When To See A Doctor About Toenail Fungus
If you are experiencing persistent toenail fungus or pain is present, you may need to see a specialist. A dermatologist or podiatrist may be able to assess your symptoms and send a small sample of the affected toenail or flesh to a laboratory to be analyzed as there are various types of fungi and yeasts that cause onychomycosis. Knowing the specific cause of your foot fungus can help identify what route to take to treat your condition.;
Nail changes can also be caused by underlying conditions, like psoriasis and diabetes, so its important to seek professional medical advice if your condition persists or worsens. Bacterial and fungal infection of skin in diabetes patients often result in hospital admissions, and in severe cases, can result in amputations. If you are at a higher risk for infection, you should skip home remedies and seek professional medical treatment.
Get Rid Of Grooves With Vicks Vaporub
Dont put away the cold remedy yet! Vicks VapoRub is proven to cure thickened, wavy nails caused by toenail fungus for 83 percent of study participants in 12 weeks, according to U.S. Air Force scientists. The salves abundance of natural antifungals work in tandem to smother trouble-causing spores. Plus, at $5, it saves patients as much as $876 compared to prescription treatments, says study lead Richard Derby, M.D. Tip: Repurpose an old toothbrush to work the product into the nooks and crannies under and around your toenails once daily.
Top 12 Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Nail Fungus Naturally
Commonly known to the layman as fungal nail infection, Onychomycosis is an infection that occurs when fungus forms beneath the nails. The condition can develop as a result of poor foot hygiene, continuous exposure to moist environments, wearing unbreathable synthetic socks, accumulation of sweat in shoes, imbalanced pH levels of the skin, a compromised immune system, and conditions like diabetes that constricts blood flow.Upon infection, Onychomycosis will cause the nail to thicken, discolor, and eventually crumble into pieces. If left untreated, the condition can become painful. As the infection progresses, areas around the infected toenails or fingernails may swell and begin to give off a foul smell too.
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Toenail Fungus Home Care
Sometimes itâs possible to treat your toenail fungus at home. You can try:
- Over the counter antifungal creams or ointments. File or cut off any white markings on your nails. Soak your nails in water and dry off before you put on the medicated cream.
- Special nail care. If you keep your nails trimmed, it can reduce the pressure and pain you feel. You can also thin your nail bed by filing it down. This can help antifungal creams get to the problem easier.
How To Prevent Toenail Fungs
Prevention is always better than cure, and therefore, taking precautions to avoid toenail fungus is as important as treating toenail fungus.
- Remember to wear flip-flops or shower sandals when entering public areas such as gyms, locker rooms, changing rooms near pools, spas, and public showers.
- Whenever your socks get sweaty, change them into a clean pair, and dont reuse worn socks without washing them.
- Choose shoes that fit comfortably, have room to breathe, and keep your feet dry.
- Keep your shoes in direct sunlight regularly to kill any fungus or bacteria.
- Never wear damp shoes or socks.
- Use sanitized nail clippers and other nail styling tools.
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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:
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.
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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.
How Fungi Infect The Nail
Onchomycosis, or toenail fungal infection, is an invasion by a microscopic organism that thrives in warm, damp environments. Fungal spores are in the air, and they will grow if they land on a receptive surface like your toenail. They feed off the nail tissues, burrowing into the skin under the nail. Over time the nail thickens and may lift off the nail bed as fungal debris accumulates. Once your nail is raised off the nail bed, it won’t reattach, and a new nail won’t grow from that part of the nail bed. However, your nail will continue to grow from the root at the base.
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Remedies And Treatments For Toenail Fungus
Antifungal remedies help to stop the growth of the fungus. Over-the-counter options do not claim to cure toenail fungus, but they can help to improve the look of the affected nail. These products do not work as well as prescription medications. To cure toenail fungus, a remedy has to penetrate the nail and nail bed. Most over-the-counter remedies for nail fungus are topical and do not penetrate deeply enough.
Trim, Buff, and Thin the Affected Nail
Keeping your nails trim, buffed, and clean helps to prevent the spread of the fungus to other nails. Additionally, buffing the nail can allow topical antifungals to penetrate more deeply. Make sure to wash your hands promptly after touching the affected nail, especially before touching other nails.
Vicks VapoRub is a product marketed for people with coughs. However, it may also be effective against toenail fungus. One small study showed that after applying it topically each day for 48 weeks, 27.8% of participants fully cured their nail fungus â and 55.6% of participants saw partial improvement. However, more study is needed.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil comes from the Australian tea tree. It is an essential oil traditionally used as an antibacterial and antifungal treatment. Early research shows that it may help with nail fungus when used topically. However, more research is needed. If you do use tea tree oil for toenail fungus, only use it topically.
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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How Is Toenail Fungus Diagnosed
Nearly 3 million people in the United States are diagnosed with toenail fungus each year. Men are up to three times more likely to develop toenail fungus than women. You are also at a higher risk for a toenail fungus infection if you smoke or have diabetes. Also, individuals with compromised immune systems may experience toenail fungus that can turn into an infection.
