Luxuriate In Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is known for being incredibly calming for the senses, sure, but its also a great option for calming toenail fungal infections. According to a study published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, lavender provides a powerful antifungal punch. Lavender essential oil shows a potent antifungal effect against strains of fungi that are responsible for toenail fungus and other skin fungal infections, Hayag explains. When using lavender oil to treat toenail fungus, it is best to apply one to two drops of lavender oil to the affected nail and allow it to soak for 10 minutes. After soaking, she suggests gently scrubbing the area with a clean toothbrush and repeating the process daily until the infection has been resolved.
Hydrogen Peroxide Foot Soaks
The acidity of hydrogen peroxide fights toenail fungus. Fill a small bowl or bucket with one cup of peroxide against six to eight cups of filtered warm water. Throw in dried herbs like chamomile and lavender to soothe irritation, and add a few tablespoons of sea salt as a natural antiseptic.
Soak your feet in the water-peroxide mixture for up to 45 minutes. Finish the treatment by rinsing your feet in filtered water, and then thoroughly dry your feet with a clean towel. Repeat the water-peroxide soak twice daily until the infection improves.
What To Watch For When Taking Oral Medication For Toenail Fungus Treatment
All of the pills for toenail fungus can cause liver toxicity. This is rare and is reversible after the medication is stopped. Still, liver function blood testing will be done before you start your treatment and again midway through your treatment.
Medications like Terbinafine and Itraconazole can also interact with certain drugs. Your healthcare provider will look at your medication list to make sure there arent any drug interactions.
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How To Stop The Reoccurrence Of Toenail Fungus
Below are some pointers thatll help you avoid the resurge of toenail fungus in the near future.
- Never leave your toes wet in any circumstances. Dry them immediately.
- Dont forget to carry flip-flops or shower sandals every time you visit public showers, spas, gyms, locker rooms, and changing rooms near swimming pools.
- Avoid wearing sweaty socks and dirty shoes.
- Dont share your personal belongings with anyone as its a highly contagious disease.
- Give your toenails some extra TLC by trimming and filing them often.
- Carry only good-quality shoes that are comfortable and have a breathing room.
- Always use sanitized nail styling equipment and instruct the same to the salon team as well.
- Keep your shoes under direct sunlight regularly for a couple of hours to kill infection-causing microbes.
- Clean your toes with anti-fungal soap and pat dry daily.
Toenail fungal infection is a bothersome condition that needs to be addressed immediately as it not only ruins nails appearance but is freaking painful. Dont fret you can easily manage this issue with betadine.
What Causes Fungal Nail Infections
- A fungal nail infection occurs when a fungus infects a fingernail, toenail or the skin under the nail .
- Fungi tend to attack nails that are already damaged through small cuts in the skin around your nail or through the opening between your nail and nail bed.
- Toenails are affected 7 times more often than fingernails.
- You can get a fungal nail infection from sharing personal items such as nail clippers, or towels, walking barefoot in public showers or pools, or if you have athletes foot , where the fungus spreads from your skin to your nail.
- Nail injury, athletes foot, diabetes, smoking or medication that suppress your immune system can increase your risk of getting a fungal nail infection.
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How To Prevent Both Foot And Toenail Fungus
While toenail fungus and foot fungus arent the same condition, the following tips can help you prevent both, says Sundling:
- Practice good hygiene, such as keeping your feet clean.
- Alternate your shoes during the week. Your feet sweat all day long. Alternating your shoes allows them to dry out, so the fungus cant survive.
- Wear moisture-wicking socks that help dry out shoes and kill fungus. You can find these at running stores and athletic stores. If your socks are exceptionally sweaty, changing them more than once per day can help.
- Wear shoes in public places like locker rooms, pools, and gyms to limit exposure to fungus.
What Is Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is usually an infection of the toenail caused by opportunistic fungi, explains Oliva. It may cause your nail to turn a yellow or white hue, thicken, or crumble at the outer edges.
While toenail fungus can occur in people of all ages, board-certified dermatologist Marie Hayag, MD, says that its most common in older folks. As the nail ages, it is prone to becoming brittle and dry, which can result in cracks in the nails that make it susceptible to fungal infections, she explains, noting that all of the aforementioned causes can be even more of a concern as a result.
