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.
Complications: What If The Infection Is Left Untreated
If the nail fungus spreads deeper into the nail bed, it will cause the nail to thicken and turn green, yellow, brown, or black. As the infection progresses, the infected nail becomes brittle and pieces of it will start to break off from the toe or finger completely. Should the condition be left untreated, it can spread to other nails or cause skin around the infected nail to become inflamed. In more advanced stages, a foul smell may develop and white or yellow patches may be seen on the exposed nail bed. Over time, severe fungal nail infections can cause permanent damage to the nail root or nail bed.
It can be quite embarrassing to have this condition since this is an infection thats hard to hide. People with Onychomycosis may also find it difficult or painful to wear shoes, walk, or stand for long periods of time if their toenails have been infected severely.
Take Care Of Your Feet
We know that regular foot care is an important part of maintaining overall good health, and its also important to the foot health of everyone around you, whether at home, in locker rooms, gyms, and at public pools. Sanitizing and disinfecting nail clippers and all pedicure tools is very important. And dont forget to keep your socks and shoes clean and dry. Fungal infections love damp socks and the company of their kind in an infected shoe!
Avoiding Onychomycosis and Athletes Foot is always easier than eliminating these conditions, and maintaining healthy nails and feet demands good foot hygiene.
Regular use of Doctors Kline + Greens Clear+Restore is also recommended in order to prevent toenail fungus, as well as treat dry cracked toenails and other symptoms.
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Stop This Skin Infection In Its Tracks With These Over
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Verywell / Sabrina Jiang
Toenail fungus is a common fungal condition that often starts after a rash on the foot spreads to the nails. When mild, it looks like white and yellow spots growing under the nail beds. But if left untreated, the fungus can grow severely by hardening the nails and spreading to other toes.
The fungus often begins in the form of athlete’s foot between the toes or on the soles of the feet. At this stage, the fungal infection is easier to treat with over-the-counter medication. But Shari Lipner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine, told Verywell Health toenail fungus can be difficult to treat because of how slow the nails grow. 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, she says.
Diagnosing the fungal infection early is key to make treatments effective. Dr. Lipner recommends visiting a board-certified dermatologist to properly treat the infection if it grows to be too severe.
Here are a few of the best over-the-counter toenail fungus treatments on the market.
What Is Black Nail Fungus
A black nail can be caused due to a severe fungal infection or due to some chronic disease like diabetes, kidney issues or heart disease as well.
In some cases black nail fungus can be caused due to a trauma basically an accident to your toe nail, this results in blood clogging which later leads to an infection as well.
One should consult a doctor if the color of the nail is black even after a day or two. If the patient is diabetic this could cause life threatening issues as well.
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Tips To Avoid Toenail Fungus: Easy To Catch Hard To Kill
If toenail fungus gets into the nail bed, the fungus eats and digests the keratin in the nail, and that causes discoloration and thickening of the nail.
Allure Nail Salon in Center City lines their pedicure tubs with plastic to keep clean.
Allure Nail Salon in Center City is known for its cleanliness.
Allure Nail Salon in Center City cleans their instruments with disinfectant before placing them into a UV sterilizing machine.
Every customer at Allure Nail Salon in Center City gets to take their file and buffer home.
Allure Nail Salon in Center City lines their pedicure tubs with plastic to keep clean.
Its sandal weather, the pool and beach beckon and that means naked, exposed toes. That thought fills millions of Americans with dread, because they are host to an organism thats ruining the appearance of their nails.
They are keratin-loving species, explained Temple University podiatrist Tracey Vlahovic. Her sub-specialty within that field is dermatology, so, pretty much anything that makes the rest of us go yuck. I dont think its yuck. I think its fantastic. I love treating fungus and warts, said Vlahovic with a chuckle.
The Best Nail Fungus Treatments
And if you do end up with a nail fungal infection? The bad news is that it can be challenging to completely banish it the infections are often persistent and even if they are effectively treated, can often have high recurrence rates, explains Dr. Stern.
The other tricky part is that the infection needs to be diagnosed properly, and comparing your nail situation to your Google search isnt the way, she says. Not every nail problem is caused by a fungus some conditions may appear similar, such as nail psoriasis and nail trauma, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association. Derms have the expertise to determine whats causing your nail problem and to recommend the right treatment, including various oral and topical medications that could be highly effective.
