Treatment Options For Fungal Nail
Treatment options, some of which can be prescribed by your GP and the others found at your local pharmacy, include:
Antifungal nail creams or paints
These are applied directly to the nail over several months and are most effective when used at the early stages of the infection. They arent generally considered to be as effective as tablets because it can be difficult for the product to reach the deep layers of the nail. Some people choose them over tablets because side effects are less common. These are available over the counter.
A paste is applied to soften the infected area. This is then covered with a plaster for 24 hours. The next day, the paste is washed off and the softened nail gently scraped away.
This process has to be repeated every day for two to three weeks. When no more of the infected nail can be removed, an antifungal paint is applied to prevent re-infection as the nail grows over the next few months. These kits are available from your pharmacist.
These are only available on prescription and need to be taken for several months, before the infection has completely cleared up. Some tablets are unsuitable for people taking certain medicines, and some people may experience side effects. Always see your doctor or pharmacist for advice about medicines.
Facts You Should Know About Fungal Nails
Many changes in fingernails or toenails may cause people to think they have a fungal infection of the nails, medically known as onychomycosis or tinea unguium.
Fungal infection of the nails sometimes makes the condition sound contagious or related to poor hygiene. In fact, up to 10% of all adults in Western countries have fungal infection of the nails. This percentage increases to 20% of adults who are age 60 or older. Toenail fungus is much more common than fingernail fungus.
In reality, abnormal-looking nails may be caused by a number of conditions including, but not limited to, fungal infection. There are many other reasons why your nails may look different.
Other Options For Toenail Fungus Infections
Removal of the toenail is only used when just one nail is infected, but it does work. Light therapy and lasers are also being studied as possible toenail fungus treatments. Laser therapy has shown promise when combined with oral or topical antifungals. A multicenter trial investigating the efficacy of a device, the Pinpointe FootLaser, is currently underway, so stay tuned to that.
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Home Remedies For Fingernail Fungus Infection
Fingernail fungus is very itchy and irritating, and in some cases, this can lead to the feeling of pain on skin. It was also widely known as the result of sensitive and dry skin,caused by the skin water deficiency and can sometimes even cause skin redness. The situation can turn to be painful, embarrassing, and all-around nasty rapidly. Thus, you will need to take extra care while treating this problem. In fact, this infection can happen on both your toenails and fingernails and can cover around 6-8% of all adult population.
How Do Dermatologists Diagnose Nail Fungus
To find out if a patient has nail fungus, a dermatologist examines your nails and nearby skin. Its important to check the skin because the fungus can spread. You may already have a skin infection caused by fungus like athletes foot.
To get rid of the infection, you will need to treat all infected areas.
Before giving you the diagnosis, your dermatologist may also take some samples. Collecting a bit of debris from beneath a nail, trimming off part your nail, or scraping off a bit of skin can be very helpful. In a lab, these samples can be examined under a microscope to find out whats causing the problem.
Are you hiding an infected nail with nail polish?
Be sure to ask your dermatologist if you can wear nail polish while treating nail fungus.
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Fungal Nail Infections Are Contagious
If you have nail fungus. you may be wondering where you contracted it. First things first youre not alone. Fungal nail infections have been shown to affect up 23% of people. The reason for such a high prevalence is the ease with which fungal nail infections can spread from one person to another under the right circumstances.
Fungal nail infections spread through fungal spores. Think of these like little dandelion seeds they can move both through the air and through direct contact when the spores are present on communal surfaces. As fungal spores are invisible to the naked eye, any shared floor or object can put you at risk though warm, moist and dark environments are where fungus thrives. If you frequent public swimming pools, gym changing rooms, public showers, and other such areas this may be your answer. If you then wear hot, enclosed shoes or sweaty socks, you may then be further fuelling the fungus and accelerating its spread.
Around your home, your showers, bathrooms, floors around the house, and swimming pool areas are where your family are most at risk of contracting your fungus. Your spouse is also at risk when sharing bed sheets, socks and shoes. As fungal spores can stay dormant but viable for up to three months in their favoured environments, your family may still remain vulnerable long after youve started covering up your feet or taking other protective measures.
What Is The Best Way To Treat A Fungal Nail Infection
There are lots of different ways to treat a fungal nail infection, and if you catch it early your treatment can be simple and effective and can stop your infection from spreading any further.
There are four main kinds of treatment that will keep that infection under control, were going to start by looking at the options that are available over the counter from your friendly Chemist 4 U pharmacist.
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Baking Soda And Hydrogen Peroxide For Nail Fungus
You have to repeat this process every day until, and even after, the problem subsides. Getting rid of nail fungus is not easy and will take a lot of patience and effort.
Why This Works
Baking soda contains antifungal properties that help prevent the growth of fungus. This solution helps balance your skins pH levels while killing off fungus.
How Is It Diagnosed
To diagnose a fungal nail infection, your doctor will:
- Look at the skin and nails on your hands and feet.
- Ask about your medical history. This includes any previous symptoms of nail damage or fungal nail infections.
The doctor may take a sample of skin and nail fragments from under the infected nail or a sample of the nail itself. Tests to examine the samples include:
- KOH preparation, to find out if the problem is caused by a fungus.
- Other lab tests, such as a fungal culture, may be done to find which type of fungus you have.
If the tests don’t show fungi but your doctor still thinks that you have a fungal infection, a nail biopsy may be needed.
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How Fungal Nail Infections Start
So why did you get the fungal nail infection but your gym buddy didnt or why is only one nail currently infected but not the rest? A fungal nail infection starts when a spore comes in contact with your toenail and is able to invade the nail through an opening like if your nail is injured or damaged. After the fungus takes hold, it feeds on the keratin that your nails are composed of, causing changes to the appearance and colour of the nail. The infection can also cause a mild inflammatory response which can lift the nail and trap more fungus, spores and bacteria beneath, making effective treatment even more difficult especially if youre only using a surface-level cream or ointment.
