Top 5 Signs Your Toenail Fungus May Have Escalated To An Infection
A little case of toenail fungus is practically a rite of passage you quickly learn not to go barefoot in a locker room or shared shower area again and to always pack clean socks. But what happens when your toenail problem goes beyond a suspect smell and yellowed appearance?
At Rocky Mountain Foot and Ankle Center, with locations in Wheat Ridge, Granby, Evergreen, and Arvada, Colorado, our team of podiatrists and foot and ankle surgeons provide care for fungal toenail infections and much more. They believe in educating patients about skin and nail care so you can help avoid common problems and keep your feet healthy and strong.
What Other Information Should I Know
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
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.
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Nail Polish And Contaminated Equipment
A 2018 study found evidence that fungi may be able to live and multiply in some nail polishes. It may be a good idea to avoid sharing nail polish.
Contaminated equipment at a nail salon can also expose you to types of fungi that may lead to an infection.
Your fungal infection may not cause any symptoms in the beginning, until it progresses.
As the infection gets worse, you may experience:
Fingernail infections often clear up on their own or with home remedies. Antifungal medications are used for more serious infections.
Myths About Fungal Nail You Need To Stop Believing
A podiatrist busts some of the most common misconceptions surrounding the condition
The dreaded fungal nail. We’ve probably all had one at some point and avoided open toe sandals or covered up with our favourite nail polish, but new research by Canespro has found that 23% of sufferers are so self-conscious they refuse to walk barefoot in their own home. Whilst 15% make excuses not to take their shoes off when visiting others.
There’s a lot of misconceptions about the condition, something podiatrist Dina Gohil, founder of DG Podiatrist in London, can attest. Here she answers the most frequently asked questions about nail fungus and busts the biggest myths:
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How Long Does Paint Last On Green Nails
With proper care, typical acrylic paint on green nails will last for 2 to 3 weeks. However, some factors affect how long painted green nails will last. The main ones are how much you care for the nails and how fast they grow.
However, acrylic paint on nails is remarkably hard and may last for a few weeks before the nails grow naturally. Furthermore, if proper care is not taken, even the acrylic nails will peel, chip, or lift earlier than 2 weeks.
Apple Cider Vinegar And Baking Soda For Toenail Fungus
If the toenail fungus is giving out a very foul smell and making it impossible to go out in gatherings. You must add the baking soda while preparing the soaking mixture.
A mixture of baking soda and apple cider vinegar is best when the itching is getting unbearable.
The apple cider vinegar will sooth your toenail, and simultaneously the baking soda will dry the area, making it difficult for the fungus to grow further. This combination works fine for initial stage fungus and is a potential fungus killing solution.
Here is what you should do
You can try it for thrice a week. I will not recommend it every day, because the reaction between baking soda and AVC is very strong and can have harsh results on your skin.
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When Are The Different Treatments Considered
Most doctors recommend treating nail fungus with nail polish or cream if
- not much more than half of the nail is affected by the fungus,
- the base of the nail is not infected, and
- only some nails are affected.
Topical treatment is also usually recommended for children. One reason for this is that most oral medications arent suitable for children. Another reason is that children have thinner nails that grow more quickly, so its assumed that treatment with nail polish or creams is more likely to work in children than in adults. White superficial onychomycosis is also often treated with a nail polish or cream.
If several nails are infected by the fungus, or if the infection has spread out more on the affected nails, its usually necessary to take oral medication. And if the infection started at the base of the nail, its highly likely that only tablets will help.
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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.
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Drs Remedy Base Coat And Glaze Nail Polish
Applying glaze is the last step to give that glossy look to the nails, similarly, applying base can also secure the nails from extra damage. The Drs remedy two in one base coat will be an inexpensive nail accessory.
How is it?
This one base coat is a recommended one by the doctors, so it is definitely worth the try. It is not your ordinary nail base or glaze. It will strengthen your nails because it has the garlic bulb extract, and wheat protein.
Moreover, it has tea tree oil which will cure your toenail fungus if there is any, or make your toenail healthy.
