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.
Over 20 Percent Of Us Adults Or Approximately 23 Million People Suffer From Toenail Fungus Infection
Unfortunately, those treatments that have been around a while toxic oral medications and expensive topical creams or nail polish often dont really work. Topical treatments are less than 5% effective. Yes, that’s correct – only 5% effective and only when the fungus is caught very early and only treats the surface of the nail. Not to mention, oral medications are very toxic to the liver, have significant side effects, require regular blood testing so your liver doesnt fail. As a matter of fact, they can adverse reactaions by interacting with other medications you may already be taking. Furthermore, pills are only 60% or so effective, and then the fungus usually comes back within 12 months. That can be extremely frustrating and discouraging.
Fortunately, there is a newer, better, safer treatment available, and laser therapy works over 90% of the time. Since around 2010, more than a handful of laser devices have been FDA approved and are used with success by podiatrists as a safe, quick, effective, pain-free form of treatment. Good to know there’s a solution and effective treatment available – right?
To help guide you through the murky world of toenail fungus, I have put together some basic information to make things easy for you. Below you will find out more about this unsightly condition, how its treated, and what you can expect if you decide laser therapy is the right choice for you.
What Does Onychomycosis Look Like
. Keeping this in consideration, what does fingernail fungus look like?
Nail fungus is a common condition that begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As the fungal infection goes deeper, nail fungus may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and crumble at the edge. If your condition is mild and not bothering you, you may not need treatment.
Likewise, what is the best treatment for onychomycosis? The most commonly used oral drugs for treatment of onychomycosis is griseofulvin, terbinafine, itraconazole and ketoconazole. The disadvantages of oral antifungal agents are, they require a longer treatment period and they have more side effects, e.g. terbinafine .
Likewise, can onychomycosis go away on its own?
Fungal infections of the toenails â also known as onychomycosis â dont go away on their own, and if left untreated, the fungus will spread and can eventually destroy the nail.
What does toenail fungus look like in the early stages?
An early stage fungal toenail infection will show up with white lines or spots evident on the surface of the nail. The nails will become thick, more yellow, and brittle.
Recommended Reading: How Do I Know If I Have Foot Fungus
Also Check: What Are The Symptoms Of Toenail Fungus
What Is Vicks Vaporub
All this talk about Vicks VapoRub, but what actually is this stuff in the first place?
In short: Vicks VapoRub is a #1 selling branded children and adult cough cold product. Well… That is the main use of it anyhow. However, this Proctor & Gamble Company product is a very versatile and also is commonly used for pain relief when applied topically to aching muscles and joints.
Using it as a way to treat toenail fungus is much lesser-known, but nonetheless is something that people are using it for and finding some success with.
And one of the many good things about it is that you can trust it. There are plenty of toenail fungus treatment “scammy” products that have been exposed on this site, like Fungus Hack for example, and VICKS is definitely not one of them.
Is There Any Real Proof That It Works
Let’s get right to the point here… is there any proof that this stuff actually works? Because I’m sure a lot of people reading this have wasted a lot of time, patience and money trying things that simply turn out to be complete duds.
Does it really work?
Well… when it comes to the effectiveness of VICK’s specifically dealing with nail fungus, there unfortunately isn’t much research out there. That said, there is some…
A study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine in 2011 took a look at the effects of VICKS on 18 patients who were suffering from onychomycosis over a period of 48 weeks .
The results were measured in 3 ways. They measured its effectiveness as a cure both mycologically and clinically, as well as on a personal assessment by the patients themselves.
The results: 15 of the 18 patients, or a whopping 83%, showed positive effects. And… 5 of the patients, or 27.8%, had been cured based on mycological and clinical results after the 48 weeks were up. 10 patients, or 55.6%, had infections that cleared up partially and only 3 had no change.
All in all… pretty good results.
Lack of proof?
As stated, there really isn’t much information and research out there specifically on VICKS VapoRub’s effectiveness when it comes to this.
The study mentioned above definitely proves some effectiveness and has some positives, however there has been some criticism as to the way this study was conducted, which might make it carry a little less weight.
