So What Should You Do If You Develop A Nail Infection
Your first step should be to see a doctor. It can take weeks to fully clear an infection, says Dr. Andersen, so its crucial to get treatment as soon as possible.
Oral medication is the most effective treatment of all, says Dr. McGuire. Topical prescription treatments may also help. Theres a laser treatment that has a higher success rateabout 65% to 70%, says Dr. Andersenbut it can be pricey.
Other steps that can help you heal faster is to wear shoes that dont put pressure on your nails and keep your feet clean.
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Your Feet Are A Feast
Most cases of onychomycosis are caused by fungi called dermatophytes. Dermatophytes need the fibrous protein keratin to grow and thrive.
Your toenails are composed of 80% hard keratin and 20% soft keratin. Keratin also makes up your skin and hair, and other mammals nails, quills, hooves, and horns.
When the dermatophytes find their way to your feet, they feast on your keratin, breaking it down into smaller particles. The crumbly residue on your infected toenails is actually keratin debris.
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Keep The Dermatophytes Away
Onychomycosis is highly contagious and difficult to treat. Prevent a fungal infection by protecting your feet in public or shared spaces. Wear flip-flops or beach sandals in the following spaces:
- Steam room
Dermatophytes love warm, moist environments, so be sure to wash your feet daily and towel them dry thoroughly. Also dry your feet including between the toes when you get out of the pool, ocean, or shower.
You can use foot powders on the tops of your toes, in the toe webs, and on your soles to absorb excess moisture. Always wear clean socks and change them at least daily .
Keep your toenails trimmed short and straight. Gently file down sharp edges that could wound your nail bed, making it more susceptible to infection. Make sure you disinfect your nail clippers after each use, and only entrust your toenails to nail salons that disinfect all their tools between customers.
Other tips to reduce your risk of onychomycosis include wearing footwear thats made of breathable, natural materials that give your toes plenty of space. Choose socks made of cotton or a wickable material that keeps them dry.
Nail Fungus: Polish Cream Or Tablets
Nail fungus can be very persistent. Topical treatment with nail polish may take up to one year. Tablets for treating fungal nail infections usually have to be taken for several weeks or months. They are much more effective than topical treatments, but they have more side effects.
Brittle nails and a whitish-yellowish or brownish discoloration are typical signs of nail fungus. The nails may also become thicker and change shape. The affected part of the nail sometimes detaches from the nail bed. The treatment options for nail fungus include nail polishes and creams as well as tablets. Nail polishes and creams are available in pharmacies without a prescription.
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How To Prevent A Nail Infection In The First Place
Trim your nails carefullyingrown nails can arise from cutting nails too short at the edges, since as they grow out they can catch skin. Cut nails straight across and get rid of any pointy corners. And never share clippers, as this can spread infection from person to person even consider bringing your own tools to a professional mani or pedi.
Its also important to wash your feet with soapy water, being sure to get in between your toes, to prevent fungus or bacteria from building up and be sure to dry them thoroughly, since fungus loves a moist environment. Wear breathable socks and use antifungal spray or powder if going sock-less.
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The Best Thing To Do About Your Fungal Toenails Is Treat Them
The best way to keep fungal toenails from worsening or spreading is to treat them as early as possible. And thanks to laser treatment technology, eradicating your fungal infection is a lot safer, more convenient, and more effective than it used to be.
To learn more about how we treat fungal toenails at our office, be sure to check out our service page. And if youre ready to request an appointment with Dr. Patel or Dr. Harpaz, just give us a call at or fill out the form below today!
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Can Toenail Fungus Contaminate Nail Polish
If you use nail polish while you have toenail fungus, its more likely that it will contaminate the tools you use to apply it. It spreads quickly and easily. Each time you use the same nail brush, you could be spreading the condition to other toes. Perhaps you share your polishes with roommates?
The nail brush dipping back into the polish could cause the infection to contaminate things. But its more likely that the application of the polish with the same brush is the culprit, not the polish itself.
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Treatment Options For Fungal Nail
Treatment options, some of which can be prescribed by your GP and the others found at your local pharmacy, include:
Antifungal nail creams or paints
These are applied directly to the nail over several months and are most effective when used at the early stages of the infection. They aren’t generally considered to be as effective as tablets because it can be difficult for the product to reach the deep layers of the nail. Some people choose them over tablets because side effects are less common. These are available over the counter.
A paste is applied to soften the infected area. This is then covered with a plaster for 24 hours. The next day, the paste is washed off and the softened nail gently scraped away.
This process has to be repeated every day for two to three weeks. When no more of the infected nail can be removed, an antifungal paint is applied to prevent re-infection as the nail grows over the next few months. These kits are available from your pharmacist.
These are only available on prescription and need to be taken for several months, before the infection has completely cleared up. Some tablets are unsuitable for people taking certain medicines, and some people may experience side effects. Always see your doctor or pharmacist for advice about medicines.
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What Is Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is an infection that lives underneath the nail, in the skin of the nail bed. Toenail fungus is more than a cosmetic concern.
Images show a range of disease severity.
Symptoms of toenail fungus may include:
- Thickening of the nail
Factors that can increase the risk of developing toenail fungus include:
- Wearing closed-toe shoes
- Getting pedicures with improperly sanitized tools
- Having a chronic illness, such as diabetes or HIV
- Having a deformed nail or a nail disease
Is Toenail Fungus Really Such A Problem
If youre thinking you can just live with it, we dont advise letting toenail fungus go untreated. Its an insidious problem, and without treatment, you have to deal with the discomfort of the nail as well as feeling self-conscious about its unsightliness.
If you let a nail fungus infection go for too long, several problems emerge. The infected nail can become misshapen and increasingly separated from your nail bed. Itching and pain are unpleasant side effects if theyre too severe, you can have trouble wearing shoes or walking.
You need to be especially attentive to treating toenail fungus if your immune system is compromised. If youre living with diabetes, its critical not to ignore the fungus. Even a mild infection like this can snowball into something more serious, like cellulitis, a severe bacterial skin infection.
Another problem is that untreated fungus eventually can spread to either neighboring toenails or to the skin of your foot, causing athletes foot. Possibly the worst outcome of untreated nail fungus is needing to have your nail surgically removed.
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Chip Resistent Antifungal Toenail Polish Contains Vitamins E & A And B7 It Is Undeclyenic Acid Infused And Is Not Tested On Animals
Regular nail polish traps moisture under the nail plate, creating the perfect growth conditions for fungus- a warm, dark, moist environment. While antifungal nail polish cannot cure an already deeply infected nail, it can protect the progress you can make all winter following our recommendations to beautiful fungus free nails!
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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.
Can You Use Fluconazole For Toenail Fungus
Does filing help nail fungus?
With that in mind, I generally encourage healthy adult patients with mild toenail fungus to not treat it or to treat it just using topical measures. For example, you can buff the nail down with a file to keep it thin, so the fungus has less of a home to live in. Those treatments help keep the fungus from growing.
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How To Properly Apply Antifungal Nail Polish
Why Is My Toenail Black
Unless you remember that you stubbed your toe recently, youre probably wondering how you got it and what it means.
There are a few reasons why your toenail is turning black or has black spots on it. Most dont impact your overall health much, but some types of black toenails should definitely be checked out by your doctor as soon as possible.
Here are some reasons for a black toenail, how to treat it, and the ways you can prevent it.
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What Is The Most Effective Treatment For Toenail Fungus
Options include terbinafine and itraconazole . These drugs help a new nail grow free of infection, slowly replacing the infected part. You typically take this type of drug for six to 12 weeks. But you wont see the end result of treatment until the nail grows back completely.
How do you get rid of toenail fungus fast?
Only anecdotal evidence exists supporting vinegar as a treatment for toenail fungus. Still, its a reasonably safe home remedy to try. To use, soak the affected foot in one part vinegar to two parts warm water for up to 20 minutes daily.
Wearing Antifungal Nail Polish
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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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Can I Wear Nail Polish With Fungus On My Nails
Its a bum rap! You have fungus on your toe nails and all you want to do is cover it up! Nothing better than nail polish to do that, but you know enough about fungus to know that fungus thrives in moist dark places. Nail polish gives that fungus a wonderful place to grow and thrive! Whats a girl to do??Well, for starters, it is so very important to look beyond the nail itself and look at your foot surroundings. Where do you walk? What do you wear?We do not know exactly how you got your fungus, but we want to keep it from happening again. Keeping your surrounding as “fungus-free” as possible will help!
Lets go over the key pointer to keeping fungus at bay:
And yes, we are back full circle to the nail polish thing! It can matter what type of polish you use. Nail polish with Tea tree oil is becoming very popular for a reason. It has been found that tea tree oil is a natural fungal suppressant. What does this mean? It means you can have fungus and wear nail polish too!! Dr. Remedy nail polish with tea tree oil offers just what you have been looking for. I was so impressed with this product and got such good feedback on it, that Foot and Ankle Associates of North Texas carry it at our Healthy Steps Shoe Store! Pick up a bottle today to keep your toes looking stylish and “fungus-free!”
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