What If I Have Black Spots On My Toenails
Many people think that black spots are related to toenail fungus, but Dr. Wagenseller says, Black spots on the toenails are most likely due to trauma, especially if there is a purple hue to them. Try to remember if youve stubbed your toe, dropped something on your foot, or otherwise injured the area around the nail. If you cant seem to remember an injury or you notice these black spots appearing regularly, this may be a warning sign of a more serious condition. According to Dr. Wagenseller, If a black spot on the toenails involves the adjacent cuticle, it should be evaluated by a dermatologist. This can be a warning sign of melanoma in some, but not all, cases.
Apply Or Consume Garlic
A 2019 study published online indicated that garlic is an antifungal powerhouse, potentially making it a gem for treating toenail fungal infections. It is best to place crushed or chopped garlic on the affected area daily, Hayag says. It is important to take caution when following this remedy, as garlic has the potential to cause chemical burns to the skin. To avoid any burns, theres also the option of taking garlic supplements to see if that might help clear things up.
The Podiatrists Take On Home Remedies
While home remedies are unlikely to cause any harm in themselves, Dr. Hinkes urges caution when relying on them when looking for how to get rid of toenail fungus. Resorting to folk remedies can be dangerous because it could keep the patient from getting a legitimate diagnosis and treatment, he says. Now in some people, this could be a critical thing, because it can be contagiousyou can pass it to other people and you can pass it to other parts of your body. So its really not something you want to fool with. Dr. Hinkes advice is clear: Visit a foot care specialist. This could be a podiatrist, but foot care nurses also offer an excellent and affordable service as an alternative. And if neither of those is available, try a dermatologist. Left untreated, this condition wont go away on its own and can cause serious pain, deformity, and even lead to further complications. Podiatrists recommend seeking expert helpyoure better safe than sorry. If youre desperate, though, try these DIY foot and toenail fungus treatments.
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When To Call A Doctor For Severe Nail Fungal Infection
Nail fungal infections can be treated without going to the doctor. They can be successfully and easily cured with over-the-counter medications. Many topical ointments, though, get a bad rap because they are thought to be ineffective in treating nail fungus. However, newer topical solutions that have 10% undecylenic acid and nail-penetrating essential oils are proven to provide effective, safe, and fast cure.
For severe cases of nail fungal infections, its best to see a doctor for best possible treatments. These include worst case scenarios of onychomycosis, in which patients deal with discomfort or increased pain and swelling, other infections, red streaks extending from the area, discharge of pus, and fever with no other cause.
Its also best to go to a doctor if the fungal infection appears to be spreading to the surrounding skin. Other people also seek a doctors advice even if their nail condition is a moderate case because the appearance of the infected nail bothers them.
A general practitioner may be able to handle nail fungal infection cases. However, it is recommended to seek a dermatologist to pinpoint the problem. A dermatologist can give proper diagnosis on skin and nail conditions, and therefore will be able to identify the fungal infection and what type it is.
The Best Nail Fungus Treatments
And if you do end up with a nail fungal infection? The bad news is that it can be challenging to completely banish it the infections are often persistent and even if they are effectively treated, can often have high recurrence rates, explains Dr. Stern.
The other tricky part is that the infection needs to be diagnosed properly, and comparing your nail situation to your Google search isnt the way, she says. Not every nail problem is caused by a fungus some conditions may appear similar, such as nail psoriasis and nail trauma, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association. Derms have the expertise to determine whats causing your nail problem and to recommend the right treatment, including various oral and topical medications that could be highly effective.
While its best to get a diagnosis from a professional, if you are traveling or simply dont have time to book an appointment with your derm right now, there are many over-the-counter anti-fungal ointments and creams that can treat fungal nail infections, says Dr. Chen. The catch? If you dont see improvement after two months for fingernails or four months for toenails, see a dermatologist, advises Dr. Stern.
Ahead, six of the best nail fungus treatments, according to experts and customer reviews.
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How To Prepare To See Your Doctor
- List any symptoms, even ones that you feel are not likely related to your nail condition. This can affect your doctors treatment choices.
