Recommendation To Prevent The Issue:
- Avoid using pedicure tools that may be contaminated by fungus or were not properly sterilized.
- Allow footwear to complete dry before using again to avoid possible fungal growth inside of shoes.
- Avoid tight footwear, make sure your toes have enough room.
- Change your socks daily or multiple times per day if feet become wet.
- Use a shoe uv light sterilizer to reduce fungal spores in your footwear.
- Any signs of discolouration in nail go see your local foot specialist or family doctor.
How To Tell If Your Toenail Fungus Is Dying Off
If youâve found a good toenail fungus treatment and now are wondering about the signs your toenail fungus is finally dying off, youâve come to the right place.
In this short guide, we are going to walk you through what to expect when youâre treating toenail fungus.
This treatment can be a lengthy process, so itâs important to stick with it and see it all to the very end.
How Are Fungal Infections Of The Nail Diagnosed
Many nail problems can look like a fungal infection for example the changes seen in psoriasis, or after a bacterial infection or an old injury however, long courses of antifungal tablets will not help them. This is why the diagnosis of a fungal infection may confirmed before treatment starts. Your doctor will take a piece from a crumbly area of your nail and send it to the laboratory to check if a fungus can be seen under the microscope or grown in culture. The right treatment may depend on knowing which fungus is causing the trouble but it can take several weeks for the final culture results to come through.
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When To See A Doctor
In most cases, toenail fungus is considered a cosmetic problem. Still, it may cause serious complications for some people.
If you have diabetes, toenail fungus may lead to foot ulcers or other foot problems. According to a 2012 study, chronic toenail fungus is a significant risk factor for bacterial cellulitis of the leg.
If you have diabetes or a weakened immune system, you shouldnt use home remedies for toenail fungus. Contact your doctor for the appropriate course of action.
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 Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus
First, the bad news: Dr. Jenkins and Dr. Spielfogel both admit that toenail fungus is extremely hard to treat, especially at home.
“The most effective treatment is an oral systemic antifungal medication, such as Lamisil, once per day for 12 weeks,” says Dr. Jenkins. “It cures around 75% of patients, but 25% won’t be cured and will need repeat treatment or even a surgical treatment, like removing the toenail.”
For the most part, Dr. Jenkins says Lamisil is generally safe for use, though it canin rare casescause liver enzyme abnormalities. She adds that this side effect is almost never seen in children, and that your doctor will monitor these enzymes and perform frequent blood work during your course of treatment to ensure Lamisil is not negatively affecting your liver.
If you’re still concerned about Lamisil as a treatment option or you have an existing medical condition that prevents you from safely taking it, your doctor may prescribe a topical treatment instead…but those take a lot longer to work and only have a 25%-30% cure rate.
Finally, you can try a home remedy for toenail funguswhile most of them aren’t terribly effective, they don’t come with many side effects, either. If your toenail fungus is mild, you might be able to see results over time.
If you’re going to attempt an at-home remedy, it’s important to give your toenail some extra TLC, says Dr. Spielfogel: “Keeping the area clean and dry may help keep the infection under control.”
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.
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Types Of Toenail Fungal Infections
Toenail infections affect about 14 percent of the population at any given time, according to a study published in June 2014 in PloS Pathogens. The most common symptoms of a toenail fungal infection include discoloration of the nail, debris under the nail, irregularity of the white part of the nail, nail thickening, and pain, says Sheth.
Toenail fungal infections can usually be categorized into one of the following five subtypes:
Distal Subungual Onychomycosis This is the most common form of toenail fungal infection, usually occurring in the portion of the nail closer to the tip and on the underside of the nail. The nail may become thick, yellow, or brittle.
Endonyx Onychomycosis People who have endonyx onychomycosis have fungus growing between the layers of the toenails. With this type of fungus, toenails usually have a milky white color and may be pitted or split. They usually dont thicken or separate from the nail bed.
Proximal White Subungual Onychomycosis This is a relatively uncommon form of toenail fungus, seen most often in people with weakened immune systems due to conditions such as HIV. The fungus enters the toenail through the cuticle and affects the part of the nail closer to the base, turning it a whitish color.
What Are The Signs The Treatment Is Working
In some cases, you might not really see sure signs that the fungi are âdyingâ per se. But you might begin to see some subtle changes in the appearance of your infected nail.
If you see these signs, itâs a good thing, but donât optimistically stop treatment. Even if you have great physical changes, it doesnât mean the fungus is gone — keep on treating it as long as your doctor recommends.
Here are some positive initial signs your treatment is working:
Changes in color
Toenail fungus can cause the nail to become white, yellow, black, or brown. As the fungus diminishes, the discoloration of the nail might slowly dissipate. Over time, youâll see areas of discoloration get smaller and smaller.
If your toenail infection has caused your nails to become thick and raised off your nailbed, a sign of effective treatment is a decrease in nail thickness. However, this might not totally resolve until your nail regrows.
New nail growth is healthy
Over time the new growth will begin to show at the base of your nail. If the treatment is working, the new growth should be healthy and will likely look a little different from the upper part of the nail.
Clear delineation between new nail growth and infected nail
With time, this new growth will become longer and longer, making its way to the top of your nail. As this happens you might see a clear line between healthy new growth and the older infected nail.
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Is It Fungus Or Melanoma
Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that can develop on the nail bed. It has a dark brown or black color and can be mistaken for toenail fungus or another toenail problem like a bruise. Melanoma is much less common than toenail fungus, but it can be life-threatening if not caught early.
