Symptoms Of Toenail Infection Or Fingernail Infection
Fungal infections of the nail can make the nail thicken, crumble and change colour usually to yellow or white, but it can also go green or even black. This often happens slowly, and its usually painless.
If the skin on the feet is affected, you might see a scaly rash.
Fungal infections affect the toenails more often than the fingernails.
If your child has a bacterial or viral infection, the skin around your childs finger or toe will be inflamed. On children with darker skin, the inflammation might look brown, purple or grey. On children with lighter skin, the inflammation might look red. The skin might also be swollen, hot, tender and painful.
A blister with pus can form next to the nail. Rarely, your child might get a fever and have difficulty moving their finger or toe.
Bacterial and viral infections affect the fingernails more often than the toenails.
Softening And Scraping Away The Nail
As it can take a long time for antifungal medication to work, some people may prefer to use a treatment that involves softening and removing infected parts of nail over a few weeks.
Treatment kits are available from pharmacies that contain a 40% urea paste, plasters and a scraping device. The paste softens the infected parts of the nail, allowing them to be scraped away so they can be gradually replaced with healthy nail.
To use the treatment:
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.
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Remedies To Fight Toenail Fungus At Home
Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is perhaps one of the most common nail disorders. It is a fungal infection that penetrates through chinks in your toenail, cuts in the surrounding skin, or the separation between the nail and the toe, and affects the material below the toenail.
The fungus tends to thrive in certain conditions, such as abnormal body pH, a weakened immune system, continuous exposure to a moist environment including sweaty shoes and socks, poor hygiene, and diabetes.
As embarrassing as this condition may be, simply camouflaging your unsightly toenail, such as painting your nails, without tending to it properly would do you more harm than good. If the infection goes untreated long enough, it could spread to the adjoining skin, to the other toenails, and even perhaps to your fingernails.
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How To Cure Nail Fungus
This article was medically reviewed by Luba Lee, FNP-BC, MS. Luba Lee, FNP-BC is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner and educator in Tennessee with over a decade of clinical experience. Luba has certifications in Pediatric Advanced Life Support , Emergency Medicine, Advanced Cardiac Life Support , Team Building, and Critical Care Nursing. She received her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Tennessee in 2006. This article has been viewed 326,359 times.
Onychomycosis, or nail fungus, is a common infection that affects toenails and, less frequently, fingernails. It is caused by a group of fungus called dermatophytes, which thrives in warm, moist environments, like your shoes. If you suspect you have a nail infection, try to treat it quickly and routinely, as the fungus will continue to come back if allowed to take hold.
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What Causes Fungal Nails And What Are Some Of The Risk Factors
In normal, healthy people, fungal infections of the nails are most commonly caused by fungus that is caught from moist, wet areas. Communal showers, such as those at a gym or swimming pools, are common sources. Going to nail salons that use inadequate sanitization of instruments in addition to living with family members who have fungal nails are also risk factors. Athletes have been proven to be more susceptible to nail fungus. This is presumed to be due to the wearing of tight-fitting, sweaty shoes associated with repetitive trauma to the toenails. Having athlete’s foot makes it more likely that the fungus will infect your toenails. Repetitive trauma also weakens the nail, which makes the nail more susceptible to fungal infection.
Elderly people and people with certain underlying disease states are also at higher risk. Anything that impairs your immune system can make you prone to getting infected with the fungus. These include conditions such as AIDS, diabetes, cancer, psoriasis, or taking any immunosuppressive medications like steroids.
Risk Factors Associated With Toenail Fungus
Certain health conditions and lifestyle factors can make you increasingly vulnerable to developing nail fungus:
Health: You have a greater chance of contracting a fungal nail infection if you suffer from one or more of the following issues:
- Other fungal skin infections, such as athletes foot or ringworm
- Increasingly brittle, crumbly, or ragged nail
- Nail that appears warped or distorted in shape
- Nail that appears dull without any luster
- Dark color, caused by the accumulation of debris under your nail
- Slightly foul odor in the affected area
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Why Is It That I Keep Getting Fungal Infections While Others Dont Seem To Have Them
While there are many reasons for this, it is most likely that you are more vulnerable to fungal infections. You may also be more susceptible to fungal infections due to your genetic susceptibility, weaker immune system, or being exposed to public places like gyms and swimming pools. Athletes often come in contact with conditions that make fungal infections more likely. Patients with diabetes, psoriasis or weak immune systems are more susceptible to nail infections.
