When To Contact A Doctor
Toenail fungus is typically not a significant problem for most people. However, if there are no improvements or complications occur as a result of home remedies, people should speak with a doctor and stop using the home remedy as soon as possible. It is also advisable to contact a podiatrist if a person notices any discoloration, thickening, or abnormality of the toenails.
Furthermore, people at higher risk for complications should seek medical treatment for their toenail fungus and avoid home remedies altogether. This includes those with diabetes or with weakened immune systems.
Prevention And Treatment Of Toenail Fungus
Once its taken hold, toenail fungus can be hard to kick. Here are some techniques for the prevention and treatment of toenail fungus.
Anyone who enjoys wearing open-toed sandals in the summer knows how good it feels to have healthy-looking toenails. But good looks arent the only reason to keep your toenails in top shape. Fungal infections of the toenails also known as onychomycosis don’t go away on their own, and if left untreated, the fungus will spread and can eventually destroy the nail.
If you have comprised blood flow, theres even more reason to safeguard your toenails, since youll have trouble healing, says Ami Sheth, a doctor of podiatric medicine in Los Gatos, California, and a spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association. And once you have a wound, you can get fungal skin infections, which can lead to a subsequent bacterial infection if the skin breaks down, notes Dr. Sheth.
However, because toenail fungal infections are typically painless, people are often unaware that they have a problem unless they are inspecting their feet regularly.
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Q: Does Medicare Pay For Diabetic Shoes And Custom Orthotics
A: Medicare will cover diabetic shoes and inserts with some patients.
- Patients must meet and have specific qualifying conditions that must be verified by the Physician managing their diabetes.
- If you have diabetes, you should have an annual foot evaluation performed by a foot doctor or podiatrist to determine if you are eligible for this benefit through Medicare and other insurance carriers.
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Easy Home Remedies For Summer Toenail Fungus
In the midst of toe-baring sandal season, fungal nails are the last thing anyone wants to see! Toenail fungusalso known as onychomycosisis a common summer infection featuring yellow, white, or brown discoloration on one or more or your toenails. Though commonly thought of as a cosmetic issue, nail fungus can become painful and inhibiting, causing toenails to thicken and crack.
Fortunately, there are a number of easy home remedies that may help you to treat and prevent the development of toenail fungus.
The fatty acids in coconut oil are natural warriors against toenail fungus, breaking down the fungal membrane by inserting themselves in its lipid layer. Simply rub a dime-sized dollop of coconut oil into the affected area 2-3 times a day.
Oregano oil contains a special antibacterial ingredientthymolthat is key to fighting toenail fungus. To disinfect and treat your toenail fungus, apply a few drops of oregano oil to a cotton ball or swab and gently dab it over your nails.
Tea Tree/Olive/Orange Oil Rub
Heres a great recipe for a 3-part disinfectant made from tea tree, olive, and orange oil. Mix together:
- 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of orange oil
As with the oregano oil, apply this antiseptic rub to your nails using a cotton ball or swab.
Olive Leaf Salve
- 4-5 teaspoons of baking soda
- 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups of warm water
How To Tell If Your Toenail Fungus Is Dying Off
If youâve found a good toenail fungus treatment and now are wondering about the signs your toenail fungus is finally dying off, youâve come to the right place.
In this short guide, we are going to walk you through what to expect when youâre treating toenail fungus.
This treatment can be a lengthy process, so itâs important to stick with it and see it all to the very end.
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Nail Removal Home Remedies And Laser Treatment
In the most serious instances of toenail fungus infection, the toenail may be removed surgically or dissolved with acid. This can be done to just a portion of the nail in the hope that the remaining nail will grow back healthy. In cases where the entire toenail has to be removed, artificial nails and products using light-cured resins to form a temporary covering can be used to protect the underlying tissue until the nail grows back.
If you prefer to go the home-remedy route, such as applying tea tree oil or Vicks VapoRub to your nails, keep in mind that the effectiveness of these products for treating toenail fungus hasn’t been well studied, and they are not recommended by podiatrists.
Finally, the Food and Drug Administration has approved several laser devices for temporary increase in clear nails in patients with onychomycosis. But while laser treatments are vigorously marketed, clinical trials of lasers have reported mixed results, and the treatments may not be covered by health insurance. If you wish to try laser treatment of toenail fungus, speak to your doctor about what to expect from the treatment, and call your insurance carrier to find out whether the treatment will be covered.
