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.
Can I Wear Nail Polish If I Have Toenail Fungus
You may feel tempted to cover up a discolored toenail with nail polish. If you are using a topical antifungal, you probably should not use polish. Some providers may tell you not to wear it in any case. Polish traps in moisture from the nailbed . Because fungi thrive in moist environments, wearing nail polish may make a fungal infection worse. However, the nail continues to grow with or without polish.
What Causes Nail Fungus
Tiny, microscopic organisms called fungi cause a fungal nail infection.
Many people pick up the fungi when they have skin-to-skin contact with someone who has a fungal infection such as athletes foot or ringworm on their hands.
Another common way to get a fungal nail infection is by walking barefoot in a warm, moist area such as a pool deck or locker room. These fungi thrive in warm, moist areas.
You can also get a fungal nail infection by sharing an infected nail clipper or towel.
But you dont have to catch it from someone. You can get it if your nails are frequently moist or you often wear sweaty socks and shoes.
The fungi usually infect a nail by getting into a:
Small cut in the skin surrounding your nail
Crack in your nail
The area under a nail gives fungi a warm, moist place to grow. The infection can then spread to other nails and even your skin.
ReferencesGupta A and Brintnell W. Onychomycosis: A complex disease? Poster presented at: 69th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology 2011 Feb 4-8 New Orleans.
Gold LFS and Rosen T. Onychomycosis: Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies. Dermatology News . March 2016:2-15.
Verma S and Heffernan MP. Onychomycosis. In: Wolff K, Goldsmith LA, et al. Fitzpatricks Dermatology in General Medicine . McGraw Hill Medical, New York, 2008: 1817-20.
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Fungal Nail Infection Complications
It can take a year or more for your nails to look like they did before the infection. And you may continue to have problems:
- The fungus can come back.
- Your nails may be permanently discolored or misshapen.
- The infection may spread to other parts of your body.
Itâs especially important to take care of a fungal nail infection if you have diabetes. Youâre at greater risk of getting a serious skin infection.
Experiencing Nail Fungus In Its Early Stages
Fungal nail infections are becoming a common nail problem, especially if you frequent public bathrooms, gym, saunas, or spas. People often dismiss nail fungus because it generally does not give any discomfort and the first signs are often hard to detect. Brown or black spots and white streaks may signify an infection in your nail. It may later on progress to more evident changes wherein the nail thickens or have a rougher surface. Although not bothersome, leaving a fungal nail infection untreated can make it harder and more frustrating to cure in the end.Total dystrophic onychomycosis, or severe nail fungal infections, is the end-stage of this nail disease. Fungus has started to infect larger portions of the nail causing it to become deformed, brittle, and weak. More often than not, it starts to become painful and even emit some type of foul odor. There is increased possibility for permanent damage to the nail. The infection may also spread to other parts of your body and create more serious illnesses.
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How Is A Fungal Nail Infection Treated
It may take time to treat a nail infection. You may need to try several treatments to find one that helps. Even when a treatment works, the nail can get infected again.
Treatment often starts with antifungal medicine.
- You can try an over-the-counter medicine that comes in a cream, lotion, or nail polish.
- Your doctor can also prescribe a stronger antifungal medicine that you apply to your nail.
- Antifungal pills give the best chance of curing a severe nail infection. But they may cost a lot. And they can have serious side effects. You will need to see your doctor for regular testing if you take these pills.
- If you have a severe nail infection or the infection keeps coming back, your doctor may remove the infected nail.
If you have diabetes or a weak immune system, your doctor may suggest treating the infection, even if it doesn’t bother you.
How Contagious Is Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is a contagious fungal skin infection that can be spread directly or indirectly. It is most commonly spread in warm, moist environments. These locations typically include public swimming pools, communal showers, gyms, and locker rooms. To help prevent obtaining a fungal infection, it may be beneficial to wear appropriate footwear when you are in these locations. Some symptoms of this condition may include discoloration of the affected toenail, thickening of the toenail, and in more severe cases, the toenail may become brittle and begin to break off. In order to safely treat a toenail fungal infection, its suggested that you consult with a podiatrist for professional care and advice.