- List any medications that you are currently taking. Some nail fungus treatments may have interactions with other drugs. List any allergies or other personal information that may be relevant.
- Inform the doctor of any other health problems that you have. Conditions like cancer, diabetes and psoriasis can make you more vulnerable to infection or could make certain treatment options not good for you.
Are All Petroleum Jelly Products Safe
Though we cant comment on each Petroleum Jelly brands, we can say that the oldest ones are highly recommended. These brands have been researched well.
Since Vaseline is the number one petroleum jelly brand, it is the best in skin healing.
Vaseline is the safest as stated by many studies and research experts. Also, Vaseline is inexpensive yet the most effective petroleum jelly used as a treatment for Toenail Fungus.
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Cosmetics And Laser Center Appointments: 259
Cosmetic dermatologists have madegreat strides using laser treatment technology to treat nail fungus. Due to therisks associated with oral medications and the disappointing results fromprescription creams and polishes to treat nail fungus, these therapies arequickly becoming treatments of the past.
Clinical research trials show lasertreatment success being as high as 90% with multiple treatments, whereascurrent prescription therapies are about 50% effective. Laser treatment worksby heating up the nail layers specific to the fungus and attempting to destroythe genetic material responsible for fungus growth and survival.
What are the benefits of laser nail fungus treatment?
- Safe and effective
- Treatments are quick
- Minimal to no discomfort
- Excellent alternative to potentially harmful oral medication
What can I expect during and after the laser nail fungus treatment?
- Minimum of 2 treatments is recommended
- Treatments performed 5 to 6 weeks apart
- All nails in the area of the fungus are treated
- Laser treatment is used in conjunction with topical creams
- Fingernails require 3 to 6 months to regrow completely and toenails 12 to 18 months
- Results will not be seen until at least 2 months from the initial laser treatment
Do Dermatologists Treat Hair And Nails
Absolutely we treat hair and nail fungal infections in addition to skin infections. Dermatologists treat fungal infections on the surface of the nail, embedded within the nail, or on the scalp. Depending on the location, we treat these with creams, gels, liquids, or oral medications. We also treat a variety of hair loss problems. too.
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What Causes Fungal Infections
Fungal infections are easy to come by. You can pick them up just about anywhere.
Walking around a locker room or an area that is wet can harbor the fungus and can lead to athletes foot or toenail fungus. Even your own shower can be a source for transmitting the fungus among family members
Some very rare fungal infections are inhaled. In the southwest United States, we see serious fungal infections such as Coccidioidomycosis and Valley Fever that come from inhaling dust and spores kicked up by the wind. These infections typically start in the lungs and migrate to the skin as they worsen.
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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What Are The Symptoms Of A Bacterial Nail Infection
A bacterial nail infection most commonly forms after the nail or surrounding skin is injured. This type of infection can cause redness, swelling or pain. Pus also can accumulate in the skin around the nail, and the nail can develop a greenish color.
If you have a bacterial nail infection, treatment is important. A dermatologist often will drain the pus and prescribe
How Can I Prevent Getting Toenail Fungus
It is always best to wear sandals when walking around places where a toenail fungus is likely to thrive. Socks made from synthetic materials such as nylon dont work as well at whisking moisture away from the feet, so 100% cotton, wool, or silk socks are better choices. Its also helpful to keep your feet clean, dry, your toenails trimmed, and avoid applying layers of polish. Visit your local dermatologist to receive more tips on how to avoid getting toenail fungus.
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Find The Right Treatment From The Best Nail Fungus Dermatologist In Nj
If you suspect you may have a nail fungal infection, the skilled providers at Kessel Dermatology are here to help you clear it up using safe, effective treatment methods. If youre ready to discuss your options and find the most appropriate course of treatment for you, call our office at 609-890-2600. To accommodate all of our patients, we have both in-person and telemedicine appointments available.
The Most Common Types Of Nail Fungus
The most common type of nail fungus is known as distal subungual onychomycosis, and is caused by a fungi known as a dermatophyte, says Dr. Chen. It can show up on fingernails or toenails, and manifests as a yellow-ish area on the nail that can ultimately lead to splitting, crumbling, or even separation of the nail from the skin as it gets worse, she says. Its also worth noting that this is the same fungi that causes athletes foot, a fungal infection that can spread from the skin to the nail, adds Dr. Stern.
