How Fungus Forms On Toenails
Usually toenail infection develops when the nail or surrounding skin has a small crack or cut and the area is exposed to fungus in the environment.
Warm, moist conditions allow fungus to grow. Walking barefoot in locker rooms or shared showers can increase your risk of coming in contact with fungus. Having sweaty feet or wearing non-breathable shoes can help the fungus take hold and spread.
Diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, and a weak immune system can increase risk for toenail fungus.
Its also more common in older adults. Up to half of adults over the age of 70 may have toenail fungus, according to the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics. A previous toenail injury, psoriasis, hyperhidrosis, and smoking can also increase risk. Children are rarely affected.
What Causes A Fungal Rash
When your skin comes into contact with a harmful fungus, the infection can cause the rash to appear. For example, if you borrowed a pair of shoes from someone who had athletes foot, the fungus could come in contact with your foot and infect you. Rashes often pass from person to person or from animal to person by direct contact.
Top 3 Reasons To Treat Nail Fungus
One of the most common reasons patients want to treat their nail fungus is to improve the appearance of their nails.
This is especially true of fingernails, but even toenails can be a concern during the summer when they are more visible. Nail fungus can cause embarrassment and some sufferers stop activities, such as yoga or swimming, so that others will not see their toenails.
Pain and Mobility
If left untreated, fungal nail infections can cause pain and mobility problems. These can occur as the nails thicken when the infection progresses. It may become uncomfortable to wear closed shoes and to walk, exercise or stand. For this reason, early treatment is recommended before the infection becomes more severe or has spread to other toenails.
Recurrence and Transmission
Although nail fungus rarely causes serious health risks, the nail can become a fungal reservoir leading to recurrent fungal infections of the skin. These can cause fissures or cracks, leaving the feet more vulnerable to secondary bacterial infections. People with a weakened immune system, such as diabetes or peripheral vascular disease, may be more susceptible to both fungal infections and other secondary infections, resulting from it such as cellulitis.
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Warning Signs Of Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is an unsightly and embarrassing infection that is contagious and often difficult to get rid of. And while some of you may have a mild case and barely even notice the fungal growth at all, others actually suffer from intense pain as their infection grows and spreads.
When patients visit our office looking to relieve pain caused by toenail fungus, they are usually finally doing something about the infection after months or even years! of ignoring the condition and allowing it to thrive.
Waiting to seek treatment they soon find is a huge mistake!
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Whenever you have an infection, you shouldnt wait to seek medical care the sooner you get the care you need, the quicker and more effective treatments will be.
Its like the old saying goes, the early bird gets the worm. And this is true when it comes to toenail fungus looking for symptoms of this pesky condition before they become a problem will help you make the most of treatment opportunities and minimize complications.
The bottom line is that the more you allow fungus to grow and spread under your nail, the more difficult it will be to actually get rid of it. So staying aware of symptoms and catching them early can really make a huge difference for your recovery.
And of course, if you want to catch it early, you need to know what to exactly look for thats why we are here!
What To Do If You Let Fungus In
Without treatment, athletes foot can spread to your toenails and become quite difficult to get rid of. You can try over-the-counter creams designed to kill the fungus they sometimes work. But if youre having trouble evicting this unwanted tenant, make an appointment with Dr. Megan L. Oltmann and Dr. Craig B. Frey of Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland. We welcome residents of Cuyahoga, Summit, Portage, and Geauga Counties to our office in Solon, Ohio. Call us at 903-1041 or contact us online.
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When To See A Doctor
In most cases, toenail fungus is considered a cosmetic problem. Still, it may cause serious complications for some people.
If you have diabetes, toenail fungus may lead to foot ulcers or other foot problems. According to a 2012 study, chronic toenail fungus is a significant risk factor for bacterial cellulitis of the leg.
You shouldnt use home remedies for toenail fungus if you have diabetes or a weakened immune system. Contact your doctor for the appropriate course of action.
If You Observe Certain Nail Changes
For prompt, effective treatment of your toe nail condition , you should see a podiatrist as soon as possible, especially if you notice certain changes to your nails. These abnormalities may include toenail deformities, discoloration, or thickening. By seeing a podiatrist as soon as possible, you can reduce the risk that youll suffer permanent damage to your toenails.
