What Are The Causes Of Toenail Fungus
Essentially, there are three types of fungus that can cause toenails to become infected: yeast, mold, and dermatophyte. A yeast toenail infection is usually white, a mold infection is generally a dull brown, and a dermatophyte infection is generally yellow. These various causes have different treatment options, so its important to find out exactly what kind of toenail fungus you have before taking any severe measures to treat it.
Types Of Fingernail Fungus
Microscopic organisms known as fungi lead to nail fungal infections. This does not require sunlight to survive and thrive. The group of fungi like dermatophytes like Candida can work for dealing with nail fungal infections. Some yeasts and molds also lead to infections.
Trichophyton rubrum or the most common and well-known dermatophyte that causes nail fungal infections. Other dermatophytes include trichophyton interdigital, epidermophyton floccosum, Trichophyton violaceum, Trichophyton tonsurans, Microsporum gypsum, and trichophyton soudanense. Common mold causes include Aspergillus, Scopulariopsis, Neoscytalidium among others.
Tight footwear can also be a problem with the crowding of toes. Exercise that leads to repeated minor trauma to the point where the fingertip attaches to the nail is important. The elderly can also suffer this condition as lower blood circulation and slower growing nails are an important and critical part of the natural aging process.
Nails infected with fungus are thick, brittle, crumbly, distorted, ragged, dull and dark or yellowish in color. There is also scaling under the nail or hyperkeratosis, lateral onychomycosis or yellow and white streaking, proximal onychomycosis refers to the yellow spots at the bottom of the nail, and there’s also onycholysis or infected nails separating from the nail bed. Nail fungal infections can result in toe or fingertip pain, and even emit a foul odor.
How Do You Get A Fungal Nail Infection
Most fungal nail infections occur as a result of the fungi that cause athlete’s foot infecting the nails.
These fungi often live harmlessly on your skin, but they can sometimes multiply and lead to infections. The fungi prefer warm, dark and moist places like the feet.
You’re more likely to get a fungal nail infection if you:
- don’t keep your feet clean and dry
- wear shoes that cause your feet to get hot and sweaty
- walk around barefoot in places where fungal infections can spread easily, such as communal showers, locker rooms and gyms
- have damaged your nails
- have a weakened immune system
- have certain other health conditions, such as diabetes, psoriasis or peripheral arterial disease
Fungal nail infections can be spread to other people, so you should take steps to avoid this if you have an infection.
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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 Happens If You Leave A Fungal Nail Infection Untreated
It is uncommon for an infected nail to cause severe pain or permanent disfigurement, but this does occur in some cases. If left untreated, fungal nail infections can cause difficulties with walking, exercising or manual tasks such as typing. The main symptoms of onychomycosis include the nail becoming: Brittle.
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Can Nail Fungus Cause Other Health Issues
A severe case of nail fungus can be painful and may cause permanent damage to your nails. And it may lead to other serious infections that spread beyond your feet if you have a suppressed immune system due to medication, diabetes or other conditions.
Can Nail Fungal Infections Be Painful
Nail fungal infections are usually not alarming. Discolorations in the form of black spots or white streaks may dictate that your nails are infected. These early signs and symptoms normally do not provide any discomfort, and because of this, they can also be easily dismissed. However, as nail fungus progresses, it only exacerbates the problem.Severe onychomycosis is the end-stage and most advanced form of nail fungal infections. This is not only the most difficult stage to clear, but it is also the type of infection with the highest risk to permanent nail damage, secondary bacterial infection, and eventually gangrene. The prevalence of onychomycosis is increasing. In the United States alone, almost 6 to 12 percent of the population are suffering from this nail problem.
Severe nail fungus usually begins with nail discoloration it might be white, black, yellow, or green. The nails become thick and deform to an unusual shape and texture, making them difficult to trim. The nails health also suffers and the structure starts to become weak, brittle, and crumbly. Later on, the thickness of the nail inflicts pain and discomfort, particularly when placing pressure on the affected area. The pain may start to interfere with your daily activities, like standing, walking, and exercising. Being aware of how severe nail fungus manifests is key to preventing it.
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Who Gets Nail Fungus
Nail fungus is common, and anyone can get it. However, some people have a higher risk of developing a fungal nail infection. Your age, health, and even your lifestyle can increase your risk.
Age. The risk of developing a fungal nail infection increases with age. Its most common in old age and least common in children.
Before the age of 6, its rare to develop a fungal nail infection.
Climate. Living in a hot, humid climate increases the risk of developing a fungal nail infection.
Health. You have an increased risk of developing a fungal nail infection if you have one or more of the following:
Weakened immune system due to a disease like human immunodeficiency syndrome
Do you have frequent nail infections?
