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How To Treat Severe Fungal Nail Infection

A Pharmacist Can Help With Fungal Nail Infections

PLP How to treat Fungal nail infection

Speak to a pharmacist if the look of your nail bothers you or it’s 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 it’s 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 The Experts Say

The most common presentation of toenail fungus is a white/yellow discoloration of the nail that is thick and filled with yellow/white keratin debris. 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.âOrit Markowitz, MD, founder and CEO of OptiSkin treatment center in New York City.

Spread Of Fungal Infection

A simple nail infection, if left untreated, can spread to its surrounding skin. An example of this event is an athletes foot.

An athletes foot, also known as tinea pedis, may start off as an untreated toenail infection.

With frequent use of socks and shoes, the foots environment becomes humid and warm which is the natural niche of fungi. This accelerates the fungis growth and spread, and apparently leads into athletes foot.

Aside from the foot, the infection likely spreads to the groins , the armpits and all the other parts of the body that sweats a lot.

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About Fungal Nail Infection

Many people develop a fungal nail infection at some point in their life. It’s not usually serious, but can be unpleasant and difficult to treat.

The infection develops slowly and causes the nail to become discoloured, thickened and distorted.

Toenails are more frequently affected than the fingernails.

The medical name for a fungal nail infection is onychomycosis.

Treating Nail Fungal Infection

How to Get Rid of Toenail Fungus #FrenchTipAcrylicNails

As soon as you figure out the type of nail fungal infection you have, you should start the treatment almost immediately.

If you delay the treatment, the fungi may penetrate the nailbed, enter the bloodstream and cause damage to many other organs. It can even lead to death in extreme cases.

There are many over-the-counter antifungal medicines, topical creams, and gels available for the treatment of nail fungus.

However, if the fungus is in the beginnings stage, you can even opt for home remedies. Since some antifungal medicines have digestive organs damaging effects, people prefer home remedies to nullify these side-effects or replace the antifungal medicines completely.

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Experiencing Nail Fungus In Its Early Stages

Fungal nail infections are becoming a common nail problem, especially if you frequent public bathrooms, gym, saunas, or spas. People often dismiss nail fungus because it generally does not give any discomfort and the first signs are often hard to detect. Brown or black spots and white streaks may signify an infection in your nail. It may later on progress to more evident changes wherein the nail thickens or have a rougher surface. Although not bothersome, leaving a fungal nail infection untreated can make it harder and more frustrating to cure in the end.Total dystrophic onychomycosis, or severe nail fungal infections, is the end-stage of this nail disease. Fungus has started to infect larger portions of the nail causing it to become deformed, brittle, and weak. More often than not, it starts to become painful and even emit some type of foul odor. There is increased possibility for permanent damage to the nail. The infection may also spread to other parts of your body and create more serious illnesses.

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Living With A Nail Fungal Infection

If you have a nail fungal infection, some things can help:

  • Keep your nails cut short and file down any thick areas.
  • Dont use the same nail trimmer and file on healthy nails and infected nails. If you have your nails professionally manicured, bring your own nail file and trimmer from home.
  • Wear waterproof gloves for wet work . Wear 100% cotton gloves for dry work.
  • Wear socks made of wicking material . This pulls moisture away from the skin. Change your socks when they are damp from sweat or if your feet get wet. Put on clean, dry socks every day. Put over-the-counter antifungal foot powder inside your socks to keep your feet dry.
  • Wear shoes with good support and a wide toe area. Dont wear pointed shoes that press your toes together.
  • Avoid walking barefoot in public areas, such as locker rooms.

How To Choose The Best Fungal Nail Treatment For You


Do I need a fungal nail treatment?

If you’ve noticed that one or more of your toenails has got thicker, slightly discoloured and yellow, and is perhaps getting brittle enough for bits to break off or even start separating from the nail bed, it’s pretty likely that you have a fungal nail infection . You can treat it at home using one of the products we recommend below.

If you’re not sure, show the nail to your local pharmacist, who’ll be able to confirm that you’ve got a fungal infection and not some other less common nail problem.

What should I look for in a fungal nail treatment?

Amorolfine, ciclopirox and pentylene glycol are among the most-used active ingredients of anti-fungal nail treatments. They restore pH balance, kill fungal and bacterial infections, and allow the nail to grow healthily from its base.

