Why Your Foot Fungus Keeps Coming Back
At Foot and Ankle Associates of North Texas, one of the most common complaints we see is foot fungus. This can vary from the toenails at the bottom of the boot to the skin between the toes. Regardless of the location, there are many different treatment options for all types of foot fungus, and seeing your podiatrist will guide you to those steps. Once the treatment is complete, and the fungus has gone away, most patients think that it is gone for good. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Today, I am going to give you some tips and tricks to prevent your foot fungus from returning.
Treating Your Shoes
Fungus of any type loves three things: dark, damp and warm places. Your shoes fit this description perfectly. So when you are continuously wearing shoes, fungus is continuously contaminating your shoes. Fungus is already a difficult infection to get rid of, and what surprises many people is that fungus can live in your shoes for up to 20 months. Thus, continuously treating your shoes throughout treatment is essential. There are many ways to treat shoes including Lysol, anti-fungal mists and UV shoe cleaning devices.
Treating Your Socks
Stopping Treatment Too Soon
While these are a few examples of reasons your foot fungus is returning, there are many other factors to consider. If you have any questions or concerns regarding foot fungus, give Foot and Ankle Associates of North Texas a call, and we’ll help your fight your foot fungus!
Where Can I Find The Best Podiatrist In Florida
If you are tired of seeing your unsightly nails, then its time to seek the help of the podiatric experts at Florida Foot and Ankle Associates. We specialize in treating all kinds of foot, ankle, and toenail problems using the latest techniques and technologies, such as fungal nails laser treatment.
Besides nail and foot fungus, our experienced foot doctors also provide other services that focus on podiatric care. This includes:
So, whether youre looking for a heel pain doctor or an expert ankle surgeon, weve got you and your foot problems covered! Just contact us by calling at 786-662-3893 or scheduling an appointment, so we can start your consultation and treatment planning.
You can also visit our website to find one of our many offices closest to you.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.
What Will Happen If Athletes Foot Is Left Untreated
Although athletes foot doesnt cause any serious problems in people who are otherwise healthy, it normally doesnt go away on its own. If left untreated, it can spread to a nail and cause a fungal nail infection. The infection can spread to other areas of skin, such as the hands, but that rarely happens.
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Question 1 Of : How Do You Get Rid Of Foot Fungus At Home
Causes Of Nail Fungus
The most common types of fungus that causes nail infections are called dermatophytes. They do not require sunlight to survive thereby making the nail bed an ideal place for them to live where they can hide and be safe.
These dermatophytes enter the skin through tiny cuts or small separations between the nail and nail bed. Once they have entered, the fungi grow as the nail provides a suitable warm and moist environment for them to thrive.
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What Are The Treatment Options
There are three types of treatments available for nail fungus depending on the degree or severity of the infection. You can treat nail fungus orally with antifungal medicines which could take up to four months of daily medication. There are topical treatments that can easily be applied like nail polish. However, in extreme cases where the topical medication cannot reach the infection, the doctor might remove the entire nail for proper application.
There are also a lot of home remedies that you can try. Here are is a short list of the best natural ingredients for the treatment of nail fungus.
- Apple cider vinegar
What Causes Toenail Fungus And How To Prevent It
Unfortunately, the warm and moist environment inside your shoe can make you vulnerable to fungal infections. When these occur on the toenail, doctors call the condition onychomycosis. Fungal skin infections commonly called athletes foot can often affect the foot as well.
One of the you get a fungal toenail infection is when fungus invades small cracks in your toenail. Some people are at greater risk for this occurring, including those with:
- circulation problems, especially related to the feet
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Multiple Pairs Of Shoes And Socks
If you are wearing shoes all day, it is a wiseidea to have multiple pairs of shoes to swap out. Especially if you sweat orwork in moisture-laden environments, two sets of the same shoe allows you towear one pair while the other one airs out.
Socks worn multiple days in a row up the chances of fungus growth, not to mention building up the dirt in the shoe and foot. Dark socks allow the fungus to breed faster, as the signs of the fungus may be harder to spot. Adding to this, the darker socks allow your feet to accumulate heat faster, sweating more and creating excess moisture in the shoe.
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.
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Use Vinegar To Remove Fungus From Shoes
Known for its acidic properties, vinegar tends to slow down the multiplication of the bacteria causing foot fungus by lowering its pH level. Vinegar is readily available in food stores and in supermarkets if you insist on using this method.
After getting the vinegar, pour it in a spray bottle to make a vinegar spray to use on your shoes in eliminating the foot fungus.
Best Natural: Healing Solutions Tea Tree Essential Oil
If youre in search of a totally natural nail fungus treatment option or just an easy at-home remedy, Dr. Chen suggests tea tree oil. Naturally anti-fungal, its been studied to be just as effective as clotrimazole, the active ingredient found in many over-the-counter fungal treatments, she says. You never want to applyan essential oil directly to the skin , however, so dilute it with a carrier oil , before dabbing it onto the nail and surrounding skin. This tea tree oil, specifically, has more than 10,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, so its a totalno-brainer.
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What Causes Toenail Infections
Fungi, molds, and yeast overgrowth primarily cause fungal toenail infections. But how do they actually develop in, under, and on the toenails? Here are some of the most common situations or environmental conditions that might make you contract onychomycosis:
- Walking barefoot in warm, moist public spaces. This includes public swimming pools, communal showers, and gyms.
- Contact with a person with fungal infection.
- A nail salon that does not disinfect or sanitize its materials properly.
- Old age may cause the toenails to become dry and brittle, causing tiny cracks in the nails. This then may become the entryway for fungi in the environment.
- Foot fungus such as Athletes foot, ringworm, and jock itch can also spread to the toenails.
- Underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes, weakened immune system, or poor blood circulation.
- A minor skin or nail injury, which can serve as the entry point of fungus.
Anyone can develop a nail fungal infection. However, studies suggest it occurs mainly in males than in females and older adults than in children.
Additionally, fungal infections can be hard to treat without antifungal pills and fungal nails laser treatment. So, avoid resorting to home remedies you see on the internet if you have a foot fungus, or else it will develop into a nail infection that can be difficult to get rid of.
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Tips To Prevent Reinfection:
Keep the feet clean and dry thoroughly, especially in between toes.
Wear cotton socks, ensure to wear a fresh pair every day. Always wash socks in hot water. Never share socks or shoes with others.
Sundry shoes to kill any fungus that thrives inside them, sprinkle a little baking soda or corn-starch in shoes at night that allows absorbing the moisture. Tap it out before wearing.
Avoid wearing tight closed-toe shoes, as moisture and heat may stimulate the growth of the athletes foot fungus.
If the symptoms dont get better in a few days or new problems arise, then seek immediate medical help.
Vinegar And Baking Soda
Spraying shoes with vinegar or baking soda aretwo other methods to help combat shoe fungus. Apple cider vinegar can besubstituted for regular vinegar if wanted. Dont worry, when vinegar dries, theunmistakable odor also dissipates.
Vinegar, as an acid, lowers the pH of bacteria.When this happens, essentially, the motor of the bacteria slows and for some,eventually stop. Baking soda, on the other hand, seems to show some reactionsof decreasing the number of viable cells. By using both, you stand a betterchance at keeping the bacteria at bay.
The baking soda also works to help soak up someof the smells that are produced with fungus. Simply sprinkle the inside and outof the shoes. If you chose to use the vinegar, fill a spray bottle and spraythe inside and outside each time you are not wearing the shoes.
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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.
What Is Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot is a type of fungal skin infection. Fungi are microscopic plant-like organisms that thrive in damp, warm environments. They’re usually not dangerous, but sometimes can cause disease. When they infect the skin, they cause mild but annoying rashes. Fungal skin infections are also known as tinea infections.
When fungus grows on the feet, it is called athlete’s foot . It got this name because it affects people whose feet tend to be damp and sweaty, which is often the case with athletes. But anyone can get this infection.
Other fungal skin infections include jock itch and ringworm .
These infections are caused by several types of mold-like fungi called dermatophytes that live on the dead tissues of your skin, hair, and nails.
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What Kills Toenail Fungus On Clippers
One way to keep your toenails from having fungusinfections is to simply keep them trimmed using clippers. Unfortunately, thatmeans your clippers could now carry the spores, themselves! You must wash yourhands and sterilize your nail clippers following use.
Place your clippers in a bowl of boiling hot waterand scrub with a toothbrush. Be careful to use protection so as to not burnyour hands with the water. Dry the clippers by using rubbing alcohol and atowel and then dry again with a totally dry towel.
Barbicide is another option. This is a solution usedin many barber shops to disinfect tools. Bleach is often used in place ofrubbing alcohol/boiling water. In fact, the Columbia Laser Skin Centerrecommends bleach for sterilization. If you really want to ensure you aregetting your clippers as sterile as possible, you can always use a hospitalgrade disinfectant but remember, there is likely instructions to follow toensure disinfection is complete including time to soak.
UV light is the best way to sterilize. In fact, manyswimming pools actually take the chlorinated water and pass it through UV lightto further kill contaminants. If you have the ability to have UV light , this is theultimate option for sanitation of your nail clippers.
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.
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How Do You Stop Foot Fungus From Spreading
Your Rash Spreads Or Gets Worse
If you scratch athletes foot, you could infect your hands. Your hands can also pass the infection to other parts, including your groin , or even your face.
When the fungus gets into your nail bed, your toenails become thick, yellow, or crumbly. An untreated nail infection can be so painful that its hard to walk or wear shoes.
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How Can Recurrence Of Tinea Pedis Be Prevented
To minimise recurrence of tinea pedis:
- Dry feet and toes meticulously after bathing
- Use desiccating foot powder once or twice daily
- Avoid wearing occlusive footwear for long periods
- Thoroughly dry shoes and boots
- Clean the shower and bathroom floors using a product containing bleach
- Treat shoes with antifungal powder.
If treatment of tinea pedis is unsuccessful, consider reinfection, coexistent untreated fungal nail infection, reinfection due to untreated family member, or an alternative diagnosis.
There Is A Wide Range Of Options With Varying Success Rates
Other than keeping your toenails trimmed and perhaps painted, you may not pay much attention to them unless a problem develops. Healthy toenails are pink, shiny and smooth, but a fungal infection can cause them to become discolored, thick, brittle and even painful.
Toenail fungal infection, known as onychomycosis, is a common but challenging condition toenail fungus treatments include a wide range of options with varying success rates.
Causes of toenail fungus
Fungal nail infections are usually caused by fungi called dermatophytes that infect the skin beneath the nail yeast is another common culprit. Toenails are especially vulnerable to infection when your bare feet contact damp surfaces such as showers, swimming pools and locker rooms. If you have athletes foot, the infection can spread to the nails.
Wearing closed shoes such as athletic shoes for extended periods also can contribute to infection if your shoes and/or socks are damp from perspiration or heat. Moreover, if your shoes fit snugly enough to put pressure on your toes, they can damage the nail bed, making it more susceptible to infection.
People with chronic diseases, such as diabetes or circulatory problems, also may be more prone to toenail infections.
Symptoms of toenail fungus
Toenail fungus symptoms can develop slowly over time and may go unnoticed at first. Symptoms can include:
Toenail fungus treatments
When to see a doctor for toenail fungus
Preventing toenail fungus
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