Is Toenail Fungus Really Such A Problem
If youre thinking you can just live with it, we dont advise letting toenail fungus go untreated. Its an insidious problem, and without treatment, you have to deal with the discomfort of the nail as well as feeling self-conscious about its unsightliness.
If you let a nail fungus infection go for too long, several problems emerge. The infected nail can become misshapen and increasingly separated from your nail bed. Itching and pain are unpleasant side effects if theyre too severe, you can have trouble wearing shoes or walking.
You need to be especially attentive to treating toenail fungus if your immune system is compromised. If youre living with diabetes, its critical not to ignore the fungus. Even a mild infection like this can snowball into something more serious, like cellulitis, a severe bacterial skin infection.
Another problem is that untreated fungus eventually can spread to either neighboring toenails or to the skin of your foot, causing athletes foot. Possibly the worst outcome of untreated nail fungus is needing to have your nail surgically removed.
What The Experts Say
The most common presentation of toenail fungus is a white/yellow discoloration of the nail that is thick and filled with yellow/white keratin debris. The more severe the toenail fungus, the thicker the nail, and the more nails involved makes it that much harder to treat the nails even with effective therapies.” Orit Markowitz, MD, founder and CEO of OptiSkin treatment center in New York City.
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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What Is A Fungal Nail Infection
A fungal nail infection is a common condition that can leave you with brittle, discolored nails, usually on your toes.
Its formal name is onychomycosis, and itâs a lot like athleteâs foot. But instead of affecting the skin on the bottom of your feet or between your toes, it invades your nails.
Fungi are tiny organisms you can only see through a microscope. Many different types can cause a nail infection. Sometimes they live on your skin and donât make any trouble. But if you have a lot in one area, you might get infected.
Donât be embarrassed if you have toenail or fingernail fungus. Itâs way more common than you think.
How To Use Baking Soda For Toenail Fungus
Most people will tell you that toenail fungus shouldn’t be ignored. The condition is primarily esthetic, but if left untreated, it can lead to some nasty complications.
Things get even more complicated when you realize that fungus has high adaptability. It thrives in a humid environment, and given that our feet are often sweaty, you can easily see why some people deal with this condition for months and months.
But, this is just the beginning of our troubles. It is tough to treat the condition, which is why some people opt for alternative treatments, such as using baking soda for toenail fungus.
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How Should This Medicine Be Used
Ciclopirox comes as a solution to apply to nails and the skin immediately surrounding and under the nails. It is usually applied once a day. To help you remember to use ciclopirox, apply it around the same time every day, usually at bedtime. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use ciclopirox exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Ciclopirox is used to improve the condition of nails, but may not completely cure nail fungus. It may take 6 months or longer before you notice that your nails are getting better. Continue to use ciclopirox daily as directed. Do not stop using ciclopirox without talking to your doctor.
Ciclopirox topical solution will work best if you trim your nails regularly during your treatment. You should remove all loose nail or nail material using a nail clipper or nail file before you begin treatment and every week during your treatment. Your doctor will show you how to do this. Your doctor will also trim your nails once each month during your treatment.
Only apply ciclopirox topical solution to your nails and the skin under and around your nails. Be careful not to get the solution on any other areas of the skin or parts of your body, especially in or near your eyes, nose, mouth, or vagina.
Do not use nail polish or other nail cosmetic products on nails treated with ciclopirox topical solution.
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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How Fungi Infect The Nail
Onchomycosis, or toenail fungal infection, is an invasion by a microscopic organism that thrives in warm, damp environments. Fungal spores are in the air, and they will grow if they land on a receptive surface like your toenail. They feed off the nail tissues, burrowing into the skin under the nail. Over time the nail thickens and may lift off the nail bed as fungal debris accumulates. Once your nail is raised off the nail bed, it won’t reattach, and a new nail won’t grow from that part of the nail bed. However, your nail will continue to grow from the root at the base.
Nail Anatomy And Onychomycosis Infection
Figure 1 shows the composition of the nail, including the nail plate , nail bed and nail matrix.
Figure 1: Nail anatomy and physiology
The nail plate and nail bed are joined by layers of hard, translucent, keratinised cells. The nail bed and nail matrix are vascular components of the nail, with nail cells located within the nail matrix where the nail plate is formed. The thickness of the nail plate determines the length of the matrix
- Apply cosmetic nail varnishes or artificial nails
- Walk without footwear in public areas
- Cut nails too short.
