How Do I Know If I Have A Fungal Nail Infection
Because other infections can affect the nail and mimic symptoms of a fungal nail infection, the only way to confirm a diagnosis is to see a doctor. Theyll take a scraping of the nail and look under a microscope for signs of fungus.
In some cases, your doctor may send the sample to a lab for analysis and identification.
Over-the-counter products arent usually recommended to treat nail infections since they dont provide reliable results. Instead, your doctor may prescribe an oral antifungal medication, such as:
Which Treatment Is Right For Me
Nail fungus is usually harmless. But many people find discolored or thickened nails unpleasant to look at and want to get rid of the fungus as soon as possible. Fungal nail infections can also spread, and may infect other people. Regardless of the treatment you choose, it will take a while until the nail looks normal again. Its especially important to be patient where toenails are concerned. It can take a year for a healthy big toenail to grow back. Nail fungus can sometimes be very persistent despite treatment. It can also come back after successful treatment.
Topical treatment isnt likely to get rid of a fungal nail infection. Treatment with tablets is considerably more effective and takes less time. But some people cant take tablets because of the very rare, yet serious risks. How you feel about the pros and cons of the different treatment options is a personal matter. You can also discuss the options with your doctor.
Sets With Creams And A Nail Scraper
Treatment sets that contain two creams and a nail scraper can also be used for the topical treatment of nail fungus:
- One cream has urea in it, which softens the nail so it can be removed.
- The other cream contains bifonazole, which has an antifungal effect.
For this treatment, the affected toe or finger first has to be soaked in warm water for ten minutes and then dried. After that, the urea-based cream is applied to the nail, and the nail is covered with an adhesive bandage. After 24 hours, the bandage is removed and the toe or finger is held in warm water again. The softened layer of the nail is then scraped off using a spatula, the cream is applied again and the nail is covered with a new bandage. This treatment is carried out over 14 days. Once the infected part of the nail has been scraped away completely, the skin beneath is treated for another four weeks with a bifonazole cream.
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Tips For Treating Fungal Nails
Here are a few tips for treating fungal nails:
- Make sure that you use topical gels and serums to cleanse and treat your nails while using the antifungal nail polishes
- Cut and trim the nails to prevent breakage and further spread of infection
- Use nail lacquers with amorolfine as it prevents the spread of fungus and fights against fungi, yeast, and molds
- Apply the nail lacquer twice a week regularly for 12 months to repair the nails
- Before applying any product, clean the nails thoroughly and dry the surface
- Also, use sterile cotton buds on the nails to prevent contamination
- Prevent exposure to extremely damp condition and choose correct breathable footwear to avoid pain
- Maintain a regular foot-care routine, wear antimicrobial shoes and avoid nail trauma to heal the nails fast
- Also, make sure that you do not share your nail polish or clippers with other people
When not treated correctly, nail fungus can become discomforting, and thus, it is vital to maintain a healthy foot-care regimen. The best way to manage and hide the nail fungus is to use antifungal nail polishes, and these best 5 nail polishes will help you deal with the nail fungus effectively.
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Advice On Toenail Fungus And Wearing Nail Polish
Toenail fungus is unsightly. In the warmer weather, you probably wont want to wear flip flops/sandals or walk around barefoot, just because of the appearance of your toenails.
Is there anything wrong with having toenail fungus and wearing nail polish? Not if you wear the right type of antifungal polish. If you want a cover-up or polish that helps kill fungus, take a look at Dr.s Remedy Enriched Nail Polish.
This type of fungus is highly contagious. You may have contracted it from a swimming pool, sauna, the gym, or a family member. Sometimes it can also be spread by nail salons. Thats why more people now use professional;pedicure kits at home. Of course, the earlier you treat the condition, the easier it will be to remove.
Many different symptoms occur with toenail fungus. You can have discolored toenails, which can range from yellowing to;black spots. The nails can start to thicken, to the point where they can begin to crumble and fall off. This is one reason that people want to wear nail polish to hide their nails so that no one can tell.
