What Is Toenail Fungus Exactly
Toenail fungus happens when tiny microscopic organisms called fungi get underneath your toenails, causing an infection, according the American Academy of Dermatology .
Not-so-fun fact: The same fungus that causes jock itch and athletes foot can also cause toenail fungus, which can infect your nails and the skin underneath, says Gary Goldenberg, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
Depending on the type of fungus youre dealing with, an infection can cause a slew of unpleasant symptoms, including:
- Nail discoloration
- Debris buildup underneath the nail
- Lifting of the nail from the skin
- Nail thickening or crumbling
- Nail thinning or splitting
Toenail fungus is highly contagious and, if you have a fungal infection on your foot, the fungus can spread to one or more of your nails.
Inaccurate Liquid To Powder Mix Ratio
Too Wet makes little bubbles that will certainly expand in dimension in time. Too Dry catches air in the completely dry powder and also typically gives in as well thick of a first application. Suggestion: A typical, healthy fluid to powder proportion is 1.5 to 1, specifically. You could have to re-calibrate your fluid to powder use to represent seasonal moisture and also temperature level modifications.
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Best Ways To Treat A Nail Fungus
Nail fungus can cause thick, discolored nails, and, for some patients, it can even be painful. An Internet search will bring up plenty of ways to treat the condition, but which ones are best? Dermatologist Dr. Christopher Hull discusses what nail fungus actually is, why its so hard to get rid of, and which treatments work best.
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Can You Have Toenail Fungus And Green Nail Syndrome
One issue is that toenail fungus and green nail syndrome can occur at the same time. Its quite likely. Both forms of infection occur because of:
- Nail trauma, either chronic or acute
- Poor foot hygiene, e.g., re-wearing socks or not washing
- Allowing the feet to stay damp or wet
As such, you can catch both at the same time. If this occurs, youll have a thick green toenail. It will also become crumbly in places.
The two infections work together, in a way. Fungal infection breaks down the nail, causing damage. Youre then more likely to get a bacterial infection too. Plus, bacterial infection inhibits the ability of antifungal compounds to reach deep-down fugal spores.
If so, you will have to begin a combined treatment, e.g., antibiotics and an antifungal cream. In severe cases, it may be better to have the nail surgically removed. Your doctor will advise you on a course of treatment.
Causes And Solutions: Toenail Fungus
Fungal infections can happen to anyone and anywhere. Some people have fungal infections in their hair, organs or even toenails.
The most common fungal infection is seen in the toenails. A fungus is very common and everyone has it in their bodies, but when a fungus multiples and fungi begin to thrive, you may have a serious toenail infection.
Although it may appear to be ugly, it is harmless till it spreads to your bloodstream.
Most people treat toenail fungus because it looks bad and can be painful sometimes. It may even be a danger to your health if it reaches the bloodstream.
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What Does Green Nail Syndrome Look Like
The most obvious sign of green nail syndrome is that your nail turns green. This green color first appears as a spot. Over time, it comes to affect the whole nail. If you have a green spot on the toe, then this is your issue.
The green color itself is caused by a chemical compound called pyoverdine. This chemical is secreted by the bacteria, and stores iron for later use. The stronger the infection, the more pyoverdine is produced, and the greener your nails become.
The color ranges from a yellow-green, to deep grass green. It isnt uniform, as the nail is typically deformed too. There will be parts of the nail that appear darker, almost black. There will be other lighter parts.
It appears as stripes running from side to side. This is because of intermittent episodes of infection. The infection gets stronger and weaker in waves as the body tries to fight it off.
Green nail syndrome may also co-occur with other nail issues. These include:
- The nail pointing to the side
- The skin around the nail becoming red and swollen
These nail issues all cause injury to your nails. Thats why its common to have a green toenail after injury. Bacterial infection may occur in one nail, or several. It can affect toenails and fingernails.