If you get frequent nail infections, you may have untreated athletes foot.
Lifestyle. Your risk of getting a fungal nail infection increases if you:
Have wet feet or hands frequently throughout the day
Spend a lot of time in water
Walk barefoot in a hot, humid place like a pool, public shower, or locker room
Wear tight-fitting, closed-toe shoes, especially if you have sweaty feet
Wear plastic gloves for hours every day
Signs And Symptoms Of A Fungal Nail Infection
A fungal nail infection may not cause any obvious symptoms at first.
As it progresses, the infection can cause:
- discolouration of the nail it may turn white, black, yellow or green
- thickening and distortion of the nail it may become an unusual shape or texture and be difficult to trim
- pain or discomfort particularly when using or placing pressure on the affected toe or finger
- brittle or crumbly nails pieces may break off and come away completely
Sometimes the skin nearby may also become infected and be itchy and cracked or red and swollen.
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Strong Carbohydrate And Sugar Cravings
We have much more to learn about the human microbiome. What we do know, however, is that the gut microbes can influence the cravings and choices of their host you.
Candida love sugar. It is their preferred fuel source. People with Candida overgrowth often have extreme cravings for simple carbohydrates and sugar. As Candida continues to colonize, the need for more and more sugar will increase.
What Causes Fungal Nails And What Are Some Of The Risk Factors
In normal, healthy people, fungal infections of the nails are most commonly caused by fungus that is caught from moist, wet areas. Communal showers, such as those at a gym or swimming pools, are common sources. Going to nail salons that use inadequate sanitization of instruments in addition to living with family members who have fungal nails are also risk factors. Athletes have been proven to be more susceptible to nail fungus. This is presumed to be due to the wearing of tight-fitting, sweaty shoes associated with repetitive trauma to the toenails. Having athletes foot makes it more likely that the fungus will infect your toenails. Repetitive trauma also weakens the nail, which makes the nail more susceptible to fungal infection.
Elderly people and people with certain underlying disease states are also at higher risk. Anything that impairs your immune system can make you prone to getting infected with the fungus. These include conditions such as AIDS, diabetes, cancer, psoriasis, or taking any immunosuppressive medications like steroids.
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What The Research Tells Us
Research shows a similar effect among three widely used oral antifungal medications terbinafine, griseofulvin, and azoles, although all produce side effects. Overall, terbinafine appears to have a slightly better cure rate than either the azoles and griseofulvin, and slightly fewer side effects which commonly include headaches, viral infections and nausea . Both terbinafine and the azoles have a similar ability to prevent the recurrence of infection . Griseofulvin has a similar cure rate to the azoles, but produces more side effects, including headaches, stomach disturbances, loss of taste, nausea, and allergic reactions .If you have a fungal nail infection there are oral antifungal medications available that may help cure the fungus and get you back to enjoying open toed shoes again!
Can Toenail Fungus Cause Pain And Swelling
As you know, toenail fungus is very difficult to recognize at first. You wont even know that fungi are multiplying in your toenails. When the discolouration becomes quite noticeable, it gives cosmetic concerns and thats when people consult their doctors. Usually, toenail fungus has no symptoms, theres just a sign that your nail starts to look ugly. After identifying your type of infection, the doctor might prescribe some antifungal medicines. However, most people complain that it takes a really long time to cure toenail fungus and the medicines have a lot of side-effects.
But what happens when a person leaves the toenail fungal infection untreated?
When left untreated, the fungi can keep multiplying themselves. They can start infection any area of your skin or any part of your body. In severe cases, the fungi can enter the bloodstream and become deadly. Even if you try to treat your toenail fungus, there are chances that it may never be fully treated. And if treated, the fungus can still come back. No matter what type of fungal infection you have, you may have noticed that are no specific symptoms. In severe cases, one may experience pain, redness of the skin, and swelling.
Yes, toenail fungus can cause extreme pain and swelling.
- Red skin
- Skin dimpling and so on.
Relieve yourself from pain and swelling:
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Can Toenail Fungus Cause Blisters
When your toenails are infected by fungus or bacteria, your skin can create blisters. Blisters are balloon-like skin layers filled with fluid on the top layer of the skin. When the skin or nail layer is very thick, blisters are bound to develop because of friction. Most blisters are very painful as the fluids can burst out anytime. A person with a blister on his toenail skin walks almost like he is disabled. Any pressure on the blister can cause pain and swelling. If you have toenail fungus, your brittle nails can give a rise to painful pus-filled blisters. There are numerous reasons and possibilities of having blisters, but having a blister if you have a toenail fungus can be extremely painful, stressful, and a cause of concern.
Before we understand if toenail fungus causes blisters, let us understand the science behind it.