In this article, we will talk more about wearing medicated toenail;polish while you have toenail fungus. We will explain how a regular polish can damage your nail even more and provide some tips on the different ways that you can treat toenails with polishes that kill the fungus.
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Can Toenail Fungus Spread Through Nail Polish
If you use an antifungal nail paint;while you have the fungus, it will stay alive in the container. It doesnt die quickly. That means that every time you paint your nails, you will be recontaminating nails with an untreated polish.
Some nail salons dont use proper disinfecting techniques. Their patrons can easily get fungus through the tools that the salon uses.
If you do paint your nails, use;special antifungal polishes that both hide and treat the fungus. There arent too many, but there are a select few;that will help, instead of making matters;worse.
When Should I Call The Doctor
In rare cases, toenail fungus can cause an infection called cellulitis. Without prompt treatment, cellulitis may pose a serious danger to your health.
You should seek treatment guidance from a trusted healthcare provider if you have:
- Circulation problems.
- Redness, pain or pus near the toenail.
- Weakened immune system.
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Can Bleach Kill Fungi
Some people are so desperate to cure their fungus infected nails that they turn to bleach as a homemade remedy for onychomycosis. While the antiseptic properties of this liquid may kill most of the bacteria, its strong chemical composition may do you more harm than good. The infection will not spread, but your nail will lose its natural color and strength.
A much more natural way of dealing with onychomycosis is using;an over the counter toe fungus treatment composed of organic ingredients only. In this regard, you cannot do better than ZetaClear the no.1 choice for toenail fungus treatments according to thousands of user reviews. By using this organic cure regularly, you regain the original complexion of your nail bed and the skin surrounding it. Long-term treatment also prevents the fungi from attacking and destroying your nails ever again.
What Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Toenail Fungus
If you have toenail fungus, you may find it helpful to ask your provider:
- What type of infection do I have?
- Do you recommend I treat it? Why or why not?
- How long will I need treatment?
- What steps can I take to stop it from coming back?
- Should I be aware of any potentially serious complications or treatment side effects?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Toenail fungus is an incredibly common infection that can be difficult to treat. The condition usually isnt painful, but it may make you feel self-conscious about how your foot looks. If it bothers you, talk to your provider about your treatment options. A trained specialist can provide guidance on whats most likely to address your concerns while protecting your overall health.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/17/2020.
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Nail Polish And Onychomycosis
The use of nail polish has been primarily aesthetic since the elites of ancient Egypt and China had first used them. In a variety of shades and colors, may it be cracked, glittered, flaked, speckled, iridescent, or holographic, nail polish has definitely transcended through the times. Nail polish can instantly beautify the nails and give them a fresh and healthier look. While it holds true to its purpose, wearing nail polish all the time can also mask certain nail abnormalities. There are lesser chances of spotting early onset of nail problems. Discolorations can also be hard to differentiate because this may either be due to prolonged wear of nail polishes or a sign of a nail infection.;Onychomycosis, or nail fungal infections as it is commonly known, is a common nail infection. It happens when fungus infects the nail causing it to be deformed or discolored. When left undetected and untreated due to the use of nail polish, nail fungus may progressively get harder to cure and difficult to manage.
Is It Possible To Prevent The Recurrence Of Nail Fungus
Tinea pedis, also known as athlete’s foot or foot fungus, can cause recurrence of fungal nails. Therefore, it is important to manage this condition. One can apply over-the-counter antifungal medicines such as clotrimazole or terbinafine cream as directed to affected skin. Keeping footwear and socks clean can be helpful. You can also use portable UV light sanitizers to disinfect shoes.
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What Oral Medications Are Available
To treat fungal nail infections from inside the body, you can take tablets that inhibit the growth of fungi or kill them. They are all prescription-only. Terbinafine and itraconazole are typically used for this purpose.
