What’s New In Onychomycosis Therapy
Recent device-based therapies for onychomycosis include laser devices, photodynamic therapy, iontophoresis, and ultrasound. Laser treatment has been approved for cosmetic treatment only, but efficacy as a treatment to eradicate the fungal infection will have to be determined by additional randomized controlled trials . There have been rare reports of onychomycosis cures following the use of phototherapy, which involves the irradiation of accumulated protoporphyrin within the fungal hyphae, leading to subsequent hyphal cell damage . The ability of iontophoresis, or the use of electric current to facilitate the passage of drug through the nail plate, has been proven in studies with human cadaver nails, but relevant clinical studies remain to be conducted . Finally, though ultrasound therapy has preliminarily demonstrated fungistatic activity against nail infections , the device itself seems overly complicated, with ultrasound transducers and drug delivery compartments needed above each toenail and the requirement for a computer software interface, making it a physician-officeonly treatment and likely very expensive .
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Treatments For Fungal Nail Infections
Treatment isn’t always needed for a mild fungal nail infection because it’s unlikely to cause any further problems and you may feel it’s not worth treating.
Whether you decide to have treatment or not, you should still practise good foot hygiene to stop the infection getting worse or spreading to others.
Speak to your GP or pharmacist if you’re bothered by the appearance of the affected nail, or it’s causing problems such as pain and discomfort. They’ll probably recommend:
- antifungal tablets tablets taken once or twice a day for several months
- antifungal nail paints special paints applied directly to the nail over several months
- nail softening kits where a paste is used to soften infected parts of the nail, before they’re removed with a scraping device
A procedure to remove the nail completely may be recommended in severe cases. Laser treatment, where a high-energy laser is used to destroy the fungus, is also an option. But this is only available privately and can be expensive.
You can reduce your risk of developing a fungal nail infection by:
Nail salon equipment can sometimes be the source of fungal nail infections. If you regularly visit a salon, make sure any equipment used is properly sterilised between uses.
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Doctor Prescribed Ways To Treat Nail Fungus
Fortunately, there several ways to get rid of nail fungus. Most treatments aim to eradicate the causative organism and restore the normal appearance of healthy nails. Treatment options range from self-care remedies, to medications recommended by a general practitioner, to ointments bought over-the-counter without a prescription.
Its important to note that repeat infections are common even with treatment. Whats more, remedies are not all equally effective with some even causing possible side effects.
With that in mind, here are some of the top ways to treat and get rid of nail fungus at home.
Soak Your Feet In This Solution For At Least Half An Hour
Scrub the infected toenail very gently with a very soft toothbrush. Repeat twice a day for a few days to see the difference
According to some studies, vinegar may not be as effective in removing toenail fungus. And in severe cases, you may need to remove the toenail entirely to get rid of the problem. Vinegar is also acidic in nature. Hence, soaking your feet every day in vinegar may cause skin irritation in some. If this happens, it is the best to soak feet thrice a week instead of everyday. Also, people affected with diabetes and autoimmune disorders, or those suffering from circulation problems should consult their doctor first before staring on any foot treatment or remedy. Toenail fungus if left untreated, or in absence of proper treatment can turn into a serious affair more quickly than you can expect.
Hence, in case you feel it is not getting better with self-care measures and home remedies, it is recommended to seek medical advice immediately, to avoid spread of infection and any further complications.
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The Danger Of Waiting To Treat The Fungus
The greatest danger of not treating the foot or toenail fungus is that it can spread to other parts of the body, such as the hands and groin.
If for some reason you cant treat your toenails or your feet right away, at least use an antifungal topical cream on the surrounding skin, Dr. Ng says. That will help keep it from spreading and keep the skin intact.
Home Treatments For Toenail Fungus Dont Always Work
How long does it take to know if your home treatment remedy option has worked? It depends on the remedy and the severity of the fungal problem. While it usually takes 2 to 3 months for a toenail fungus infection to go away, it can take up to a year to completely heal. Most people will try at least 1 of the above home antifungal treatments before choosing to seek foot care from a professional.
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How Long Does It Take To Recover
You need to be consistent with the treatment in order to see results. It usually takes a few months for the nail to heal completely. Healing time depends on how severe the infection is and how quickly your body responds to the treatment.
The fungal infection is cured when youve grown an entirely new nail thats free from infection.
You can continue the tea tree oil treatment after the nail has healed to ensure that the nail fungus doesnt return.
Its important that you use a high-quality tea tree oil for best results. Here are some things to look for when buying tea tree oil:
- The oil needs to be 100 percent pure.
- Buy an organic oil, if possible.
- Look for a tea tree oil that has a 10 to 40 percent concentration of terpinen. This is one of the main antiseptic and antifungal components of tea tree oil.
You can buy tea tree oil online or at a local health store. Always buy from a brand that you trust. The supplier should be able to answer any questions you have about their product.