White superficial onychomycosis is the second most common it leads to white spots on the surface of the nail, which can ultimately spread to resemble a white chalky powder covering the entire nail, says Chen.
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Best Alternative: Vicks Vaporub Ointment
Yes, you read that correctly. Vicks VapoRub is often mentioned as an effective nail fungus treatment because of both the active and inactive ingredients it contains. says Dr. Stern. Thymol, menthol, camphor, and oil of eucalyptus have shown efficacy against dermatophytes in a lab setting, she explains. The caveat? If youre using this regularly and not seeing any improvement after two months for fingernails or four months for toenails, see a dermatologist, she advises.
Best Overall: Ariella Nail Fungus Treatment For Toenail And Fingernail
No matter whether youre trying to treat your fingernails or toenails, this Amazon fan-favorite nail fungus treatment will do the trick. Shoppers repeatedly rave about how its out-performed many similar products theyve tried and how easy it is to use. To that point, it touts a super convenient and mess-free brush-on applicator, and the liquid formula dries very quickly. The brand promises youll see results in 2-4 weeks, and recommends applying the treatment 2-3 times per day to help eliminate discoloration and strengthen nails.
One reviewer wrote: This is the only product that has worked on a nail fungus Ive struggled with since high school. After decades of covering it with acrylic toenails, I decided to attack this at its roots. The pen-style allows easy application of the product. It also absorbs quickly into to the nail.
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Preventing A Fungal Nail Infection
There are a few steps you can take to reduce your chances of a fungal nail infection occurring:
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Should I See A Dermatologist Or Podiatrist For Toenail Fungus
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What Is A Fungal Infection
There are two broad categories of fungal infections:
Dermatologists treat fungal infections of the skin, as well as fungal infections in hair and nails. Often, these infections appear as itchy, scaley, rashes on the skin.
Superficial infections are known by common names such as athletes foot and ringworm, or by medical names that indicate the fungus and location. These infections include:
- Tinea unguum
- tinea cruris
- Tinea capitis
Nail fungus, knowns as onychomycosis or tinea unguum, is the most common fungal infection with over three million cases a year.
How Does A Nail Fungus Start
Nail fungus infection is a common dermatological disorder that begins either under the nail or in the nail itself. It is mostly caused by a dermatophyte fungus, though there are cases that it is caused by Candida yeast as well. Also called onychomycosis, the condition affects both fingernails and toenails, though it is more prevalent in toenails. Fungi thrive in warm and moist environments, which perhaps describe a lot of footwear. Nail fungus infection can also start with the same dermatophyte fungus that causes athletes foot, the Trichophyton. So when a person has athletes foot, its also likely that the fungal infection would spread to the nails.
Fungal infection gives nails an abnormal appearance. The first sign of it may be a discolored dot on the nail or the skin under the nail. There may be white or yellow streaks on the nail, a crumbling corner or tip of the nail, flaking on the nails surface, yellow spots at the bottom of the nail, and scaling under the nail. The infected nail may also be thickened or brittle, and it may detach from the nail bed. In some cases, there may also be odor coming from the infected nail.
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Diagnosing A Fungal Nail Infection
You can see your primary care doctor, dermatologist or a podiatrist for a fungal nail infection. If your primary doctor isn’t comfortable treating it or if the infection is more severe, you may want to see a dermatologist or podiatrist.
To help diagnose the infection, the doctor typically will examine your nails and may do further testing to confirm the diagnosis, says Dr. Jonathan Dyer, a University of Missouri Health Care dermatologist and chair of the University of Missouri School of Medicine Department of Dermatology in Columbia.
They may do this by using clippings or scrapings from the affected nails for a microscopic exam or by sending the scrapings for culture to identify the type of fungus present.
The doctor also may look for clinical patterns shown by the nail infection, Janniger says. These patterns show damage on the sides or ends of the nails. Sometimes, these patterns show complete damage to the nail.