Toenail Fungus: Causes And Risk Factors
Toenail fungus is a fungal infection in the toenail. It happens when a fungus anything from mold to yeast to other types of fungus gets in the nail bed from a cut or break in the nail or repetitive trauma to the nail, and penetrates the nail itself, says Dr. Sundling. The nail then continues to grow with the fungus. Once a nail plate is infected with fungus, it will never not be infected, and you must wait to see how it grows out and whether the new nail growing behind it is healthy. The new nail rarely grows in healthy without treatment, says Sundling.
Toenail fungus is very common 14 percent of people have it in North America, according to an article published in the journal PLoS Pathogens and its more common the older you get, adds Sundling. Wearing shoes that are too small can damage the nail and make it more vulnerable to fungus, as can having a fungal infection on the skin of the foot and not treating it, which could expose the nail to fungus. You may be more at risk to toenail fungus if you have diabetes, or a weaker immune system.
Will Removing My Toenail Get Rid Of The Fungus
In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for.
Removing Part or All of Your Nail to Treat Nail Fungus Does it work? The short answer is that no one really knows for sure. There hasnt been much research on removing some or all of the nail to treat fungal nail infection. This treatment isnt used very often, but your doctor might suggest it if your infection is severe or keeps coming back.
Having head-to-toe soft skin is one of my top aesthetic priorities. As such, figuring out everything from how to get rid.
toenails to my foots bone structure. Once we were in the clear, she.
What causes nail fungus, and whats the best way to treat it? Heres more information on nail fungus symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention. Most commonly, you get nail fungus from fungi found.
Toenail fungus removal lasers two being the PinPointe FootLaser and the Cutera GenesisPlus are quite expensive for medical facilities to purchase, so the fees for patients to use them are quite high. One laser toenail fungus removal session could cost anywhere from $600 to $1500 and its a process generally not covered by health.
Keravita Pro is designed to get rid of nail and skin fungal infections. It also supports.
As of now, there isn’t an immediate cure for toenail fungus nor is there a treatment that produces immediate results. In many cases, noticeable results aren’t.
If a fungus mars.
Signs And Symptoms Of A Fungal Nail Infection
A fungal nail infection may not cause any obvious symptoms at first.
As it progresses, the infection can cause:
- discolouration of the nail it may turn white, black, yellow or green
- thickening and distortion of the nail it may become an unusual shape or texture and be difficult to trim
- pain or discomfort particularly when using or placing pressure on the affected toe or finger
- brittle or crumbly nails pieces may break off and come away completely
Sometimes the skin nearby may also become infected and be itchy and cracked or red and swollen.
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What Happens During The Surgery
Nail surgery can be done in your doctorâs office. Before it starts, your doctor numbs the area around your nail. If youâve ever had your gums numbed at the dentistâs, itâs very similar. Youâll be awake for the surgery, but you wonât feel any pain.
Once the area around the nail is numb, your doctor uses special tools to remove the entire nail or just the infected piece.
In severe cases, they may have to destroy the nail matrix, which is what makes your nail grow back.
After the surgery, your doctor usually applies antibiotic cream and a bandage around your nailbed, which is the area under where your nail used to be. The antibiotic helps make sure you donât get a bacterial infection.
The surgery usually takes less than an hour.
A Pharmacist Can Help With Fungal Nail Infections
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.
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What Can I Expect If I Have A 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 healthcare 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.
How Will A Medical Professional Remove A Toenail
If you dont have a podiatrist, start with a visit to a doctor. Be sure to let the doctor know if you have diabetes or another condition that can affect the feet.
After a physical examination of your toes, your doctor may find it necessary to order an X-ray. This will help assess the structure of the toe to see if theres more damage below the surface.
Your doctor can determine if you may benefit from other treatments or partial removal of the nail.
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Toenail Fungus Treatment Options
Toenail fungus can be treated by a variety of options. There are over-the-counter products as well as options that can be prescribed by a podiatrist. Common over-the-counter treatments are topical antifungal creams, lotions, and products that can be applied directly to the nail. For mild cases that are caught early, an at-home treatment may help but may not be most effective in the long term. If you have a condition such as diabetes, a problem with circulation, or a weakened immune system, a toenail fungal infection can lead to other serious complications.
If your toenail fungus does not respond to at-home treatment, consult with your podiatrist for an evaluation. Your podiatrist will examine your feet and nails to determine what treatment option will work best for your condition. A skin scraping may be done to find out what type of fungus is causing the infection. Factors such as the type of fungus causing the infection and the severity of your condition will determine what treatment will work for your specific needs. Often a combination of treatments may be used to clear up the infection. Toenail fungus could recur after treatment even if the treatment was successful.
Some common toenail fungus treatments include:
- Prescription topical creams
- Topical solutions such as a medicated nail polish
- Laser treatment to remove the damaged area of the nail or skin
How To Prevent Toenail Fungus
Here are some tips to help prevent infection or a recurrence of an infection:
- Wash your feet daily with soap.
- After showering, always carefully dry your feet, making sure to dry between your toes.
- Check your feet and toenails regularly. Look for signs of a toenail infection or any changes in your feet or nails.
- Keep your toenails trimmed. When cutting your nails, be sure to cut them straight across and short.
- Choose socks that can wick away moisture to keep your feet dry even if they sweat. Change out your socks if they become damp.
- Do not go barefoot in public. If you are in a wet public area such as a locker room, shower, or pool area, wear shower shoes or flip flops to protect your feet.
- Choose breathable styles of footwear that have mesh or ventilation and are made from a material such as canvas. Alternate footwear, so you are not wearing the same shoes every day. This gives the shoes time to breathe and dry out between wears.
- Do not share personal items with other people. Items such as socks, towels, nail clippers, or nail files should only be used by one individual.