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How Can One Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus
Toenail Fungus can be treated in multiple ways.
- 1. Over the Counter Treatments
Over the counter gets, creams, soaks, sprays, and oral medicines can work best when your toenail fungus is mild and has just begun.
You may use products containing Undecylenic Acid, Tolnaftate, Clotrimazole, Terbinafine, or Tea Tree Oil.
- 2. Essential Oils
Milder Toenail Fungus can be treated with the application of diluted essential oils. Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Lavender, Cinnamon , Lemon or Lemon Grass Essential Oils can be used for topical treatment of Toenail Fungus.
- 3. Home Remedies
Some home remedies can be very effective in controlling the infection. These remedies can prevent the fungi from entering the tissue and spreading to the bloodstream.
Garlic, onion, ginger and lemon are the most common ingredients used in the treatment of toenail fungus.
- 4. Diet & Exercise
Toenail Fungus has a lot to do with your immune system or your bodys natural defense mechanism.
If you eat healthy foods and exercise well, there are chances your immunity raises and fights the fungi.
Science explains how our bodys soldiers can destroy the thriving fungi within days if we have the right amount of them.
- 5. Nail Hygiene
Maintaining hygiene is very important. As fungi can grow and multiply easily in moist and humid environments, you have to take care your toenails excessively.
Trimming and shaping the toenails can reduce chances of fungi entering your skin and prevents spread of infection.
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What Is A Nail Infection
Paronychia is nail inflammation that may result from trauma, irritation or infection. It can affect fingernails or toenails.
Paronychia can develop when bacteria enter broken skin near the cuticle and nail fold, causing an infection. The cuticle is the skin at the base of the nail. The nail fold is where the skin and nail come together.
Healthcare providers treat paronychia with antibiotics to kill the infection. Providers may also drain pus . They may also culture the fluid to see what specific bacteria might be causing the infection.
Sometimes, the infection comes back or symptoms last for weeks . Chronic paronychia is more commonly caused by irritation from occupational or environmental exposures. Less often, it may be caused by a chronic bacterial or fungal infection.
Making The Vinegar Foot Soak
Vinegar will not hurt your feet, but you should still dilute it for a foot soak. Generally, using 1-part vinegar to 2-parts water is a good ratio. If youre tolerating the diluted vinegar soaks, and not noticing any difference, you can use a stronger soak.
While the soak will smell strong, the odor will dissipate after the vinegar dries from your feet. You can also use essential oils to change the scent slightly.
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Why Does It Develop
A fungal nail infection occurs from the overgrowth of fungi in, under, or on the nail. Fungi thrive in warm, moist environments, so this type of environment can cause them to naturally overpopulate. The same fungi that cause jock itch, athletes foot, and ringworm can cause nail infections.
Fungi that are already present in or on your body can cause nail infections. If you have come in contact with someone else who has a fungal infection, you may have contracted it as well. Fungal infections affect toenails more commonly than fingernails, likely because your toes are usually confined to shoes, where theyre in a warm, moist environment.
If you get a manicure or pedicure at a nail salon, be sure to ask how the staff disinfects their tools and how often they do it. Tools, such as emery boards and nail clippers, can spread fungal infections from person to person if theyre not sanitized.
What Is The Treatment For Nail Infections
Most bacterial nail infections go away with antibiotics. These medications kill bacteria that cause infections. Be sure to follow your providers instructions and finish the entire course of antibiotics so the infection doesnt return.
If pus has built up around the nail bed and isnt draining on its own, your provider may drain the pus. After cleaning the area, your provider makes a small cut so the pus can drain. Your provider places a bandage over the cut. You should keep the area clean and replace the bandage when necessary.
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Toenail Fungus: Causes And Risk Factors
Toenail fungus is a fungal infection in the toenail. It happens when a fungus anything from mold to yeast to other types of fungus gets in the nail bed from a cut or break in the nail or repetitive trauma to the nail, and penetrates the nail itself, says Dr. Sundling. The nail then continues to grow with the fungus. Once a nail plate is infected with fungus, it will never not be infected, and you must wait to see how it grows out and whether the new nail growing behind it is healthy. The new nail rarely grows in healthy without treatment, says Sundling.