Additional reporting by Susan Jara.
Cellulitis Vs Venous Stasis
Venous stasis, or venous stasis dermatitis, is a condition commonly misdiagnosed as cellulitis.
This condition causes swelling, discoloration, and can develop into skin ulcers. It is the result of poor circulation in the lower limbs and typically affects the lower legs and ankles.
Unlike cellulitis, this condition can affect both sides of the body and is not the result of bacterial infection. However, should you develop sores or ulcers as a result of venous stasis, your risk of a skin infection will increase.
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Protect Your Feet In Public
You can lock down your home against fungus rather easily, but the world is another matter. Fungus thrives in warm, damp, moist environments, and there are plenty of them out there with a lot of foot traffic.
If you are going to high risk areas such as gyms, locker rooms, and public pools, you need to keep your feet protected. A pair of sandals oreven bettershower shoes will provide a good amount of cover in the worst of it.
Of course, wash your feet well after your time in a shower room or pool, and make sure they are fully dry before you put socks and shoes back on.
How Can I Stop My Nail Fungus From Returning
Chances are, if youre exposing your feet to the same spaces in which they previously became infected, theyll likely get infected again. Instead of walking barefoot through communal areas like public pools and showers, try wearing flip-flops or other appropriate shower shoes. Just make sure you thoroughly clean and dry your feet afterward.
When you treat yourself to a pedicure, make sure the establishment is clean, licensed, and in accordance with state standards. Are the nail techs sterilizing their equipment between each use? If not, this could be why nail fungus keeps popping up on your toes. Time to find a new favorite spot!
If youve taken medication for nail fungus or used antifungal creams or polishes and stopped using them at the first sign of healthier nails, this could be why your nail fungus keeps coming back. Although it seems like the fungus is gone, some that isnt visible to the naked eye could remain. If treatment is stopped too early, some remnant fungus may continue to grow, which will lead to what is perceived to be another infection.
If your doctor gives you oral medication, make sure to finish it in accordance with your doctors recommendations. If youre using over-the-counter polish or cream, its recommended that you keep using it up to a couple of weeks after the appearance of a healthy nail.
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How Are Fungal Toenails Treated
As a starting point, we have to mention that you can find over-the-counter products that advertise as being able to help with this condition. The fact of the matter, though, is that they are not effective.
Many of those OTC use natural ingredients that arent proven to work. When you want the fungus to be eradicated, you need the right kind of medication, which is where our office can help.
Dr. Scudday can prescribe oral and topical medications to target the fungus and restore your nails back to a healthy, clear state.
The oral medications target the infection from the inside-out. They travel through the bloodstream and can reach dermatophytes residing underneath nail tissue. Conversely, topical medication is applied to affected toenails and works to eradicate fungus residing on the surface.
If you have a case of fungal toenails, come in and see Dr. Scudday for treatment at the earliest opportunity. The infection will only continue to worsen the longer it is left untreated.
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 If I Need Surgery
If your condition is severe or doesnt respond to conservative care, your podiatrist may recommend surgery. Surgical treatment for nail fungus involves the partial or complete removal of the affected nail. Your doctor also applies antifungal medication directly to the infected area.
Complete removal of the affected nail is typically reserved for conditions that dont respond to antifungal medication. Nail removal is a simple, in-office procedure that effectively addresses severe or recurrent toenail fungus. To find out which treatment is right for your toenail fungus, book an appointment at Wake Forest Foot and Ankle by phone or online today.
Check Your Nails To Find Early Signs Of Infection
Following these precautions will reduce your risk of getting another infection. Fungal infection, however, are very common. You can get another one. Early treatment delivers the best outcome.
You can find signs of an early fungal infection by checking your nails and the skin around them at least once a month. You want to look for:
Changes in nail color, such as a white spot or brown or yellow streak
Changes to the texture of your nails
Soreness or swelling around a nail
Dry, itchy skin
If you notice any signs of infection, make an appointment to see your dermatologist.
ReferenceGold LFS and Rosen T. Onychomycosis: Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies. Dermatology News . March 2016:2-15.