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Is Nail Fungus Contagious Through Nail Polish
So can nail fungus spread through nail polish? The quick answer is that it would be very rare to get a nail fungal infection by sharing nail polish, but its not impossible.
The nail polish itself is a variety of harsh chemicals. It contains a chemical cocktail of ingredients that are toxic to organic materials. So it can be possible that the nail polish you use contains at least a few of these ingredients. Many of the chemicals feature in nail polish makes it extremely difficult for nail fungus to spread to other nails.
Covering up your nail fungus with polish isnt a good idea and we dont necessarily recommend anyone doing it. Because polishing your nails can make the infection worse and it will be harder to cure even with the strongest fungal treatment on the market.
However, nail fungus is easier to treat at its early stage, so as soon as you realize you have a fungal infection, instead of covering it up with nail polish we recommend that you get it treated as soon as possible.
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Toenail Fungus Home Care
Sometimes itâs possible to treat your toenail fungus at home. You can try:
- Over the counter antifungal creams or ointments. File or cut off any white markings on your nails. Soak your nails in water and dry off before you put on the medicated cream.
- Special nail care. If you keep your nails trimmed, it can reduce the pressure and pain you feel. You can also thin your nail bed by filing it down. This can help antifungal creams get to the problem easier.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Using The Antifungal Nail Polish
There are no potential side effects, but in some cases a few ingredients in the anti-fungal nail polish can cause some issues. You might face the following issues.
- Irritation on the thin skin around the nails.
- Discoloration of the toenails. You might not see it on the infected toenail, but the neighbouring nails will appear discoloured.
- In some cases, you will feel pain in your toenails.
- You might also see some puss fizzing out from the infected toenail after applying these nail polishes.
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Best Way To Cure Fungus Toenails:
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.
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How To Properly Apply Antifungal Nail Polish
Using Nail Polish When Having Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus can cause an inferiority complex, that is why many people try to hide their bad looking toenails. However, the method of applying these nail polishes should be very careful, and beneficial. Many people do not care much about it, and they end up destroying the toenail fungus.
You need to take care of your toenails, and follow these steps.
- You should clean the toenails first.
- Use rubbing alcohol to clean the toenails.
- Clean your hands before applying.
- Always use medicated and anti-fungal nail polish.
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Wearing Antifungal Nail Polish
Can Otc Products Like Antifungal Nail Polish Cure An Infection
Substances like tea tree oil, coniferous resin lacquer, snake root extract, or ozonized sunflower oil have shown antifungal activities in invitro studies, but their action is minimal and not recommended, says James McGuire, D.P.M., associate professor at Temple Universitys School of Podiatric Medicine. In general, you are probably wasting your money and would do better to consult your podiatrist when you first notice a problem arise.
Unfortunately, antifungal nail polish is almost a definite no-no. If you have a fungal infection you want treatment, and nail polish is not treatment, says Dr. Andersen. It can even block light and air, which helps fight the infection, and it can make it harder for any topical treatment you are using to penetrate and do its job.
The one time its OK to paint one on: For a night out. This is when you could use an antifungal polish product, says Dr. Andersen. They provide a better environment than general nail polish, but dont use them for treatment and remove as soon as you get home. For special events, try Dr.s Remedy polish.
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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:
Manicure And Pedicure Pampering
Every good manicurists toolkit includes acrylic nails, and artificial nails, clippers, nippers, nail files, orange sticks, and a deft touch with nail polish application and cuticle treatment. A nail technician will remedy ingrown toenails and calluses, and reassure you that the nail discoloration you point out is probably no more than residue from a coat of nail polish recently removed.They cannot treat or cure a fungal infection. But infections may often begin in nail salons where the same implements are used on many clients without sterilization. Be sure to ask your salon if they thoroughly sterilize tools after each manicure and pedicure.
Regular visits to your nail salon may help prevent fungal nail infections by keeping nails trimmed and clean. But pay quick attention to any injuries from clippers or other tools received during your manicure or pedicure. A small nick or break in your skin, nail bed, or cuticle could allow a nail to become infected or even allow bacteria to enter your bloodstream and cause serious health problems or aggravate an existing health condition.
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