- After using an item such as a nail clipper, disinfect it with rubbing alcohol.
- Use caution when getting a pedicure and choose a salon that disinfects the equipment used on your feet and has sanitary measures in place.
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What Is The Most Effective Treatment For Toenail Fungus
The most effective toenail fungus treatment for you will largely depend on your symptoms and situation. Your healthcare provider will consider several factors before recommending a treatment plan. Theyll customize a treatment plan for you.
Overall, oral antifungal medications may offer the most treatment potential. Pairing oral drugs with topical antifungal medication may make treatment more effective.
Laser Procedure For Toenail Fungus Under The Nails
Using a laser directly on the toenails helps to reach those areas underneath and inside the nail. This is because the type of light used can penetrate through the tough layers of the nails. Laser procedures are very convenient because they can be completed in under 10 minutes per foot.
The PinPointe foot laser is FDA-approved for the temporary increase of clear nail in patients with onychomycosis.
This machine can be used on almost all patients because it has virtually no side effects. In one study, over 83% of people who received three sessions with a laser and improved their foot hygiene had no fungi after 18-months.
Some people start to see visible improvement after just one visit, although you may need to return a small number of times for follow-up.
The laser works by targeting the fungi without hurting your skin and nails. Its designed to be at the right level to penetrate your nail and damage the infecting fungi, while not being too high to cause burning or pain for your feet. Most people dont feel anything, or they just feel a warming sensation.
At the time of the procedure, the toenail will usually not become instantly clearit takes time to grow out. As long as your infection is treated and you dont get re-infected, you should see new healthy, clear nail as it grows out within 12-18 months.
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Causes And Solutions: Toenail Fungus
Fungal infections can happen to anyone and anywhere. Some people have fungal infections in their hair, organs or even toenails.
The most common fungal infection is seen in the toenails. A fungus is very common and everyone has it in their bodies, but when a fungus multiples and fungi begin to thrive, you may have a serious toenail infection.
Although it may appear to be ugly, it is harmless till it spreads to your bloodstream.
Most people treat toenail fungus because it looks bad and can be painful sometimes. It may even be a danger to your health if it reaches the bloodstream.
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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.
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Know The Truth About Otc Remedies
When it comes to off-the-shelf toenail fungus products, theres probably no harm in using these medications, says Dr. Lipner. But the efficacy is not very good. So youre probably wasting your time, and youre probably wasting your money.
Same with the home remedy of using Vicks VapoRub. It works okay on a not-so-common type of foot fungus, but for the one most people have, it doesnt work well, she says. I think people believe that OTC products are safer in some way, but the reality is that they havent been approved by the FDAthey havent gone through extensive testing on thousands of patients. Why would you use products that havent been very well studied?
Dangers Of Using Bleach For Toenail Fungus
Bleach may actually cause toenail fungus to worsen and increase the likelihood of a toenail infection.
According to an article in the Asian Journal of Research in Dermatological Science, use of topical bleach can increase the risks for fungal infections because it can damage the skin and nails. This allows opportunistic fungus to come in through the damaged skin or nail and cause an infection.
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When To Contact A Doctor
Toenail fungus is typically not a significant problem for most people. However, if there are no improvements or complications occur as a result of home remedies, people should speak with a doctor and stop using the home remedy as soon as possible. It is also advisable to contact a podiatrist if a person notices any discoloration, thickening, or abnormality of the toenails.
Furthermore, people at higher risk for complications should seek medical treatment for their toenail fungus and avoid home remedies altogether. This includes those with diabetes or with weakened immune systems.
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.
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Know It Need Not Be Your Only Option
As already mentioned, nail removal is usually a last resort, after other methods have failed to be effective. As such, your doctor is not likely to recommend or even mention nail removal before trying oral and topical medications, ointments, and various other treatments.
Depending on the precise issue, many people have found great success and healing using all kinds of other treatments. Because nail fungus is a very common reason for toenail removal, look at thesedifferentoptions for how to safely and effectively treat toenail fungus.
However, the more severe the case and the longer it has gone without treatment, the more likely your doctor will insist on nail removal as the only possible option.
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.
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How Do I Get Ready
Before the surgery, your doctor will probably give you a physical exam and talk to you about your medical history, such as other illnesses and surgeries youâve had. They will also want to know if you have:
- Allergies to latex or tape
- Bleeding disorders
- Medicines you take on a regular basis, including over-the-counter supplements and pain relievers like aspirin
On the day of your surgery, you can shower, eat, and take your usual medicines, unless your doctor has said not to.
How Is Toenail Fungus Removed
Do you keep your feet hidden from view because you feel embarrassed by your yellow toenails? Treating toenail fungus can be challenging. Even if you faithfully apply over-the-counter products, you may see no change in your nails despite months of treatment. Our Wesley Chapel, FL, podiatrists, Dr. George Tjamaloukas and Dr. Kathy Tjamaloukas, discuss toenail fungus and explain what can be done to treat it.
What caused my toenails to turn yellow?
Your toenail turns an unsightly shade of yellow when it’s infected by dermatophytes, fungi that consume keratin, a protein found in nails. It’s very easy to catch the fungus. In fact, you can pick it up if you walk barefoot in public locker rooms or pool areas or share socks, shoes, towels or sheets with someone has toenail fungus.
Several factors may increase your risk of developing an infection, including:
How can my foot doctor help?
Podiatrists offer effective treatments that can finally clear your nails. When you visit our Wesley Chapel office, we may recommend one or more of these options:
Improve the condition of your nails with toenail fungus treatment. Call our Wesley Chapel, FL, podiatrists, Drs. George and Kathy Tjamaloukas, at 909-0865 to schedule your appointment.
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How Fungi Infect The Nail
Onychomycosis, 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.