What Is Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is caused by a group of fungi known as dermophytes. This group thrives on skin and on keratin, the main component of hair and nails. The fungus gets under the nail and begins to grow, damaging the nail so it discolors, becoming white, brown, or yellow. Eventually, the nail might thicken, harden, become brittle, and even fall off. According to the American Podiatrist Medical Association, nail fungus is easy to pick up from showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools because fungi thrive in the damp, humid conditions. People with underlying health conditions like diabetes, circulatory issues, or immune-deficiency conditions are especially vulnerable. This condition can be very difficult to cure. Toenail fungus treatment often lasts for several weeks or months, but if you want to know how to get rid of toenail fungus, podiatrists have a clear strategy.
How Is Nail Fungus Treated
If you believe you may have nail fungus, rest assured there are cures. When officially diagnosed by a board-certified dermatologist, you will likely be treated with prescription medicine such as a topical anti-fungal solution. You may even be prescribed oral anti-fungal medication. It’s best to see a doctor as soon as possible as more serious cases could require surgery to completely remove the impacted nail and allow a new one to take its place.
What Is An Ingrown Nail
When the corner of a nail curves downward into the skin, it causes an ingrown nail. Ingrown nails are most common on the big toe. An ingrown nail may be caused by not cutting the nail straight across, tight shoes, poor hygiene, injury or even a genetic predisposition.
An ingrown nail can be painful and can become infected. Treatment can help these problems.
Fungal nail infection
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What Kind Of Doctor To See For Toenail Fungus
If you notice unusual changes in your nails you need to see a foot nail doctor, who is a podiatrist. A podiatrist deals with all your foot, ankle, heels, and nail issues. They effectively offer toenail fungus treatment Houston and recommend surgical treatment where necessary. Some people prefer visiting a dermatologist, but then the specialist must be able to diagnose and treat skin, hair, and nail conditions.
Toenail fungus is caused by dermophytes fungithat thrive on the keratin andthe skin keratin is a component of the nails and the hair. The fungus gets under the nail bed in addition to causing discoloration, which is one of the visible symptoms, it grows and it destroys the nail growth. The nail may fall off, become brittle, thicken, and harden. The condition can be very challenging to get rid ofsometimes.
Home remedies do not cause any harm, however, relying on them when looking to get rid of the fungus can be risky. This is because most of the time you do not have the correct diagnosis and it could be dangerous for your health. If left untreated toenail fungus causes deformity and severe pain.
If home remedies are not improving your fungal toenail, you may want to consult a nail fungus doctor at DeNiel Foot and Ankle Center. Dr. Ejodamen Shobowale, a foot and ankle specialist will provide you with the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet. She has many options for toenail fungus treatment in her Houston office
Causes Of Nail Fungus
With fungal nail infections, the main cause is typically
Certain behaviors and preexisting conditions that can affect your risk of nail fungus include:
- old age
There are many overlaps between nail fungus and nail cancer. Since its easy to mistake cancer of the nail for a fungal infection, you should see a doctor immediately to get a definitive diagnosis.
See a doctor immediately if you suspect you have toenail fungus or subungual melanoma.
Since the prognosis of subungual melanoma gets worse the longer it takes to diagnose, its better to be safe and get any possible symptoms checked out and cleared as soon as they appear.
Fungal infections are not considered life-threatening, but the 5-year survival rate for subungual melanoma can vary dramatically depending on how early the cancer is identified. According to the Canada Dermatology Association, chances of recovery can range anywhere from 16 to 80 percent .
If you wait too long for diagnosis and treatment, theres a risk of the cancer spreading throughout the bodys organs and lymph nodes.
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How Can I Prevent Getting Toenail Fungus
It is always best to wear sandals when walking around places where a toenail fungus is likely to thrive. Socks made from synthetic materials such as nylon dont work as well at whisking moisture away from the feet, so 100% cotton, wool, or silk socks are better choices. Its also helpful to keep your feet clean, dry, your toenails trimmed, and avoid applying layers of polish. Visit your local dermatologist to receive more tips on how to avoid getting toenail fungus.
The Most Common Types Of Nail Fungus
The most common type of nail fungus is known as distal subungual onychomycosis, and is caused by a fungi known as a dermatophyte, says Dr. Chen. It can show up on fingernails or toenails, and manifests as a yellow-ish area on the nail that can ultimately lead to splitting, crumbling, or even separation of the nail from the skin as it gets worse, she says. Its also worth noting that this is the same fungi that causes athletes foot, a fungal infection that can spread from the skin to the nail, adds Dr. Stern.
White superficial onychomycosis is the second most common it leads to white spots on the surface of the nail, which can ultimately spread to resemble a white chalky powder covering the entire nail, says Chen.