- Terbinafine is preferred if the nail fungus is caused by a skin fungus . This is usually the case.
- Itraconazole is generally used if the nail infection is caused by yeast or mold.
Itraconazole and terbinafine tablets can both be taken either continuously or with breaks between treatments. But they are used differently:
What Is Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is a widespread fungal infection that affects the toenails. Less commonly, nail fungus infects the fingernails. Nail fungus is also called onychomycosis.
Toenail fungus happens when fungi get between the toenail and the toenail bed . This usually happens through a crack or cut in your toe.
Toenail Fungus Treatment Complications
Here are some things to think about when deciding on a nail fungus treatment.
If you have a disease like diabetes, your doctor will make sure you treat nail fungus. This illness often makes you more likely to have other problems from minor foot issues.
You may not be able to take antifungal pills because of side effects or because they donât work well with other drugs you take. If that’s the case, try a product that goes onto your nail. Your doctor will call this a topical treatment.
Be patient. Your nails may not look “normal” after treatment. It can take as long as a year to 18 months for your nail to grow out a fungus.
When Are The Different Treatments Considered
Most doctors recommend treating nail fungus with nail polish or cream if
- not much more than half of the nail is affected by the fungus,
- the base of the nail is not infected, and
- only some nails are affected.
Topical treatment is also usually recommended for children. One reason for this is that most oral medications arent suitable for children. Another reason is that children have thinner nails that grow more quickly, so its assumed that treatment with nail polish or creams is more likely to work in children than in adults. White superficial onychomycosis is also often treated with a nail polish or cream.
If several nails are infected by the fungus, or if the infection has spread out more on the affected nails, its usually necessary to take oral medication. And if the infection started at the base of the nail, its highly likely that only tablets will help.
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Manicure And Pedicure Pampering
Every good manicurists toolkit includes acrylic nails, and artificial nails, clippers, nippers, nail files, orange sticks, and a deft touch with nail polish application and cuticle treatment. A nail technician will remedy ingrown toenails and calluses, and reassure you that the nail discoloration you point out is probably no more than residue from a coat of nail polish recently removed.They cannot treat or cure a fungal infection. But infections may often begin in nail salons where the same implements are used on many clients without sterilization. Be sure to ask your salon if they thoroughly sterilize tools after each manicure and pedicure.
Regular visits to your nail salon may help prevent fungal nail infections by keeping nails trimmed and clean. But pay quick attention to any injuries from clippers or other tools received during your manicure or pedicure. A small nick or break in your skin, nail bed, or cuticle could allow a nail to become infected or even allow bacteria to enter your bloodstream and cause serious health problems or aggravate an existing health condition.
Can I Wear Nail Polish If I Have Toenail Fungus
You may feel tempted to cover up a discolored toenail with nail polish. If you are using a topical antifungal, you probably should not use polish. Some providers may tell you not to wear it in any case. Polish traps in moisture from the nailbed . Because fungi thrive in moist environments, wearing nail polish may make a fungal infection worse. However, the nail continues to grow with or without polish.
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Why Does It Develop
A fungal nail infection occurs from the overgrowth of fungi in, under, or on the nail. Fungi thrive in warm, moist environments, so this type of environment can cause them to naturally overpopulate. The same fungi that cause jock itch, athletes foot, and ringworm can cause nail infections.
Fungi that are already present in or on your body can cause nail infections. If you have come in contact with someone else who has a fungal infection, you may have contracted it as well. Fungal infections affect toenails more commonly than fingernails, likely because your toes are usually confined to shoes, where theyre in a warm, moist environment.
If you get a manicure or pedicure at a nail salon, be sure to ask how the staff disinfects their tools and how often they do it. Tools, such as emery boards and nail clippers, can spread fungal infections from person to person if theyre not sanitized.
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.
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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.
ReferenceGold LFS and Rosen T. Onychomycosis: Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies. Dermatology News . March 2016:2-15.