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How Does Artificial Nail Fungus Develop
To achieve acrylic nails on the hands, a person must file, thicken, and completely alter the nails. Because of this, fungus often develops between the nail layers. Nail polish exacerbates the problem by creating a moist environment, which fungi love.
Unclean tools can cause fungus to grow on acrylic nails. The majority of salons fail to properly clean tools between patients. Because of this, the fungus can spread from person to person.
The most common cause of fungus is improperly fitting artificial nails. The space under the nails, which is visible when the nails are lifted, allows water to penetrate. Consequently, the fungus can grow in this environment.
In order to apply nails at home, it is important to ensure that they are flush with the nail beds and that they do not lift
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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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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:
Take It Slow And Steady
Thick fungal nails have a tendency to crumble, too. If you try to take off too much at once, the fragile nail might split and fracture in various ways you did not intend it to.
Clip only a small part of your nail at a time, starting at one corner and moving straight along the nail. Make sure these clips are relatively straight and uniform to try to avoid any jagged edges that could snag against socks.
Do not round your nails off at the corners, as this can increase the odds of ingrown toenails. Painful, inflamed, and potentially open skin is not something you want next to toenail fungus.
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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.
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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What Is The Most Effective Treatment For Toenail Fungus
The most effective toenail fungus treatment for you will largely depend on your symptoms and situation. Your provider will consider several factors before recommending a treatment plan thats customized to you.
Overall, oral antifungal medications may offer the most treatment potential. Pairing oral drugs with topical antifungal medication may make treatment more effective.
Treating The Fungus With Prescription Drugs
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Staying One Step Ahead Of Toenail Fungus
An established fungal infection is hard to eradicate, but you can stop its spread and improve your toenail’s appearance.
Toenail fungus isn’t a pressing health problem. Yet a fungal infection can ruin the appearance of your nails and cause pain as it lifts the nail away from the nail bed. And fungal infections are notoriously difficult to get rid of. “You may want to consider fungal toenail a condition to be managed rather than cured,” says Dr. James P. Ioli, chief of the podiatry service at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
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.
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How To Make A Paste
In order to use baking soda for toenail fungus, you will have to create a paste.
Luckily, it is something you can easily do at your own home. This is precisely why people love home remedies. You already have these ingredients you have to mix them and apply them in the comfort of your own home. There is no need to visit a doctor or deal with long queues at pharmacies.
Just take a little bit of baking soda and mix it with lukewarm water until it becomes applicable. Then, put it on top of your nail as well as under it. The treatment has to be performed each day, several times a day. Make sure to leave the paste for at least 10 to 15 minutes. It might seem a bit overbearing, but there is no other way to treat the condition .
According to several studies, baking soda provides excellent results for toenail fungus, and there is no reason why it shouldn’t help you as well.
After 10, 15 minutes, it is essential to rinse baking soda thoroughly. Wash your feet, and dry them well. Keep in mind that high humidity is perhaps the biggest issue, so you will have to remember that at all times. It is also common for a toenail to fall completely off. This is very normal, and you shouldn’t be scared if it happens health, a new nail will appear in its stead!
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.
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Fungal Nail Infection Causes
Itâs a good idea to wash your hands and feet often. Use soap, and make sure you get between your fingers and toes.
Keep your fingernails and toenails short and trimmed straight across.
Wear socks that wick away moisture. If your feet sweat a lot, change your socks once or twice a day, or take off your shoes and let your feet cool when you have the chance.
Use antifungal powder or spray on your feet as well as in your shoes. Throw away old pairs of closed-toe shoes since fungi might be living in them.
If you get manicures at nail salons, visit only the ones that disinfect tools after each client. You can also bring your own file and clippers from home. Ask that your cuticles not be cut, since this can cause tiny breaks in the skin that let germs in.
Donât share towels if someone else in your family has nail fungus. This will pass around the infection.
See your doctor if you think you have nail fungus. You may need a prescription to treat it, whether that means taking a medicine by mouth or using a special cream. In severe cases, your nail may need to be removed so a healthy new one can grow in its place. Doctors can also use lasers to treat nail fungus.
You get an infection when a crack in your nail or the skin around it allows fungus to get inside and grow.
Youâre more likely to get a fungal nail infection if you:
- Are a man