Meet the Expert
- , MD, is a board-certified dermatologist practicing in Manhattan. She is an assistant clinical professor at Mount Sinai Hospital and also teaches in the Dermatology Departments surgery clinic.
- Francisco Oliva, DPM, is a Miami-based podiatrist who has been in private practice for 25+ years.
Nevertheless, because developing a toenail fungus can occur at all ages, we reveal the best ways to treat toenail fungus at home, below.
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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 Are Treatments For Toenail Fungus
Do you need to treat your nail fungus? Maybe it doesn’t hurt, and the yellow, thick nails don’t bother you.
But nail fungus doesn’t go away by itself. And if you don’t treat it, there’s a chance it could get worse. It could spread to other nails or through your body. It could cause pain when you walk.
There are a number of ways to take care of it, including:
Nonprescription options. You can buy antifungal creams, gels, and nail polish at the store and online without a prescription. You might want to try one of them first if the infection doesn’t look bad. Some people also swear by home remedies like menthol rub, tea tree oil, mouthwash, or snakeroot extract — but studies show mixed results.
Prescription polish and creams. Your foot doctor will likely trim your nail and file away its dead layers. They may also take a piece of your nail and send it to the lab to make sure itâs really a fungus and to find out what type it is.
The doctor might suggest an antifungal drug that you paint on your nails. This may work on its own, or they may suggest you take it with antifungal pills.
Prescription medications. One of several antifungal pills may help. They work, but it may take many months to do the job. They also come with side effects like nausea, vomiting, and headaches. They may cause liver damage too, so your doctor will watch you closely while you take them. Be sure to tell them about any other meds youâre taking — some antifungal pills might not work well with them.
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About Fungal Nail Infection
Many people develop a fungal nail infection at some point in their life. It’s not usually serious, but can be unpleasant and difficult to treat.
The infection develops slowly and causes the nail to become discoloured, thickened and distorted.
Toenails are more frequently affected than the fingernails.
The medical name for a fungal nail infection is onychomycosis.
Whos At Risk For Fungal Infections
There are many different causes of fungal nail infections. Each cause has a treatment of its own. Although many of the causes of a fungal nail infection are preventable, some risk factors increase the likelihood of developing one. Youre more likely to develop a fungal nail infection if you:
- wear closed-toe shoes, such as tennis shoes or boots
Nail infections occur more often in men than in women, and the infections are found in adults more often than in children. If you have family members who often get these types of fungal infections, youre more likely to get them as well.
Older adults have a high risk for getting fungal nail infections because they have poorer circulation. The nails also grow more slowly and thicken as we age.
A fungal infection of the nail may affect part of the nail, the entire nail, or several nails.
Common signs of a fungal nail infection include:
- a distorted nail that may lift off from the nail bed
- an odor coming from the infected nail
- a brittle or thickened nail
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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.
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.
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How Long Does Toenail Fungus Treatment Take
This process may take up to a year for your nail to fully grow out the infected nail.
The American Academy of Dermatology Association says fingernails typically grow out in 4 – 6 months while toenails take can take 12 to 18 months.
However, the physical appearance might noticeably improve within a few months. Even if the physical appearance is better, donât stop treating the nail as reinfection is very possible.
Treatment From Your Gp
Your GP can prescribe antifungal tablets. You’ll need to take these every day for up to 6 months.
Tablets can have side effects including:
- loss of taste
You cannot take antifungal tablets if you’re pregnant or have certain conditions. They can damage your liver.
If your nail has a very bad infection, you may need to have it removed. This is a small procedure done under local anaesthetic.
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Laser Procedure For Toenail Fungus Under The Nails
Using a laser directly on the toenails helps to reach those areas underneath and inside the nail. This is because the type of light used can penetrate through the tough layers of the nails. Laser procedures are very convenient because they can be completed in under 10 minutes per foot.
The PinPointe foot laser is FDA-approved for the temporary increase of clear nail in patients with onychomycosis.
This machine can be used on almost all patients because it has virtually no side effects. In one study, over 83% of people who received three sessions with a laser and improved their foot hygiene had no fungi after 18-months.
Some people start to see visible improvement after just one visit, although you may need to return a small number of times for follow-up.