Both toenail fungus and melanoma can appear as a dark stripe on the toenail and may increase in size over time. The toenail can become split and damaged in both conditions.
Toenail fungus is more likely to cause thickening of the toenail and a buildup of material underneath it. Melanoma causes the skin of the nailbed to change color, which does not happen with toenail fungus, but it can be difficult to see.
Because melanoma can be very aggressive, its important to have your doctor examine a darkened toenail. Your doctor can confirm the diagnosis of toenail fungus by looking at clippings under a microscope and of melanoma by taking a biopsy.
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What Is Black Toenail Fungus
If you have a dark, thick toenail, it could be toenail fungus, which is usually caused by a type of fungus called dermatophytes. It affects the toenail and the area beneath the nail and causes color changes, thickening, and abnormally shaped nails.
Its fairly common, with at least 12% of American adults diagnosed with it, according to Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery. Older adults and people with diabetes, circulation problems, or a weakened immune system are more likely to have toenail fungus.
This infection doesnt usually go away on its own, and it can take a year or more to treat it with prescription medications. These are applied to the nail or taken in pill form.
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How Can Fungal Infections Of The Nails Be Treated
Fungal infections of the nail do not clear up by themselves, but not all of them need treatment. Many people with infected toenails are not bothered by them at all. In that case they can be left alone. On the other hand, if infected nails are embarrassing or uncomfortable then they are usually worth treating.
The aim of the treatment is to get rid of the fungus: the nail will then usually return to normal. However, if the nail was abnormal before it picked up the fungal infection, it will be hard to clear and may just go back to its former state. Nail infections caused by moulds and yeasts can be very resistant to treatment.
First Off What Is Toenail Fungus
If youre showing signs of discolored toenails and other unpleasant symptoms, you may just be dealing with toenail fungus.
A fungal nail infection develops from the overgrowth of fungi in, under, or on the nail. Its common knowledge that fungi thrive in warm and moist environments, so the nails on your feet have ideal conditions for fungi to naturally overpopulate. Most fungal nail infections are caused by the very same fungi that cause athletes foot, ringworm, and jock itch. The rapid overpopulation of fungi that are already present in your body can cause nail infections. Fungal nail infections are quite communicable, so if youve come in contact with someone who had a fungal infection, you may have contracted it too. Toenails tend to be affected more than fingernails, since theyre usually confined to shoes, which are the ideal breeding grounds for these fungi.
Pedicures at nail salons can also lead to fungal nail infections, which is why you need to make sure the tools are cleaned and disinfected regularly and well. Tools like nail cutters and files can very easily spread fungal nail infections from person to person if theyre not sanitised properly.
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Nail Fungal Infection Treatment
Prescription medicines can treat a fungal nail infection. Oral antifungal medicines help a new nail grow. This will replace the infected nail. You may need to take antifungal medicine for 6 to 12 weeks. Some oral medicines are not safe for people who have liver problems. They are not safe for people who have a history of congestive heart failure. Tell your doctor if you have one of these conditions. Your doctor will decide which medicine is right for you.
Apply topical treatments to the top of your nail. Topical medicines usually do not cure fungal nail infections.
In severe cases, a doctor might remove the nail completely. It can take several months to a year for the infection to go away.
Causes Of Nail Fungus
With fungal nail infections, the main cause is typically
Certain behaviors and preexisting conditions that can affect your risk of nail fungus include:
- old age
There are many overlaps between nail fungus and nail cancer. Since its easy to mistake cancer of the nail for a fungal infection, you should see a doctor immediately to get a definitive diagnosis.
See a doctor immediately if you suspect you have toenail fungus or subungual melanoma.
Since the prognosis of subungual melanoma gets worse the longer it takes to diagnose, its better to be safe and get any possible symptoms checked out and cleared as soon as they appear.
Fungal infections are not considered life-threatening, but the 5-year survival rate for subungual melanoma can vary dramatically depending on how early the cancer is identified. According to the Canada Dermatology Association, chances of recovery can range anywhere from 16 to 80 percent .
If you wait too long for diagnosis and treatment, theres a risk of the cancer spreading throughout the bodys organs and lymph nodes.
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Continue To Treat Your Nail As Your Doctor Recommends
Here at Strut Health, we treat stubborn toenail fungus with an expertly blended cream of topical antifungals, and steroids.
Our cream is compounded with a proprietary DMSO base blend that helps the active ingredients penetrate deep into the nail. Treating toenail fungus is hard, but our cream takes the guesswork out of the situation.
To see if this prescription toenail fungus medication is right for you, simply complete a questionnaire-based online doctor’s consultation.
If our doctors find youâre a good candidate for this treatment, weâll ship your prescription right to your door.
What If I Have Later Stages Of Toenail Fungus
If your nails have already reached the thick, crumbly, majorly discolored stage, dont fret. Your case is not hopeless!
Toenail fungus can actually be quite complex, but our experts will take the time to carefully examine your condition, assess both the type and severity of the disease, and then recommend a precisely tailored treatment plan we feel will give you the optimal chance of clearing the fungus. One particular treatment method were particularly proud to be able to offer is laser treatment.
Laser treatment is able to pass through nail tissue and hit a fungal infection right at the source. Topical medications, on the other hand, can have more trouble reaching the underlying infection. And oral anti-fungal medications, while able to treat the problem from the inside out, can sometimes come with side effects that dont make them recommended for certain patients.
A course of laser treatment typically requires 3-4 sessions spaced out over a period of weeks or months, depending on the severity of the condition. These sessions dont cause any burning and rarely cause any pain most patients will feel a warming sensation and nothing more.
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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 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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