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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.
What Is A Fungal Nail Infection
Fungal nail infections are a common problem that can affect any nail, but most often affects the toenails.
Theyre caused by the growth of fungal spores that make their way between the toenail and the skin underneath the nail bed. The spores feed off the skin or the keratin in the nail.
The type of fungi responsible for athletes foot, another common foot condition that affects the skin mainly between the toes, can cause the infection to spread to the nails.
More rarely, fungal nail infections can be caused by other types of fungi, usually yeasts, which tend to attack nails that are already damaged because they are easier for the fungi to invade.
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What Is The Prognosis Of Fungal Nails
Curing fungal nails can be difficult and treatment can take up to 18 months. Relapse and reinfection are common. Trying to remove or modify your risk factors, if possible, is essential to preventing reinfection. People who have medical illnesses that predispose them to fungal nails can have an even more difficult time eradicating the fungus.
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Who Needs A Toenail Fungus Treatment
According to the CDC some 14% of American adults need a toenail fungus treatment. Thats how many Americans are thought to have toenail fungus. In numerical terms, thats nearly 35 million people, just in the US. Many of these folks do not realize over the counter remedies exist and that some of them are quite effective.
If you notice even a tiny spot of yellow-greenish discoloration along the ridge of your toenail you should start treatment immediately. The sooner you catch the infection, the easier it will be to eradicate it. If you wait until it has taken over your nail and the nail is falling apart, you may be in for an extended period of treatment.
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Simple Tips For Taking Care Of Your Nails
Making a few simple lifestyle changes can help prevent a fungal infection of the nails. Taking good care of your nails by keeping them well trimmed and clean is also apparently helpful in preventing infections. You should also avoid injuring the skin around your nails.
Look after your feet and nails!
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Staying One Step Ahead Of Toenail Fungus
An established fungal infection is hard to eradicate, but you can stop its spread and improve your toenails appearance.
Toenail fungus isnt a pressing health problem. Yet a fungal infection can ruin the appearance of your nails and cause pain as it lifts the nail away from the nail bed. And fungal infections are notoriously difficult to get rid of. You may want to consider fungal toenail a condition to be managed rather than cured, says Dr. James P. Ioli, chief of the podiatry service at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Womens Hospital.
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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 wont reattach, and a new nail wont grow from that part of the nail bed. However, your nail will continue to grow from the root at the base.
What Tests Might I Have For Toenail Fungus
Your provider will probably take a small sample from underneath your nail to further analyze it. Viewing the cells under a microscope can confirm a toenail fungus diagnosis. If the initial test is negative, a scraping can be sent to see if the fungus grows out in a culture. It also helps your provider identify the type of fungus.
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What Is The Treatment For Fungal Nails
Oral antifungal therapy has a high cure rate, depending on the medication. It can take nine to 12 months to see if it has worked or not, because that is how long it takes for the nail to grow out. Even when therapy works, the fungus may come back. Currently, an oral antifungal therapy is considered the best treatment for toenail fungus because of higher cure rates and shorter treatment duration compared to topical therapy.
Prescription oral medications that are effective against nail fungus include the following:
There are several innovative treatments that are still being tested:
- Laser therapy or uses application of light-activated agents onto the nail followed by shining light of a proper wavelength on the nail.
- Use of electrical current to help absorption of topical antifungal medications into the nail: This is also called iontophoresis.
- Use of a special nail lacquer that changes the micro-climate of the nail to make it inhospitable for the fungus to grow: If this works, it may be an inexpensive way to treat this problem in the future.
One way to definitively get rid of toenail fungus is by surgery. Surgical treatment of onychomycosis involves nail removal. However, this often only provides temporary relief, and recurrence is common unless additional antifungal medication is simultaneously used. However, surgical removal may be warranted when the affected nail is associated with other factors such as trauma and or infection.
How To Prevent Nail Fungal Infections
Having had a toenail fungal infection, heres what Ive found out to help you prevent getting one
- Pay attention to your nails and keep them clean and well trimmed.
- Dont allow your nails to be moist or damp for long periods of time.
- Buy an anti-fungal spray or an anti-fungal powder to use if you do a lot of sport and your feet are hot and moist in trainers for a lot of time.
- If your toenails are already infected with a fungus then wash your hands with an anti fungal soap after touching or treating them.
- When you shower or swim make sure you dry between your toes, as well as all around your foot
- Dont go to dodgy nail salons for manis and pedis. Go to a respected beauty salon where they sterilise the equipment they use, or use your own items for manicures or pedicures manicure and pedicure kit.
- Buy moisture minimising socks,
- Do wear shoes in public places such as communal showers and around swimming pools. Take a pair of cheap flip flops with you perhaps.
- Dont wear artificial nails, or nail polish all the time.