The laser works by targeting the fungi without hurting your skin and nails. Its designed to be at the right level to penetrate your nail and damage the infecting fungi, while not being too high to cause burning or pain for your feet. Most people dont feel anything, or they just feel a warming sensation.
At the time of the procedure, the toenail will usually not become instantly clearit takes time to grow out. As long as your infection is treated and you dont get re-infected, you should see new healthy, clear nail as it grows out within 12-18 months.
Continue To Treat Your Nail As Your Doctor Recommends
Here at Strut Health, we treat stubborn toenail fungus with an expertly blended cream of topical antifungals, and steroids.
Our cream is compounded with a proprietary DMSO base blend that helps the active ingredients penetrate deep into the nail. Treating toenail fungus is hard, but our cream takes the guesswork out of the situation.
To see if this prescription toenail fungus medication is right for you, simply complete a questionnaire-based online doctor’s consultation.
If our doctors find youâre a good candidate for this treatment, weâll ship your prescription right to your door.
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Best Ways To Treat A Nail Fungus
Nail fungus can cause thick, discolored nails, and, for some patients, it can even be painful. An Internet search will bring up plenty of ways to treat the condition, but which ones are best? Dermatologist Dr. Christopher Hull discusses what nail fungus actually is, why its so hard to get rid of, and which treatments work best.
Remedies To Fight Toenail Fungus At Home
Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is perhaps one of the most common nail disorders. It is a fungal infection that penetrates through chinks in your toenail, cuts in the surrounding skin, or the separation between the nail and the toe, and affects the material below the toenail.
The fungus tends to thrive in certain conditions, such as abnormal body pH, a weakened immune system, continuous exposure to a moist environment including sweaty shoes and socks, poor hygiene, and diabetes.
As embarrassing as this condition may be, simply camouflaging your unsightly toenail, such as painting your nails, without tending to it properly would do you more harm than good. If the infection goes untreated long enough, it could spread to the adjoining skin, to the other toenails, and even perhaps to your fingernails.
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Does Vinegar Help With Toenail Fungus
There are no current studies out there pitting toenail fungus against a vinegar foot soak directly, but there are a few studies pointing to vinegar having some potential benefits as a general anti-fungal.
All kinds of vinegar contain a natural mild acid called acetic acid, and this acid may be responsible for the antimicrobial abilities of vinegar.
And one study found apple cider vinegar and acetic acid to display significant antifungal activity against ear fungal infections.
So, while there is no conclusive evidence on vinegar helping with toenail fungus specifically, for a mild case it may be worth a few soaks since there is no harm from using one.
But, toenail fungus tends to be a stubborn infection, so we recommend pairing any sort of potentially beneficial foot soak with validated prescription therapy guided by a physician.
Alternatively, some may look into using an occasional vinegar foot soak to help get foot fungus reinfections at bay or as a preventative measure.
Terbinafine For Toenail Fungus Treatment
The best pill for toenail fungus is terbinafine. Evidence suggests it works better than the alternatives with the fewest side effects. Terbinafine results in resolution of toenail fungus 76% of the time. Common side effects may include headaches, skin rash, and vomiting. It is taken once a day for 6 to 12 weeks.
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Remedies And Treatments For Toenail Fungus
Antifungal remedies help to stop the growth of the fungus. Over-the-counter options do not claim to cure toenail fungus, but they can help to improve the look of the affected nail. These products do not work as well as prescription medications. To cure toenail fungus, a remedy has to penetrate the nail and nail bed. Most over-the-counter remedies for nail fungus are topical and do not penetrate deeply enough.
Trim, Buff, and Thin the Affected Nail
Keeping your nails trim, buffed, and clean helps to prevent the spread of the fungus to other nails. Additionally, buffing the nail can allow topical antifungals to penetrate more deeply. Make sure to wash your hands promptly after touching the affected nail, especially before touching other nails.
Vicks VapoRub is a product marketed for people with coughs. However, it may also be effective against toenail fungus. One small study showed that after applying it topically each day for 48 weeks, 27.8% of participants fully cured their nail fungus â and 55.6% of participants saw partial improvement. However, more study is needed.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil comes from the Australian tea tree. It is an essential oil traditionally used as an antibacterial and antifungal treatment. Early research shows that it may help with nail fungus when used topically. However, more research is needed. If you do use tea tree oil for toenail fungus, only use it topically.