Treatment Options For Nail Fungus
Most of my conversation is usually discussing medical therapy, so things that are available by prescription only. And those come in two main forms, which are topical antifungal medications, and then oral antifungal medications. There are other surgical or procedural options, so you can remove nails as well. And then there’s starting to be more interest in technologies like lasers for nail fungus.
What Are Fungal Nail Infection Risk Factors
Risk factors for fungal nail infection include family history, advancing age, poor health, trauma, living in a warm climate, participation in fitness activities, immunosuppression , bathing in communal showers , and wearing shoes that cover the toes completely and don’t let in any airflow.
Fungal nail infections, especially toenail infections, can be contagious person to person from direct and indirect contact with an infected person or their clothing, such as wearing an infected person’s shoes or socks. The incubation period for a fungal nail infection is about 3 to 6 days.
Symptoms Of Hand Fungus Or Fungus On Fingers
When you get fungus on your fingers or hand, youll notice the following symptoms:
- The infected area on your hand will normally start small and gradually become larger over time.
- The infection will start on the palm and may or may not spread to your fingers and the back of your hand.
- The area infected with tinea will be itchy, red, and have a scaly appearance.
- The infected area may also peel and flake.
- The rashes will be circular with raised borders.
- Discoloration of skin at the infected area would happen.
- Blisters would be formed on the palms of your hands and will result in itching and burning.
- Blisters may appear in clusters that will ooze fluid and can even bleed if your skin becomes dry or cracked.
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Aloe Vera And Tea Tree Oil To Make Hand Fungus Cream
You can also make a very effective moisturizing healing hand cream for hand fungus with aloe vera.
Aloe vera is well-known for its amazing properties to heal damaged skin. For example, aloe vera is a great natural remedy for burned skin. However, aloe vera is also full of antioxidants and antimicrobials that have antifungal properties.
According to research into the antifungal use of aloe vera, the journal Oman Medical Journal reported that aloe vera can destroy fungi and treat fungal infections. It was found that aloe vera has antifungal properties and contain enzymes, nutrients, and minerals that benefit the skin.13
How to use aloe vera for hand fungus
The best way to use aloe vera as a natural hand fungus remedy is to add a few drops of tea tree oil to it. Here is how to make your own antifungal ointment at home:
The best kind of aloe vera gel to use is the kind with as few added ingredients as possible. Alternatively, you can squeeze the flesh from an aloe vera leaf and apply that directly to your hands as a natural moisturizer.
How Effective Are Topical Treatments
So far, only a few studies have looked into topical nail fungus treatments with nail polishes or creams. Because these studies had weaknesses, the results should be interpreted with caution. Amorolfine has not yet been well studied. Ciclopirox polish and treatment sets with urea and bifonazole cream were tested in a few studies.
Research on the effectiveness of nail polish containing ciclopirox showed that, after one year:
- About 10 out of 100 people who did not use ciclopirox no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
- About 32 out of 100 people who used ciclopirox no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
In other words, treatment with ciclopirox got rid of the fungal infection in about 22 out of 100 people. But even if the fungus had gone away, the cosmetic result wasnt always satisfying. The nails only looked healthy after treatment in 7 out of 100 people.
Treatment with sets containing urea and bifonazole cream was tested in one study. It was compared with a treatment in which only urea cream was applied and the nail was removed, but without applying bifonazole cream afterwards. Three months after treatment was completed, it was found that:
- No fungus was visible or detectable in about 41 out of 100 people who only used urea cream.
- No fungus was visible or detectable in about 51 out of 100 people who used both urea and bifonazole cream.
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When To Refer To Podiatry
Before initiating topical or oral therapy, patients should ideally be referred to a podiatrist for nail trimming and debridement. This assists with removing as much fungus as possible and improves topical drug penetration. Debridement alone cannot be recommended for the treatment of OM; patients using a combination of debridement and topical nail lacquer have shown a significant improvement in mycological cure compared with debridement only. Patients with nail trauma owing to footwear, dystrophic toenails affecting other toes or who describe discomfort when walking owing to thickened toenails should also be referred.
When there is treatment failure with topical, oral and combination therapies, a podiatrist may be able to carry out a chemical or surgical nail avulsion .
If there is doubt over the original diagnosis, or where no improvement has been seen with treatment, pharmacists should refer patients to a podiatrist or their GP.
Supported by RB
RB provided financial support in the production of this content.
The authors were paid by The Pharmaceutical Journal to write this article and full editorial control was maintained by the journal at all times.
Nail Fungus And Acrylic Nails
Acrylic nails are plastic nails that are applied over your natural nails. While they are not particularly dangerous, frequent application of these chemicals can cause an allergic reaction or damage your nails. This increases the risk of a fungal infection. It can be difficult to notice as the acrylic nails will cover the evidence, allowing the fungus to thrive in a moist and dark place.
If you are prone to fungal infection, it may be best to avoid false nails in general.
Before We Start . . .
Be sure to consult a doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or if you have a preexisting health condition .
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Clean Socks And Shoes
Regularly changing your socks and shoes can also cut down on the growth of unwanted foot fungus. Both socks and athletic shoes can also be washed in hot water to rid the growth of yeasts and fungi that may be growing on the fabric. Some shoes can be machine dried. Drying shoes in the sun is another option when cleaning footwear.
Adding a half-cup of baking soda or one cup of vinegar to the washing machine can help eliminate bacteria or fungus on socks or shoes.