Also Check: Why Does Nail Fungus Occur
What The Experts Say
The most common presentation of toenail fungus is a white/yellow discoloration of the nail that is thick and filled with yellow/white keratin debris. The more severe the toenail fungus, the thicker the nail, and the more nails involved makes it that much harder to treat the nails even with effective therapies.” Orit Markowitz, MD, founder and CEO of OptiSkin treatment center in New York City.
What Are Common Side Effects Of Toenail Fungus Medication
Topical medications often prescribed to treat toenail fungus can potentially irritate the skin. Itchy, peeling, red flesh and blisters may also occur with many topicals. Consult your doctor if your medication is causing an unwanted skin reaction.
Liver damage is one of the most concerning side effects of some toenail fungus medications. Due to the nature of onychomycosis, many of the medications need to be taken for long periods of time to completely resolve nail fungus. Gastrointestinal issues, dizziness, and trouble breathing are also listed as potential side effects. In addition, if the individual treating the toenail fungus suffers from heart conditions, the medication could interfere with heart health.
Clean Socks And Shoes
Regularly changing your socks and shoes can also cut down on the growth of unwanted foot fungus. Both socks and athletic shoes can also be washed in hot water to rid the growth of yeasts and fungi that may be growing on the fabric. Some shoes can be machine dried. Drying shoes in the sun is another option when cleaning footwear.
Adding a half-cup of baking soda or one cup of vinegar to the washing machine can help eliminate bacteria or fungus on socks or shoes.
Boots and other footwear that are not machine washable could be wiped out with a vinegar and water solution or sprayed with an over-the-counter antifungal spray. Medicated powders are also helpful in treating shoes for foot fungus.
Allowing the feet to breathe by taking off shoes and socks when possible can prevent fungal growth. Protect your feet by wearing breathable footwear and clean socks. Antimicrobial socks and shoes made from bamboo, copper, or specialty fabrics are also available. They can help reduce unwanted bacteria and yeast from growing in your footwear.
A proactive approach to keeping your feet clean and dry can prevent the spread of toenail fungus. You can wash or soak feet with warm soapy water or a foot bath using everyday household items. Soaking your feet in an all-natural, homeopathic concoction can be beneficial in reducing or eliminating toenail fungus.
Toenail Fungus Vinegar Soak: Does It Work And How To Do One
If you have an irritating foot or toenail fungus, you want it gone ASAP.And if you are someone who likes to try and take care of things yourself, you might be looking to alternative home remedies to make that foot fungus a thing of the past.In this article, we will review the research to see if vinegar might be a viable option for podiatry fungus issues and teach you how to do a vinegar foot soak step-by-step.But, there may only be so much a vinegar soak can handle, and ultimately if the fungus is severe, doesnât respond to a foot soak, or you have diabetes you are better off seeing a doctor for professional treatment.
Recommended Reading: How Can I Get Rid Of Nail Fungus
Other Options For Toenail Fungus Infections
Removal of the toenail is only used when just one nail is infected, but it does work. Light therapy and lasers are also being studied as possible toenail fungus treatments. Laser therapy has shown promise when combined with oral or topical antifungals. A multicenter trial investigating the efficacy of a device, the Pinpointe FootLaser, is currently underway, so stay tuned to that.
Toenail Fungus: Causes And Risk Factors
Toenail fungus is a fungal infection in the toenail. It happens when a fungus anything from mold to yeast to other types of fungus gets in the nail bed from a cut or break in the nail or repetitive trauma to the nail, and penetrates the nail itself, says Dr. Sundling. The nail then continues to grow with the fungus. Once a nail plate is infected with fungus, it will never not be infected, and you must wait to see how it grows out and whether the new nail growing behind it is healthy. The new nail rarely grows in healthy without treatment, says Sundling.
Toenail fungus is very common 14 percent of people have it in North America, according to an article published in the journal PLoS Pathogens and its more common the older you get, adds Sundling. Wearing shoes that are too small can damage the nail and make it more vulnerable to fungus, as can having a fungal infection on the skin of the foot and not treating it, which could expose the nail to fungus. You may be more at risk to toenail fungus if you have diabetes, or a weaker immune system.
