How Does Fingernail Fungus Develop Causes And Risk Groups
As with nail mycosis on foot, fingernail fungus is mainly caused by dermatophytes . In addition, yeasts or molds can also trigger fingernail fungus.
Fungi love it moist and warm, which is why the feet are affected in 80% of cases of nail fungus. In tight shoes, the feet start to sweat easily and are warm. The skin fungi like that very much.
However, there are also a few reasons that specifically favor fingernail fungus:
- Nail fungus on the foot
- Untreated fungus of the skin
- Weak immune system
- Incorrect nail care
People who suffer from athletes foot or nail fungus on their toes and do not treat them can spread the infection to their bodies.
It is, therefore, essential to treat both athletes foot and nail fungus immediately.
Usually, an intact immune system can fight off the pathogen. However, a weakened immune system is not strong enough.
Malnutrition or an HIV infection causes the bodys immune defenses to suffer. In this way, the fingernail fungus can quickly get stuck.
Those who take immunosuppressants due to autoimmune diseases also have an increased risk of developing fingernail fungus.
Chemotherapy sometimes resulting in brittle and brittle nails. The nails can even come off. Because the bodys immune system is attacked even during chemotherapy, the fungi have an easy time.
Gel nails are attached to the pin with a unique adhesive. Tiny bubbles form in this adhesive, which is the ideal place for nail fungus.
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Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus
Risk factors | Diagnosis | Home remedies | Over-the-counter medicine | Prescription drugs | When to see a doctor
Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis or tinea unguium, is a common nail condition affecting millions of people in the United States. Fungal nail infections can develop on the nail from various organisms such as molds, yeasts, and fungi. This usually occurs after these organisms come into contact with a cracked nail or skin surrounding the nail as the opening provides a portal of entry for these organisms.
How To Catch Nail Fungus Early
You likely have an image in your mind of what toenail fungus looks like. The symptoms are pretty classic:
- A yellowish or brownish color
- Thickening of the nails
But what if we told you that, by the time you see these signs, the fungus has already had plenty of time to set up shop and bury itself deep within your toenails?
It takes a lot of time for symptoms such as those above to appear. And lets be honest: even when the main symptoms start to appear, we tend to have a habit of overlooking it, or just hoping it goes away on its own at least until it becomes too significant of a problem to ignore.
We are not judging here. It is a very common and very human behavior.
Nevertheless, the fact remains that the sooner a fungal infection is diagnosed and addressed, the faster and more effective treatments tend to be. And when it comes to toenail fungus, the early signs are definitely not as obvious as what they end up becoming.
Catching and treating a fungal infection at its earliest stages can save you plenty of time and trouble, so we highly recommend paying attention to your feet and periodically checking for these first symptoms..
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How Do Health Care Professionals Diagnose A Fungal Nail Infection
Fungal nail infection can be identified by its appearance. However, other conditions and infections can cause problems in the nails that look like fungal nail infection. Fungal nail infection must be confirmed by laboratory tests before beginning treatment, because treatment is long, expensive, and does have some risks.
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.
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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.
Is It Toenail Fungus Or Something Else
Odd-looking toenail? It may be a fungal infection, but there’s a good chance that another condition could be to blame.
If you notice an odd spot on your toenail, you might assume its a fungal infection. However, theres a good chance that its not.
Spots or discolorations on or under a toenail could be bruises resulting from trauma to the nail, blood blisters, warts, or even subungual melanoma, a type of skin cancer, says Ami Sheth, a doctor of podiatric medicine in Los Gatos, California, and a spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association.
Since nail irregularities can be caused by diseases besides these as well, its best to get it looked at, says Dr. Sheth.
Richard Goad, a doctor of podiatric medicine at Baylor Scott & White Health in Waco, Texas, concurs. Sometimes the nail will be the first place to show another underlying problem, Dr. Goad says.
So is it a fungus, a false alarm, or another condition entirely?
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Symptoms Of Fungal Nails
The good news is that if you catch it early enough, it can be fairly easy to eradicate toenail fungus and save your nails from further damage.
So how do you catch it in the early stages?
Well, inspecting your nails every day is the first step. Especially because toenail fungus can be present a very long time without causing noticeable symptoms.
Here are things you should look for when you examine your nails:
- Darkening or discoloration of the affected nail
- White or discolored spots that arent from an injury
- Thickening or distortion of the nail
- Unusual white or yellow streaks in your nail
- Crumbling along the edges or tips of the nail, particularly where its discolored
- Redness and swelling
- Foul odor emitting from the nail
- Pain when walking or wearing shoes
- The nail starts to separate from the nail bed
If you notice one or more of these symptoms in your toenails, dont wait for them to go away on their own the infection will most likely continue to grow and spread .
Instead, get them diagnosed right away so the fungus can be eliminated quickly and before it causes visible damage to your nail.