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Prevalence Of Toenail Onychomycosis
Both superficial and deep fungal infections are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in individuals with HIV infection, who when not effectively treated to reduce their viral load, exhibit marked immunosuppression. Prevalence of toenail infection in HlV-infected patients has been reported to be as high as 30 percent, and appears to be directly related to the severity of immunosuppression . Onychomycosis has been found to be significantly more likely to be diagnosed in the context of tinea pedis .
Risk Factors Associated With Toenail Fungus
Certain health conditions and lifestyle factors can make you increasingly vulnerable to developing nail fungus:
Health: You have a greater chance of contracting a fungal nail infection if you suffer from one or more of the following issues:
- Other fungal skin infections, such as athletes foot or ringworm
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What Is A Fungal Infection
Fungus, plural fungi is a class of organisms with over 144,000 known species. Fungus holds great importance for the environment and medical sector. Fungi are considered as one of the most widely distributed organisms worldwide Some are found free-living in soil or water others from parasitic or symbiotic relationships with plants or animals. Some common examples of fungi include Mushroom, mildews and mold. However, not all types of fungi are harmful but some can cause severe suffering for human beings and other living organisms.
Fungal infections are common all over the world and it only occurs when an invading fungus captures over the human body and the immune system of human is too weak to combat. Fungi are populated in our environment and are found flying freely in the atmosphere, they also divide and reproduce in the tiny spores that are present in the air. These fungi that are not visible to eh naked eye can enter into the human body through our respiratory system and can land inside to form a parasitic relationship within our lungs, throat, liver or any other hospitable part of the body causing a severe infection. In some cases, fungi also attack the intestines or the genital area of the human body causing severe hazard to health however, almost all the infection caused by fungus are curable with proper care and treatment.
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What Are The Signs The Treatment Is Working
In some cases, you might not really see sure signs that the fungi are âdyingâ per se. But you might begin to see some subtle changes in the appearance of your infected nail.
If you see these signs, itâs a good thing, but donât optimistically stop treatment. Even if you have great physical changes, it doesnât mean the fungus is gone — keep on treating it as long as your doctor recommends.
Here are some positive initial signs your treatment is working:
Changes in color
Toenail fungus can cause the nail to become white, yellow, black, or brown. As the fungus diminishes, the discoloration of the nail might slowly dissipate. Over time, youâll see areas of discoloration get smaller and smaller.
If your toenail infection has caused your nails to become thick and raised off your nailbed, a sign of effective treatment is a decrease in nail thickness. However, this might not totally resolve until your nail regrows.
New nail growth is healthy
Over time the new growth will begin to show at the base of your nail. If the treatment is working, the new growth should be healthy and will likely look a little different from the upper part of the nail.
Clear delineation between new nail growth and infected nail
With time, this new growth will become longer and longer, making its way to the top of your nail. As this happens you might see a clear line between healthy new growth and the older infected nail.
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Doctor Prescribed Ways To Treat Nail Fungus
Fortunately, there several ways to get rid of nail fungus. Most treatments aim to eradicate the causative organism and restore the normal appearance of healthy nails. Treatment options range from self-care remedies, to medications recommended by a general practitioner, to ointments bought over-the-counter without a prescription.
Its important to note that repeat infections are common even with treatment. Whats more, remedies are not all equally effective with some even causing possible side effects.
With that in mind, here are some of the top ways to treat and get rid of nail fungus at home.
How To Stop Your Fungal Nail Infection Spreading Through Your Family
Fungal nail infections that leave one or more of your toenails with a yellow/white discolouration, or a flaky, brittle appearance, are the cause of 50% of all diseases affecting the nails. As the nail infection progresses, your nail may also thicken, lift away from the nail bed, and make wearing certain types of shoes uncomfortable. More than the physical symptoms that a fungal nail infection produces, for many of our patients, their persistent infections leave them hiding their toes in closed shoes and socks year-round, impacting their self-esteem and confidence with their appearance.
With many pharmacy anti-fungal creams and lacquers having a poor success rate while requiring multiple daily applications, prevention is far better and easier than cure. If youre currently battling a fungal nail infection, today our podiatry team has laid out the practical steps you can take to help stop it spreading to other members within your household, as well as sharing the one most effective treatment for fungal nails weve seen in our years of podiatry that is helping our patients get superior results.
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