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.
Side Effects Of Toenail Fungus Medication
One of the many benefits of using a homeopathic remedy is that there are little to no adverse side effects. Topical treatments often prescribed to treat toenail fungus can potentially burn or blister the skin. Oral medications for treating onychomycosis can cause liver or gastrointestinal damage. Be sure to read your medications list of potential side effects. Consult your pharmacist, physician, or specialist if you are concerned about side effects of prescription drugs.
How Did I Get A Toenail Fungus Infection
There are circumstances that may leave you particularly susceptible to a fungus infection. Age is certainly a factor, and older people with poor circulation to the feet or who have diabetes are at heightened risk. In general, everyone should be vigilant about foot protection in environments that nurture fungi, such as locker rooms, swimming pool areas, and public showers. Get in the habit of wearing shower shoes or flip-flops and wash and disinfect them thoroughly when you get home. The absence of infection will be your proof that good foot hygiene habits work.
If you suspect you have a toenail fungus infection, your first course of action should be to see your doctor, who will diagnose the type and severity of the infection and the best course of treatment, up to and including blood tests. Your doctor may also refer you to a dermatologist or podiatrist. There are many oral and topical treatment options available and your health care professional will prescribe the most effective to address your fungal infection. One possibility of many is laser treatment, which has proven safe and effective against most cases of toenail fungus. Clear nail growth has been shown to emerge after the first laser treatment session.
Don’t Miss: Does Vinegar Kill Toenail Fungus
Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus
| | | | |
Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis or tinea unguium, is a common nail condition affecting millions of people in the United States. Fungal nail infections can develop on the nail from various organisms such as molds, yeasts, and fungi. This usually occurs after these organisms come into contact with a cracked nail or skin surrounding the nail as the opening provides a portal of entry for these organisms.
Medical Complications From Untreated Fungal Toenail Infection
Without proper treatment to stop your toenail fungal infection from getting worse, or spreading, complications will eventually develop. Fungal infections of your toenail can spread to the surrounding skin and when your skin becomes cracked, bacteria can enter and cause an abscess.
An abscess on the toe is a tender mass generally surrounded by a colored area from pink to deep red. They are often easy to feel by touching. Inside they are full of pus, bacteria and debris.
Untreated toenail fungal infections can lead to cellulitis and should be treated immediately with antibiotics. Untreated skin infections of the toe may lead to severe cellulitis and if the infection enters the bloodstream it can become septicemia, also known as bacteremia or blood poisoning. Once the infection enters the bloodstream the bacteria and their toxins are carried through the bloodstream to your entire body. If the bacteria levels become high enough, septicemia can quickly become life threatening.
A good reason to seek treatment if you suspect you have a toenail fungal infection is because of the similarity of symptoms for differing diagnosis of more serious toenail conditions. You may have a toenail fungus, but you could also be experiencing similar symptoms of a toenail viral infection , complications from toenail trauma, a pre-malignant lesion or, more seriously, melanoma of the nail bed.
Also Check: What Is The Best Brad Nailer
Don’t Miss: How To Get Rid Of Toe Fungus Forever
Can A Nail Fungal Infection Be Prevented Or Avoided
Avoid situations that expose you to a fungus. This includes walking barefoot in locker rooms and having wet hands and feet often. This might be a problem for people who work in restaurants or house cleaning. People in a family can get nail fungal infections at the same time. This happens when their immune systems arent able to fight off the infection. Or it could be the infection is spread when using the same towels. It is important to routinely clean your shower, tub, and bathroom to lower risk of fungal infection.
How Long Does It Take For Toenail Fungus To Go Away
Toenail infection is an infectious disease of nails. It is caused by a fungus that requires a warm moist environment to grow and flourish. Low immunity, minor skin or nail injury, diabetes or athletes foot might promote its growth. It makes the nail yellow, thick and brittle. If the infection goes deep in the nail bed, its treatment becomes more difficult. It does not go away on its own without treatment.
Also Check: Does Apple Cider Cure Toenail Fungus
How Do Dermatologists Diagnose Nail Fungus
To find out if a patient has nail fungus, a dermatologist examines your nails and nearby skin. Its important to check the skin because the fungus can spread. You may already have a skin infection caused by fungus like athletes foot.
To get rid of the infection, you will need to treat all infected areas.