How To Identify Nail Fungus On Feet Symptoms Possible Causes And Treatment
- How to identify nail fungus on feet symptoms, possible causes and treatment
In this article we will focus on this unpleasant, but, alas, quite widespread phenomenon, as fungus of the toenails. Symptoms, causes of this disease known to medical science and easy diagnostics at all stages. However, can only detect it if you are attentive to their own health. How to identify nail fungus on your feet? How to treat it? If advertised well?
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Common Causes Of Nail Fungus Infection
Fungal nail infections can happen because of different fungal organisms.
The most common cause or type of fungi is called dermatophyte, while yeasts and molds can also cause infections.
People of any age can experience nail fungal infection, though older adults experience them more often. Their nails grow old, become dry, and turn brittle. The cracks then serve as home to fungi.
You run the risk of developing nail fungus if you:
- Are older, because of reduced circulation of blood, more years of exposure to fungi, and slower nail growth.
- Sweat heavily.
- Walk barefoot in damp, public areas like swimming pools, gyms, and shower rooms.
- Have an athletes foot.
- Have minor skin or nail injury, or skin condition.
- Have diabetes, blood flow problems, or a poor immune system.
Three Types Of Treatment
The treatment of onychomycosis is expensive and long-term. It requires a commitment on the part of the patient to take medicine for several months.
Unfortunately, topical preparations do not effectively treat fungal nail infections. The FDA has approved two nail lacquersciclopirox and efinaconazole for fungal nail infections, but they are seldom effective. It may be an option, however, for people who cannot take oral antifungal medications .
There are three effective oral antifungal medicationstwo that are FDA-approved for fungal nail infections and one that is not FDA-approved specifically for nail infections.
All three medications have significant side effects and interact with many medications. Anyone taking oral antifungal medications must have periodic lab tests done to monitor liver and blood cell function. The oral antifungal medications are incorporated into the nailtherefore, they continue to work even after the medication is discontinued. None of the oral antifungals can be taken during pregnancy.
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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.
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Are There Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus
The Internet is filled with anecdotal information on how to cure toenail fungus using home remedies. Vinegar is a commonly recommended home remedy. Some people apply various oils such as tea tree oil, coconut oil, essential oils, and oil of cedar leaf to their nails as well. The effectiveness of these home remedies is highly doubtful. Application of household bleach and hydrogen peroxide is also not recommended due to lack of evidence that these treatments work. These agents can also cause unwanted skin irritation. Thickened nails that have been affected by fungus can be difficult to trim. Using topical urea cream will soften the nail and make it easier to trim. These creams do not require a prescription.
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:
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What Is The Most Effective Treatment For Toenail Fungus
The most effective toenail fungus treatment for you will largely depend on your symptoms and situation. Your provider will consider several factors before recommending a treatment plan thats customized to you.
Overall, oral antifungal medications may offer the most treatment potential. Pairing oral drugs with topical antifungal medication may make treatment more effective.
What Is Nail Fungus
Nail fungus or Onychomycosis is a medical term for a particular nail disease mediated by fungal infections .
The nail, in this case, is called mycotic nail and is severely damaged in most of the cases.
With the gradual growth and spread of the fungus , the nails become hard, thickened and yellowish with corroded edges and can even be uprooted in case of extreme damage.
Nail fungus not only affects the nails but also damages the surrounding skin and underlying tissues. A recent survey by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that nail fungus accounts for nearly 30% of all skin diseases.
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What Are Fungal Nail Infection Symptoms And Signs
- Fungal nail infection usually does not cause any symptoms unless the nail becomes so thick it causes pain when wearing shoes. People with fungal nail infection usually go to the doctor for cosmetic reasons, not because of physical pain or problems related to fungal nail infection.
- As the nail thickens, however, fungal nail infection may interfere with standing, walking, and exercising.
- Paresthesia , pain, discomfort, and loss of agility may occur as the disease progresses. Loss of self-esteem, embarrassment, and social problems can also develop.
- Severe cases of Candida infections can disfigure the fingertips and nails.
Symptoms or signs of fungal nail infection based on subtype
Fungal nail infection is divided into subtypes that can be identified based on where the infection appears to be located relative to the structure of the nail.
How To Tell If You Have A Toenail Fungus
Microscopic fungi are everywhere. Gyms, pools, locker rooms, hot tubs, and saunas provide excellent breeding grounds for fungal infections. If you walk barefoot in a locker room and then immediately put on socks, those fungi can reproduce exponentially on your feet and toes.
Your toes are responsible to help you balance as you stand, walk, and run so proper foot care is crucial as they bear the entire weight of your body every day. If toenails are showing a sudden change, its a good idea to seek a doctors opinion.
Toenail fungal infections are more common in older people. This is due to their reduced blood flow and the fact that their nails are growing more slowly, allowing more time for fungi to grow unhindered.
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