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
Should You Give Your Toenails A Break From Polish
Many women enjoy getting pedicures from the spa or salon and sporting vibrant colors on their toes all summer long. We get it. Who doesnt want to look cute in sandals for a few months each year? But did you know that all that polish can actually harm your toenails? Our foot experts at Rocky Mountain Foot and Ankle Center in Wheat Ridge, Granby, Evergreen, and Arvada, Colorado have seen it all. Find out why they recommend giving your toenails a break from all that polish, so you can keep your feet happy for years to come.
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The Damage Of Acrylic Nails
Acrylic nails are the worst thing you can do to your natural nails. In order for the acrylic compound to bind to the natural nail, nail techs have to sand down your natural nails to almost nothing. Then come the layers of binding agents and then the thick layer of acrylic itself to form the nail. This only provides a temporary fix to your nail goals, . Although these acrylic nails may look perfect, your natural nail underneath is seriously crying.
Acrylic formula is a combination of liquid monomer and a powder polymer that hardens after exposure to the air. After this is applied, usually nail polish is put on over top. The fumes of the acrylic process can really damage your health if your nail salon isnt well ventilated. If you want to know how to repair nails, shy away from the acrylic process.
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Wearing Nail Polish All Of The Time Is Not Recommended
Foot specialist Joy Rowland, DPM, recommends that nail polish should not be worn all of the time because your nails can soak up the pigment from the polish, causing them to dry out. This creates a more welcoming environment for fungus and other infectious agents to grow. Wearing polish for a few weeks then removing it and going without for a few weeks is recommended to give your nails a chance to breathe and stay healthy.
Treating Toenail Fungus Medically
How a toenail fungal infection is treated may depend on its severity.
In white superficial onychomycosis, for example, the white patches of fungus that form on the nails can sometimes simply be filed off and an over-the-counter antifungal topical medication can be applied to the nail to kill the fungus.
For infections affecting deeper layers of the nail, over-the-counter topical medications often dont penetrate the nail deeply enough to kill all of the fungus and prevent the infection from recurring. Repeated applications of the medication or a prescription-strength drug may be necessary.
The symptoms of more severe infections include thickened, discolored toenails that may eventually become painful. In these situations, you should see a podiatrist who can devise a treatment plan that may include these actions:
Debridement The thickened portions of the nail can be debrided, or removed, to reduce pain and allow a topical treatment to penetrate more effectively.
Topical Medication Medications that are applied like nail polish or hand cream are sometimes used to treat nail infections. However, topical medication often fails because it doesnt move deeply enough into the nail to reach the fungus or users forget to apply it daily for almost a year, as is required.
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Can I Prevent Toenail Fungus When Painting My Nails
Toenail fungus is never 100% preventable. There are too many factors that can cause it to spread and be picked up. But when youre painting your nails, there are some precautions you can take.
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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:
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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.
Precautions When Using Special Nail Lacquers
The anti-fungal components used in special nail lacquers are strong chemicals that are best prescribed under a physicians supervision. Here are some precautionary measures and signals that you should be aware of in case the nail lacquers cause unexpected side effects:
- Using anti-fungal nail lacquers should be directed by a healthcare professional.
- If you experience sensitivity and chemical irritation, treatment should be discontinued and a consultation with a medical specialist is recommended.
- Any redness, itching, burning, blistering, swelling, oozing in the nail or around it should be reported to your doctor.
- Clinical studies have shown that less than 12% of patients were able to completely cure their onychomycosis, which suggests that using nail lacquers work best when combined with other form of treatments.
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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.
Is Nail Fungus Contagious Through Nail Polish Health Risks
Is it possible for nail fungus to spread through nail polish? This is a common question asked by many people.
Upon discovery of nail fungus, many people mask their nails by applying regular nail polish and just hoping that the fungal infection goes away one day.
This is not a good idea, as it allows the fungus to grow even bigger and may also spread to other parts of your body.
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Top 3 Best Antifungal Nail Polishes
March 16, 2020 By Gnanika
Nail affected by fungus are very unsightly and embarrassing. This is why most of us dealing with it dont prefer to wear flip flops/sandals or walk barefoot. Nail fungus treatment requires at least few months to completely clear the infection.
Meanwhile, if you want to mask or conceal the ugly looking nails then it is possible with antifungal nail polishes. These are medicated nail polishes which not only cover up the fungus but also helps to heal the condition.
In this article, we tried to include all the information like how antifungal nail polish works, how to choose the best one and others. You can read it by clicking HERE. If you havent got much time to read then below are the best antifungal nail polishes you can try.
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- Nails support and protect the sensitive tips of our fingers and toes.
- Common causes of nail problems include injury, infection and skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis.
- Some conditions need professional treatment from a doctor or a dermatologist.
- People with diabetes or compromised immune systems have a higher risk of fungal nail infections.
- Toenail problems tend to be more common among older people.
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Treatments For Fungal Nail Infections
Treatment isn’t always needed for a mild fungal nail infection because it’s unlikely to cause any further problems and you may feel it’s not worth treating.
Whether you decide to have treatment or not, you should still practise good foot hygiene to stop the infection getting worse or spreading to others.
