How Did I Get Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus usually enters the nail bed when there has been an injury to the area, such as a crack or a split.
Once the fungus enters, the warm, dark environment that it finds in shoes and socks allow it to grow and spread. The fungus starts by growing under the nail bed, making it very difficult to reach with any sort of medication.
The standard treatment usually involves prescription medication or partial or full removal of the toenail.
The fungus first appears as a black spot on the toenail. This spot can start to grow and your nail can start changing color as it progresses.
If you let it go, your nail may thicken, change color further, and even produce a foul odor . It is best to deal with the early signs before it turns into something really serious.
One of the main causes of toenail fungus is poor hygiene, and the chances of getting toenail fungus increase with age men being more likely to get it over women.
This could be due to many factors, but most likely because men typically dont take care of their foot/nail hygiene as much as women do.
Who Suffers From Toenail Fungus
- Do you sweat a lot?
- Do you use a public pool or take communal showers at the gym?
- Do you regularly go to a nail salon to get a manicure or pedicure?
- Do you suffer from diabetes, malnutrition, a weak immune system, or have you smoked for a long time?
Unfortunately, if you answered yes to any of these questions, you are more likely to contract toenail fungus.
How To Use It
Apply mentholated ointment directly to the affected nail. Do this about once a day for several weeks or until the nail shows noticeable improvements.
Vinegar is a common household product found in cooking and some home cleaning solutions. Though no clinical evidence exists to date, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that vinegar is an effective tool to help treat toenail fungus.
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What Does It Mean When Toenail Fungus Turns Black
- Patients frequently ask us, what does it mean when toenail fungus turns black?
- There is a chance that this could be a black yeast or a black toenail fungus, but it is usually dry blood.
- This usually means that the toenail is getting thick and ripping away from the underlying skin.
- These small blood vessels called capillaries rupture and form dry blood underneath the toenail.
- As the toenail dies, the toenail will eventually turn black and die.
Does The Rest Of The Podiatry World Believe It
Not exactly. There isnt enough of a scientific literature directly applied to the use of Vicks VapoRub and thymol to make a definitive conclusion as to whether it will help your toenail fungus. Its likely that your podiatrist wont advise you to use it for this purpose.
Writing for Podiatry Today in 2016, Tracey Vlahovic looked at one of the more influential studies in the area, deducing that there just isnt enough evidence to support this specific ointment as a good treatment.
Time will tell if this ointment truly can eradicate fungus or, by virtue of its ointment properties, simply creates a more hydrated nail unit that gives the appearance of a healthier nail.
Additionally, Dr. Christopher Hull, a dermatologist at the University of Utah, recently claimed the remedy probably wont help. But it wont hurt anything either.
Hull went on to explain why topic treatments usually dont do much:
Theres a lot of those things out there. A lot of people use vinegar, tea tree oil. The hard part with any of these topical medicines is they dont penetrate the nail unit very well. So getting them, actually, to the fungus in the nail unit is very difficult. And thats why a lot of the prescription topical medicines have such limited effects.
The best course of action is take whatever anti-fungal drugs your doctor recommends. There might not be an exciting over-the-counter cure sitting in your medicine cabinet, but at least your doctor can prescribe a drug that will.
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Black Under Toenail Symptoms:
The most common symptom of black toenail fungus is that initially, toenail fungus develops.
- After toenail fungus develops, a thicker toenail usually takes up more room in the sock and shoe.
- As this happens, the toenail can catch on her shoes or socks and start to rip away from the skin.
- This gradually forms debris and dirt that forms under the tip of the nail. This then forms a callus in the nail that starts to rub the way more and more.
- Eventually, the toenail starts to turn black when small little blood vessels called capillaries are ripped away from the toenail.
- This creates bleeding between the toenail and the skin.
- As this blood starts to dry, it quickly turns black and forms a scab between the toenail and the skin.
- As this gets thicker, it forms thick black toenail fungus.
- The toenail eventually can turn completely back as it dies.
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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.
Oral medications can come in capsules, tablets, or liquid. Some common prescriptions are Diflucan , Lamisil , Onmel , and Sporanox .
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Fact Or Fiction: Vicks Vaporub Kills Toenail Fungus
If you have nail fungus, youâve probably heard of the home-remedy âcureâ of using Vicks VapoRub. But can this over-the-counter topical cough suppressant really kill toenail fungus?