You are more vulnerable to an infection taking hold if you have a compromised immune system, are pregnant, are older, have medical conditions like diabetes or circulatory problems or have Athletes foot. While this may explain why some people may start growing the infection faster than others, it can only take a stubbed toe or some slight damage to the nail from not being careful when trimming the nail or getting a pedicure to skyrocket your risk.
How To Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus With Onion
Onion, like garlic, is a potent remedy for treating toenail fungus. Those unsightly yellow toenails can be effectively corrected by using onion. So what are you waiting for? Head to your kitchen and grab an onion.
How to use?
- Take an onion and cut its slices
- Rub a slice of onion gently on the affected toenail
- Repeat this process daily to get rid of the toenail fungus.
Benefits of onion
Rubbing onion on the infected nail inhibits the growth of fungus on the toenail. It fights off the build-up and clears the infection fast.
If you have sensitive skin or a history of allergy, then do a skin patch test before using this remedy. In case of intense burning sensation, wash off the area immediately.
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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 its 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 its 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 The Causes Of Yellow Nail Syndrome
The exact cause of yellow nail syndrome is unknown.
This condition can start sporadically for no apparent reason, which occurs in most cases. Even so, in rare cases, its believed it may run in families. A mutation of the FOXC2 gene which causes a disorder called lymphedema-distichiasis syndrome may play a role in developing yellow nail syndrome. More research is needed to confirm this, as other literature currently reports that there is no known genetic factor for yellow nail syndrome.
Another belief is that yellow nail syndrome results from problems with lymphatic drainage. Improper circulation and drainage of lymph allows fluid to collect in the soft tissue under the skin, which may slowly turn nails yellow.
Yellow nail syndrome can also develop on its own or occur with certain types of cancers, autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, and immunodeficiencies.
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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 Causes A Nail Fungal Infection
The infection is usually caused by exposure to a fungus. The fungus grows in wet, dark conditions. The fungus grows when your feet are in warm, sweaty environment . It enters your nail through a crack in the nail.
Nail fungal infections happen at any age. They are more common in adults older than 60 years of age. They are common in people who have diabetes or circulation problems. They also are common in people with a weakened immune system. Men are more likely than women to get fungal nail infections.
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Side Effects Of Toenail Fungus Medication
One of the many benefits of using a homeopathic remedy is that there are little to no adverse side effects. Topical treatments often prescribed to treat toenail fungus can potentially burn or blister the skin. Oral medications for treating onychomycosis can cause liver or gastrointestinal damage. Be sure to read your medications list of potential side effects. Consult your pharmacist, physician, or specialist if you are concerned about side effects of prescription drugs.
Apply Or Consume Garlic
A 2019 study indicates that garlic is an antifungal powerhouse, potentially making it a gem for treating toenail fungal infections. It is best to place crushed or chopped garlic on the affected area daily, Hayag says. It is important to take caution when following this remedy, as garlic has the potential to cause chemical burns to the skin. To avoid any burns, theres also the option of taking garlic supplements to see if that might help clear things up.
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How Can You Avoid Fungal Nail Infections
There are things you can do to avoid getting a fungal nail infection or having it come back.
- Before bed, wash and dry your feet carefully.
Applying a topical antifungal medicine may help prevent repeat infections.
- Keep your feet and hands dry.
Dry skin and nails are less likely to get infected. Put powder on your dry feet or hands after you take a shower or bath.
- Wear sandals or roomy shoes made of materials that allow moisture to escape.
Let your shoes air out for at least 24 hours before you wear them again.
- Wear socks.
Change them if your feet get damp or sweaty.
- Wear shower sandals in wet public areas, such as locker rooms or showers.
Let them dry between uses.
- Do not share nail files or clippers, socks, towels, or other personal items.
- Avoid injuring your nail.
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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Soak In Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a folk remedy for almost everything these days, including ingrown toenails. Its believed to have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving abilities, although scientific evidence is limited at best.
To try this remedy, prepare a basin of warm water combined with 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. Soak the affected foot for up to 20 minutes daily. Dry your foot thoroughly after soaking.
How Do You Treat Fungal Nails
There are many over-the-counter treatment options on the market and sadly most are not all that effective. So, how should you treat fungal nails? It is important you see a podiatrist to help guide you towards which treatment options would be best for your particular case. Your podiatrist will also be able to provide education around what causes fungal nail infections and how to avoid them.
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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 Is The Treatment For Fungal Nails
Oral antifungal therapy has a high cure rate, depending on the medication. It can take nine to 12 months to see if it has worked or not, because that is how long it takes for the nail to grow out. Even when therapy works, the fungus may come back. Currently, an oral antifungal therapy is considered the best treatment for toenail fungus because of higher cure rates and shorter treatment duration compared to topical therapy.
Prescription oral medications that are effective against nail fungus include the following:
There are several innovative treatments that are still being tested:
- Laser therapy or uses application of light-activated agents onto the nail followed by shining light of a proper wavelength on the nail.
- Use of electrical current to help absorption of topical antifungal medications into the nail: This is also called iontophoresis.
- Use of a special nail lacquer that changes the micro-climate of the nail to make it inhospitable for the fungus to grow: If this works, it may be an inexpensive way to treat this problem in the future.
One way to definitively get rid of toenail fungus is by surgery. Surgical treatment of onychomycosis involves nail removal. However, this often only provides temporary relief, and recurrence is common unless additional antifungal medication is simultaneously used. However, surgical removal may be warranted when the affected nail is associated with other factors such as trauma and or infection.
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