Boots and other footwear that are not machine washable could be wiped out with a vinegar and water solution or sprayed with an over-the-counter antifungal spray. Medicated powders are also helpful in treating shoes for foot fungus.;
Allowing the feet to breathe by taking off shoes and socks when possible can prevent fungal growth. Protect your feet by wearing breathable footwear and clean socks. Antimicrobial socks and shoes made from bamboo, copper, or specialty fabrics are also available. They can help reduce unwanted bacteria and yeast from growing in your footwear.;
A proactive approach to keeping your feet clean and dry can prevent the spread of toenail fungus. You can wash or soak feet with warm soapy water or a foot bath using everyday household items. Soaking your feet in an all-natural, homeopathic concoction can be beneficial in reducing or eliminating toenail fungus.;
What Are The Main Types Of Toenail And Fingernail Fungal Infections
There are many types of fungal nail infections that develop over time and can be caused by a different class of fungi. Since the development of infection is a gradual process so a slight change in the texture or look of the nail should be considered seriously before it gets much worse. Some of the most common types of fungal infections that affect majorly the areas surrounding fingernails and toenails are listed below. All these nail infections are sub-classes of onychomycosis.
Distal subungual onychomycosis
The most common type of fungal nail infection is DSO caused by the same fungi that are behind the Athlete’s foot. It is the infection that affects the nail and the skin present under the nail, known as the nail bed. The infection originates from the nail bed and partial nail turns yellow or white, which is the first indication of DSO. In this type of infection debris, bacterial dirt, broken nail fragments and pieces of dead skin accumulate under the nail and as the condition worsen the nail could also crumble and break. DSO is a lifelong infection that can be difficult to overcome and even harder to treat. Improper care and wearing tight shoes may worsen the condition.
White superficial onychomycosis
Proximal Subungual onychomycosis
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Treating The Fungus With Prescription Drugs
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 A Fungal Nail Infection
A fungal nail infection is a common condition that can leave you with brittle, discolored nails, usually on your toes.
Its formal name is onychomycosis, and itâs a lot like athleteâs foot. But instead of affecting the skin on the bottom of your feet or between your toes, it invades your nails.
Fungi are tiny organisms you can only see through a microscope. Many different types can cause a nail infection. Sometimes they live on your skin and donât make any trouble. But if you have a lot in one area, you might get infected.
Donât be embarrassed if you have toenail or fingernail fungus. Itâs way more common than you think.
Affects Ears Fingers Nails Toes And Genitals
Fungal infections are some of the most common infections, affecting various parts of the body like, ears, fingers, nails, toes, genitals etc. Nail fungus is one such infection.
Onychomycosis is the name of the type of fungus that causes infection on nails both toenails and fingernails. This infection takes time to develop so you might not notice is initially.
Fungi are always present in your body alongside bacteria. The nail becomes infected when there is an overgrowth of fungus on or under the nail.
This infection is communicable and can spread via direct or indirect contact. For example, if you borrow an infected persons shoes or gloves, you too might catch the infection.
The fungus develops in warm, moist environment. This is why it usually affects toenails rather than fingernails as your feet are mostly covered while you wear shoes which provide the fungus an ideal environment to grow.
Causes and Risk Factors for Nail Fungus
Living or working in a hot, humid environment
Constantly covered feet
Diabetic patients, who have reduced blood circulation in their feet
Direct contact with someone who has nail fungus
Minor cuts or injuries around the nail
Using communal showers or public swimming pools
Sweating a lot, especially in your feet and on your hands
A weak immune system
Medications used to treat toenail fungus include terbinafine and itraconazole . Laser treatment is also available but it is expensive and doesnt guarantee results.
Tea Tree Oil
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How To Get Rid Of Nail Fungus Nz
The use of hydrogen peroxide in the remedy of nail fungus is known as oxidative cure in some circles.
Even individual nails may have varying ranges of resistance to abrasion.
They can gain access on your skin through small, inconspicuous incisions or a bit split among your nail and nail bed, among other means.
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.
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Sets With Creams And A Nail Scraper
Treatment sets that contain two creams and a nail scraper can also be used for the topical treatment of nail fungus:
- One cream has urea in it, which softens the nail so it can be removed.
- The other cream contains bifonazole, which has an antifungal effect.
For this treatment, the affected toe or finger first has to be soaked in warm water for ten minutes and then dried. After that, the urea-based cream is applied to the nail, and the nail is covered with an adhesive bandage. After 24 hours, the bandage is removed and the toe or finger is held in warm water again. The softened layer of the nail is then scraped off using a spatula, the cream is applied again and the nail is covered with a new bandage. This treatment is carried out over 14 days. Once the infected part of the nail has been scraped away completely, the skin beneath is treated for another four weeks with a bifonazole cream.
Symptoms Of Toenail Fungus
Timely identification of nail fungus is important in deciding the course of its treatment. In the case where the infection has spread completely inside the toenails, home remedies will no longer be enough. You should consult your doctor immediately if the infection has progressed beyond a normal harmless condition.
Here are some common symptoms that you may look for when identifying toenail fungus:
- Nails become brittle and break easily.
- Nail cracking and cracking.
- The nail becomes white, brown, yellow, or has some other discoloration.
- There is debris under the nail.
- The fungus causes the nail to lift so that it is not firmly attached to the skin.
- Nails may thicken and turn brown or yellow.
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How To Choose The Best Supplement For Fungal Infection
You have to be careful when searching for supplements. Before you take anything, you have to do deep research based on your condition.
Although these supplements are the best nail fungus treatments, you have to get in touch with your doctor before taking anything.
And, if youre not allergic to anything or dont have an infected nail condition that requires surgical procedures, then go on and buy these products.