While this would be a cost-effective cure, running around five bucks a bottle, is it backed by science?
In this article, weâll go over a scientific study that was out to answer the same question.
The Facts About Vicks Vaporub For Toenail Fungus
The truth of the matter is, toe nail fungus is extremely difficult to treat and even the best treatments have less than stellar results, particularly when the infection is severe. Research has shown that the best likelihood of obtaining a cure is to begin treatment very early and at the first signs of infection.
There are currently two types of treatment approved by the FDA for treating fungal nail infections: oral and topical. The traditional option that has shown the best success rate is Lamisil, an oral prescription medication. It has about a 50% cure rate, but it also has unpleasant and potentially serious side effects. Permanent liver damage is one such side effect. Prescription medications must also be used for extended periods of time and often interferes with other commonly used medications, such as antibiotics and antidepressants.
Compared to prescription medications, Vicks is even less promising as a cure despite treatment that can last over a year. Several studies have been conducted in an attempt to ascertain the effectiveness of Vicks Vaporub for toenail fungus. The results revealed that when Vicks was applied to the infected area on a daily basis, 65% of the participants said it was ineffective. It also seems that once you quit using the Vicks treatment, the infection is very likely to return.
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Treatment Options For Nail Fungus
Most of my conversation is usually discussing medical therapy, so things that are available by prescription only. And those come in two main forms, which are topical antifungal medications, and then oral antifungal medications. There are other surgical or procedural options, so you can remove nails as well. And then there’s starting to be more interest in technologies like lasers for nail fungus.
Why Does It Work A Look At The Ingredients
In order to answer the question of why does VICKS work?… we first need to take a look at the ingredients it contains.
It has some proof of working, so what it is exactly that makes it effective?
The ingredients included in the normal VICKS VapoRub include the following:
- Used commonly for pain relief, anti-irritant, against coughs, and yes… even as an antifungal.
- Reduces pain and swelling and increases blood flow when applied topically.
- 2014 study published in the journal Biological Research shows it does indeed have antifungal activity, although not particularly when dealing with toenail fungus. It has been shown to inhibit growth of fungi better than other essential oils.
- Turpentine oil
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Other Readers And The Vicks Vaporub Cure
Larry says it takes patience!
I have toenail fungus on my left big toe. I tried many treatments for it, but nothing worked. I tried Vicks VapoRub. I kept using it almost every day for about three months. I would put a bandage over the Vicks and the nail so the goo wouldnt rub off on my socks. Patience is the key. Slowly it is clearing up, and the nail is already starting to come back to its normal color.
Jean offered this perspective on the Vicks VapoRub cure:
I have had a fingernail fungus which seemed to defy all pharmaceutical remedies. I read somewhere on the web that Vicks VapoRub rubbed onto the nail twice a day would cure it. Because of the mess and smell I smeared a small amount of Vicks onto a plaster, twice a day, and wrapped my finger tip.
Occasionally I dropped Tea Tree Oil on the nail before applying the Vicks. Within two months the fungus was gone. I am now waiting for the nail to grow out.
We write about many more approaches for nail fungus and other common conditions in our book, The Peoples Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies. It is available in our bookstore.
Destroy The Fungi In Your Shoes Or Risk Getting Reinfected
One of the most important aspects of treating your nail fungus is disinfecting your shoes, sheets, and other surfaces. Unfortunately, If you have placed your infected nails into a pair of shoes, there are now fungal spores living in those shoes. This means that even if you successfully treat your fungal nails, you will most likely reinfect yourself unless you destroy the fungi in your shoes.
Fortunately, there are a number of great solutions on the market. Although there are many different antifungal sprays and powders, our top recommendation is utilizing an LTE system. Ultraviolet Shoe Sanitizer is a fantastic option that kills 99.9% of bacteria in your shoes. Simply place the ultraviolet bulbs in your shoes, and the system will automatically get to work destroying the fungi in quick 15 minute intervals. The bulbs each last up to 8000 hours and are easy to replace, so you can finally get rid of your nail fungus and prevent reinfections.
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When To See A Doctor
In most cases, toenail fungus is considered a cosmetic problem. Still, it may cause serious complications for some people.