Before giving you the diagnosis, your dermatologist may also take some samples. Collecting a bit of debris from beneath a nail, trimming off part your nail, or scraping off a bit of skin can be very helpful. In a lab, these samples can be examined under a microscope to find out whats causing the problem.
Are you hiding an infected nail with nail polish?
Be sure to ask your dermatologist if you can wear nail polish while treating nail fungus.
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.
Recommended Reading: How Do You Get Fungus On Your Fingernails
Your Options For Treating Toenail Fungus
If you think you may have toenail fungus, you should see a podiatrist or dermatologist, who will send a specimen or a piece of your nail to a lab. Different types of fungus are treated slightly differently, so its important to know which type you have, says Sundling.
Also, sometimes the root of the problem is not a fungus at all, but rather another condition, or some kind of trauma to the nail bed for instance, if you dropped something on your toe. There is no treatment for toenail trauma, but removing the nail may be an option if the nail is painful.
If you do have a toenail fungus, your doctor will likely recommend one or more of the following treatment options:
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.
Don’t Miss: What Can Get Rid Of Foot Fungus
How Contagious Is Toenail Fungus
Are fungal nails contagious? While the fungus must be obtained from someplace, it is not highly contagious. Nail fungus is so common that finding more than one person in a household who has it is hardly more than a coincidence. It can be transmitted from person to person but only with constant intimate contact.
How To Heal Toenail Fungus Naturally
Different types of treatments also take different times to work. If you use a treatment that contains Tea tree oil, for example, the treatment will work faster. The reason for this is that tea tree oil is a very powerful essential oil, and can kill fungus fast.
There are some excellent natural foot soaks available, such as Rocky Mountain Tea Tree Oil. These are excellent if nail fungus is in the early to middle stages, or if you want to prevent the condition from returning.
Read Also: What To Use For Grass Fungus
You May Like: How Do You Kill Fungus In Your Yard
Who Should Follow An Anti
This diet can be followed by anyone who has a toenail fungus infection. Only people with chronic vitamin or mineral deficiencies should refrain from going on a strict diet.
They should consult their doctor before eliminating a few foods from their diet. The following people should not follow a strict Anti-Fungal Diet.
- Mineral Deficiency
Read Also: Does Tinactin Cure Toenail Fungus
Symptoms Of Fungal Nail Infection
Symptoms of fungal nail infection are hard to miss, but sometimes easy to ignore. Nail discoloration may be your first alert. Look also for white or brownish spots on the nail, brittle or crumbly nails, distorted shape, debris build-up under the nail or a foul odor. If home remedies and self-care practices produce no improvement, see your doctor. If you have diabetes, see your doctor right away.
Recommended Reading: How Do You Know If You Have Foot Fungus
The Earliest Signs Of A Fungal Toenail Infection
The initial signs of toenail fungus are very subtle. They might not even register as a potential infection at all unless you know what youre looking for.
The earliest signs include:
- Unusual white or yellow streaks or spots in the nail
- Crumbling along the edges or tips of the nail, particularly where its discolored
- Flaking of the nail in certain areas
- Increasing distortion of nail shape
- Potentially more noticeable foot odor
The spots and streaks can be a particularly tricky symptom, as such marks can appear when you have bumped your toe against something as well.
The best way to tell the difference between nail trauma and a fungal infection is to keep an eye on the marks for a while. Marks from a nail injury will eventually fade or grow out as the nail does. Spots and streaks from a fungal infection, however, will gradually change shape and grow.
If you are uncertain of your symptoms, it is never a bad idea to err on the side of caution and have them checked out anyway. Even if it doesnt turn out to be a fungal infection, youll at least have the peace of mind of knowing.
Read Also: What Doctor Treats Nail Fungus
Treating Toenail Fungus Medically
How a toenail fungal infection is treated may depend on its severity.
In white superficial onychomycosis, for example, the white patches of fungus that form on the nails can sometimes simply be filed off and an over-the-counter antifungal topical medication can be applied to the nail to kill the fungus.
For infections affecting deeper layers of the nail, over-the-counter topical medications often don’t penetrate the nail deeply enough to kill all of the fungus and prevent the infection from recurring. Repeated applications of the medication or a prescription-strength drug may be necessary.