If you are in need of a foot doctor in Sugar Land, TX , visit Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists or call 281-242-3338.
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What Is A Toenail Infection
A toenail infection occurs when bacteria or a fungus grows on or under your nail.
Symptoms of a fungal nail infection include:
- yellow or brown discolouration of the nail
- the nail is crumbly when cut
- the nail gets thicker
- the nail separates from the nail bed
If you have diabetes, it is important to see your doctor as soon as symptoms appear. A toenail infection can cause complications.
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.
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What Are The Treatments For Black Toenail
Fungal infections of the toes are relatively treatable at home when caught early. Over-the-counter ointments, creams, and polishes are usually effective. Severe cases may require a prescription antifungal treatment.
If a black toenail is caused by an injury, the resulting spot from broken blood vessels will disappear once your nail grows out.
Black toenail caused by trauma from an injury usually resolves on its own without treatment. However, if your toenail grows out and it still appears black, then the symptoms might be related to another underlying cause.
Toenail discoloration related to diabetes and other health conditions requires treatment for the underlying causes.
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What Is Tinea Unguium
When a dermatophyte causes toenail fungus, the condition is called tinea unguium. A dermatophyte is a mold that needs a protein called keratin to grow. Keratin is the main structural material of your nails that makes them hard. Dermatophytes cause 90% of toenail fungal infections. Tinea unguium is also known as onychomycosis.
How To Treat Verrucas On Feet
There are different ways you can go about verruca treatment. The most common ones are Salicylic acid, Cryotherapy, and SWIFT verruca treatment. Your podiatrist will be able to tell you which verruca treatment is best for you.Heres some information on each verruca treatment:
1. Salicylic Acid:
There are many creams, gels and medicated plasters for treating warts and verrucas. You can buy these over-the-counter, but only do so if youre sure its a verruca infection. Most of these contain salicylic acid which is a key ingredient in treating verruca infections. Be careful when applying these medications, and try to use as little as possible in surrounding areas because it can cause irritation to healthy skin.
You can even protect the skin around the verruca infection with non-fragranced and natural petroleum jelly. Try not to get any of the treatment on broken skin. You can soften the area before-hand by soaking it in water and rubbing it to remove excess hard skin. Once dried, make sure to cover the affected area with a plaster. Apply the treatment according to your Podiatrist / Pharmacists advice.
You may have to repeat the treatment multiple times till the verruca or wart eventually falls off. Cryotherapy, however, hasnt been shown to work any better than salicylic acid and can often lead to blisters and scarring that can be painful, which is why its not recommended for younger children.
3. SWIFT Verruca Treatment:
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Treating Fungal Nail Infection
Treatment may not be necessary in mild cases of fungal nail infection. For more severe or troublesome cases, antifungal medication may be recommended.
A fungal nail infection is unlikely to get better without treatment, but if you’re not bothered by it you might decide it’s not worth treating because treatment can take a long time, may cause side effects, and isn’t always effective.
Whether or not you decide to have treatment, you should still follow the self-help advice below to help stop the condition getting worse or spreading to others.
What Will The Doctor Do
A doctor can usually figure out that you have athletes foot by looking at the skin on your feet. Your doctor may swab or scrape off a skin sample to test for fungus or for bacteria, because sometimes other conditions can cause similar symptoms. Dont worry, this wont hurt you have lots of extra layers of skin on your feet!
Treatment is usually simple. For mild cases, your doctor may have you apply a powder that contains medicine or cream that kills fungus. This should make your feet feel better in a few days. Sometimes youll need to use the medicine for up to a month to get rid of the athletes foot completely.
Youll also need to keep your feet dry and keep your shoes off as much as possible because fungus cant easily grow in dry, open air. If doing these things doesnt help clear up the infection, your doctor might prescribe a stronger medicine. This one will be the kind you swallow, not just something that you apply to your feet.
Its important to see a doctor about your athletes foot because if it goes untreated, it will continue to spread, making your feet feel really itchy and uncomfortable and will become harder to get rid of.
