Removing Toenails To Get Rid Of Fungus
Chemical nail removal is a painless procedure that is used for nonsurgical nail removal. The only thing that can be removed is the damaged and diseased nail, not the healthy part. You undergo this procedure in a clinic or a doctors office. Anvulsion, or the removal of an entire nail, can be done either via an avulsion or via debridement.
Toenail fungus infection, also known as onychomycosis, is a common but difficult condition to treat. Toenails are especially vulnerable to infection when you wear bare feet and only lightly touch damp surfaces. If you have early-stage toenail fungus, home treatments such as those listed below may help. Toenail fungus can be treated at home with a prescription-strength topical medication or an oral antifungal pill. Laser treatment, as opposed to oral medication, temporarily improves the nail while also achieving a lower cure rate. If severe nail bed infections are discovered, surgically removing the infected nail may be required.
Toenail Fungus Common Questions
If youre dealing with toenail fungus, the first thing you need to know is that you are not alone. Many people struggle with toenail fungus and have a lot of questions. How did the infection start? Can I treat the fungal infection at home? What kind of doctor should I see for toenail fungus? Does laser nail fungus removal work?
Symptoms of a fungal toenail infection
Although toenail fungus is relatively common, it isnt unusual for people to keep their condition to themselves. Up to a point, its okay to ignore some thickening or discoloration. However, if the condition gets worse, you may begin to experience pain or unpleasant smells. The most common symptoms of an infection include:
- Thickening nails and distortion in shape
- Changes in color until nails are white, yellow, or brownish
- Nails begin to break and crumble
- The nail becomes detached from the toe
- An appearance of dark debris under the nails
- A slightly foul smell
If youve started to notice that nails are becoming warped or break easily, pay attention to whether you have any other related symptoms. Of course, catching an infection early is the best way to prevent further discomfort.
Causes of fungal infections
Toenail fungus treatment options
Do Podiatrists Cut Toenails
Podiatrists are the specialist doctors to see for patients who require specialized diagnosis and treatment for pains and conditions related to the lower legs and foot. This includes diabetic issues, bunions, Achilles tendonitis, heel spur, arthritis of the foot, and many other ankle and foot conditions. But one question we often get is whether podiatrists also help patients cut their toenails.
So can a podiatrist also help patients with their toenails? In most cases, yes they regularly assist patients with toenail care. While cutting toenails may seem like a simple matter of grooming, there are actually many patients who have problems with their toenails or feet that prevent them from cutting them without professional help.
Issues such as thickened nails, fungal nails, and ingrown nails can be treated by a podiatrist with proper routine nail care assistance.
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Can A Podiatrist Get Rid Of Fungus
A podiatrist can mechanically debride or remove a small portion of a fungal nail infection without the need for local anaesthesia. If the nail regrowth is not visible, a new treatment plan must be devised every two months until the regrowth can be seen.
Vicks Vaporub: A Helpful Treatment For Toenail Fungus
If you have toenail fungus, Vicks VapoRub may be beneficial in your treatment. According to a 2011 study, it was found to have a positive clinical effect in treating this condition. Apply a thin layer of this to the affected area twice a day. If youre looking for a long-term solution, a small study of 20 patients found that after six months of daily Vicks application, 83% of the patients experienced improvement.
Do Podiatrists Deal With Fungal Infections
When you detect a fungal infection early, use a lab test to determine the cause, and develop a treatment plan, your podiatrist can prescribe topical or oral medication and debride the affected nail .
How do I get rid of the yellow nail on one of my toes? How can you tell if your nail is thicken and painful to wear shoes? If so, theres a good chance you have nail fungus. Because antifungal creams cannot penetrate through the nail, they are ineffective in treating infections. A podiatrist who specializes in toenail fungus may advise you to seek laser treatment. By penetrating the nail with UV light, you can eliminate fungus without causing damage or harm to the skin or nail. This treatment is painless and non-invasive, and it only takes 10-15 minutes to complete. Some people may need more than one session, while others may only require one.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Toenail Fungus Infection
Fungus can cause visible changes in your nails, and you may see white, brown, or yellow spots that grow on the nail surface. You may also notice your nail appears thicker than usual. In some cases, affected nails can thin out and become crumbly, eventually falling off.
An early diagnosis is important for successful treatment. For this reason, you should check the health of your feet daily, especially if you have diabetes or another underlying health condition. Dr. Hunter can diagnose a fungal infection based on the appearance of your nail.
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How To Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus
All treatments can take up to a year to work, so you need to be consistent and commit to following the treatment plan for the long haul.