The symptoms of more severe infections include thickened, discolored toenails that may eventually become painful. In these situations, you should see a podiatrist who can devise a treatment plan that may include these actions:
Debridement The thickened portions of the nail can be debrided, or removed, to reduce pain and allow a topical treatment to penetrate more effectively.
Topical Medication Medications that are applied like nail polish or hand cream are sometimes used to treat nail infections. However, topical medication often fails because it doesn’t move deeply enough into the nail to reach the fungus or users forget to apply it daily for almost a year, as is required.
Don’t Miss: Can Bad Toenail Fungus Be Cured
Can Athletes Foot Go Away On Its Own
No, unfortunately, athletes foot, like other types of fungal infections, will not go away on its own. Once you get this infection, you need to remove fungus right away. With proper treatment, it can take several weeks to a month for athletes foot to heal. If untreated, athletes foot will become more severe and develop further infections. And consult your doctor if:
- Your symptoms do not improve with treatment.
- Youre in a lot of pain.
- You notice blisters and cracking skin on your feet.
- Your foot is warm and it hurts to touch.
- You have diabetes.
Cracking skin on feet caused by athletes foot
What If It Does Happen Again
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, a fungal infection can return. The good news is, you likely know what to look for in your nails by now, and catching it early will most likely mean a much easier and shorter treatment time than your first go.
Our treatments, including Lunula laser therapy, are ready for you when needed. We will be perfectly happy if we never have to use them for you again, however.
If you ever have any questions or suspicions regarding a potential fungal nail infection, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Call our Princeton office at or our Roselle Park office at . You also can consult our free downloadable guide on fungal nails for some more tips!
Dont Miss: What Doctor For Toenail Fungus
Don’t Miss: How Do You Get Fungus On Your Skin
What Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Toenail Fungus
If you have toenail fungus, you may find it helpful to ask your provider:
- What type of infection do I have?
- Do you recommend I treat it? Why or why not?
- How long will I need treatment?
- What steps can I take to stop it from coming back?
- Should I be aware of any potentially serious complications or treatment side effects?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Toenail fungus is an incredibly common infection that can be difficult to treat. The condition usually isnt painful, but it may make you feel self-conscious about how your foot looks. If it bothers you, talk to your provider about your treatment options. A trained specialist can provide guidance on whats most likely to address your concerns while protecting your overall health.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/17/2020.
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.
Read Also: How To Clear Foot Fungus
Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Toenail Fungus
There are various researches which prove that rubbing alcohol kills toenail fungus. Alcohol work as a topical antiseptic. Rubbing alcohol kills toenail fungus, however, it is only effective when the fungus isnt really already very bad meaning it is still at the very early.
When the fungus is still on the skin level, and not spreading, by rubbing alcohol to the surface of the affected toenail, it not only kills the organism, it also prevents spread of the fungus. The sterilization properties of alcohol mean fungus cant survive alcohol.
Unfortunately, once the fungus has spread, it releases spores which goes deep into your skin and becomes difficult to treat with Alcohol and most other home remedies. Hence it is best to ensure you attend to any unusual discoloration of your finger nail or toenail as soon as you notice it.
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.
Recommended Reading: Is Listerine Good For Foot Fungus
How To Treat Nail Fungus And Why You Always Should
Aside from the pain and discomfort, its crucial to treat nail fungus because it can spread and cause permanent damage to your toenail beds. Plus, it is more difficult to treat when it advances, and it does not just go away on its own.
For those with diabetes or a weakened immune system, nail fungus can increase the risk of an infection of the surrounding skin.
Treatments include medicated nail polish, topical antifungal creams, and oral medications. At Town Center Foot & Ankle, podiatrist Dr. Stephen G. Eichelsdorfer offers an effective high tech treatment to get rid of toenail fungus and prevent it from returning. He uses PinPointe FootLaser system to destroy the fungus on the affected toe as well as the surrounding toes.
This method enables Dr. Eichelsdorfer to destroy fungus that is present on neighboring toes but has not caused symptoms yet. This way you destroy all the nail fungus at once to prevent a recurrence. Recurrences are fairly common.
For more information on how to prevent, diagnose, and treat toenail fungus, call Town Center Foot & Ankle with offices in Kingwood and Atascocita, Texas, or make an appointment online.
You Might Also Enjoy…