Research your brands and manufacturers. Essential oils can have issues with purity, contamination, and strength. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration doesnt regulate essential oils, so its important to purchase from a supplier you trust.
How To Prevent Both Foot And Toenail Fungus
While toenail fungus and foot fungus arent the same condition, the following tips can help you prevent both, says Sundling:
- Practice good hygiene, such as keeping your feet clean.
- Alternate your shoes during the week. Your feet sweat all day long. Alternating your shoes allows them to dry out, so the fungus cant survive.
- Wear moisture-wicking socks that help dry out shoes and kill fungus. You can find these at running stores and athletic stores. If your socks are exceptionally sweaty, changing them more than once per day can help.
- Wear shoes in public places like locker rooms, pools, and gyms to limit exposure to fungus.
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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.
Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Nail Fungus
Although some people may refer to these alternative treatments as quack science, there appears to be a little more to these homemade remedies since many individuals have used them to cure their conditions. However, more research still needs to be conducted on the success rate of home remedies for nail fungus.
Some common and supposedly effective alternative treatments include:
According to Dr. Josh Axe of the Exodus Health Center, apple cidar vinegar not only helps to soothe sunburns, balance pH in the body, manage blood sugar levels, and aid in weight loss, its also an ingredient that contains anti-fungal properties. As such, many sufferers of fungal nail infection have now turned to this healthy food to cure their conditions.
The acidic properties of apple cidar vinegar prevent nail fungus from spreading. At the same time, apple cidar vinegar helps to get rid of dead skin cells while killing bacteria and fungi.
Simply mix it with water in equal parts then soak the infected nails for up to 30 minutes in the solution. Repeat this process daily and pat dry the infected nails after soaking.
Another study conducted by Russian researchers showed that a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide had been instrumental in killing off fungus at the radioactive Chernobyl site.
For this remedy, one should simply apply lemon juice on the infected nail for about 30 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.
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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.
Does Vicks Kill Toenail Fungus
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Vicks VapoRub was invented more than a century ago as a cure for pneumonia and croup. Since then, its become a bathroom medicine cabinet staple for treating coughs, colds and easing chest congestion.
Recently, with the immense popularity of home remedies, Vicks has stepped into the spotlight in many ways, from a treatment for spider veins to an alternative treatment for toenail fungus.
In this article, we are going to take a look at Toenail fungus, what it is, why Vicks Vaporub is being used to treat toenail fungus. Well answer the question Does Vicks kill toenail fungus? Or is this home remedy more of an urban myth than a real treatment.
The answer might surprise you!
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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.
Tips To Combat Foot Fungus
The best way to combat foot fungus is to reduce your exposure to it. There are simple things you can do to prevent from contracting foot and nail fungus.
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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.
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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Toenail Fungus Home Care
Sometimes itâs possible to treat your toenail fungus at home. You can try:
- Over the counter antifungal creams or ointments. File or cut off any white markings on your nails. Soak your nails in water and dry off before you put on the medicated cream.
- Special nail care. If you keep your nails trimmed, it can reduce the pressure and pain you feel. You can also thin your nail bed by filing it down. This can help antifungal creams get to the problem easier.
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.
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I Suspect I Have Toenail Fungus What Now
Well, now that you know the basics on toenail fungus and how Lunula laser therapy can help you get rid of it, maybe youre ready to give it a try. Please call our office at 515 FEET or submit a form online so we can go through options to make this process safe, easy, affordable, and worthwhile for you on your journey to happy, healthy toenails!
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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Toenail Fungus Prescription Medications
Sometimes prescription medications are needed to treat a toenail infection that just wont go away with natural remedies or over-the-counter medication in a few months. In this case, prescription-strength antifungal medication can eradicate stubborn onychomycosis.
Topical medications often are effective in treating mild to moderate toenail fungus. Topical solutions may include medicated nail polishes or liquid medications. Loprox , Penlac , Kerydin , and Jublia are among the top prescription drugs for toenail fungus.
How Did I Get Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus usually enters the nail bed when there has been an injury to the area, such as a crack or a split.
Once the fungus enters, the warm, dark environment that it finds in shoes and socks allow it to grow and spread. The fungus starts by growing under the nail bed, making it very difficult to reach with any sort of medication.
The standard treatment usually involves prescription medication or partial or full removal of the toenail.
The fungus first appears as a black spot on the toenail. This spot can start to grow and your nail can start changing color as it progresses.
If you let it go, your nail may thicken, change color further, and even produce a foul odor . It is best to deal with the early signs before it turns into something really serious.
One of the main causes of toenail fungus is poor hygiene, and the chances of getting toenail fungus increase with age men being more likely to get it over women.
This could be due to many factors, but most likely because men typically dont take care of their foot/nail hygiene as much as women do.
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