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How Does A Nail Fungus Start
Nail fungus infection is a common dermatological disorder that begins either under the nail or in the nail itself. It is mostly caused by a dermatophyte fungus, though there are cases that it is caused by Candida yeast as well. Also called onychomycosis, the condition affects both fingernails and toenails, though it is more prevalent in toenails. Fungi thrive in warm and moist environments, which perhaps describe a lot of footwear. Nail fungus infection can also start with the same dermatophyte fungus that causes athletes foot, the Trichophyton. So when a person has athletes foot, its also likely that the fungal infection would spread to the nails.
Fungal infection gives nails an abnormal appearance. The first sign of it may be a discolored dot on the nail or the skin under the nail. There may be white or yellow streaks on the nail, a crumbling corner or tip of the nail, flaking on the nails surface, yellow spots at the bottom of the nail, and scaling under the nail. The infected nail may also be thickened or brittle, and it may detach from the nail bed. In some cases, there may also be odor coming from the infected nail.
What Happens If I Dont Treat Toenail Fungus
According to Dr. Wagenseller, In many cases, it is not necessary to treat toenail fungus, and the condition is more often a cosmetic concern. If the appearance of your toenails is your biggest concern, you may want to forego medications that can have serious side effects. If the fungal infection is more serious and you notice a foul-smelling discharge or other signs of infection, treatment is necessary to ensure your whole body health and safety. Otherwise, determining whether or not to treat toenail fungus is really a matter of personal preference.
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Nail Fungus Treatment Options
Its important to seek treatment from a board-certified dermatologist soon after discovering signs of fungus. If you dont, the condition could spread, becoming less manageable and possibly painful.
Treatment may start with trimming off the part of the nail thats infected and sending it for culture or histologic examination to confirm the infection. Topical medication can be used to treat mild infections. These medications, which keep the fungus at bay until a healthier nail grows in, include Amorolfine, Ciclopirox, Efinaconazole, and Tavaborole. Fingernails grow out completely in about five months, and toenails can take up to 18 months. These topicals, while very safe, have a lower efficacy than oral medication.
More serious cases may require the use of antifungal pills. These medications, such as Fluconazole, Griseofulvin, Itraconazole, and Terbinafine, are rarely associated with side effects. A typical treatment course could be from one to three months.
Your dermatologist may also recommend using both pills and topical treatments.
The good news is that most people can clear a nail fungus with simple, safe treatments. Make an appointment with one of our dermatologists to learn more about nail fungus treatment options.
The Importance Of Early Treatment
Foot fungus and especially toenail fungus might not seem like a big deal at first because symptoms can be extremely mild in the beginning. However, athletes foot can eventually become extremely uncomfortable and can also cause toenail fungus. If left untreated, the effects of toenail fungus can be much more serious. The damage to your toenails can become permanent, the infection can spread to other parts of your body , and walking can become difficult. At that point, surgery might become necessary.
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Do Dermatologists Treat Hair And Nails
Absolutely we treat hair and nail fungal infections in addition to skin infections. Dermatologists treat fungal infections on the surface of the nail, embedded within the nail, or on the scalp. Depending on the location, we treat these with creams, gels, liquids, or oral medications. We also treat a variety of hair loss problems. too.
What Are Foot And Toenail Fungus
Foot fungus is commonly known as athletes foot and is a fungal infection of the skin. While foot fungus most often occurs between the toes, it can also affect the entire sole of the foot. Toenail fungus, referred to as onychomycosis in the medical community, is a fungal infection that occurs in the toenails. These two infections are caused by the same fungi.
Foot fungus symptoms include:
- White marks and/or yellow streaks on nails
- Brittle, crumbling nails
- Thick, hard to trim nails
- A bad smell
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What Treatments Do You Recommend
Since its clear that leaving toenail fungus untreated can be very dangerous, its a verygood idea to know what kind of treatment you can use. So if you believe you have contracted nail fungus we recommending treating it as soon as possible. You can start by using our top recommendations Funginix and Purely Northwest Toenail Fungus System.
What Is Nail Fungus
Also known as onychomycosis, nail fungus is a relatively common condition that affects both the fingernails and, more predominately, the toenails. This fungal infection of the nail bed can be identified by its telltale symptoms such as yellowing or darkening of the nails, crumbling, and thickening. Nearly 10 percent of the population is impacted by this condition.
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Best Overall: Ariella Nail Fungus Treatment For Toenail And Fingernail
No matter whether youre trying to treat your fingernails or toenails, this Amazon fan-favorite nail fungus treatment will do the trick. Shoppers repeatedly rave about how its out-performed many similar products theyve tried and how easy it is to use. To that point, it touts a super convenient and mess-free brush-on applicator, and the liquid formula dries very quickly. The brand promises youll see results in 2-4 weeks, and recommends applying the treatment 2-3 times per day to help eliminate discoloration and strengthen nails.
One reviewer wrote: This is the only product that has worked on a nail fungus Ive struggled with since high school. After decades of covering it with acrylic toenails, I decided to attack this at its roots. The pen-style allows easy application of the product. It also absorbs quickly into to the nail.
