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.
Treating The Fungus With Prescription Drugs
Which Treatment Is Right For Me
Nail fungus is usually harmless. But many people find discolored or thickened nails unpleasant to look at and want to get rid of the fungus as soon as possible. Fungal nail infections can also spread, and may infect other people. Regardless of the treatment you choose, it will take a while until the nail looks normal again. Its especially important to be patient where toenails are concerned. It can take a year for a healthy big toenail to grow back. Nail fungus can sometimes be very persistent despite treatment. It can also come back after successful treatment.
Topical treatment isnt likely to get rid of a fungal nail infection. Treatment with tablets is considerably more effective and takes less time. But some people cant take tablets because of the very rare, yet serious risks. How you feel about the pros and cons of the different treatment options is a personal matter. You can also discuss the options with your doctor.
You May Like: How Do You Get Dip Nails Off
Whos At Risk For Fungal Infections
There are many different causes of fungal nail infections. Each cause has a treatment of its own. Although many of the causes of a fungal nail infection are preventable, some risk factors increase the likelihood of developing one. Youre more likely to develop a fungal nail infection if you:
- wear closed-toe shoes, such as tennis shoes or boots
Nail infections occur more often in men than in women, and the infections are found in adults more often than in children. If you have family members who often get these types of fungal infections, youre more likely to get them as well.
Older adults have a high risk for getting fungal nail infections because they have poorer circulation. The nails also grow more slowly and thicken as we age.
A fungal infection of the nail may affect part of the nail, the entire nail, or several nails.
Common signs of a fungal nail infection include:
- a distorted nail that may lift off from the nail bed
- an odor coming from the infected nail
- a brittle or thickened nail
Here Are The Instructions To Make A Tea Tree Oil Solution For Nail Fungus Treatment:
You will need to apply it twice daily, morning and night.
- Combine 10 drops of tea tree essential oil with one ounce of carrier oil in an amber glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well to mix.
- Swab the nail with the mixture, thoroughly coating the affected area and surrounding skin. The antifungal properties in tea tree oil will penetrate deep into your nails to kill the fungus at its source.
- After two weeks of treatment, you should notice a dramatic improvement in your nails appearance.
- After three weeks, the problem should be almost completely eradicated. You can keep applying the oil for one or two more weeks to ensure it does not return.
As you can see from these instructions, tea tree oil is easy and cheap to get and incredibly inexpensive when made at home instead of spending your hard-earned money on expensive treatments.
It is quick and easy to mix up a batch of this nail fungus treatment, so you have no reason not to try it if you are suffering from this problem.
Most frequently, Aske Questions.
Recommended Reading: What Does Nail Color Mean
Prevention Of Toenail Fungus
Adopting a few preventive measures can mitigate your chances of getting infected by nail fungus or reinfections as well as athletes foot :
- Keep your hands and feet clean by washing them regularly. Be especially mindful of avoiding contact with an infected nail, and in case you do, wash your hands thoroughly. Moisturize your nails after washing.
- Keep your nails properly trimmed, file the rough edges to make them smooth, and file down thickened areas. Make a habit of disinfecting your nail clippers thereafter.
- Wear socks that absorb perspiration or change your socks throughout the day.
- Wear shoes made of materials that breathe.
- Let go of any old shoes or treat them with disinfectants or antifungal powders. Alternatively, consider using a medicated shoe spray after every use.
- Either carry your own manicure tools when visiting a nail salon or opt for a salon that uses sterilized tools for each customer.
- Abstain from using nail polish and artificial nails.
- Wearing shower footwear in hotels, gyms, public pools, and showers is essential to prevent reinfection.
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.
Also Check: How Much Money Do Nail Techs Make
Types Of Toenail Fungus And Symptoms
“The symptoms of most fungal toenail infections are similar,” says Dr. Zahn. The hallmark symptoms include nail discoloration, nail separation, brittleness, thickening of the nail, and sometimes pain.