Urea also blitzes fungus and can be aggressive enough to kill the infected nail tissue completely. Be careful not to get a strong urea-based treatment onto healthy skin.

If the nail has grown very thick, you might want to file the surface first to help the solution penetrate it and reach the infected skin below. A couple of our recommended products come with files included.

Some fungal nail treatments double up as nail polishes, so they cover up the problem while also treating it. You can also get nail treatment pens, which make anti-fungal treatments really easy and safe to apply.

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Taking Care Of Your Skin

  • 1Dry your skin thoroughly after your daily shower. If you have a fungal infectionor would like to prevent yourself from getting oneits best to shower once a day. After you get out of the shower, dry your skin thoroughly with a clean, dry towel. Its especially important that you completely dry areas of skin that tend to sweat or that have folds. This includes areas like your armpits and groin.XTrustworthy SourceAmerican Academy of Family PhysiciansOrganization devoted to improving the health of patients, families, and communitiesGo to source
  • Fungi love damp skin, so if your skin is still wet when you put your clothes on, youll risk contracting an infection.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry and avoid sharing socks or shoes with other people.
  • 2Wear loose-fitting fabric that wicks moisture away from your skin. Loose, baggy shirts made of cotton or linen are a great choice of clothing when you have a fungal infection on your skin. Its important that your infected skin be able to dry out, and baggy clothes will facilitate this. Clothes that fit loosely will not rub and irritate the infected skin, allowing it to heal.
  • Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes and any clothing items made from fabrics that dont breathe. Leather is a great example of a fabric to avoid.
  • Identifying Nail Fungal Infection

    There are various types of nail fungus infection. Some are caused by a weakened immune system, whereas, some are caused by injuries, moisture, humid environment, bacteria and fungi buildup.

    Their symptoms are often described well:

    • Discolouration of the nails
    • The slow growth of the nail and other fingernails near it

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    How To Treat Fungal Nail Infection At Home

    There are many treatments available for fungal nail infection. They can be obtained from your local pharmacy or supermarket, though if the infection is severe, it might require a prescription from your GP. Many people try to use home remedies to treat their fungal nail infection, but for many remedies there isnt much evidence that they work. If youre suffering from a nail infection, its important that you start effective treatment as soon as possible, to prevent lasting damage to your nails.

    You should seek advice from your GP about your nail infection if:

    • Youre not sure about the diagnosis.

    What Tests Might I Have For Toenail Fungus

    5 Ways To Treat Toenail Fungus At Home

    Your provider will probably take a small sample from underneath your nail to further analyze it. Viewing the cells under a microscope can confirm a toenail fungus diagnosis. If the initial test is negative, a scraping can be sent to see if the fungus grows out in a culture. It also helps your provider identify the type of fungus.

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    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.

    Devices Used To Treat Onychomycosis

    Recently, non-drug treatment has been developed to treat onychomycosis thus avoiding the side effects and risks of oral antifungal drugs.

    Lasers emitting infrared radiation are thought to kill fungi by the production of heat within the infected tissue. Laser treatment is reported to safely eradicate nail fungi with one to three, almost painless, sessions. Several lasers have been approved for this purpose by the FDA and other regulatory authorities. However, high-quality studies of efficacy are lacking, and existing studies indicate that laser treatment is less medically effective than topical or oral antifungal agents.

    • Nd:YAG continuous, long or short-pulsed lasers
    • Ti:Sapphire modelocked laser
    • Diode laser

    using the application of 5-aminolevulinic acid or methyl aminolevulinate followed by exposure to red light has also been reported to be successful in small numbers of patients, whose nails were presoftened or medically avulsed using 40% urea ointment for a week or so.

    Iontophoresis and ultrasound are under investigation as devices used to enhance the delivery of antifungal drugs to the nail plate.

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    How Is The Diagnosis Of Onychomycosis Confirmed

    Clippings should be taken from crumbling tissue at the end of the infected nail. The discoloured surface of the nails can be scraped off. The debris can be scooped out from under the nail. The clippings and scrapings are sent to a mycology laboratory for microscopy and culture.

