Foot Care During Your Treatment
During your treatment, you should start to see a new healthy nail begin to grow from the base of the nailbed. This is a sign that the treatment is working. The old infected nail should begin to grow out and can be clipped away over a few months.
Speak to your doctor if you do not begin to see a new nail growing after taking your treatment for two to three weeks. Keep using the treatment until your doctor says it is ok to stop. If you stop the treatment too early, the infection could return.
Foot care tips
During and after your treatment, there are a few steps you can take to help keep the infection at bay, listed below.
- Keep your feet cool and dry and wear shoes and socks that allow your feet to breathe. Wear clean cotton socks and avoid wearing trainers.
- Treat athlete’s foot with antifungal medicine as soon as possible to avoid spreading the infection to your nails.
- Clip your nails to keep them short.
- Use a separate pair of clippers or scissors to cut the infected nail, to avoid spreading the infection to other nails.
- Wear well-fitting shoes, without high heels or narrow toes.
- Maintain good foot hygiene.
About Fungal Nail Infection
Many people develop a fungal nail infection at some point in their life. It’s not usually serious, but can be unpleasant and difficult to treat.
The infection develops slowly and causes the nail to become discoloured, thickened and distorted.
Toenails are more frequently affected than the fingernails.
The medical name for a fungal nail infection is onychomycosis.
Mayo Clinic Q And A: Toenail Fungus Often Difficult To Eliminate Completely
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: What causes toenail fungus, and what can be done to treat it? Is it contagious?ANSWER: Toenail fungus is an infection thats usually caused by a microscopic organism called dermatophyte fungus. These infections can be contagious, and they are often difficult to eliminate completely. Fortunately, for most healthy adults toenail fungus doesnt pose any serious health risks.
Toenail fungus is a common condition that begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your toenail. As the infection goes deeper, nail fungus may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and crumble at the edge. Fungal infections are more likely to happen in your toenails than in your fingernails because toenails often are confined in a dark, warm, moist environment inside your shoes where fungi can thrive. Toes also have less blood flow than fingers, making it harder for your bodys immune system to detect and stop the infection.
The older you are, the more likely you are to get toenail fungus. Thats because as you age, your immune system changes. In addition, your nails become more brittle and drier over time, creating more cracks where fungus can live.
You may see ads publicizing laser treatments for toenail fungus. I usually dont recommend them. They tend to be quite expensive, and at this time most medical insurance does not cover that type of treatment.
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Living With A Nail Fungal Infection
If you have a nail fungal infection, some things can help:
- Keep your nails cut short and file down any thick areas.
- Dont use the same nail trimmer and file on healthy nails and infected nails. If you have your nails professionally manicured, bring your own nail file and trimmer from home.
- Wear waterproof gloves for wet work . Wear 100% cotton gloves for dry work.
- Wear socks made of wicking material . This pulls moisture away from the skin. Change your socks when they are damp from sweat or if your feet get wet. Put on clean, dry socks every day. Put over-the-counter antifungal foot powder inside your socks to keep your feet dry.
- Wear shoes with good support and a wide toe area. Dont wear pointed shoes that press your toes together.
- Avoid walking barefoot in public areas, such as locker rooms.
Do You Like Home Remedies
During this pandemic, many people have delayed treatments for relatively minor health problems such as nail fungus. Thats completely understandable. It also explains why home remedies are more popular than ever.
We have two options if you would like to learn more. Our eGuide to Favorite Home Remedies is an electronic resource that you can refer to on your computer. You can find it in the Health eGuide section of this website. It provides scientific rationale behind many of our favorite remedies.;
Have you tried a home remedy to fight your own nail fungus? How did it work? Leave your story in the comment section below.
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How To Get Toenail Fungus To Grow Out
If your toenail is yellow and opaque, you may have toenail fungus. Nail fungus is a contagious infection that grows in dark, wet places. You may develop nail fungus by walking barefoot in wet public areas like swimming pools and gym changing rooms. You can treat toenail fungus at home. In severe cases, you may need to see a doctor. Talk to your physician before attempting to cure toenail fungus yourself, especially if you have other health conditions or symptoms.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Cut your nails as short as possible, using nail clippers. The longer your toenails are, the more room the fungus has to grow and multiply underneath your toenails. Do not use the same nail clippers on your infected toenail and your healthy toenails 1. Wash the nail clippers thoroughly with hot water and soap every time you cut your nails.
Soak your feet in a vinegar solution for 20 minutes, once a day. Mix one part vinegar and two parts warm water in a large bowl. Although vinegar is not scientifically proven to kill fungus, some specialists recommend using it to keep the fungus from spreading. Continue to soak your feet in vinegar until the fungus grows out completely.
Wear 100-percent cotton socks every day. Fungus grows and spreads in damp areas, so keep your feet as dry as possible. Change your socks once or twice a day to keep your fungal infection from spreading.
What Are The Symptoms
The most common symptom of a fungal nail infection is the nail becoming thickened and discoloured. The nail can turn white, black, yellow or green.
You will not usually feel any pain at first, but the nail can look ugly and, without treatment, there is a chance the infection will spread and lead to complications such as cellulitis.
Read more information about the symptoms of a fungal nail infection.