If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Manx D. Quayle of Aurora Foot and Ankle Surgical Specialists. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
- Warped or oddly shaped nails
- Yellowish nails
- Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
- Brittle, broken, thickened nail
If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.
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Skin: Condition: Infomation Terbinafine And Itraconazole
Terbinafine and itraconazole have largely taken over from griseofulvin now. They work better and much more quickly, although only about 50% of nail infections are cured. Terbinafine should be considered as first line treatment for dermatophyte fungi . It is taken daily for 6 weeks for fingernail infections and for 12-16 weeks for toenail infections.
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.âOrit Markowitz, MD, founder and CEO of OptiSkin treatment center in New York City.
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What Is The Best Medication For Athletes Foot
Every case of athletes foot is unique, so its impossible to choose one treatment that works across the board. There isnt a best treatment treatment depends on your particular situation. Your doctor will consider your condition severity, medical history, current medications, and more when selecting a treatment route.
Here are some of the most common over-the-counter and prescription medications used for curing athletes foot:
|Best medications for athletes foot|
|100 mg once a day, as advised by your doctor||Dizziness, nausea, headache, upset stomach|
Dosage is determined by your doctor based on your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and weight. Other possible side effects exist. This is not a complete list.
How Do I Know If I Have A Fungal Nail Infection
Because other infections can affect the nail and mimic symptoms of a fungal nail infection, the only way to confirm a diagnosis is to see a doctor. Theyll take a scraping of the nail and look under a microscope for signs of fungus.
In some cases, your doctor may send the sample to a lab for analysis and identification.
Over-the-counter products arent usually recommended to treat nail infections since they dont provide reliable results. Instead, your doctor may prescribe an oral antifungal medication, such as:
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Is Nail Fungus Contagious
Yes, its highly contagious, it can be transmitted from one person to another or through various objects. If you ignore your nail infection it can spread through the body. The head, skin and fingernail are all the common areas of fungal infection.
The infection can also be spread through various tool at the nail salon, so whenever youre visiting your salon to get a pedicure or manicure, make sure to ask about sterilization. As for nail polish if you are not comfortable and to be on the safe side you can bring your own bottle.
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Soak In Listerine And White Vinegar
The combination of Listerines antifungal ingredients and vinegars acidity makes an inhospitable environment for fungi. This treatment is effective for green nails which may have whats called atypical organisms, says Dr. Goldenberg. If you have true toenail fungus, its less likely to work, though.
How to use it: Combine the two in equal portions and soak your toes in the solution, ideally for 45 to 60 minutes daily.
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How Effective Are Tablets In Treating Nail Fungus
Tablets for the treatment of nail fungus have been tested in several studies. All participants had an infection on their toenails caused by a skin fungus. Overall, the study results showed that tablets are considerably more effective than nail polishes or creams.
One year after a three-month treatment with terbinafine:
- About 17 out of 100 people who didnt have this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
- About 76 out of 100 people who had this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
In other words, the treatment with terbinafine got rid of the fungal infection in about 59 out of 100 people.
Itraconazole also proved to be effective. After one year,
- 7 out of 100 people who didnt have this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
- About 43 out of 100 people who had this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
In other words, the treatment with itraconazole got rid of the fungal infection in about 36 out of 100 people.
Some studies directly compared itraconazole and terbinafine with each other. They confirm that terbinafine is somewhat more effective than itraconazole.
Treatment with breaks is thought to be about as effective as continuous treatment. But that has only been looked into in a few studies.
How To Catch Nail Fungus Early
You likely have an image in your mind of what toenail fungus looks like. The symptoms are pretty classic:
- A yellowish or brownish color
- Thickening of the nails
But what if we told you that, by the time you see these signs, the fungus has already had plenty of time to set up shop and bury itself deep within your toenails?
It takes a lot of time for symptoms such as those above to appear. And lets be honest: even when the main symptoms start to appear, we tend to have a habit of overlooking it, or just hoping it goes away on its own at least until it becomes too significant of a problem to ignore.
We are not judging here. It is a very common and very human behavior.
Nevertheless, the fact remains that the sooner a fungal infection is diagnosed and addressed, the faster and more effective treatments tend to be. And when it comes to toenail fungus, the early signs are definitely not as obvious as what they end up becoming.