When feet remain moist or damp, the fungus can grow, causing discoloration and thickening of toenails. Infection can cause discomfort and pain. The spread of fungus and infection can go from toe to toe, hand, fingernails, or skin on other parts of the body.
The toenail may become warped, cracked, or loosen itself away from the nail bed. Often the nail appears yellowish and may have white spots. Your doctor will examine your feet and potentially take a small sample of skin or nail to be sent off to a laboratory for testing. Your doctor may refer you to a dermatologist, podiatrist, or other healthcare professional if your condition is unusual or needs special care. Other foot conditions such as psoriasis can look similar to a fungal infection. Lab reports can indicate if the problem is fungal, helping the doctor prescribe the best medication for effective treatment.
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.;
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Ways To Safely Treat Toenail Fungus At Home
;Stocksy/Design by Cristina Cianci
Toenail fungus sounds funky, but believe it or not, its much more common than you think. Thats because the pesky foot issuewhich most often presents as yellowing, cracking, and thickening of the nailscan be caused by everything from slower-growing nails and excessive sweating to athletes foot and walking barefoot in communal areas such as pools, shower rooms, gyms, and the like.;
Most infections are caused by tinea species, but can involve harder-to-treat species called dermatophytes,” says Francisco Oliva, DPM. He adds that infections usually occur when theres a combination of issues affecting the toenail. Sometimes there is an injury to the nail at some point, he explains. The effects can be delayed for months and years. Once the fungus invades the nail, the keratin layer of the nail becomes a difficult barrier to penetrate.
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What Are Risk Factors Of Nail Fungus?
The factors which could increase your risk of getting nail fungus include:
- Getting older, owing to low blood flow, more time of fungi exposure, and slow growing toe or fingernails
- Being male, particularly if your family has a history of nail fungal infections
- Perspiring heavily
- Working in a moist or humid environment or having a job in which your hands are usually wet, like housekeeping or bartending.
- Wearing shoes or socks hindering ventilation and not absorb perspiration
- Walking on barefoot in the damp communal places, like gyms, shower rooms and swimming pools
- Living with nail fungus sufferers
- Suffering athletes foot
- Suffering from a nail injury or a minor skin or skin condition like psoriasis
- Having circulation problems, diabetes, weakened immunity, or children with down syndrome
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What Is The Prognosis Of Fungal Nails
Curing fungal nails can be difficult and treatment can take up to 18 months. Relapse and reinfection are common. Trying to remove or modify your risk factors, if possible, is essential to preventing reinfection. People who have medical illnesses that predispose them to fungal nails can have an even more difficult time eradicating the fungus.
Natural Home Remedies For Fungal Nail Infection Hydrogen Peroxide And Vinegar
This method will last for 3 days.
The first days, you soak your affected nails into a proper amount of 5% vinegar for about 5 minutes. During the process of soaking, pres and release your nails several times to make sure the vinegar can absorb under your nails. Rinse it off with water before patting it dry.
The 2nd day, you soak your affected nails into a proper amount of 2% hydrogen peroxide for 5 minutes or so. Repeat the same routine as the 1st day.
The 3rd day, you repeat what you did in the 1st day. On the 4th day, repeat the 2nd day.
Do this method for about 3 weeks to get noticeable results. However, you should not combine both hydrogen peroxide and vinegar because it can forms peracetic acid which may have different properties that you are not aware of.
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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.
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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Natural Remedies To Get Rid Of Nail Fungus
Isvaiyah has been a licensed pharmacist at Gadjah Mada University for nine years. She earned her M.Sc. from the same university.
Read on for 10 ways to beat nail fungus the natural way!
Nail fungus can attack any one of us, but theres no need to worry because there are a number of effective natural remedies out there. This condition normally affects toenails, but fingernails can also become infected. The infected nails often change color, becoming yellow, green, or black. They can also become painful. If left untreated, the fungus may gradually inflict serious damage to the nails, and eventually, have to be removed by a physician.
Stop This Skin Infection In Its Tracks With These Over
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Verywell / Sabrina Jiang
Toenail fungus is a common fungal condition that often starts after a rash on the foot spreads to the nails. When mild, it looks like white and yellow spots growing under the nail beds. But if left untreated, the fungus can grow severely by hardening the nails and spreading to other toes.
The fungus often begins in the form of athlete’s foot between the toes or on the soles of the feet. At this stage, the fungal infection is easier to treat with over-the-counter medication. But Shari Lipner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine, told Verywell Health toenail fungus can be difficult to treat because of how slow the nails grow. The more severe the toenail fungus, the thicker the nail, and the more nails involved makes it that much harder to treat the nails even with effective therapies, she says.;
Diagnosing the fungal infection early is key to make treatments effective. Dr. Lipner recommends visiting a board-certified dermatologist to properly treat the infection if it grows to be too severe.;
Here are a few of the best over-the-counter toenail fungus treatments on the market.
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