What are blisters?
Blisters are bubbles that collect the infected fluid in them. They usually pop when the fluid is collected. Blisters can be filled with blood, pus or serum . You can have one or many blisters at a time. As it grows, a blister can hurt, itch, pain and swell.
- The most common cause of blisters is friction. Normally, when a person wears new boots, shoes or any tight footwear, he or she could get a blister.
- Another common cause of blisters is the weather : you can get a frostbite or a sunburn and that could cause blisters.
- Herpes simplex, food and mouth disease, allergies and many other reasons can cause blisters.
Can Toenail Fungus Spread To The Bone
It is possible to get fungal infections that do spread to the bone, which is a very serious condition. Ultimately, when it comes to toenail fungus, since it can be spread to other parts of the body, and can spread internally, it is worth dealing with it as soon as you notice it. Ultimately many people think that toenail fungus might go away on its own in time, but this is not the case. Toenail fungus will typically need to be treated with antifungal medication. Some of these topical treatments are available over-the-counter and can come as antifungal creams or as a nail polish. Learn about our Clear + Restore product that can rejuvenate and improve the appearance of your toenails.
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Top 3 Reasons To Treat Nail Fungus
One of the most common reasons patients want to treat their nail fungus is to improve the appearance of their nails.
This is especially true of fingernails, but even toenails can be a concern during the summer when they are more visible. Nail fungus can cause embarrassment and some sufferers stop activities, such as yoga or swimming, so that others will not see their toenails.
Pain and Mobility
If left untreated, fungal nail infections can cause pain and mobility problems. These can occur as the nails thicken when the infection progresses. It may become uncomfortable to wear closed shoes and to walk, exercise or stand. For this reason, early treatment is recommended before the infection becomes more severe or has spread to other toenails.
Recurrence and Transmission
Although nail fungus rarely causes serious health risks, the nail can become a fungal reservoir leading to recurrent fungal infections of the skin. These can cause fissures or cracks, leaving the feet more vulnerable to secondary bacterial infections. People with a weakened immune system, such as diabetes or peripheral vascular disease, may be more susceptible to both fungal infections and other secondary infections, resulting from it such as cellulitis.
Fungal Nail Infection Complications
It can take a year or more for your nails to look like they did before the infection. And you may continue to have problems:
- The fungus can come back.
- Your nails may be permanently discolored or misshapen.
- The infection may spread to other parts of your body.
Itâs especially important to take care of a fungal nail infection if you have diabetes. Youâre at greater risk of getting a serious skin infection.
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Ways To Identify Nail Fungus
You can identify nail fungus relatively easily since the fungus causes discoloration to occur. If you find that the edges of your nails have become yellow, then this may be a sign of nail fungus. Over time the nail can thicken, become brittle and even split away from the nail bed which can be a painful side effect. With this kind of nail injury, areas around the cuticle can also become painful. Learn more about how to diagnose nail fungus.
These are all good reasons to ensure that nail fungus and toenail infections are treated swiftly before they develop and become worse over time. Our Clear + Restore product can help restore the appearance of your nails.
Nail Polish And Contaminated Equipment
A 2018 study found evidence that fungi may be able to live and multiply in some nail polishes. It may be a good idea to avoid sharing nail polish.
Contaminated equipment at a nail salon can also expose you to types of fungi that may lead to an infection.
Your fungal infection may not cause any symptoms in the beginning, until it progresses.
As the infection gets worse, you may experience:
Fingernail infections often clear up on their own or with home remedies. Antifungal medications are used for more serious infections.
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Who Can Develop Fungal Infections
There are many different causes of fungal nail infections each cause has a treatment of its own. Many causes of fungal nail infections are preventable, some risk factors raise the likelihood of developing this condition. Nail infections occur more than men than women, and infections in adults are more often than children. If one has family members who get different types of fungal infections, you’re more likely to get this fingernail fungus. They have poorer circulation, and nails grow slowly and thicken as they age.
Fungal infections of the nail may impact part of the nail, the entire nail or several nails. Common signs of a nail fungal infection include distortions in the nail that lift off the nail bed, a smell emanating from the infected nail, a thickened or even a brittle nail.
Other infections mimic symptoms of fungal nail infection, the only way to confirm a diagnosis is to see the doctor. They will take the scraping of the nail and look under the microscope for indications of fungus. Doctors may have to send a sample to the lab for analysis and identification. These habits can prevent nail fungus.
Wash the hands and feet frequently and wash your hands after exposure to an infected nail. Moisturize fingernails post a wash. Trim fingernails right across, smoothen the rims with the file and work on thickened regions. Disinfecting nail clippers even after a single usage is also advisable.
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