Fungus Into The Bloodstream
This only happens in a serious stage of toenail fungus, people with very weak immune system and people with HIV/AIDS and Diabetes are known to face this danger. When the fungus enters the deeper skin, causing cellulitis thats when the disesase will enter the bloodstream. If you believe you are experiencing a fungal blood infect, i highly suggest you contact your doctor immediately.
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Are All Petroleum Jelly Products Safe
Though we cant comment on each Petroleum Jelly brands, we can say that the oldest ones are highly recommended. These brands have been researched well.
Since Vaseline is the number one petroleum jelly brand, it is the best in skin healing.
Vaseline is the safest as stated by many studies and research experts. Also, Vaseline is inexpensive yet the most effective petroleum jelly used as a treatment for Toenail Fungus.
The Podiatrist’s Take On Home Remedies
While home remedies are unlikely to cause any harm in themselves, Dr. Hinkes urges caution when relying on them when looking for how to get rid of toenail fungus. “Resorting to folk remedies can be dangerous because it could keep the patient from getting a legitimate diagnosis and treatment,” he says. “Now in some people, this could be a critical thing, because it can be contagiousyou can pass it to other people and you can pass it to other parts of your body. So it’s really not something you want to fool with.” Dr. Hinkes’ advice is clear: Visit a foot care specialist. This could be a podiatrist, but foot care nurses also offer an excellent and affordable service as an alternative. And if neither of those is available, try a dermatologist. Left untreated, this condition won’t go away on its own and can cause serious pain, deformity, and even lead to further complications. Podiatrists recommend seeking expert helpyou’re better safe than sorry. If you’re desperate, though, try these DIY foot and toenail fungus treatments.
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Diagnosis And Treatment Of Subungual Melanoma
Diagnosing and treating subungual melanoma is much more involved.
Once your doctor performs the initial assessment and determines you might have subungual melanoma, theyll commonly suggest a nail biopsy.
A nail biopsy is the primary diagnostic tool available for making a definitive diagnosis. A dermatologist or nail specialist will remove some or all of the nail for examination.
If theres a diagnosis of cancer, depending on the severity and how early it was found, treatment can include:
- surgery to remove the affected nail
- amputation of the knuckles of the finger or toe
- amputation of the entire finger or toe
Take A Full Medical History
“The first step is to take a history of the problem,” says podiatrist , DPM, CEO of HappyFeet LLC. “In other words, I want to know how long have you had this and what previous treatment you’ve had.” A podiatrist needs to understand the extent of the problem and any other medical factors which may influence their choice of toenail fungus treatment. A full medical history is also important because the first line of defense is usually oral medication, but this treatment can have side effects for people with underlying health issues. Make sure you reveal everythinghere are 14 things to never lie to your doctor about.
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Can I Prevent Nail Fungus Infections
It’s not quite accurate to say nail fungus infections can be prevented. A better way of thinking about it is that they can be avoided. To limit your chances of becoming impacted, you should:
- Dry your feet thoroughly after showering and especially before putting on closed shoes
- Practice proper hand and foot hygiene
- Avoid cutting fingernails and toenails too short to avoid cuts
- Properly clean and sanitize pedicure and manicure equipment
- Avoid sharing pedicure and manicure tools
- Always wear shoes in places such as a public bathroom or locker rooms
- Avoid the use of false toenails as they trap moisture
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.” Orit Markowitz, MD, founder and CEO of OptiSkin treatment center in New York City.
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Soak Your Feet In Vinegar
Heres another pantry item that can deliver optimal results for toenail fungal infections. According to Hayag, applying white vinegar to the fungal-infected areas can prove worthwhile, thanks to its antibacterial properties.
Similar to oregano oil, applying white vinegar topically on fungus-infected toenails has some anecdotal evidence that supports its antibacterial benefits. Soak your foot in one part vinegar to two parts warm water for up to 20 minutes daily, she suggests, saying that this can help with the fungus, help with just the discoloration, or it may not help at all, depending on how your toes react.
From One Toenail To Another And Feet
This is one of the most common ways for toenail fungus to spread, Athletes foot also called tinea pedis, its a very contagious infection that affects millions of people worldwide. Athletes foot isnt that serious, but it can be difficult to cure. It causes itching, blisters, stinging, discolored thick toenails and burning between the toes.
You can catch athletes foot through direct contact with a person who is already infected or touching surface thats already contaminated by the fungus.
The most common way of treating this infection is with over the counter topical antifungal medication. We recommend using Purely Northwest Toenail Fungus System because it features a foot soak which is very effective for these types of infection.
There are several ways you can prevent yourself from getting athletes foot infection. These includes:
- Put antifungal powder on your feet every day
- Dont share shoes or socks
- Wash your feet with water and soap and dry them completely
- Wear shoes made of breathable
- Going barefoot as often as possible
- Regularly wash floor where you walk in bare feet
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