These infections are hard to treat because its difficult for medications to get into the keratin that makes up nails and the blood vessels dont connect to the nail. Many people find it hard to continue to use the medications for as long as is needed and may give up after months or even weeks.
Sometimes the nail will start to look better, but the fungus is still there. Your toenail fungus isnt cured until your doctor cant detect the fungus in your toenail clippings.
There are a lot of folk remedies and over-the-counter topical treatments, but if you really want to get rid of this infection, youre probably going to need to take oral medication. Dr. Jacobsen
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How Do Dermatologists Treat A Fungal Nail Infection
Treatment usually begins with your dermatologist trimming your infected nail, cutting back each infected nail to the place where it attaches to your finger or toe. Your dermatologist may also scrape away debris under the nail. This helps get rid of some fungus.
To completely get rid of the infection, most people also need one or more of the following treatments:
Medicine you apply to the nail: If you have a mild infection, a medicine that you apply to your nails may get rid of the infection. This treatment helps keep new fungus out while the nails grow. Fingernails typically grow out in four to six months. Toenails take longer, usually takes 12 to 18 months.
Probably the most difficult part of this treatment is remembering to use it as often as prescribed. Some treatments must be applied every day. Others you apply once a week. To get the best results, its essential that you apply these medicines exactly as directed.
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the following medicines that you apply to the nail to treat nail fungus:
Side effects from these medicines are generally mild. Possible side effects include redness and swelling, an ingrown toenail, and stinging or burning when you apply the medicine. In clinical trials, none of these side effects caused patients to stop using the treatment.
Antifungal pills, however, can cause side effects. Your dermatologist will watch you closely. Youll also need to have blood tests every month to check for problems.
Step : Loosen Skin Around Nails
Part 2.1: Soak your nails twice daily
- Morning and evening soak: Place those infected toes or fingers in a bathtub, sink, or clean bucket filled with warm water and soak for one minute or more.
- How this helps: Warm water softens the skin around the nails, making them easier to clean, and allows the treatment solution to penetrate more thoroughly. It also feels really good!
Part 2.2: Soap and scrub
- Wash with soap: After soaking the infected areas, apply any soap and lather. Wash all surrounding areas. Make sure that you remove all dirt, grime, and sweat.
- Scrub clean: Scrub your infected toes and/or fingers vigorously, focussing on and around the infected nails. Apply pressure to loosen the skin as much as possible. Be careful with sensitive areas.
- How this helps: Thorough washing and scrubbing creates the ideal environment for treatment penetration.
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Podiatrist Near You To Treat Toenail Fungus
Finding a good podiatrist near you might not be as easy as it seems. Were here to help you make that decision a bit easier. First, what is a Podiatrist and why do you need to have one? Not a lot of people know that podiatrists exist. Some people say that they trim toenails and calluses, but thats not all. Podiatry has a broader scope than that. Podiatrists are foot doctors that treat everything below the knee. Patients they see on a regular basis are those who have diabetes, neuropathy, or have poor circulation. They also treat patients who have high arches, flat feet, and foot or ankle pain. Podiatrists deal with issues such as ankle fractures, ingrown toenails, hammertoes, bunions, and toenail fungus.
What Are The Risks Of Leaving Toenail Fungus Untreated
Some of the risk factors include:
- Thick, misshapen toenails that cause pain when walking or wearing shoes.
- Spread of the fungus, resulting in athletes foot, or to the genitals, resulting in jock itch.
- Widespread infection resulting in cellulitis, which is a risk especially for individuals with a compromised immune system.
- Avulsion or loss of nails if the infection isnt treated or doesnt get better.
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When Do Podiatrists Help With Toenails
So when might it be a time to get professional podiatry help for your toenails? If your toenails are healthy and in good condition but you dont like cutting them on your own, then you might be better off asking a friend or relative for help, or visiting a pedicurist.
However, if you have any condition making it difficult to deal with your nails, then a visit to your nearest podiatry clinic is definitely recommended. Here are some common nail conditions that require podiatry care:
How Is Toenail Fungus Treated
Toenail fungus is notoriously tricky to treat. You may need to treat tinea unguium for several months to get rid of the fungus. Still, toenail fungus often comes back.
A skin specialist or foot doctor can explain your treatment options. If you have a mild case that doesnt bother you, your healthcare provider may recommend no treatment.
Tinea unguium treatment options include:
Oral antifungal medication
You can take a prescribed oral antifungal medication to treat the fungus. Options include terbinafine , itraconazole or fluconazole . Youll need to take the medication every day for several months . Your healthcare provider may use blood tests to check for potential medication side effects. These medications can affect your liver and interact with other medications, so oral antifungals arent for everyone.
