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How Do Dermatologists Treat A Fungal Nail Infection
Treatment usually begins with your dermatologist trimming your infected nail, cutting back each infected nail to the place where it attaches to your finger or toe. Your dermatologist may also scrape away debris under the nail. This helps get rid of some fungus.
To completely get rid of the infection, most people also need one or more of the following treatments:
Medicine you apply to the nail: If you have a mild infection, a medicine that you apply to your nails may get rid of the infection. This treatment helps keep new fungus out while the nails grow. Fingernails typically grow out in four to six months. Toenails take longer, usually takes 12 to 18 months.
Probably the most difficult part of this treatment is remembering to use it as often as prescribed. Some treatments must be applied every day. Others you apply once a week. To get the best results, its essential that you apply these medicines exactly as directed.
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the following medicines that you apply to the nail to treat nail fungus:
Side effects from these medicines are generally mild. Possible side effects include redness and swelling, an ingrown toenail, and stinging or burning when you apply the medicine. In clinical trials, none of these side effects caused patients to stop using the treatment.
The FDA has approved the following systemic medicines to treat nail fungus:
How Fungi Infect The Nail
Onchomycosis, 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.
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Foot Fungus: Causes And Risk Factors
A foot fungus is a fungal infection of the skin, better known as athletes foot, says Sundling. The fungus enters through cracks in the skin. Its known as athletes foot because athletes or anyone who is more active and sweats a lot is more at risk. Kids are also more at risk, because they dont tend to wear different shoes, and changing your shoes is one way to avoid foot fungus.
Foot fungus is very common. It does not mean that someone is dirty or didnt bathe, and if you have a compromised immune system, you may be more susceptible, says Sundling.
When Should I Call The Doctor
In rare cases, toenail fungus can cause an infection called cellulitis. Without prompt treatment, cellulitis may pose a serious danger to your health.
You should seek treatment guidance from a trusted healthcare provider if you have:
- Circulation problems.
- Redness, pain or pus near the toenail.
- Weakened immune system.
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How Effective Are Tablets In Treating Nail Fungus
Tablets for the treatment of nail fungus have been tested in several studies. All participants had an infection on their toenails caused by a skin fungus. Overall, the study results showed that tablets are considerably more effective than nail polishes or creams.
One year after a three-month treatment with terbinafine:
- About 17 out of 100 people who didnt have this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
- About 76 out of 100 people who had this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
In other words, the treatment with terbinafine got rid of the fungal infection in about 59 out of 100 people.
Itraconazole also proved to be effective. After one year,
- 7 out of 100 people who didnt have this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
- About 43 out of 100 people who had this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
In other words, the treatment with itraconazole got rid of the fungal infection in about 36 out of 100 people.
Some studies directly compared itraconazole and terbinafine with each other. They confirm that terbinafine is somewhat more effective than itraconazole.
Treatment with breaks is thought to be about as effective as continuous treatment. But that has only been looked into in a few studies.
The Danger Of Waiting To Treat The Fungus
The greatest danger of not treating the foot or toenail fungus is that it can spread to other parts of the body, such as the hands and groin.
If for some reason you cant treat your toenails or your feet right away, at least use an antifungal topical cream on the surrounding skin, Dr. Ng says. That will help keep it from spreading and keep the skin intact.
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Vicks Vapor Rub For Toenail Fungus Myth Or Miracle Cure
Is VICKS VapoRub for toenail fungus effective?
There our a lot of home remedies out there for curing toenail fungus, but a lot of them simply do not work. You have apple cider vinegar, Epsom salt baths, all the essential oils, etc.
VICKS Vaper Rub, which is really called the trademark name of VICKS VapoRub, is one of the many cheap treatment options out there that some people suggest But Does It Actually Work?
The answer is YES, at least to some extent… It definitely does have some potential as a treatment option as you will see. And… it’s easy to find in stores and it’s cheap, so of course this is something that a lot of people are going to be interested in, especially when you look at other treatment options which can get pretty darn expensive.
Some statistics say that around 10% of the population has at least some amount of toenail fungus and around 50% of people 70 years old and older have it. It’s a pretty crazy statistic and there is no doubt that toenail fungus is a big problem.
Much of the time it goes away on its own due to the body’s effective immune response, but sometimes it can get out of hand and requires serious attention. Of course you do not want that to happen so treating as soon as possible should be a priority.
Toenail Fungus Explained:
- Thickened nails
- Discoloration, usually whitish or yellowish
- Brittle fractured nails
- Darkened color from all the dead debris
- Bad smells and strange looks from onlookers
Which Treatment Is Right For Me
Nail fungus is usually harmless. But many people find discolored or thickened nails unpleasant to look at and want to get rid of the fungus as soon as possible. Fungal nail infections can also spread, and may infect other people. Regardless of the treatment you choose, it will take a while until the nail looks normal again. Its especially important to be patient where toenails are concerned. It can take a year for a healthy big toenail to grow back. Nail fungus can sometimes be very persistent despite treatment. It can also come back after successful treatment.
Topical treatment isnt likely to get rid of a fungal nail infection. Treatment with tablets is considerably more effective and takes less time. But some people cant take tablets because of the very rare, yet serious risks. How you feel about the pros and cons of the different treatment options is a personal matter. You can also discuss the options with your doctor.