Top Tip: These days, when I go for a manicure or a pedicure at a nail salon I make sure that the staff disinfect and sterilise their tools. Dont be afraid to ask. I do! Nail clippers, emery boards and other manicure and pedicure equipment can spread fungal infections from client to client if they are not sanitised between treatments.
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How To Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus Under The Nail
February 2, 2017 by Admin2
Nail fungus is very unattractive and pretty unpleasant if they happen to develop. Some people are genetically predetermined to be susceptible to nail fungus, and some have their own lifestyle and habits to blame for getting involved in this problem. Worst case scenario would be fungus inhibiting your limbs utilization.
Warm and moist places are perfect environments for a fungus to thrive in. Therefore, people whose feet are often sweaty or take showers in public bathrooms have a high possibility of catching fungus on their nails.
The instances of people with nail fungus are pretty high. It starts as a simple white or yellow spot under the tip of your nail, then discolors your nails, thickens them and makes crumbles on their edges. Toenail fungus rate is far higher than finger nails one because toenails are usually in dark, warm and damp areas that together are a prerequisite for fungi to be formed.
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Treatments Over Counter Toe Fungus Treatment
There are a number of treatments for onychomycosis. Unfortunately, many are not very effective. The most aggressive and effective way to treat the fungus is with oral anti-fungal medications. The most common oral anti-fungal medications are Itraconazole and Terbinafine . Both medications are expensive and insurance companies tend to consider onychomycosis a cosmetic problem. If you are diabetic, your insurance company may consider onychomycosis a medical problem, and will cover the treatment. If you are experiencing pain or have developed ingrown toenails as a result, then your insurance company may cover treatment. The medication needs to be taken once daily for 3 months. The effectiveness of the medications ranges from 60 to 80%, with a recurrence rate of about 10-15%. Complete cure rates have been reported as low as 28%. Lamisil® appears to be more effective and has fewer drug interactions than Sporonox®. Over Counter Toe Fungus Treatment
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Laser Treatment Is Expensive And Has No Proven Track Record
Laser treatment for toenail fungus is a new way to treat a nail infection by focusing laser energy directly on the infected area. The laser light passes through the toenail and is supposed to kill the fungus without causing damage to the nail or surrounding skin.
This new technology looks very promising and has raised great hope among nail fungus sufferers. Unfortunately, a deeper look at toenail fungus laser treatment reveals significant drawbacks that should be considered before selecting this option:
- Clinical trials aimed at testing the effectiveness of laser treatment were done on a very limited scale . These clinical trials are not statistically valid. It is well known in health research that new treatments performing well in small studies fail very frequently when applied in large studies with strict test protocols.
- The cost of a one-time treatment is typically $1,000. Recurring treatments cost about $500 each. In some cases, a full course of treatment may require 3 to 4 visits so the total cost can reach $3,000.This cost is not covered by health insurance and must be paid in full by the patient!
- One treatment lasts only 30 minutes but there is no guarantee that the toenail fungus will not recur. Moreover, patients will have to wait 4 to 6 months for a healthy nail to grow out.
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Applying Home Prepared Formulas Is A Waste Of Time
Many of the supposed do-it-yourself remedies are from common household items. Lavender oil, oregano, apple cider vinegar, beer, chlorine bleach and even Vicks Vaporub have been touted as possible treatments for nail fungus. Let’s quickly review them before explaining why we found them to be a waste of time.
Treatment: Soaking the feet for about ½ hour a day for 15-30 days in a solution of one part of chlorine bleach to 10 parts of water or one part of chlorine bleach to 100 parts of water . For better treatment, it’s advised to do it for two months. After each treatment, fully dry the affected area .
Warning: Note that chlorine bleach is hazardous chemical. It is corrosive and it will damage any skin that has been exposed while bleaching the toenail fungus infected area. Do not inhale the fumes that comes out of it and eyes should not come in contact with them. Keep it out of reach of children.
Preparation: One liter of room temperature dark beer, half sachet of acidophilus and one liter of white vinegar mixed in a container.
Treatment: Soaking your feet or fingers for ½ hour at least once a day for one month. For better results, it is advised to do it twice a day for two to three months. After each treatment, fully dry the affected area .
Background: Vicks Vaporub is a cough suppressant topical analgesic. We found people who use it to treat nail fungus!
Most popular oils: Tea Tree Oil, Oregano Oil, Lavender Oil.
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Top Treatments For Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus, medically called onychomycosis, is a common problem that causes thickened, yellow toenails. It is contagious, which means you can give the fungus to someone else. You may have caught it by walking barefoot in the same area someone with the infection walked just before you, or from someone in your home. Common places to catch the fungal infection are pool decks, locker rooms, and gym showers. Infections like this should be treated promptly, especially if you have an underlying medical problem, like diabetes. Learn about some common toenail fungus treatments, including prescriptions, and home remedies.