Why Do I Get Toenail Fungus
Certain risk factors can make you more prone to developing fungal toenails:
- A toenail injury that causes a cracked toenail or open sore around the toenail or cuticle
- Age: The elderly have the highest risk of developing fungal toenails because as we age, our toenails get brittle and fungus can enter through cracks. Age also diminishes blood circulation, and poor blood flow makes a person more prone to infection.
- Walking barefoot in communal swimming pools, gyms, yoga studios, showers, and locker rooms: These hot moist areas are breeding grounds for fungus. Because fungal infections are contagious, if someone else using the facility also had a fungal infection, the fungus will set up shop there, grow and spread to others who come into contact with it.
- Sharing towels, shoes, nail clippers, or nail polish with someone who has a fungal infection
- An existing athletes foot infection: Although athletes foot affects the skin, it can cause toenail fungus due to its close proximity to the toenails.
- Reduced circulation in the feet due to conditions like peripheral vascular disease or diabetes
- Plantar Hyperhidrosis: Fungus thrives in moist environments, so if moisture buildup from plantar hyperhidrosis goes unchecked, it can make a foot prone to fungal infections.
- Wearing socks and shoes that dont properly ventilate or wick moisture away from the feet and toes.
- Living in moist, hot, humid environments
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.
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.
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Stop This Skin Infection In Its Tracks With These Over
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Toenail fungus is a common fungal condition that often starts after a rash on the foot spreads to the nails. When mild, it looks like white and yellow spots growing under the nail beds. But if left untreated, the fungus can grow severely by hardening the nails and spreading to other toes.
The fungus often begins in the form of athlete’s foot between the toes or on the soles of the feet. At this stage, the fungal infection is easier to treat with over-the-counter medication. But Shari Lipner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine, told Verywell Health toenail fungus can be difficult to treat because of how slow the nails grow. 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, she says.
Diagnosing the fungal infection early is key to make treatments effective. Dr. Lipner recommends visiting a board-certified dermatologist to properly treat the infection if it grows to be too severe.
Here are a few of the best over-the-counter toenail fungus treatments on the market.
Doctors Weigh Best Treatments
The best treatment for fungal nail infections is a prescription that your dermatologist can prescribe that you take every day for two-to-three months. The pill is not for everyone, since oral antifungals can interact with other medications and can affect the liver.
Fortunately if you dont want to or cant take a pill, there are topical solutions to treat nail fungus. Although topical medications are desirable because of the low risk of side effects and interaction with other medications, they have much longer treatment regimens. Generally, topical medications have a lower clearance rate compared to oral pills.
Newer topical antifungals including Efinaconazole and Tavaborole have better penetration of the nail plate and so they work better compared to older topical medications, says Dr. Ng. She says the topical medications work best if you only have partial nail involvement.
Lasers are approved by the FDA to temporarily increase the amount of clear nail. However, the cure rates are lower than oral medications and topical solutions.
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Question 4 Of : Will Foot Fungus Go Away On Its Own
How To Cure Toenail Fungus: Can Vinegar Help
This article was co-authored by Zora Degrandpre, ND. Dr. Degrandpre is a Licensed Naturopathic Physician in Vancouver, Washington. She is also a grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. She received her ND from the National College of Natural Medicine in 2007.There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 19 testimonials and 88% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,073,560 times.
Nail fungus refers to a fungal infection that starts underneath your toenails. It could cause discoloration, thickening, or crumbling on one or more of your nails. This is a frustrating problem, so youll naturally want to get rid of nail fungus as soon as possible. One remedy you may have heard of is soaking your foot in vinegar to clear the infection. Vinegar is acidic, so it will kill bacteria and fungus.XResearch source However, this remedy has very limited success because the vinegar cant penetrate under the nail. You can try it if you want to, but visit a podiatrist for further treatment if you dont see any results in 2 weeks.
Read Also: How Long Does It Take To Heal Toenail Fungus
What Does Athlete’s Foot Look Like
Fungal athlete’s foot may cause a rash on one or both feet and even involve the hand. A “two feet and one hand” pattern is a very common presentation of an athlete’s foot, especially in men.
- Hand fungal infections are called tinea manuum.
- Fungal athlete’s foot may also be seen along with ringworm of the groin or hand.
- It is helpful to examine the feet whenever there is a fungal groin rash called tinea cruris, or jock itch.
- It is important to treat all areas of fungal infection at one time to avoid reinfection.
- Simply treating the soles and ignoring the concurrent fungal infection of toenails may result in recurrences of athlete’s foot.
