Where Do Fungus Gnats Come From
Fungus gnats feed on decaying plant matter and fungi and thrive in moist conditions, such as soil, which is where they lay their eggs, says Derek Gaughan, founder of the DIY pest control website Bug Lord. If you own a lot of houseplants, you are more susceptible to having a problem as this is their ideal habitat.
With so many of us working from home these daysand at risk of overwatering our plantsits no surprise that these critters are out in full force. How many times a day have you walked by your favorite houseplant and decided to water it?
The best thing you can do is avoid overwatering your plants and to let the soil dry out between waterings, says Gaughan.
You might also notice an infestation of fungus gnats shortly after repotting your houseplants or after bringing new plants into your home. This is because bugs sometimes hitch a ride inside bags of potting soil or plants from home improvement stores. They can also make their way indoors if you set your houseplants outside to get some sunlight then bring them back in.
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
- history of injury, surgery, or damage to the nail
- impacted immune system function
Fungus Gnats Vs Fruit Flies: Whats The Difference
Fungus gnats are typically between one-16th to one-eighth of an inch longso theyre pretty darn tiny, and often misidentified as fruit flies. Make sure you know the difference first.
Before you take any kind of control measures for any pest, its important to identify them first and find out where they are, and the conditions that are leading to their presence, says Karey Windbiel-Rojas, associate director for urban and community integrated pest management at the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Unlike fruit flies, which look like small, common houseflies, fungus gnats have skinny, delicate-looking bodies and legs, long antennae, and wings with a distinct Y-shape vein .
Fungus gnats are often found flying or crawling around indoor potted plants, but theyre also attracted to light, which means you might notice them near windows or lamps. They dont typically fly great distances and tend to stick close to houseplants.
You also might find fungus gnats outside in your yard, near piles of wet mulch or compost. Fungus gnats have also been known to hang out in wall or floor voids, particularly after new construction or when theres some sort of moisture issue, like a leaky faucet.
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How To Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus With Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is the safest natural remedies for how to get rid of toenail fungus. The oil is known to contain numerous beneficial properties that can help treat various skin and hair troubles.
- Take some amount of coconut oil
- Rub it in your fingers to liquefy it
- After that apply the oil to the infected region
- Massage it for some time so that it penetrates deep in your skin
- Repeat the process for two to three times a day to get the desired results.
Benefits of coconut oil
Coconut oil contains caprylic acid, a fatty acid which is known to fight candida and several other fungi. It penetrates through the tough cell wall of the fungus and destroys it. Thus, coconut oil effectively kills the fungus that causes the infection. Further, the nourishing properties of the coconut oil give you smooth and supple skin. It is an easy and effective way to treat the ugly toenail fungus.
Coconut oil is a safe treatment for toenail fungus. But some people are allergic to the oil. Rub a small amount of oil onto your arm if it causes rashes or redness, then you might have coconut oil allergy. In such a case avoid using this remedy.
What Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Toenail Fungus
If you have toenail fungus, you may find it helpful to ask your provider:
- What type of infection do I have?
- Do you recommend I treat it? Why or why not?
- How long will I need treatment?
- What steps can I take to stop it from coming back?
- Should I be aware of any potentially serious complications or treatment side effects?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Toenail fungus is an incredibly common infection that can be difficult to treat. The condition usually isnt painful, but it may make you feel self-conscious about how your foot looks. If it bothers you, talk to your provider about your treatment options. A trained specialist can provide guidance on whats most likely to address your concerns while protecting your overall health.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/17/2020.
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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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What Are Different Types Of Skin Rashes
The medical name for a fungal skin infection is tinea. Types of fungal infections include:
- Athletes foot : The most common type of fungal infection, this condition often spreads when people walk barefoot in public bathrooms or locker rooms. The skin between your toes turns white and starts to peel. Athletes foot can also affect the soles of the feet.
- Nail fungus : This infection is a common foot problem. It usually affects the toenails, which become yellow and thick and break easily.
- Jock itch : A rash of the groin area, jock itch affects more men than women.
- Scalp ringworm : This rash occurs mostly in children. It causes hair loss, but with the right treatment, the hair usually grows back.
- Ringworm : This catch-all term is what healthcare providers call a rash that doesnt fit into any other category. The rash often forms a ring shape.
What Causes Fungus Gnats
Fungus gnats tend to remain near their source of foodthe organic matter and fungus in the soil. The adults lay their eggs in the soil, and the emerging larvae feed on the organic material in the soil as well as the plants root hairs. The larvae are 1/4 inch-long, translucent white or gray worms with shiny black heads. They may go unnoticed at this stage unless you have a crop of them, then you could see slime trails similar to those of snails and slugs.
Since it is the larvae doing the bulk of the damage, it helps to be aware of the fungus gnats life cycle. In a warm house, the tiny eggs can hatch into larvae in only three days. They remain in the larval stage for about another 10 days before developing into pupae. Approximately four days later, the adults emerge and start the cycle all over again. They can produce a new generation of fungus gnats in less than three weeks, so catching them early will make it easier to eliminate them.
The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong
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Signs And Symptoms Of Foot Fungus
Itchy skin is an early sign of foot fungus, or scaly, peeling skin, or tiny blisters on the skin that will pop at times, says Sundling. The skin tends to break out in the shape of a moccasin, or the area of the foot that a moccasin would cover. You dont see foot fungus on the top of the foot very often. Its common to get a fungal infection between the toes as well, she adds.