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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 especially terrible to come to see us. In the earliest stages of a fungal infection, you may only see some whitish streaks or spots on 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.
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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.
What Real Users Are Saying
There is a lot of talk about using VICKS for toenail fungus and a lot of people recommending it online, HOWEVER, there is a lack of information coming from people who have actually used it to treat such.
Most of the information I have found comes from sources saying things like “it can be used for this”, “it has been used for that”, and things like this.
It would be nice to see some more good evidence of it working, but at the same time, the lack of good evidence doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work.
I was able to find a small number of reviews on Amazon. Of course there weren’t many because most people’s reviews talk about other things since treating toenail fungus isn’t the reason most people buy it.
*If you do have your own success story with VICKS VapoRub be sure to leave it in the comment section below for others to see!
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See A Dermatologist To Pinpoint The Problem
Foot fungus wont just go away on its own, Dr. Ng says. If you think you have foot or toenail fungus, see your dermatologist, she says. There are several tests that your dermatologist can perform to identify exactly whats going on.
Its important to be aware that there are other diseases which can cause nail changes, she says. For example, we do see things like squamous cell skin cancers in the nail beds and even melanomas, which have a brownish or blackish discoloration.
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What If Nail Removal Is Considered
With laser therapy, topical medications, and oral antifungals in our arsenal, we almost never have to actually remove toenails to treat a fungal infection. It does still remain a rare possibility, however, if the case is extreme or continues to come back.
Why not consider nail removal earlier? Because when nails are fully removed, it doesnt necessarily guarantee that the new nail will grow in properly. The nail can grow back misshapen.
If the new nail comes back in an unpleasant manner or the fungus just continues coming back no matter what, we can treat the underlying nail matrix to prevent new nail from ever growing again . This does not place your nails at any real disadvantage, but its still nice to be able to keep your toenails if you can!
What Is The Outcome For Someone Who Has Nail Fungus
With treatment, many people can get rid of nail fungus. Even when the fungus clears, your nail may look unhealthy until the infected nail grows out. A fingernail grows out in 4 to 6 months and a toenail in 12 to 18 months.
To clear the fungus, its important to:
Use the treatment exactly as prescribed
Apply the medicine for as long as prescribed
Keep all follow-up appointments with your dermatologist
Nail fungus can be stubborn. If you had a severe infection, its possible to clear the infection. A healthy looking nail, however, may be unrealistic, but you can expect the nail to look better and feel more comfortable.
Even with clearing, nail fungus can return. Youll find steps to reduce your risk in Tips: 12 ways to prevent another nail infection.
ReferenceGold LFS and Rosen T. Onychomycosis: Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies. Dermatology News . March 2016:2-15.
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What Oral Medications Are Available
To treat fungal nail infections from inside the body, you can take tablets that inhibit the growth of fungi or kill them. They are all prescription-only. Terbinafine and itraconazole are typically used for this purpose.
- Terbinafine is preferred if the nail fungus is caused by a skin fungus . This is usually the case.
- Itraconazole is generally used if the nail infection is caused by yeast or mold.
Itraconazole and terbinafine tablets can both be taken either continuously or with breaks between treatments. But they are used differently:
Ever Wondered If There Is A Hassle
Are you tired of visiting your dermatologist or podiatrist every time you suspect a toenail fungus? An extremely cheaper and time-saving option is bleach. This homemade remedy will save you from spending the money and time, which would otherwise go in treatments for toenail fungus. In this article, we will tell you how to remove toenail fungus with bleach.
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Truremedy Naturals Remedy Soap Tea Tree Oil Body Wash
Pros. Great for professional athletes and fitness center goers.
Cleanses and deodorizes.
Also deals with acne, yeast, and rashes.
Fragrant oils may be overwhelming.
A medicated soap is another way to resolve toenail fungus and additional forms of fungus that can grow on the feet. The Remedy Soap specifically discusses fungal viruses by combining all-natural ingredients: tea tree oil, aloe, peppermint, and eucalyptus.
Tea tree oil works to relieve the skin while peppermint balances the bodys natural oils. Then eucalyptus serves to heal unhealthy skin on the feet & surrounding the nails.
This item is focused on athletes and gym-oriented individuals, as sweat-induced exercise can frequently cause fungal infections. Treatment developed the product mild enough, however, so it can be utilized daily to clean the body. Besides treating toenail fungus, the soap likewise relieves athletes foot, ringworm, jock itch, and body smell.
Hot Ingredients: Tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil & peppermint oil|Dosage: Use like a basic body wash, apply and lather over the entire body. Leave cleanser on for 30 to 60 seconds prior to rinsing.|Utilizes: Cleanses germs and fungus all over skin treats and assists prevent acne.
Symptoms Of Toenail Fungus
Identifying a toenail fungus in due time is vital in deciding its course of treatment. In the case where the infection has spread fully inside the toenails, homemade remedies will no longer suffice. You should consult your doctor immediately if the infection has grown beyond the normal harmless state.
Here are some common symptoms you can check for while identifying a toenail fungus:
- The nail becomes brittle and breaks easily.
- The surface of the nail may feel dry and powdery.
- Splitting and crumbling of the nail.
- The nail turns white, brown, yellow, or any other discoloration.
- Debris built-up under the nail.
- The fungus causes the nail to lift so that it is no longer firmly attached to the skin.
- Nails may become thick and turn brown or yellow.
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