You can regularly apply a topical medication right onto your nail. The medication treats the fungus over time. Topical medications are most effective when paired with oral medications.
Your healthcare provider will direct a high-tech laser beam and special lights at your toenail to treat the fungus. Lasers are U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved for temporary increase of clear nail in nail fungus, but theyre not a cure. Cure rates for laser treatment are lower than oral and topical mediations. Your healthcare provider wont typically use lasers as first-line treatments for nail fungus.
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The Facts About Nail Fungus
What is Toenail Fungus? Toenail fungus is an infection that lives underneath the nail, in the skin of the nail bed. Toenail fungus is more than a cosmetic concern. Toe nail fungus is a condition your doctor may refer to as Onychomycosis, other nails include dermatophytosis of the nail or Tine Unguium.
Onychomycosis is an infection of the nail caused by fungi such as dermatophytes, non-dermatophyte moulds and yeasts . Of these 80% of the toenail infections are caused by dermatophytes .
Some contributing factors that can increase the risk of developing toenail fungus include: Wearing closed-toe shoes. Getting pedicures with improperly sanitized tool. Having a chronic illness, such as diabetes or HIV. Having a deformed nail or a nail disease
It is important to be evaluated by a podiatrist or dermatologist to appropriately diagnose nail changes. Other systemic conditions can mimic onychomycosis. If the physician is unable to make the clinical diagnosis a sample of the nail is sent for further evaluation.
Treatment Options :
Several things make it especially challenging to treat toenail fungus. The thickness of the nail can pose a barrier between treatment and the fungus under the nail. Additionally, the time it takes for a healthy nail to grow back varies from person to person. Even after the fungus has been eliminated, nail regrowth can sometimes take a year or longer.
Treatments for fungal nails include oral medication, topical anti-fungal agents and laser therapy.
How Does Toenail Fungus Develop
Toenail fungus infections are common in people of all ages and can result from environmental conditions or your personal care habits.
Generally, toenail fungus infections develop when you expose your feet to a warm, moist environment, such as a public locker room or swimming pool. If other people have an existing infection, you only need to walk around barefoot in these areas for the infection to spread to your own nails.
You may also be at increased risk for fungal infections in your toenails if you tend to wear the same socks and shoes every day, especially if theyre damp or sweaty. Wet toenails can easily develop a fungal infection that affects the appearance and health of your nails.
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How Can You Recognize Toenail Fungus
Essentially, the main symptom of toenail fungus is the discolored appearance. Affected nails are dull, darkened, and distorted. In addition to visual cues, your toenails will also be thickened, yet brittle and crumbly. When the infection has been present for an extended period of time and become more severe in nature, you may even detect a slightly foul odor.
Some patients experience pain with this condition, particularly when the fungal infection causes toenails to separate from their respective nailbeds.
What Can I Expect If I Have A 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 healthcare 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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When To See A Doctor For A Lost Toenail
wikiHow Staff Editor. Staff Answer. If your toenail is about to come off or so much of the nail is lost that you cant trim it, you should see a doctor. Do not completely remove the nail if it is still attached at all and if the nail does happen to come off you should bring it with you to the doctor.
Experienced Toe Nail Fungus Surgeons In South Jersey
Are you, or is someone you love, suffering from severe toenail fungus? If so, it is important to find a foot specialist soon, as this condition is one which can continue to spread even beyond your nails to the skin of your feet. If your condition has already advanced to this degree, you may need to look for experienced toe nail fungus surgeons in South Jersey. Whether you are at the point of needing surgery or simply need a more conservative, non-operative treatment, the foot and ankle experts at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute can help.
- Medicated nail polish or cream
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Fungal Nail Infection Symptoms
Because the toes and feet are often exposed to damp, warm areas, where the infection is spread, fungal nail infections affect the toes more than the fingers. Your feet are also more likely to be exposed to fungal infections if you:
- Spend time at swimming pools
- Walk around a lot in locker rooms
- Wear the same pair of damp, sweaty sneakers all the time
- Injure your toenail
At first, you may have no outward symptoms. But over time, your nails may:
- Have white spots appear on the surface
- Turn white, yellow, green or brown
- Grow thicker than normal or, in some cases, thinner than normal
- Become brittle, with broken or jagged edges
- Change shape, curling up or down
- Lift off of the nail bed
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Can I Treat My Toenail Fungus At Home
If your toenail fungus isnt severe and you dont have a serious condition such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or other immune deficiency, then you can attempt several home treatment options before choosing to call a podiatrist in Bethesda, MD or podiatrist in Springfield, VA if it doesnt clear up. If your problem persists, however, or even gets worse, its time to consult a podiatrist.
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