How Effective Are Topical Treatments
So far, only a few studies have looked into topical nail fungus treatments with nail polishes or creams. Because these studies had weaknesses, the results should be interpreted with caution. Amorolfine has not yet been well studied. Ciclopirox polish and treatment sets with urea and bifonazole cream were tested in a few studies.
Research on the effectiveness of nail polish containing ciclopirox showed that, after one year:
- About 10 out of 100 people who did not use ciclopirox no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
- About 32 out of 100 people who used ciclopirox no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
In other words, treatment with ciclopirox got rid of the fungal infection in about 22 out of 100 people. But even if the fungus had gone away, the cosmetic result wasnt always satisfying. The nails only looked healthy after treatment in 7 out of 100 people.
Treatment with sets containing urea and bifonazole cream was tested in one study. It was compared with a treatment in which only urea cream was applied and the nail was removed, but without applying bifonazole cream afterwards. Three months after treatment was completed, it was found that:
- No fungus was visible or detectable in about 41 out of 100 people who only used urea cream.
- No fungus was visible or detectable in about 51 out of 100 people who used both urea and bifonazole cream.
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What Are Treatments For Toenail Fungus
Do you need to treat your nail fungus? Maybe it doesnât hurt, and the yellow, thick nails donât bother you.
But nail fungus doesnât go away by itself. And if you donât treat it, thereâs 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 doesnât look bad. Some people also swear by home remedies like menthol rub, tea tree oil, mouthwash, or snakeroot extract â 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 itÃ¢s 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.
Why Does Vinegar Soak Work
The idea behind vinegar foot soaks is relatively simple: vinegar is acidic, which gives it antifungal and antibacterial properties.
To explain a bit further, vinegar is a diluted form of acetic acid . As a result, it is an antifungal agent meaning it slows down the growth of some types of foot fungus and may kill fungus entirely.
It might also make your body less hospitable to fungus because the acidity affects the pH level of your skin. This makes fungal overgrowth and infection much more unlikely.
Its worth noting though, that there is no scientific evidence that shows vinegar soaks is a reliable method for treating toenail fungus.
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Ways To Safely Treat Toenail Fungus At Home
Stocksy/Design by Cristina Cianci
Toenail fungus sounds funky, but believe it or not, its much more common than you think. Thats because the pesky foot issuewhich most often presents as yellowing, cracking, and thickening of the nailscan be caused by everything from slower-growing nails and excessive sweating to athletes foot and walking barefoot in communal areas such as pools, shower rooms, gyms, and the like.
Most infections are caused by tinea species, but can involve harder-to-treat species of dermatophytes,” says Francisco Oliva, DPM. He adds that infections usually occur when theres a combination of issues affecting the toenail. Sometimes there is an injury to the nail at some point, he explains. The effects can be delayed for months and years. Once the fungus invades the nail, the keratin layer of the nail becomes a difficult barrier to penetrate.
When To Visit A Doctor For Fungal Infections
- Even after following home remedies, there is no improvement.
- The fungal infection worsens or recurs.
- The infection starts spreading.
- If you are suffering from diabetes.
- Fungal infection is accompanied by fever or discharge of pus.
The fact is, most fungal infections are easily curable with proper treatment, you may not even be aware you have a fungal infection. Self examination goes a long way to identifying fungal infections early, especially if there are no other symptoms like itchiness or irritation. If there is no improvement with these home remedies, seek out medical attention for further treatment.
Avoid the spread of any infection by getting checked up!
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the readers situation.
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How To Prevent The Growth Of White Fungus On Plants
The most economical method of getting rid of white fungus on plants is to prevent its growth and spread. One way is to plant fungi-resistant species. Here are other steps you can take below:
- Create a space between your plants to ensure there is sufficient airflow.
- Put plants in areas they will get enough sunlight.
- Boost the nutrient levels in the soil by using compost. High nutrient levels will also increase the population of beneficial microorganisms.
- Do not fertilize your plants as new growth are susceptible to fungus infestation.
- Remove diseased or dead stems and foliage to maintain your plants properly.
- Be sure that the soil drains properly so that the earth does not become a breeding ground for organisms that cause diseases.
- Do not splash water directly on plants. Instead, sprinkle water on the soil using a garden hose.
- Prune your plants often to reduce humidity and improve air circulation.
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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What Is The Prognosis Of Fungal Nails
Curing fungal nails can be difficult and treatment can take up to 18 months. Relapse and reinfection are common. Trying to remove or modify your risk factors, if possible, is essential to preventing reinfection. People who have medical illnesses that predispose them to fungal nails can have an even more difficult time eradicating the fungus.
Treatment Failure And Relapse
Rates of treatment failure can be extracted from published trials, but data on relapse are less readily available. Post-treatment follow-up is long, drop-out rates in many studies are significant or unreported, and most studies have not allowed crossover of treatment regimens. Furthermore, especially in outcomes of clinical improvement , evaluation criteria have not been standardized and often include subjective assessments that are difficult to quantify. Published studies have not specifically addressed the management of treatment failures or relapse.
Despite these difficulties, several measures may be helpful in managing unsuccessful treatment or relapse. The first step is to confirm mycology. If the initial diagnosis was based on a KOH preparation alone, culture of properly collected specimens is mandatory. Culture reports often identify multiple organisms, including possibly nonpathogenic molds, and treatment should be directed at the organism most likely to be causative. A microbiology or infectious disease consultation may be valuable in interpreting the culture report.
Of note, there has been some concern about evolving drug resistance among fungal pathogens, particularly with the widespread use of systemic fluconazole therapy to treat oropharyngeal and recurrent vaginal candidiasis.5 However, the impact of antifungal resistance on the treatment of onychomycosis is not yet clear.
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