Yet, those symptoms are present in other conditions like psoriasis or from banging your toenail. With the symptoms so similar, it’s difficult to identify the type of fungal infection on your own.
Your doctor or dermatologist may take a small sample of the debris beneath the nail, trim the nail, or scrape a tiny bit of skin to pinpoint the type of fungus.
Treatment Failure And Relapse
Rates of treatment failure can be extracted from published trials, but data on relapse are less readily available. Post-treatment follow-up is long, drop-out rates in many studies are significant or unreported, and most studies have not allowed crossover of treatment regimens. Furthermore, especially in outcomes of clinical improvement , evaluation criteria have not been standardized and often include subjective assessments that are difficult to quantify. Published studies have not specifically addressed the management of treatment failures or relapse.
Despite these difficulties, several measures may be helpful in managing unsuccessful treatment or relapse. The first step is to confirm mycology. If the initial diagnosis was based on a KOH preparation alone, culture of properly collected specimens is mandatory. Culture reports often identify multiple organisms, including possibly nonpathogenic molds, and treatment should be directed at the organism most likely to be causative. A microbiology or infectious disease consultation may be valuable in interpreting the culture report.
Of note, there has been some concern about evolving drug resistance among fungal pathogens, particularly with the widespread use of systemic fluconazole therapy to treat oropharyngeal and recurrent vaginal candidiasis.5 However, the impact of antifungal resistance on the treatment of onychomycosis is not yet clear.
Don’t Miss: How To Remove Contact Lenses With Nails
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.
About Toenail Infection And Fingernail Infection
Fingernail or toenail infections can be caused by fungus, bacteria or viruses.
Fungal nail infections are the most common. They happen when fungus gets into the nail through small cracks in the nail or surrounding skin. Fungal infection of the nail is called onychomycosis.
Sometimes infections of the skin around the nail are caused by bacteria or viruses. This is called paronychia.
Fingernail infections and toenail infections can happen if your child bites or chews their fingernails or toenails.
Toenail infections can also happen if your child has an ingrown toenail. This is when the toenail pierces the skin around it. It makes it easier for bacteria to get into the skin.
Children are at a higher risk of nail infections if they have type-1 diabetes, type-2 diabetes or a lowered immune system because of certain medications or medical conditions. Children with Down syndrome also have a higher risk of nail infections.
Nail infections are common in adults but are much less common in children.
Recommended Reading: How To Remove Fake Nails Glue
How Do You Treat Toenail Fungus
Depending on the nature and severity of your infection, treatments may vary. Most over-the-counter treatments are minimally effective at best, but almost none of them have produced a permanent treatment. The main reason for these poor results is that the fungal infection resides deep within the nail or nail bed and the topical medications have great difficulty in penetrating to this depth. A fungus may work its way through the entire nail, penetrating both the nail plate and the nail bed. Podiatrist Dr. Burns at Arizona Foot Doctors offers penetrative nail fungus treatments to completelyremove the fungal infection. Each patient case is unique, so consult with Dr. Burns to find the best treatment option for you. Treatment may include:
- Topical or oral medication and debridement . The newer oral antifungal medications are the most effective . Common oral medications are Lamisil and Sporanox. A common topical medication is Penlac nail lacquer.
- Temporary removal of the infected nail
- Permanent removal
Treatment For Black Toenail Fungus
The best scenario is to catch a fungal infection early. Then, you can treat it at home with over-the-counter topical treatments. These are easy to use and dont require a prescription. The best ones are available online.
Severe black toenail fungus cases may require a prescription. While oral prescription medications are effective, they are expensive and have worrisome side effects like diarrheas, upset stomach, and potential liver damage. These side effects might be scary since even cases of death were reported. Thats why people affected by black toenail fungus prefer to avoid prescription drugs and look for other solutions.
Laser treatment is another option. Its very expensive. A one-time treatment can cost $1,000. Additional treatments are $500 each. The cost often isnt covered by medical insurance and there is no guarantee that the nail fungus wont recur.