The Podiatrist’s Take On Home Remedies
While home remedies are unlikely to cause any harm in themselves, Dr. Hinkes urges caution when relying on them when looking for how to get rid of toenail fungus. “Resorting to folk remedies can be dangerous because it could keep the patient from getting a legitimate diagnosis and treatment,” he says. “Now in some people, this could be a critical thing, because it can be contagiousyou can pass it to other people and you can pass it to other parts of your body. So it’s really not something you want to fool with.” Dr. Hinkes’ advice is clear: Visit a foot care specialist. This could be a podiatrist, but foot care nurses also offer an excellent and affordable service as an alternative. And if neither of those is available, try a dermatologist. Left untreated, this condition won’t go away on its own and can cause serious pain, deformity, and even lead to further complications. Podiatrists recommend seeking expert helpyou’re better safe than sorry. If you’re desperate, though, try these DIY foot and toenail fungus treatments.
Will A Podiatrist Treat Toenail Fungus
Fungal infections in the toenail are relatively common, causing foul smells and unsightly appearances around the nail plate. If you recognize the symptoms of toenail fungus, you must meet with the right doctor, a podiatrist, for proper treatment.
Podiatrists will treat toenail fungus by using topical creams, removing part of the nail, and or using more modern methods like laser therapy to eliminate the infection. At Arizona Foot Doctors, our podiatrists conduct a thorough evaluation of your nail before starting treatment to better understand the infections origin, possible underlying conditions, and to create a treatment approach that best fits your needs and lifestyle.
How To Self Treat Toenail Fungus Id
Some of the treatments can be too costly, discouraging sufferers from attempting treatment for his or her condition.
Using harsh chemicals to treat the outside and nails, particularly the area under the nail, which is extraordinarily delicate, is not the best plan of action.
Because they dont require the use of chemical substances, you could relax and relax while making use of any number of herbal remedies for toenail fungus cure.
Recommended Reading: Does A Dermatologist Treat Nail Fungus
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.
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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:
How Do Dermatologists Treat A Fungal Nail Infection
Treatment usually begins with your dermatologist trimming your infected nail, cutting back each infected nail to the place where it attaches to your finger or toe. Your dermatologist may also scrape away debris under the nail. This helps get rid of some fungus.
To completely get rid of the infection, most people also need one or more of the following treatments:
Medicine you apply to the nail: If you have a mild infection, a medicine that you apply to your nails may get rid of the infection. This treatment helps keep new fungus out while the nails grow. Fingernails typically grow out in four to six months. Toenails take longer, usually takes 12 to 18 months.
Probably the most difficult part of this treatment is remembering to use it as often as prescribed. Some treatments must be applied every day. Others you apply once a week. To get the best results, its essential that you apply these medicines exactly as directed.
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the following medicines that you apply to the nail to treat nail fungus:
Side effects from these medicines are generally mild. Possible side effects include redness and swelling, an ingrown toenail, and stinging or burning when you apply the medicine. In clinical trials, none of these side effects caused patients to stop using the treatment.
The FDA has approved the following systemic medicines to treat nail fungus:
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How Can I Treat My Dogs Toenail Fungus
The use of topical ointments is one of the most effective ways to treat dog nail infections. These ointments are rubbed on the affected nails and you should follow the method demonstrated by the vet to apply them.
Alternatively, Epsom salt is also quite beneficial for treating a dogs toenail fungus. Dissolve one tablespoon of this salt in 4 cups of water to make a solution. Soak the paw of your pup in this solution for 10-15 minutes and then dry it thoroughly. Epsom salt is not only useful against fungus, but it also cures any kind of sore caused by the infection.
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What Disadvantages Do The Tablets Have
Tablets for fungal infections cause more side effects than topical medications do. The possible side effects of itraconazole include headaches, dizziness, gastrointestinal problems and rashes. Terbinafine can cause gastrointestinal problems and a temporary loss of taste and smell. But these kinds of side effects didn’t last long in the studies. Because both medications can interact with other drugs, it’s important to let your doctor know about any other medication you are taking.
There’s a very small risk of serious liver damage. For this reason, people with a liver disease are only given these medications if its absolutely necessary.
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How Can I Prevent Future Athlete’s Foot Infections
Since some people are simply more prone to fungal infections, they are also prone to repeated infection. Preventive measures include keeping your feet clean and dry, avoiding prolonged moist environments, using socks in airport security lines, removing shoes, and allowing the feet skin to “breathe,” avoiding walking barefoot, especially in public areas like swimming pools and gyms, avoiding contact with known infected people, and avoiding soaking and contaminated tool usage at nail salons. Weekly applications of a topical antifungal foot cream or sprinkling of antifungal foot powder into shoes may also be helpful.
It is imperative to take your own nail instruments, including nail files, to any public nail salon, unless you know the salon practices strict instrument sterilization and/or uses all disposable supplies.
Use cotton socks whenever possible. Make sure any affected family members also treat their athlete’s foot at the same time to avoid cross-infections.
A Pharmacist Can Help With Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot is unlikely to get better on its own, but you can buy antifungal medicines for it from a pharmacy. They usually take a few weeks to work.
Athlete’s foot treatments are available as:
They’re not all suitable for everyone for example, some are only for adults. Always check the packet or ask a pharmacist.
You might need to try a few treatments to find one that works best for you.
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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.