While its best to get a diagnosis from a professional, if you are traveling or simply dont have time to book an appointment with your derm right now, there are many over-the-counter anti-fungal ointments and creams that can treat fungal nail infections, says Dr. Chen. The catch? If you dont see improvement after two months for fingernails or four months for toenails, see a dermatologist, advises Dr. Stern.
Ahead, six of the best nail fungus treatments, according to experts and customer reviews.
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Nail Polish And Contaminated Equipment
A 2018 study found evidence that fungi may be able to live and multiply in some nail polishes. It may be a good idea to avoid sharing nail polish.
Contaminated equipment at a nail salon can also expose you to types of fungi that may lead to an infection.
Your fungal infection may not cause any symptoms in the beginning, until it progresses.
As the infection gets worse, you may experience:
Fingernail infections often clear up on their own or with home remedies. Antifungal medications are used for more serious infections.
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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Best For Fingernails: Dr Remedy Anti
Applying cuticle oil daily is arguably one of the best things you can do to keep your nails both healthy and hydrated. And this one goes above and beyond the call of duty, thanks to the inclusion of undecylenic acid, an ingredient to help treat and even prevent fungal infections from starting. The other nice thing? The formula can even permeate polish, meaning you can apply the oil even if your nails are painted.
This is one of my favorite products from Remedy Nails, raved a fan. Ive suffered from toenail fungus for years and tried many products. This has been the only one Ive had success with. I love using it on my fingernails as well. My cuticles look healthy!
Sizing Up Risk Factors
People who have chronic athletes foot are at risk for developing toenail fungus, and there seems to be a genetic predisposition. Sometimes the fungus gets into the nail bed after the nail was cracked or cut too short. The fungus also lurks in shared showers, around pools and a lot of Vlahovics patients tell her their troubles started after getting a pedicure.
The very place where people go to beautify their feet and toenails is often responsible for spreading disease, says Tennessee podiatrist Dr. Robert Spalding. He has written a book called Death by Pedicure and has been on a decade-long crusade to make nail salons safer.
They use contaminated instruments, in some cases, or they dont take the time to properly disinfect and follow their state protocols, Spalding said. Nail fungus and other microorganisms are really tough to kill, and Spalding says the only sure-fire way to sterilize the instruments is to use something called an autoclave.
An autoclave is basically a pressure cooker, he said. Its steam under pressure, for a certain amount of time. Its how instruments are cleaned for surgery.
The foot-soaking tubs are another cesspool of infection that Spalding says some salons are eliminating. Now they are going to tubs that have liners. They dont use the jets as much. And they are coming up with something called a dry pedicure, where they just take hot towels and soak the feet, Spalding said.
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Signs And Symptoms Of A Fungal Nail Infection
A fungal nail infection may not cause any obvious symptoms at first.
As it progresses, the infection can cause:
- discolouration of the nail it may turn white, black, yellow or green
- thickening and distortion of the nail it may become an unusual shape or texture and be difficult to trim
- pain or discomfort particularly when using or placing pressure on the affected toe or finger
- brittle or crumbly nails pieces may break off and come away completely
Sometimes the skin nearby may also become infected and be itchy and cracked or red and swollen.
The Best Natural Remedies For Toenail Fungus
For more than six years, I was dealing with toenail fungus on my big left toe. While the nail would naturally start to heal each summer, unfortunately, the healthy nail only grew back half way up. It was great to see that the bottom part of the nail was fungus free, but I wanted to find a permanent solution so that the top half could be healthy too.
I also noticed that as the weather got cooler in the fall and winter, the fungus would once again take over the whole nail. It was a frustrating experience and I was desperate to heal my toenail once and for all.
In this post, Im going to share what worked and what didnt work for me. I hope that by sharing some natural home remedies for toenail fungus infection, youll be able to have healthier toenails too.
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The Most Common Types Of Nail Fungus
The most common type of nail fungus is known as distal subungual onychomycosis, and is caused by a fungi known as a dermatophyte, says Dr. Chen. It can show up on fingernails or toenails, and manifests as a yellow-ish area on the nail that can ultimately lead to splitting, crumbling, or even separation of the nail from the skin as it gets worse, she says. Its also worth noting that this is the same fungi that causes athletes foot, a fungal infection that can spread from the skin to the nail, adds Dr. Stern.