Speak to your GP or pharmacist if you’re bothered by the appearance of the affected nail, or it’s causing problems such as pain and discomfort. They’ll probably recommend:
- antifungal tablets tablets taken once or twice a day for several months
- antifungal nail paints special paints applied directly to the nail over several months
- nail softening kits where a paste is used to soften infected parts of the nail, before they’re removed with a scraping device
A procedure to remove the nail completely may be recommended in severe cases. Laser treatment, where a high-energy laser is used to destroy the fungus, is also an option. But this is only available privately and can be expensive.
You can reduce your risk of developing a fungal nail infection by:
Nail salon equipment can sometimes be the source of fungal nail infections. If you regularly visit a salon, make sure any equipment used is properly sterilised between uses.
Our Ranking Criteria For The Best Fungus Supplements
The market has tons of products, both from genuine and unscrupulous dealers. All these toenail fungus supplements are advertised to clear the infection. However, not all products can deliver results as claimed. More so, some contain harmful ingredients that might lead to severe side effects.
Fortunately, we take pride in our editorial team. The team spent several hours researching and consulting connoisseurs to select reliable products on the market, which we have highlighted above.
But how did we compile this list? Below are the in-depth criteria we followed:
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Are Nail Polishes Harmful
Yes, many nail polishes are harmful. These contain three main ingredients, and they are slightly harmful. Let us see each compound used in the making of the nail polish.
- Dibutyl Phthalate is a plasticizer. It gives the regular texture of the nail polish. It is not very harmful, and its quite rare that someone had any nails or skin issues because of it.
- Toluene is also a part of the nail polishes. It is a paint thinner, and only a specific concentration of toluene can be used. Luckily nail polishes have very less quantity than them.
- Formaldehyde is also a common ingredient used in almost all types of nail polishes. FDA has restricted the use of formaldehyde in cosmetic products, but it is only allowed for the nail polishes, still there are chances that it can be harmful when used in higher concentration.
So in a nutshell, nail polishes can be harmful for the skin and the nail when used regularly. So someone who tends to apply nail polish every.
What Tests Might I Have For Toenail Fungus
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 Outcome For Someone Who Has Nail Fungus
With treatment, many people can get rid of nail fungus. Even when the fungus clears, your nail may look unhealthy until the infected nail grows out. A fingernail grows out in 4 to 6 months and a toenail in 12 to 18 months.
To clear the fungus, its important to:
Use the treatment exactly as prescribed
Apply the medicine for as long as prescribed
Keep all follow-up appointments with your dermatologist
Nail fungus can be stubborn. If you had a severe infection, its possible to clear the infection. A healthy looking nail, however, may be unrealistic, but you can expect the nail to look better and feel more comfortable.
Even with clearing, nail fungus can return. Youll find steps to reduce your risk in Tips: 12 ways to prevent another nail infection.
ReferenceGold LFS and Rosen T. Onychomycosis: Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies. Dermatology News . March 2016:2-15.
You Can Remove Gel At Home
Although the salon is ideal, it is possible to remove gel polish at home if you really want to. But youll need to approach is the right way to avoid damage.
Soak cotton balls in pure acetone polish remover, and attach a cotton ball to each nail by wrapping it in foil. Keep the acetone on the nails for 15 minutes or more to soften the gel. Then, gently slide it off each nail using a cuticle pusher.
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How Long Does It Take To Cure Toenail Fungus
Treatment for this problem depends on the severity of the infection. For some reasons, expert say that it can be difficult to treat it because the entire nail is actually affected by the fungus after it colonize the entire nail bed. This means that an entirely new nail bed is needed for the treatment to be considered successful. But you cant just remove your nails and it will take a long time for it to grow. So the treatment process is long. There is a combination of treatments to be successful such as using anti-fungal creams and using homemade remedies to help treating your infection.
Toenail Fungus And Wearing Nail Polish
If you decide not to treat a nail infection, a non-medicated polish is a quick cover-up that will make matters worse. Thats also the case when you use an acrylic nail to cover up a fungus. This type of fungi thrives in dark conditions and polish creates the kind of environment for it to grow. It should be avoided at all costs.
Some people have nails that get very thick and bumpy. If you were to put polish on your toenails, it would just draw more attention to them because of the color and texture. You can still see the deformity of the nail, no matter how many layers of polish that you put on.
If youre using a fungal treatment, a regular polish can be a hindrance. The treatment needs to be able to work, and the longer you go without shoes, socks, and nail polish the better. Covering your nails will only help the fungus to grow faster.
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What Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Toenail Fungus
If you have toenail fungus, you may find it helpful to ask your provider:
- What type of infection do I have?
- Do you recommend I treat it? Why or why not?
- How long will I need treatment?
- What steps can I take to stop it from coming back?
- Should I be aware of any potentially serious complications or treatment side effects?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Toenail fungus is an incredibly common infection that can be difficult to treat. The condition usually isnt painful, but it may make you feel self-conscious about how your foot looks. If it bothers you, talk to your provider about your treatment options. A trained specialist can provide guidance on whats most likely to address your concerns while protecting your overall health.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/17/2020.