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What Other Treatment Options Do You Recommend For Mild Cases Use Tiger Balm
Vicks Vaporub is a fantastic treatment option for someone suffering from the beginning stages of nail fungus. However, we highly recommend looking into Tiger Balm Ultra. Tiger Balm utilizes similar ingredients, such as Camphor and Menthol, but has nearly twice the potency, meaning that it can treat your nail fungal infection in a more timely fashion.
If you already own Vicks Vaporub and have a very mild case of nail fungus, it is worth trying to treat your fungal infection with the topical treatment. However, if you are searching for a more powerful formula, we highly recommend utilizing EmuaidMAX to treat your fungal infection.
Read Also: What Causes Fungus In The Body
What Is The Treatment Like For Laser Therapy Does It Hurt
When you come to Greater Washington Advanced Podiatry for Lunula laser treatment we like to make things easy. First, we have a NO CONTACT laser visit option, where you stay 6 feet away from anyone the whole time. We also have a full-service option, while stills adhering to social distancing and CDC guidelines. With this approach, you get a nail fungus evaluation including nail culture. A consultation with one of our podiatry specialists will allow you to decide which approach is best for you and have all your questions answered. Your doctor can even smooth down those ugly thick toenails to make you more comfortable and happy with your toes.
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.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Fungus Knats
Toenail Fungus Treatment Complications
Here are some things to think about when deciding on a nail fungus treatment.
If you have a disease like diabetes, your doctor will make sure you treat nail fungus. This illness often makes you more likely to have other problems from minor foot issues.
You may not be able to take antifungal pills because of side effects or because they donât work well with other drugs you take. If that’s the case, try a product that goes onto your nail. Your doctor will call this a topical treatment.
Be patient. Your nails may not look “normal” after treatment. It can take as long as a year to 18 months for your nail to grow out a fungus.
When Does Nasty Nail Fungus Require Medical Intervention
Some people have a hard time clipping their nails. A podiatrist can help. There are some color changes that require medical attention. White nails could be a sign of liver or kidney damage. Pale nails may indicate anemia, nutritional problems or even heart failure.
A dark streak or a black spot under a nail requires medical oversight to rule out melanoma. People with diabetes may also need special treatment to avoid complications.
What Is The Best And Fastest Way To Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus
These drugs are often the first choice because they clear the infection more quickly than do topical drugs. 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.
What Can You Soak Your Feet In To Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus
For mild forms of this condition, a vinegar soak might work well. The antifungal properties also make vinegar soaks a good idea for people who have toenail fungus. Soak your feet for 10 to 15 minutes daily in a vinegar bath until the infection subsides. You can increase the length of time in the soak gradually.
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What Types Of Treatments Are Available For Toenail Fungus
Until recently, toenail fungus treatment had been limited to topical anti-fungal creams/nail lacquer and oral medication. With limited success and many downsides, these treatments have become secondary to the more effective laser treatments.
The antifungal cream/lacquer has the lowest success rate, ranging from 5-12% . Unless you have extremely mild toenail fungus, topical treatments are very unlikely to effectively penetrate into, underneath, and around the affected toenail.
Prescribed oral medications work somewhat better . Howeverand this is big, however oral antifungal medications have significant medical risks and often interreact with other prescription drugs. Oral medications should not be prescribed without consulting a primary care physician, in order to ensure safety and protection during the months you would be taking these pills.
Side effects might include liver failure, rash, loss of taste, or change of taste , headaches, stomach discomfort, and lupus-like symptoms.
Topical medications require daily applications for at least a year, and often longer. Even then, a lifetime of application on some level is required to prevent a recurrence. Oral medications, similarly, require several months of pills and are usually associated with recurrence at some point afterward.
Studies show the success in clearing fungal infection through laser treatment was good enough for laser treatment to be FDA cleared and is now considered the ideal method to treat onychomycosis.