If you have diabetes, toenail fungus may lead to foot ulcers or other foot problems. According to a 2012 study, chronic toenail fungus is a significant risk factor for bacterial cellulitis of the leg.
If you have diabetes or a weakened immune system, you shouldnt use home remedies for toenail fungus. Contact your doctor for the appropriate course of action.
Mayo Clinic Q And A: Treatment For Toenail Fungus Isnt Always Necessary
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I am in my late 50s, and a few of my toenails have turned a yellowish color and seem to have thickened. Is this something I should be concerned about? Is there anything I can do to fix this?
ANSWER: What youre likely experiencing is a fungal nail infection. Fungal nail infections are common, especially among older adults. As nail growth slows with age, its easier for fungus to establish in the nail bed. Treatments are available, although they may take some vigilance and are not always necessary.
Toenail fungus usually is caused by a microscopic organism called dermatophyte fungus. It often begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your toenail. But as the infection goes deeper, nail fungus may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and crumble at the edge. These fungal infections are more likely to happen in your toenails than in your fingernails because toenails often are confined in a dark, warm, moist environment, where fungi can thrive. Toes also have less blood flow than fingers, making it harder for your bodys immune system to detect and stop the infection. But it is possible for fingernails to be affected.
The older you are, the more likely you are to get toenailfungus. Thats because as you age, your immune system changes. Inaddition, your nails become more brittle and drier over time, creating morecracks where fungus can live.
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What About The Cost Of Oral Medications For Fungal Nails
A further consideration is cost. Because newer oral antifungal agents are very expensive, some insurance companies balk at paying for what they consider a cosmetic issue, unless nail fungus causes pain or other functional symptoms. Terbinafine and fluconazole are now available as generic drugs and are quite inexpensive.
How Often Should I Apply Vicks Vaporub To My Infected Nails
If possible, we recommend utilizing the Vicks Vaporub formula twice a day once in the morning and once at night. Everybodys skin and nails react differently to the formula and have different levels of sensitivity. If twice a day proves to be too extensive and causes any sort of adverse reaction, consider cutting it down to once a day.
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What Is Toenail Fungus
Onychomycosis, better known as toenail fungus, is a fungal infection that thickens and blemishes your nails. This condition causes cosmetic issues, and over time, it induces pain too. People spending most of their time in the water, experiencing diabetes mellitus, and athletes foot is at greater risk of toenail fungus. Before telling you how to get rid of toenail fungus, its vital to understand its symptoms.
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Toenail Fungus: Symptoms And Causes
If one or more of your nails are infected with fungus, you may have nail fungus.
Nail fungus can infect fingernails, although it affects toenails more frequently.
Various fungal species cause fungal nail infections . The most common cause is dermatophyte, a type of fungus. Yeast and molds can also infect the nails, causing infection.
People of any age can acquire a fungus nail infection, but it is more common among the elderly. The nail might become brittle and dry as it gets older. Fungi can infiltrate through the breaks in the nails as a result of this. Other factors, such as poor blood circulation in the feet and a weaker immune system, could also be involved. Athletes feet can cause toenail fungal infection, which can spread from one nail to the next. However, contracting an infection from someone else is uncommon.
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How To Do The Vaseline Treatment For Toenail Fungus
Vaseline Treatment can be done in different ways depending on how one is treating their toenail fungus.
Let us understand the Toenail Fungus first. When one has toenail fungus, there are chances they have ingrown nails, slow-growing nails, yellow and stiff nails, brittle and thick nails and foul-smelling nails too.
In most cases, doctors suggest anti-fungal medicines or even surgical toenail removal from its bed so the fungus doesnt enter the bloodstream.
Since the quality of toenails can become very rough and it is also painful, vaseline treatment is done.
Doctors recommend applying vaseline at least once or twice a day after trimming your nail and washing it thoroughly.
In case the nail is painful, you may leave it open after applying vaseline or do a light dressing and redo it every 12-24 hour. This results in a significant improvement of the condition.
Whats In The Vicks Vaporub Cure
Vicks contains menthol, camphor, eucalyptus oil, cedarleaf oil, nutmeg oil, petrolatum, thymol and turpentine oil. A number of these ingredients have antifungal activity, which may explain its success against nail fungus.
Thymol has antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal activity . Other essential oils such as eucalyptus and tea tree oil also have fungicidal action .
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