Catching and treating a fungal infection at its earliest stages can save you plenty of time and trouble, so we highly recommend paying attention to your feet and periodically checking for these first symptoms..
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Is It Okay For A Nail Technician To Cut My Cuticles
They should not be cutting your cuticles or pushing them back. But you will have to ask them not to do this. Cutting the cuticle interrupts the protective barrier function it serves to keep the nail safe from infection.
Also, regularly pushing cuticles back causes permanent damage and can change the nail shape. Besides, its an unnecessary stepthe cuticle stops growing naturally after a few millimeters.
Nail Fungus: Signs And Symptoms
If you get nail fungus, youre likely to see one or more of the following changes to your nails:
- Part of a nail turns white, yellow, brown, or another color. At first, you may just see a spot of discoloration at the tip of your nail. Without treatment, this discoloration may spread, covering more of the nail.
- Debris builds up under the nail
- A nail begins to lift up, so its no longer firmly attached to the finger or toe.
- A nail turns white, and the surface of the nail may feel soft, dry, and powdery. The nail also thins, so you may be able to scrape off the nail.
- Nails thicken and turn yellow or brown, often this affects all of the fingernails.
- A nail splits or crumbles
Having nail fungus is usually painless. At least, its painless in the beginning. If you put off getting treatment, however, the fungus can grow. When the fungus worsens on toenails, wearing shoes can become painful.If you see any changes to a nail, you should see a dermatologist. When caught early, nail fungus may clear with treatment applied to the nail. As the fungus grows, it becomes more difficult to clear the infection.
Images 1,2, and 3 used with permission of Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology: J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 70:918-23.Image 4 used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.
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Causes Of Toenail Fungus
Your toenails are frequently being exposed to the pathogen that causes fungal infections.
In fact, fungus and bacteria can be found almost anywhere, from public pools and locker rooms to the inside of your own shoes warm, damp, and dark places are the perfect environment for fungus to thrive. And when it finds a home in which to fester, the fungus begins to damage the keratin in the nail and, in severe cases, even cause debilitating pain.
However, fungal toenails can also develop in other ways in some cases, the fungus is contracted after an initial injury to the nail bed. Something as simple as a stubbed toe or an ingrown toenail can make the area more susceptible to the development of this condition.
In other cases, toenail fungus is the result of other underlying conditions that may contribute to a person developing infections in general. A good example of this is diabetes if you are living with diabetes, then you are already at a higher risk of infection, so when fungi comes into the picture, it is likely to take hold of the nail quite quickly.
Who Is At Risk Of Getting A Fungal Nail Infection
Fungal nail infections can affect anyone as they are very contagious but are most prevalent in older individuals. You are more likely to develop fungal nail if you are over the age of 60. Gender also plays a role, with men three times more likely to have a fungal nail infection than women.
Other risk factors include:
Diseases that cause poor blood circulation
A weakened immune system
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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.
You Can Get Nail Fungus From Visits To The Salon What It Is What To Do And Where To Complain
October 22, 2013 by The Ashley Law Firm
BEWARE OF PERMANENT NAIL INJURY FROM YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD NAIL PARLORIts can be unsightly. It can be painful. It can cause a serious infection and permanent damage. It can become a serious health risk. It can persist indefinitely and be difficult to treat. It can recur. It effects more men than women, but it can still be a serious health problem for a woman. And, one of the ways you can get it might shock you.
Its called: Onychomycosis . But most people know it by its street name: NAIL FUNGUS an infection of one or more of the nails that if left untreated can spread beyond the feet, especially in people with a weak immune system, diabetes or other medical conditions.
There are many ways in which a person can contract a fungal infection. But the least expected culprit, according to health experts, are the clipping, buffing and cutting tools used by your friendly, neighborhood manicurist in your friendly, neighborhood beauty salon or nail parlor. Contact with unclean equipment is how most patrons of nail salons get painful fungal infections on their fingers and toes infections that sometimes require antibiotics and even surgery to correct.
- Having a minor skin or nail injury, a damaged nail, or another infection
- Having diabetes, circulation problems or a weakened immune system.
Be sure to check out some of our most recent post on signs you need a lawyer for medical malpractice, personal injuries and more.
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