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Treatment For A Fungal Nail Infection From A Gp
A GP can prescribe antifungal tablets. But before they give you tablets they should take a sample of your nail and have it tested, to find out what type of infection you have.
You may need to take antifungal tablets for up to 6 months.
The tablets can have side effects, including:
- feeling sick and diarrhoea
You cannot take antifungal tablets if you’re pregnant or have certain conditions. They can damage your liver.
Badly infected nails sometimes need to be removed. It’s a small procedure done while the area is numbed .
Can I Treat A Fungal Rash At Home
Its important for your healthcare provider to see the rash, especially if this is the first time the rash has appeared. Your provider can diagnose it and discuss the best course of action to treat it. Treating a fungal rash with an anti-itch cream that contains a steroid may make the infection worse and more difficult to treat.
Dermatophytes are fungi that like to take up residence in peoples feet and toes, causing athletes foot. The fungi enter through the front door a cut or scrape on the foot. They sit down in a comfy chair like the space between your toes. These guests open the fridge and find stuff they like to snack on such as hair, skin, and nails. Then, they enjoy hanging around so much that they invite their friends. Pretty soon, the fungus is spreading all over. Your feet itch and your toes look like nobodys cleaned the place in ages.
Youll probably know if your feet have become party central for dermatophytes. Symptoms such as cracked skin in between your toes or itchy, dry, scaly skin on the soles and sides of your feet speak loudly and clearly.
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Medications For Nail Fungus From Fake Acrylic Nails
Some nail fungus from artificial acrylic nails may cause the natural nail to detach from its nail bed. If this happens, be sure you perform proper wound care to prevent infection.
- Clean the wound with water or saline solution.
- Dab a thin layer of Neosporin or antibiotic ointment onto the nail bed.
- Cover the wounded nail bed with breathable gauze to provide moist environment.
- Replace the gauze regularly and prevent it for getting wet.
Should no home remedies work well for the fungal-infected nails, oral medications can be taken. However, these medications may cause several side effects, such as liver problem, so that prolonged consumption should be avoided.
Anti-fungal ointment can also be applied to the infected natural nail and nail bed to get rid of the causal fungus.
What Causes Toenail Fungus
We come into contact with yeast and molds that cause toenail fungus a lot, but there are several reasons why an infection might occur.
Typically, people with cracks in their toenails, or weakened ones, are most at risk. That includes older adults, people with superficial toe injuries, and people with certain skin conditions like psoriasis.
Dr. Jenkins said there are other common risk factors for toenail fungus, such as:
- A history of athlete’s foot
- A suppressed immune system, either because of an autoimmune condition or immunosuppressant medicines and treatments
- Nail infections, injuries, or recent surgeries
- A family history of nail infections
- Poor circulation
“If fungus is hanging around , it will crawl underneath the nail and spread,” explained Dr. Jenkins.
Additionally, some factors that may increase your risk for toenail fungus include:
- Wearing poor-fitting shoes
- Sweating more than usual, especially from your feet
- Spending a lot of time in the water or walking in damp areas
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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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What Tests Will Be Done To Diagnose Toenail Fungus
Your healthcare 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. This also helps your healthcare provider identify the type of fungus.
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What Increases My Risk Of Toenail Fungus
1. Nail damage or trauma
- This may cause lifting and separation of the nail which enables fungus to enter the nail bed and reproduce
- Dark moist conditions under the nail then make for a better environment for the fungus to survive and reproduce
2. Warm and moist environments
- Fungi thrive in warm, wet environments such as the communal change areas in gyms and swimming pools
- Tight and occlusive footwear
3. Reduced ability of the body to recognise, fight and destroy the fungus, such as with:
- Those taking immunosuppressive agents
- Certain diseases and conditions that interfere with the bodys immune system
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What makes a toenail turn black?
Toenails are naturally white in color. Sometimes discolorations can occur from nail polish, nutritional deficiencies, infection, or trauma. Black toenails are attributed to a variety of causes, some of which resolve on their own. If your nail doesnt get better, youll need to see your doctor to rule out a more serious cause of black toenail.
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