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What Are The Most Effective Treatments For Toenail Fungus
The experts at Easton Dermatology Associates offer treatment customized to your exact situation, whether youve just noticed an irregularity with your toenail or youve been battling fungus for a while. Treatment options include:
- Prescription oral antifungal medications
- Topical nail cream
- Special antifungal nail polish that allows your nails to breathe
No matter what treatment you adopt, patience is key. It can take several months to clear up toenail fungus because even nails that grow at an average rate dont grow rapidly. We treat your fungus until its a thing of the past, and we also advise you on how to prevent a recurrence.;
Its much easier to solve the problem when youre in the early stages of infection, before it becomes too advanced.;
Do at either of our locations in Easton or Salisbury, Maryland, so we can start helping you eliminate embarrassing and persistent nail fungus problems ASAP. When next summer rolls around, you can be back in those oh-so-chic sandals!
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Will Toenail Fungus Grow Out
Most nails with extensive fungal infection may still look disfigured even after 12 weeks of treatment, as the nail plate grows slowly and it takes about nine months to grow out fully. Even once the fungus is successfully eradicated, there may be long-term effects on the appearance of the nail.
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What Tests Might I Have For Toenail Fungus
Your provider will probably take a small sample from underneath your nail to further analyze it. Viewing the cells under a microscope can confirm a toenail fungus diagnosis. If the initial test is negative, a scraping can be sent to see if the fungus grows out in a culture. It also helps your provider identify the type of fungus.
Tips For Prevention Of Fungal Nails
Nail fungus causes only 50% of abnormal-appearing nails. It can be hard to tell the difference between the different causes of discolored nails . Onychomycosis is often not treated. Reasons to receive treatment include
No one knows where a specific person catches the fungus, as it is everywhere. However, since the fungus does thrive in warm moist areas , there are certain areas one should avoid or use with caution. Shower floors, locker rooms, and swimming pools are suspected of being sources of the fungus, although there are no studies proving this fact. Nail polish and acrylic nails also make the nail less “breathable” and make the nail more susceptible to fungal infection. Fungi are everywhere — in the air, the dust, and the soil. Hygienic measures such as spraying socks and footgear sound sensible, and perhaps these measures can even help a little bit. However, avoiding tight, nonbreathing shoes or steering clear of athletic facility floors may very well be the best prevention available. Daily washing of the feet and drying between the toes can help to prevent nail fungus. The fungi carried on the coats of pets, like cats and dogs, don’t often cause nail fungus. Wearing white socks does not help.
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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.
Nails: A Window On Health
The nails can reveal much about a persons overall health. Many diseases and serious conditions can be detected from changes in the nails. This is why doctors often check the nails carefully during a physical examination. The most common health conditions that the nails may reveal are:
- Half of nail is pink, half is white
- Nail bed is red
- Yellow and thickening of the nail, slowed growth rate
- Pale nail beds
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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.
The FDA has approved the following systemic medicines to treat nail fungus:
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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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.
Why Does My Nail Fungus Keep Coming Back
A fungal infection starts out small enough usually a white or yellow spot appears on your toenail. All too soon, your entire nail is consumed by the fungus and your neighboring nails become infected, too. This leaves you with crumbling and unsightly toenails that youre forced to hide. These types of infections are notoriously difficult to get rid of, but not impossible, especially if you get the right treatment.
At Neuhaus Foot and Ankle, our team of foot health experts knows all too well how difficult it is to fight toenail fungus once it takes hold. Yet, with the right medical care, as well as patience on your part, we can not only prevail in your current battle against toenail fungus, we can prevent it from recurring in the future.
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Medical Complications From Untreated Fungal Toenail Infection
Without proper treatment to stop your toenail fungal infection from getting worse, or spreading, complications will eventually develop.; Fungal infections of; your toenail can spread to the surrounding skin and when your skin becomes cracked, bacteria can enter and cause an abscess.;
An abscess on the toe is a tender mass generally surrounded by a colored area from pink to deep red.; They are often easy to feel by touching.; Inside they are full of pus, bacteria and debris.
Untreated toenail fungal infections can lead to cellulitis and should be treated immediately with antibiotics.; Untreated skin infections of the toe may lead to severe cellulitis and if the infection enters the bloodstream it can become septicemia, also known as bacteremia or blood poisoning.; Once the infection enters the bloodstream the bacteria and their toxins are carried through the bloodstream to your entire body.; If the bacteria levels become high enough, septicemia can quickly become life threatening.
A good reason to seek treatment if you suspect you have a toenail fungal infection is because of the similarity of symptoms for differing diagnosis of more serious toenail conditions.;;You may have a toenail fungus, but you could also be experiencing similar symptoms of a toenail viral infection , complications from toenail trauma, a pre-malignant lesion or, more seriously, melanoma of the nail bed.
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.;
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Treating Fungal Nail Infection
Treatment may not be necessary in mild cases of fungal nail infection. For more severe or troublesome cases, antifungal medication may be recommended.
A fungal nail infection is unlikely to get better without treatment, but if you’re not bothered by it you might decide it’s not worth treating because treatment can take a long time, may cause side effects, and isn’t always effective.
Whether or not you decide to have treatment, you should still follow the self-help advice below to help stop the condition getting worse or spreading to others.
Thick Clip Quick Tips
Before we get into it, we should note that fungal nails are not the only way toenails grow thickened and cumbersome to clip.
Trauma to the nails, tightly fitting shoes with small toe boxes, and general heredity can sometimes cause nails to grow thick, so many of the tips well discuss here can apply to these situations as well.
First, however, we should definitely clear some helpful, fungus-specific tips out of the way. There is one big difference between toenail fungus and the conditions we mentioned above: the fungus is alive, and it can travel.
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