    Previous treatment can reduce the chance of growing the fungus successfully in a culture, so it is best to take the clippings before any treatment is commenced:

    • To confirm the diagnosis antifungal treatment will not be successful if there is another explanation for the nail condition
    • To identify the responsible organism. Moulds and yeasts may require different treatment from dermatophyte fungi
    • Treatment may be required for a prolonged period and is expensive. Partially treated infection may be impossible to prove for many months as antifungal drugs can be detected even a year later.

    A nail biopsy may also reveal characteristic histopathological features of onychomycosis.

    Excilor Nail Fungus Treatment: The Best All

    How to recognise, diagnose & treat FUNGAL NAIL INFECTION (Onychomycosis) | Doctor O’Donovan explains

    Price: £14 | Buy now from Lloyds Pharmacy

    Excilor’s Nail Fungus Treatment solution is the most highly-praised anti-fungal nail treatment among verified online buyers, who hail it as the one that works when others fail. It’s very easy to use, too: brush it onto your infected nail twice a day, then forget about it. It dries very fast and penetrates into the nail without the need for filing, so it’s a quick and mess-free process that soon becomes automatic, like cleaning your teeth.

    Don’t expect overnight results, or even over-fortnight results . It will support healthy regrowth of the nail, so you’ll see results when the nail starts to grow back. Meanwhile, Excilor keeps working on the micro-environment of your nail, making it hostile to fungal growth and preventing further infections.

    Key specs Size: 3.3ml Format: Liquid Active ingredients: Amorolfine, ciclopirox

    Price: £26 |

    Unlike our other recommended treatments, which stop the infection and let your nail grow out, Canespro lets you take a sledgehammer to the infected nail. Well, a scraper.

    It is a bit of a faff, but very powerful. First, you have to clean and soften the affected foot in warm water, dry it, apply the ointment and cover it all with a plaster. You do this once a day. After the first 24 hours, you can start scraping at the infected nail tissue, which will start to come away. After a couple of weeks of this fun, you’ll have removed the entire infected nail. Plasters and a scraper are included in the box.

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    What Are Some Of The Most Common Over

    Terbinafine, itraconazole, and fluconazole are some of the most commonly available antifungal medicines. You should take them for 6-12 weeks.

    • Topical Creams:

    Although oral medicines have side-effects, topical creams have almost no side-effects. You may rarely experience a burning sensation.

    These creams can be used after you soak your nails in lukewarm to warm water.

    Dont apply nail polish on your nails as it can stop your nails from breathing. Use medicated nail paints instead.

    These nail paints dont allow your nails to have a lot of moisture built-in so the fungi cant thrive.

    • Surgical Removal of Nail:

    If your nail infection doesnt get better, your doctor may plan to remove it. Once removed, it takes about 12 months or more for the nail to grow well.

    • Laser Treatment:

    Some dermatologists say laser treatment can kill fungi however, less evidence supports this. Also, it is expensive.

    • Home Remedies:

    You can always try some home remedies before seeing a doctor or along with antifungal medicines to accelerate the process of killing fungi.

    What Are The Subtypes Of Fungal Nail Infections

    Fungal nail infection is divided into clinical subtypes based on the cause and progress of the infection.

    • Distal lateral subungual onychomycosis is the most common form of fungal nail infection. In DLSO, the fungus generally spreads from the skin and invades the underside of the nail where the nail meets the nail bed. Inflammation in these areas of the nail causes the symptoms of DLSO.
    • White superficial onychomycosis is a rare infection caused by the fungi directly invading the surface of the nail plate and secondarily infecting the nail bed.
    • In proximal subungual onychomycosis , the least common subtype, the fungi invade the cuticle and the nail fold and then penetrate the nail plate .
    • Like DLSO, in endonyx onychomycosis , the fungi reach the nail via the skin. Instead of infecting the nail bed, however, the fungi immediately invade the nail plate.
    • Fungal nail infection related to yeast infection is a little different from fungal nail infection related to other fungal infections. Candidal fungal nail infection has several characteristics:
    • Onycholysis describes the nail separating from the nail bed.
    • Chronic mucocutaneous disease involves the nail plate and eventually the nail fold .

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    How Can I Prevent Toenail Fungus

    Best Toe Nail Fungus Treatment

    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.

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