Do a Google search and youll find lots of home remedies like chlorine bleach, beer, vinegar, Vicks Vaporub, tea tree oil and more. These remedies arent proper treatments for toenail fungus because they rarely obtain definite results and they are difficult to apply daily over a long period of time.
Most people opt for over-the-counter topical treatments because their ingredients are blended in therapeutic dosage for maximum effect, they have no side effects, and they are easy to use. As mentioned above Emoninail is the leading topical treatment currently on the market.
Recommended Reading: How To Treat Green Nail Syndrome
Staying One Step Ahead Of Toenail Fungus
An established fungal infection is hard to eradicate, but you can stop its spread and improve your toenail’s appearance.
Toenail fungus isn’t a pressing health problem. Yet a fungal infection can ruin the appearance of your nails and cause pain as it lifts the nail away from the nail bed. And fungal infections are notoriously difficult to get rid of. “You may want to consider fungal toenail a condition to be managed rather than cured,” says Dr. James P. Ioli, chief of the podiatry service at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
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.
Recommended Reading: How To Help Child Stop Biting Nails
Take Care Of Your Toes
Use soap and water to wash your feet, and dry well, including between toes. Trim your toenails — straight across — to keep them shorter than the end of your toe. Make sure the tools you use are clean, too. Wash clippers and files with soap and water, then wipe with rubbing alcohol. You might be tempted to cover up discolored nails with polish, but don’t. Your nail bed can’t “breathe,” which keeps fungus from going away.
How Can I Prevent Toenail Fungus
Theres no way to guarantee that you wont get toenail fungus. But you can take several steps to help prevent it:
- Avoid going barefoot in communal areas such as hotel rooms / showers, public showers, locker rooms and swimming pools. Most people pick up fungus in these situations. It helps to wear flip flops in these public areas.
- If you have a family member with foot fungus or nail fungus, try to use different shower or wear flip flops in the shower to avoid coming in contact with it.
- Trauma due to accidental or aggressive clipping of the nails can turn into portals of entry for the fungus.
- Clean your nail trimmer before using it.
- Do not tear or rip your toenails on purpose.
- If you have diabetes, follow all foot care recommendations from your healthcare provider.
- Keep your feet dry. Make sure to fully dry your feet after a shower.
- Soak toenails in warm water before cutting them. Or you can cut your nails after a shower or bath.
- Trim toenails straight across .
- Wear shoes that fit correctly. They should not be too loose or tight around the toes.
Read Also: How To Remove Contact Lenses With Nails
Nail Fungus Laser Treatments
The PinPointe laser kills fungus by using heat, not antifungal chemicals. The laser has been designed to penetrate through the nail and kill the fungus underneath without damaging the skin or surrounding tissue. The laser has been optimized to kill the fungus in just one treatment, so most patients are cured after just one visit! To schedule a consultation with a podiatrist for this treatment, give us a call at 1- 672-0625 or visit our website for more information.
Laser Treatment for nail fungus
How To Treat Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus isnt so easy to treat, but it is treatable. There are hundreds of anti-fungal nail products in the market that can be used to treat this condition. One of the best oils that is usually used to treat toenail fungus is tea tree oil. It has powerful antifungal, antibacterial, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties that help alleviate pain, prevent infection and kill the fungus.
Don’t Miss: How Much Does Nail School Cost
Your Options For Treating Toenail Fungus
If you think you may have toenail fungus, you should see a podiatrist or dermatologist, who will send a specimen or a piece of your nail to a lab. Different types of fungus are treated slightly differently, so its important to know which type you have, says Sundling.
Also, sometimes the root of the problem is not a fungus at all, but rather another condition, or some kind of trauma to the nail bed for instance, if you dropped something on your toe. There is no treatment for toenail trauma, but removing the nail may be an option if the nail is painful.
If you do have a toenail fungus, your doctor will likely recommend one or more of the following treatment options: