How Long Does The Procedure Take
The amount of time varies on the degree of involvement of the nails. Very thick nails are mechanically reduced to a more normal thickness with specialized equipment. The laser is then applied typically taking only a few minutes. Overall, a visit for consultation and treatment will usually take about 30 minutes.
How To Prevent Toenail Fungs
Prevention is always better than cure, and so, taking precautions to avoid toenail fungus is as vital as treating the toenail fungus. Some pointers that will help you avoid the embarrassment and stress of dealing with an infected toenail are:
- Remember to wear flip flops or shower sandals while entering public areas such as gyms, locker rooms, changing rooms near pools, spas, and public showers.
- Exchange your socks for a clean pair whenever they become sweaty and do not reuse worn socks without washing them.
- Choose shoes that are a comfortable fit, have breathing room, and keep your feet dry.
- Regularly put your shoes under direct sunlight to kill any fungus or bacteria.
- Never wear damp shoes or socks.
- Use sanitized nail clippers and other nail styling equipment.
Who Should Not Use Nail Fungus Removal Services
Nail fungus removal services should not be used by people who have a medical condition that requires special attention, such as a thyroid disorder, diabetes, or a heart condition. Additionally, people who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use the services of nail fungus removal professionals.
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Do You Really Have Nail Fungus Signs And Symptoms
Symptoms of diseases like psoriasis also look like nail fungus. Symptoms of nail psoriasis are:
Nails infected with fungus often show one or more of the following visible symptoms:
- Light or dark yellow streaks in the skin under the nail, or nail bed, and on the underside of the nail
- A gradual accumulation of bits and pieces of skin and nail fragments under the nail
- Discolored and thickened nail that may separate from the skin under the nail
- Brittle, broken, and thickened nails
- White spots or a long, thin line or mark of a different substance or color from its surroundings on the nail surface
- Soft and powdery nail surface, which starts to show as the infection worsens
- Crumbly, and brown or gray nail surface showing physical damage with or without separation of the nail from the underlying skin.
Nail fungus infection can cause permanent deformity of the finger and toenails, which can interfere with your being able to put on slippers/shoes, walking, running, and other day to day activities.
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
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Why You Should Never Let Toenail Fungus Go Untreated
Have you retired those adorable strappy sandals, even though theyre the perfect complement to your summery outfits? They definitely wont work with whats going on with your toenails so youve had to opt for a closed-toe option. Toenail fungus is definitely not a good look.
There are plenty of home remedies, but they dont seem to work. And nail fungus doesnt just go away on its own. Fortunately, the team at Easton Dermatology Associates can address any nail fungus issue you may have with a diverse menu of treatment options. We customize our approach to your particular infections history and severity.
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Why Trust Verywell Health
As a seasoned health writer, Danielle Zoellner knows the importance of finding just the right product to fit your medical needs. Throughout her career, Danielle has interviewed a variety of experts in the medical and health fields while reviewing dozens of products. Her experience and knowledge in the field work together to help readers like yourself find the best products for your daily life.
Additional reporting for this story by Jennifer Nied
For over 10 years, Jennifer Nied has reviewed products, interviewed experts, scrutinized ingredients, and pored over research studies and claims, to help readers like you understand what works for your specific conditions. Every product in this piece was selected taking into account recommendations from doctors, published research, and real customer reviews.
Signs And Symptoms Of Foot Fungus
Itchy skin is an early sign of foot fungus, or scaly, peeling skin, or tiny blisters on the skin that will pop at times, says Sundling. The skin tends to break out in the shape of a moccasin, or the area of the foot that a moccasin would cover. You dont see foot fungus on the top of the foot very often. Its common to get a fungal infection between the toes as well, she adds.
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When To See A Doctor About Toenail Fungus
If you are experiencing persistent toenail fungus or pain is present, you may need to see a specialist. A dermatologist or podiatrist may be able to assess your symptoms and send a small sample of the affected toenail or flesh to a laboratory to be analyzed as there are various types of fungi and yeasts that cause onychomycosis. Knowing the specific cause of your foot fungus can help identify what route to take to treat your condition.
Nail changes can also be caused by underlying conditions, like psoriasis and diabetes, so its important to seek professional medical advice if your condition persists or worsens. Bacterial and fungal infection of skin in diabetes patients often result in hospital admissions, and in severe cases, can result in amputations. If you are at a higher risk for infection, you should skip home remedies and seek professional medical treatment.
White Iodine As An Antiseptic
Iodine has antimicrobial properties that destroy harmful microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi. When taken internally, food-grade iodine interacts positively with the stomach, brain, and kidney.
When applied externally, it can act as an effective disinfectant and antiseptic. There is no virus, fungi or microorganism that can thrive in an iodine-dense environment.
According to the US National Library of Medicine, iodine can be applied topically to skin inflammation and other skin disorders, to eliminate toxic microorganisms, heal wounds, and treat diabetic ulcers.
Its such a potent antifungal and antibacterial, that the Center for Disease Control recommends its use for the sterilization of medical facilities. Its also used in water purification and by NASA to disinfect their water from toxic mold.
According to the CDC, iodine can quickly penetrate through the cell walls of microorganisms and disrupt nucleic acid and protein structure and synthesis, thus causing germs to die.
Iodine destroys single-celled organisms, such as yeast, by combining with amino acids, histidine, and tyrosine, when exposed to extra-cellular environments.
Any single-celled organism which shows tyrosine in its cell membrane is likely to be killed instantly by a single reaction, where iodine chemically denatures the proteins.
Fungal infections are highly contagious. When fungal infections spread to the skin, the skin may begin to crack, allowing easy access for bacteria to enter the skin.
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How Can I Prevent Toenail Fungus
Theres no way to guarantee that you wont get toenail fungus. But you can take several steps to help prevent it:
- Avoid going barefoot in communal areas such as hotel rooms / showers, public showers, locker rooms and swimming pools. Most people pick up fungus in these situations. It helps to wear flip flops in these public areas.
- If you have a family member with foot fungus or nail fungus, try to use different shower or wear flip flops in the shower to avoid coming in contact with it.
- Trauma due to accidental or aggressive clipping of the nails can turn into portals of entry for the fungus.
- Clean your nail trimmer before using it.
- Do not tear or rip your toenails on purpose.
- If you have diabetes, follow all foot care recommendations from your healthcare provider.
- Keep your feet dry. Make sure to fully dry your feet after a shower.
- Soak toenails in warm water before cutting them. Or you can cut your nails after a shower or bath.
- Trim toenails straight across .
- Wear shoes that fit correctly. They should not be too loose or tight around the toes.
Doctors Weigh Best Treatments
The best treatment for fungal nail infections is a prescription that your dermatologist can prescribe that you take every day for two-to-three months. The pill is not for everyone, since oral antifungals can interact with other medications and can affect the liver.
Fortunately if you dont want to or cant take a pill, there are topical solutions to treat nail fungus. Although topical medications are desirable because of the low risk of side effects and interaction with other medications, they have much longer treatment regimens. Generally, topical medications have a lower clearance rate compared to oral pills.
Newer topical antifungals including Efinaconazole and Tavaborole have better penetration of the nail plate and so they work better compared to older topical medications, says Dr. Ng. She says the topical medications work best if you only have partial nail involvement.
Lasers are approved by the FDA to temporarily increase the amount of clear nail. However, the cure rates are lower than oral medications and topical solutions.
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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.
Best Soak: Purely Northwest Tea Tree Oil Foot & Body Soak
Relaxes muscles with Epsom and sea salts
Essential oils may be potential allergens
If youre looking for an all-natural route to treat toenail fungus, then this foot soak could be for you. Not only is a foot soak a relaxing way to end your day, but the ingredients used in Purely Northwests soak include Epsom salt, sea salt, tea tree oil, and other oils. These ingredients soothe the skin while addressing foot and toenail fungus.
The combined ingredients work to dry out the fungus to prevent it from spreading. Benefits of the soak also include healing cracked feet and soothing aches.
This US-made product has no dyes or synthetic fragrances, making it a great all-natural solution. But results, depending on severity, might take longer to show when using the soak over prescription or over-the-counter treatments.
Active Ingredients: Epsom salt, Dead Sea salt, MSM, and Therapeutic-grade essential oils | Dose: Add 1.5 tablespoons of foot soak mix for every gallon of water. Mix with hands until the salt dissolved. Add additional salts for a more stronger or aromatic foot bath. Soak your feet for About 15-20 minutes. | Uses: Treats fungus all over feet eliminates food odor and aches
Great for athletes and gym goers
Cleanses and deodorizes
Also treats acne, candida, and rashes
Fragrant oils may be overwhelming
Tea tree and lavender sooth skin
Money back guarantee
Results can take several weeks
Only for toe and fingernail fungus
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What Should You Do For The Best Outcome
Regardless of the recommended course of treatment for fungal nails, one thing always tends to ring true:
The sooner you come for help with fungal toenails, the better your chances of treatment successand the faster you can see results!
Letting the fungus continue to grow and thrive within your toenails will only increase the challenge of fighting it.
You dont even have to wait until your nails are looking that bad to come to see us. In the earliest stages of a fungal infection, you may only see some white streaks or spots under your nail. It can be easy to pass these off as simple nicks and bumps on the nail, but keep track of them. If they change shape or grow over time, its worth having us take a look. Catching a fungal infection this early can save you plenty of time.
Toenail Fungus Prescription Medications
Sometimes prescription medications are needed to treat a toenail infection that just wont go away with natural remedies or over-the-counter medication in a few months. In this case, prescription-strength antifungal medication can eradicate stubborn onychomycosis.
Topical medications often are effective in treating mild to moderate toenail fungus. Topical solutions may include medicated nail polishes or liquid medications. Loprox , Penlac , Kerydin , and Jublia are among the top prescription drugs for toenail fungus.
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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.
Hydrogen Peroxide With Iodine
Peroxide and iodine are commonly used to disinfect cuts and wounds and to kill germs on the skin.
A recent study found that peroxide combined with iodine killed 16 different fungi. The two used together were more effective than using them separately.
To try this remedy, mix iodine solution and hydrogen peroxide in a bucket or large bowl. Iodine solution is available at most drugstores in the wound care section. Dip the feet directly in the solution or use a cotton pad to apply it to the affected areas.
Do not use iodine on the skin without diluting it because it can damage the skin if used by itself.
Peroxide may sting if the skin is broken or irritated, and it can bleach hair and fabrics. Iodine may also cause stains.
Applying this mixture in a bathtub or shower may prevent unwanted stains, bleaching, and spills.
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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
- Drug allergies
- 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 Do You Get A Fungal Nail Infection
Most fungal nail infections occur as a result of the fungi that cause athlete’s foot infecting the nails.
These fungi often live harmlessly on your skin, but they can sometimes multiply and lead to infections. The fungi prefer warm, dark and moist places like the feet.
You’re more likely to get a fungal nail infection if you:
- don’t keep your feet clean and dry
- wear shoes that cause your feet to get hot and sweaty
- walk around barefoot in places where fungal infections can spread easily, such as communal showers, locker rooms and gyms
- have damaged your nails
- have a weakened immune system
- have certain other health conditions, such as diabetes, psoriasis or peripheral arterial disease
Fungal nail infections can be spread to other people, so you should take steps to avoid this if you have an infection.
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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.