Toenail fungus is very common 14 percent of people have it in North America, according to an article published in the journal PLoS Pathogens and its more common the older you get, adds Sundling. Wearing shoes that are too small can damage the nail and make it more vulnerable to fungus, as can having a fungal infection on the skin of the foot and not treating it, which could expose the nail to fungus. You may be more at risk to toenail fungus if you have diabetes, or a weaker immune system.
Home Treatments For Dog Nail Yeast Infection
Yeast infections can also be treated at home using several methods. Lets take a look at some of the most effective home remedies for dog nail yeast infection.
Clean the Paws of Your Dog
Your dogs paws can get extremely dirty, even if he/she stays inside the house. All of the filth that accumulates in the paws and nails exacerbate yeast infection. Therefore, you should wash your dogs feet daily, especially after a walk, to prevent fungal infections.
Alternatively, you can make some shoes for your dog. Yes, you read that right! Dog shoes are actually real and can be used to prevent dirt from accumulating in the paws of your pup. They also help to fight off yeast infections by keeping the paws dry. Moist or wet paws are extremely suitable for yeast organisms to grow.
Change Your Dogs Diet
Certain foods increase the chances of yeast infection in your dog. The food items that contain simple carbohydrates are major culprits in this regard. If your dogs diet revolves around such ingredients, you should consult your vet to change the diet slowly over time.
Many dog treats are loaded with refined carbohydrates and corn syrup. You should cut down on such treats to keep many problems at bay.
You can also rub coconut oil over the infected areas to assist the recovery process. Coconut oil contains antioxidants, such as vitamin E and K, that help the skin to recover. It also heals scratches and acts as an anti-aging serum .
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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.
What Are Treatments For Toenail Fungus
Do you need to treat your nail fungus? Maybe it doesn’t hurt, and the yellow, thick nails don’t bother you.
But nail fungus doesn’t go away by itself. And if you don’t treat it, there’s a chance it could get worse. It could spread to other nails or through your body. It could cause pain when you walk.
There are a number of ways to take care of it, including:
Nonprescription options. You can buy antifungal creams, gels, and nail polish at the store and online without a prescription. You might want to try one of them first if the infection doesn’t look bad. Some people also swear by home remedies like menthol rub, tea tree oil, mouthwash, or snakeroot extract — but studies show mixed results.
Prescription polish and creams. Your foot doctor will likely trim your nail and file away its dead layers. They may also take a piece of your nail and send it to the lab to make sure itâs really a fungus and to find out what type it is.
The doctor might suggest an antifungal drug that you paint on your nails. This may work on its own, or they may suggest you take it with antifungal pills.
Prescription medications. One of several antifungal pills may help. They work, but it may take many months to do the job. They also come with side effects like nausea, vomiting, and headaches. They may cause liver damage too, so your doctor will watch you closely while you take them. Be sure to tell them about any other meds youâre taking — some antifungal pills might not work well with them.
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Why Do Nail Infections Commonly Occur In Dogs Paw Areas
Nail and nail bed infections are defined as any abnormality or disease that affects a dogs claw or the areas around it. Infections are common in paws because paws are in constant contact with everyday surfaces and germs. Canine nails are situated above the paw pads. They only touch the ground when your pup is on the move, but because your pup is probably walking around a lot, it leaves plenty of room for exposure.
Although nail infections in dogs have a variety of causes, they usually have an excellent treatment prognosis and take a short amount of time to heal. That said, any suspected nail infection should always be seen by a vet before it worsens or spreads.
What Oral Medications Are Available
To treat fungal nail infections from inside the body, you can take tablets that inhibit the growth of fungi or kill them. They are all prescription-only. Terbinafine and itraconazole are typically used for this purpose.
- Terbinafine is preferred if the nail fungus is caused by a skin fungus . This is usually the case.
- Itraconazole is generally used if the nail infection is caused by yeast or mold.
Itraconazole and terbinafine tablets can both be taken either continuously or with breaks between treatments. But they are used differently:
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What To Do About A Dog Nail Yeast Infection
Yeast produces spores that are almost everywhere on a dogs body. However, the amount of this fungus is relatively low in a healthy dog. A yeast infection occurs when an excessive amount of yeast accumulates in one area. If the infection is localized in your dogs paw, it can be called the Dog Nail Yeast Infection. Keep reading to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of this infection
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Additional reporting for this story by Jennifer Nied
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