What Is The Best Manicure For Your Nails
Each nail color comes in the form of a pigmented powder, which your nails are dipped into after being applied a clear liquid formula. The most popular type, SNS, is marketed as better for your nails than any other longwear polish, such as gel. Youll also need to get it professionally taken off at the nail salon
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How Do You Get Rid Of Green Nails
Green nail syndrome responds well to treatment. Therapy consists of cutting the detached portion of the nail, keeping nails dry, and avoiding trauma to the area. Topical antibiotics, such as bacitracin or polymyxin B, applied two to four times per day will cure most patients if continued for one to four months.
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Treatment For Fingernail Fungus
There are many treatment options for fingernail fungus. You can choose an over-the-counter solution or a home remedy. Again, the best way to treat a fungus is to catch it early. At any stage, though, you must address it fully. Never stop a treatment solution before the fungus is completely gone. You should also refrain from applying fake or gel nails until the fungus has cleared up.
Lets take a look at some of the most popular ways to get rid of fingernail fungus caused by fake nails.
What About The Cost Of Oral Medications For Fungal Nails
A further consideration is cost. Because newer oral antifungal agents are very expensive, some insurance companies balk at paying for what they consider a “cosmetic issue,” unless nail fungus causes pain or other functional symptoms. Terbinafine and fluconazole are now available as generic drugs and are quite inexpensive.
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Green Fungus Under Toenail
Sometimes a fungus infection could be accompanied by a bacterial infection. This is exactly what a green fungus under toenail means. Therefore, when you notice you have a green spot on your toes it is important that you see podiatrist to determine what whether it is truly a fungal infection or a bacterial kind. A bacterial unlike the fungal infection takes a couple of weeks to heal.
Furthermore, green discoloration on toenails could be a sign of melanoma. This requires treatment as soon as possible before it can spread to other parts of the body. You can acquire green fungus on your toenails from gardening while barefoot, cleaning without proper shoes and getting pedicures from unhygienic nail salons.
What Are Acrylic Nails
Acrylic nails are also known as false or artificial nails. They consist of liquid monomer and powder polymer that can be shaped after it dries and need to be maintained every two weeks. The term of acrylic nails usually refers to all types of false nails such as silk, gel and fiber nails. Millions of women across the world have acrylic nails applied over their natural nails, from different reasons usually because their own nails are easily broken and cannot develop desired length, to mask and cover discolored or weak nails or just because they want their nails to look more attractive.
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Massaging With Rosemary Oil
Massaging of the body is always very beneficial for the proper circulation of blood to all the organs of the body. Also, massaging the hands together with rosemary oils is considered very beneficial for the hands specifically and maintains the flow of blood to the ends and prevents the discoloration of nails.
Keep After Your Feet Even If It Looks Like The Fungus Is Gone
The same fungus that causes athletes foot is the one that will infect the nails. So after youve treated the fungus and it looks like its out, the patient still has a lot of responsibility, Dr. Lipner says. You need to make sure it doesnt come back by applying an antifungal producta basic athletes foot productto your feet daily. If you get the fungus invading your feet, youll probably get it back in your nails, too. Apply an antifungal cream, spray, or powder to the shoes or the feet daily, she says. To some people, its a habit like brushing your teeth. For others, getting them to do it is like pulling teeth.
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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.
Can You File Away Toenail Fungus
With that in mind, I generally encourage healthy adult patients with mild toenail fungus to not treat it or to treat it just using topical measures. For example, you can buff the nail down with a file to keep it thin, so the fungus has less of a home to live in. You should also keep the nail trimmed.
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Difference Between Toenail Fungus And Green Nail Syndrome
To clear up dark green toenails and fingernails, you need to start by diagnosing the reason for the nail condition. Toenail fungus and green nail syndrome are often confused, and its easy to understand why, but you can quickly learn how to tell them apart easily.
Do I have dark green toenail fungus or green nail syndrome? Green nail syndrome is a bacterial, not a fungal, infection. Toenail fungus causes yellow or brown, crumbly nails while green nail syndrome turns nails green. Fungal infection results in a cheese-like smell, while green nail syndrome smells sweet and fruity.
Well look more closely at the differences between dark green toenail fungus and green nail syndrome. Well also provide information about the treatment of bacterial and fungal nail infections.
Toenail Fungus And Diabetes
Toenail fungus is about twice as common in people with diabetesin fact, one in three people with diabetes have had it. Because diabetes causes nerve damage in the feet, a person may not notice the symptoms of toenail fungus and accidentally cause further damage or infection. Gone untreated, toenail fungus increases the risk of amputation.
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Green Nail Syndrome Treatment
The original treatment for green nail syndrome was avulsion. This is complete removal of the nail. Today, only the nail thats come away from the bed is cut away. Then, doctors treat green nail syndrome with a mix of topical and oral treatments.
For minor cases, topical application of an antibacterial cream such as gentamicin is sufficient. Normally a routine such as a twice-daily application is prescribed. For severe cases, an oral quinolone is recommended.
Bacterial infections are easier to treat than fungal infections. Treatment takes from a month to six weeks. After this time, the entire nail plate may be completely cured.
Need Advice On How To Talk To Your Clients About Other Issues That Often Come Up For Nail Techs
If a green spot appears on the nail, techs cant treat the infection. Green spots are considered to be a medical disorder, says Doug Schoon, and not something nail technicians are allowed to treat. Refer the client to a doctor. Techs may want to remove the product from the nail, but if the nail has an infection, techs are legally bound to avoid any form of treatment. If you nick the skin while removing the nail, you could worsen the infection. If any of your implements came into contact with the infected nail, immediately clean and disinfect it, wash your hands, your clients hands, and the surface of your work area.
The natural nail underneath the enhancement will likely be stained, with colors ranging from a dull green to an unsightly black, and it could be soft from being moist do not apply polish or product over the nail to hide the color until the client has seen a doctor and the infection is completely clear. Once treated by a doctor, the stained nail will eventually grow out, and a soft nail will harden back up as its exposed to air.
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Why Is The Treatment Necessary
Onychomycosis, leads to discoloration and deformation of the nails. Particular problems include thickening, which may cause pain and make basic nail cutting difficult. In patients with complicating factors, deformed nails can lead to surrounding tissue damage and once again promote secondary bacterial infection. Furthermore, a recent study has highlighted the psychological, social and occupational effects of the condition which appear to have been underestimated by health care professionals for treating the condition.
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How Do You Make A Vinegar Foot Soak
If you would like to try out a vinegar foot soak at home, you can follow the instructions below.
Step 1: Get a bottle of vinegar. The type of vinegar you use doesnt necessarily matter most people use either apple cider vinegar or white vinegar. The important thing is the pH of the vinegar, which should typically be 2-3.
Step 2: Fill a sink or bowl with 1 part vinegar and 2 parts warm water .
Top tip: if youre finding the smell of vinegar too strong or unpleasant, you can add a few drops of essential oils to the mixture, such as lavender oil.
Step 3: Soak foot for 15-30 minutes daily in the mixture. Do not soak for longer than 30 minutes.
Step 4: Make sure that you dry your foot/feet thoroughly after your soak. The fungus grows best in a moist environment, so leaving feet damp encourages fungal growth especially if you are putting on socks or shoes next.
Step 5: Repeat this process daily until you can see that your infection has disappeared.
If you have particularly sensitive skin, you may find that vinegar causes some skin irritation. If this is the case, you can try decreasing the time you spend soaking your feet to 10-15 minutes or diluting the mixture with more water. You could also try reducing the amount of foot soaks you try to a few times a week instead.
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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.
So What Causes Toenail Fungus
You can catch toenail fungus in warm, moist places like a pool deck or gym locker rooms. If someone has an infection and walks barefoot on the surface before you, you can easily pick it up, the AAD says.
Having wet nails for long periods of time, like wearing sweaty shoes or soggy boots all day, can also cause toenail fungus.
Certain people are more likely to get toenail fungus than others. Youre more likely to deal with this type of infection if you meet the following criteria:
- You live in a hot, humid climate
- You have athletes foot
- Youve had a nail infection in the past
- You spend a lot of time barefoot
- You wear tight-fitting, closed toe shoes and you have sweaty feet
- You spend a lot of time in water
Ultimately, anyone can get toenail fungus, Dr. Goldenberg says. However, he sees it most commonly with athletes, people who go barefoot at the gym or swimming pool, and older patients.
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