter hemorrhage. Some medicines and medical conditions can also cause reddish lines to appear on the nails, so see a board-certified dermatologist if you notice a new red line.
Minor nail injuries commonly result in small white spots. They typically disappear on their own as the nail grows out and do not require treatment. You should, however, see your dermatologist if you see many white spots and do not remember injuring your nail, or if the white spots do not grow out. This could mean you have an infection or another medical condition.
Treatment At The Skin Hospital
There are many possible underlying causes of the problems mentioned above. Sometimes a diagnosis can be made without the need for any tests. Furthermore, fungal nail infections are very common therefore a nail clipping can be taken for examination under a microscope to assess if a fungus is present. Sometimes a nail biopsy may be carried out under local anaesthetic however this is very rarely required.
The treatment you receive will depend on the underlying cause. If your changes in the nail are due to a skin or medical condition then treatment of this problem will usually improve the appearance of the nails. However, improvements may take months to show as nails grow very slowly.
The different treatments available are:
At The Skin Hospital our Speciality Clinics are run by dermatologists who have sub-specialised in a chosen condition bringing deep knowledge and specific expertise, however all dermatologists at the Skin Hospital are highly trained to treat this condition.
The Skin Hospital runs a speciality clinic dedicated to the treatment of nail disease at Darlinghurst run by Dr Johanna Kuchel. If you would like to find out more about this speciality clinic please contact us.
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Additional reporting for this story by Jennifer Nied and Sarah Bradley
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Q: Does Medicare Pay For Diabetic Shoes And Custom Orthotics
A: Medicare will cover diabetic shoes and inserts with some patients.
- Patients must meet and have specific qualifying conditions that must be verified by the Physician managing their diabetes.
- If you have diabetes, you should have an annual foot evaluation performed by a foot doctor or podiatrist to determine if you are eligible for this benefit through Medicare and other insurance carriers.
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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.
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People In Danger For Feet Fungus
You can establish nail fungi because of a variety of factors, such as:
- As we age, our blood flow slows down, we are more exposed to fungal infections, and also our nails grow much more gradually
- Sweating greatly
- Having actually had athletes foot in the past
- Walking with no feet cover in wet public areas, such as swimming pools, fitness centers as well as shower rooms
- Injuries to the skin or nails or skin problem, such as psoriasis, prevail
- A weak immune system, diabetes or blood circulation concerns
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How Did I Get Nail Fungus
Nail fungus develops gradually as foreign fungal invaders, especially dermatophytes, enter your nail bed. While anyone of any age can have fungal nails, theyre particularly common in older adults. The reason behind this is that seniors have age-related issues, such as decreased blood circulation and a weakened immune system, that increases their risk of infections.
But a number of other factors can contribute to nail fungus, too. Its possible that you got nail fungus as a result of:
- Sweating profusely
- Having a history of athletes foot
- Having chronic skin conditions, like psoriasis
- Walking barefoot in a sauna or gym locker room
If you have diabetes, your chances of fungal nails increases due to circulation problems and a weakened immune system.
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- Nails support and protect the sensitive tips of our fingers and toes.
- Common causes of nail problems include injury, infection and skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis.
- Some conditions need professional treatment from a doctor or a dermatologist.
- People with diabetes or compromised immune systems have a higher risk of fungal nail infections.
- Toenail problems tend to be more common among older people.
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What Are The Treatments For Black Toenail
Fungal infections of the toes are relatively treatable at home when caught early. Over-the-counter ointments, creams, and polishes are usually effective. Severe cases may require a prescription antifungal treatment.
If a black toenail is caused by an injury, the resulting spot from broken blood vessels will disappear once your nail grows out.
Black toenail caused by trauma from an injury usually resolves on its own without treatment. However, if your toenail grows out and it still appears black, then the symptoms might be related to another underlying cause.
Toenail discoloration related to diabetes and other health conditions requires treatment for the underlying causes.
Take A Full Medical History
âThe first step is to take a history of the problem,â says podiatrist , DPM, CEO of HappyFeet LLC. âIn other words, I want to know how long have you had this and what previous treatment youâve had.â A podiatrist needs to understand the extent of the problem and any other medical factors which may influence their choice of toenail fungus treatment. A full medical history is also important because the first line of defense is usually oral medication, but this treatment can have side effects for people with underlying health issues. Make sure you reveal everythinghere are 14 things to never lie to your doctor about.
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Should I See A Dermatologist Or Podiatrist For Toenail Fungus
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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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Types Of Toenail Fungus With Pictures
There are four different types of toenail fungus, each with its own symptoms and treatment options. Deciding which type of toenail fungus you have is easier if you know what to look for. These pictures act as a visual guide.
The most common type is distal subungual Onychomycosis, which accounts for as many as 85% of cases. The fungus is easy to distinguish because it causes thick, discolored nails, scaling underneath of it, and nails that easily crumble.
Onychomycosis, better known as toenail fungus, is a common ailment that affects millions of people every year. Characterized by changes in the color of the toenail, such as looking white, black, or yellow, the fungus is an infection underneath the nail that is caused by yeast or other bacteria. They attack the keratin found in your nail to survive, and if left untreated, toenail fungus can cause an embarrassing, foul-smelling odor that prevents you from wearing sandals or otherwise feeling comfortable being barefoot.
Some people suffer from white superficial Onychomycosis, which occurs when the nail turns white and begins to crumble.
People who have ailments that suppress their immune systems may suffer from proximal subungual Onychomycosis, which turns the nail white near the cuticle.
Finally, candidal Onychomycosis is a type of fungus that causes the nail to separate completely from the bed.
The Lamisil Terbinafine Antifungal Cream Treats Fungus All Over The Body
Sarah is a freelance writer with a focus on health and wellness. She has written for publications like Women’s Health, Healthline, and Parents. She taught creative writing for five years, and has a bachelor’s degree in English from Southern Connecticut State University.
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Verywell Health / Peter Ardito
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. If left untreated, the fungus can grow severely by hardening the nails and spreading to other toes.
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The Best Cure For Toenail Fungus
- Prescription-strength topical creams that target your specific fungus and are more effective than over-the-counter varieties.
- Oral medications that treat the problem systemically.
- Clearing the infection through nail debridement or scraping.
- We may opt to remove the nail with surgery for infections that dont respond to these treatments. Permanent removal may be the only option to stop the infection from spreading.