White superficial onychomycosis is the second most common it leads to white spots on the surface of the nail, which can ultimately spread to resemble a white chalky powder covering the entire nail, says Chen.
Remedies I Tried To Heal Toenail Fungus
Over the past few years, I tried a few different ways to heal my toenail fungus completely. Regular nail polish made no change, so then I tried this special fungus nail polish by Dr. Remedy Nail Polish. Eventually, I tried tea tree oil which is known for its antifungal and antiseptic abilities. I also tried oregano oil because of its antibacterial properties. Last but not least, I used coconut oil which is a popular alternative remedy for treating infections and injuries. To try treating toenail fungus using these different oils, simply apply the oil to the affected nail twice a day using a cotton swab. Sadly I saw no changes with these remedies.
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Best For Toenails: Fungi
This is one of my favorites because it relieves symptoms such as burning and itching, and also restores the skin under the nail and around the cuticle, says Dr. Chen. Its also very easy to use and wont break the bank, she adds. It touts Tolnaftate 1%, a clinically proven anti-fungal active ingredient, to cure and prevent infection, as well as five essential oils tea tree oil, aloe vera, eucalyptol, olive oil, and lavender to restore skin health.
My nail was cut in a pedicure, causing my nail to get fungus, shared a customer. This stuff cleared it right up. My nail fell off and grew back healthy. Worked and quickly in about a week.
Home Remedies For Nail Fungus
Treating nail fungus doesnt have to mean relying on a doctors prescription. Instead, patients can take control of their health with these easy home remedies for toenail fungus.
This pantry staple can help cure nail fungus and is also a wonderful home remedy for foot rot when applied topically or taken internally.
Apple Cider Vinegar Antifungal Recipe
- 1 part apple cider vinegar
- 1 part Epsom salts
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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:
Tips To Prevent Fungal Nail Infections
Making a few simple lifestyle changes can help prevent a fungal infection of the nails. Taking good care of your nails by keeping them well trimmed and clean is a good way to prevent infections.
Also avoid injuring the skin around your nails. If youre going to have damp or wet hands for an extended amount of time, you may want to wear rubber gloves.
Other ways to prevent fungal infections of the nails include:
- washing your hands after touching infected nails
- drying your feet well after showering, especially between your toes
- getting manicures or pedicures from trustworthy salons
- avoiding being barefoot in public places
- reducing your use of artificial nails and nail polish
Products to help you avoid nail fungus
If youre prone to excessive moisture around your fingernails or toenails, consider buying:
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Moisturizing With A Natural Cream
To keep my toes and toenails well moisturized, I applied the Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream all over my feet and toes. I love this cream because Im a big believer in clean beauty and Im very careful about keeping away from products that contain harsh chemicals or toxins. A lot of people swear by Vicks Vapor Rub for treating nail fungus, but I just couldn’t imagine putting that stuff with the long list of chemical ingredients on my feet personally. So back to the Manuka Cream – made with just six ingredients, this oil-based balm ticks all the boxes. Its 100% natural, perfect for sensitive skin, and dermatologist tested and approved. I also love that its made with Manuka oil which is more potent than tea tree oil when battling bacteria and fungus perfect for my condition!
Tips For Keeping Toenail Fungus From Returning
Toenail fungus is a tough foe to battle. The sooner its found out, the easier it tends to be to treat. Unfortunately, most cases are not discovered until the fungus has had a good opportunity to entrench itself in your toenail.
Treatment has likely taken months, but youve reached that light at the end of the tunnel. The fungus has been declared eradicated and youre already growing new, clear toenails to replace the war-torn battlefields that once were. Well done!
Unfortunately, it can come back.
A fungal toenail infection is not like a cold. Having had it doesnt really mean your immune system is fully geared up to keep the same case from returning. And, like a cold, there is more than one type of nasty organism out there that can cause similar symptomsin this case, discolored, crumbling, thickened nails.
You know how bad it is. The last thing you want is to fight that battle over again, and people with diabetes should be especially careful of any type of infection. You also dont want anyone you live with to have to go through it, either!
So what can you do to prevent toenail fungus from coming back? Quite a lot.
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