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Verywell Health / Sabrina Jiang
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.
What Causes Fungal Nails And What Are Some Of The Risk Factors
In normal, healthy people, fungal infections of the nails are most commonly caused by fungus that is caught from moist, wet areas. Communal showers, such as those at a gym or swimming pools, are common sources. Going to nail salons that use inadequate sanitization of instruments in addition to living with family members who have fungal nails are also risk factors. Athletes have been proven to be more susceptible to nail fungus. This is presumed to be due to the wearing of tight-fitting, sweaty shoes associated with repetitive trauma to the toenails. Having athletes foot makes it more likely that the fungus will infect your toenails. Repetitive trauma also weakens the nail, which makes the nail more susceptible to fungal infection.
Elderly people and people with certain underlying disease states are also at higher risk. Anything that impairs your immune system can make you prone to getting infected with the fungus. These include conditions such as AIDS, diabetes, cancer, psoriasis, or taking any immunosuppressive medications like steroids.
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Pros And Cons Of Home Remedies
- Can take longer for severe nail infections
- Many different creams to choose from hard to know which ones are good
Creams such as tolnaftate have proven to be very effective in the treatment of toenail fungus. I write about them in more detail on my blog which you can view by clicking on best toenail fungus treatment.
What you are about to see
Are the best products for thickened and discolored nails caused from a nail infection. They are personally vetted by Toe Fungus Journey and are products that have been highly rated or personally used by my family and I to get rid of our fungus for good.
- Designed specifically for thicker toenails
- Helps in getting healthy and supple nails.
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When Are The Different Treatments Considered
Most doctors recommend treating nail fungus with nail polish or cream if
- not much more than half of the nail is affected by the fungus,
- the base of the nail is not infected, and
- only some nails are affected.
Topical treatment is also usually recommended for children. One reason for this is that most oral medications arent suitable for children. Another reason is that children have thinner nails that grow more quickly, so its assumed that treatment with nail polish or creams is more likely to work in children than in adults. White superficial onychomycosis is also often treated with a nail polish or cream.
If several nails are infected by the fungus, or if the infection has spread out more on the affected nails, its usually necessary to take oral medication. And if the infection started at the base of the nail, its highly likely that only tablets will help.
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See A Dermatologist To Pinpoint The Problem
Foot fungus wont just go away on its own, Dr. Ng says. If you think you have foot or toenail fungus, see your dermatologist, she says. There are several tests that your dermatologist can perform to identify exactly whats going on.
Its important to be aware that there are other diseases which can cause nail changes, she says. For example, we do see things like squamous cell skin cancers in the nail beds and even melanomas, which have a brownish or blackish discoloration.
What Side Effects And Drug
The possible side effects of itraconazole include headaches, dizziness, stomach and bowel problems, and rashes. Itraconazole can also interact with a number of other drugs. These include cholesterol-reducing and blood-sugar-lowering medications, as well as certain sleeping pills. It is therefore important to let your doctor know about any medication you take. Itraconazole is not an option for people with heart failure . It also isnt suitable for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Terbinafine can cause gastrointestinal problems and a temporary loss of taste and smell. It can also interact with certain antidepressants and heart medications. Overall, terbinafine has far fewer drug-drug interactions than itraconazole. Nevertheless, its still important to tell your doctor if you are taking any other medication. As a precaution, this medication should not be taken during pregnancy or if you are breastfeeding.
The studies only rarely reported on how often the different side effects occurred. But most people tolerate nail fungus medications well. Only a few people in the studies stopped treatment because of side effects.
But there is a very small risk of liver damage from taking itraconazole or terbinafine. For this reason, people with a liver disease are only given these medications if its absolutely necessary.
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What Is The Fastest Way To Get Rid Of Nail Fungus
It is common for every person at some point in their life to experience the annoyance of fungus growing under their nails. Whether it is on your fingernails or toenails, we know, it isnt the most pleasant thing to deal with. Thats why in this article we are going to help you by giving you some of the best and fastest remedies to cure fungal undergrowth in your nail.
The most common reason why people develop fungal growth is because of a dank environment. That is why many people have fungus on their toenails. So one solution would be dry out the area but you dont want to make it too dry, because then youll develop the opposite problem dry, cracking feet. Thus, a natural remedy to cure toenail fungus is to soak your feet in cold black tea. The tannins in the black will naturally close your pores. This will prevent fluids from seeping in and out of your skin, limiting the growth of the fungus.
Garlic consists of chemicals that will naturally burn off the fungus. Simply chop garlic into finely cut thin slices and place on top of fungi for 30 minutes. Be careful not to leave it too long, as skin irritation may occur from the chemicals.
New Socks and Shoes
A lot of times simply replacing your socks or getting new athletic shoes is a sure way to rid the growth of fungi. Fabric-based materials like socks will absorb and retain yeasts and fungi, resulting in their steady growth day by day as the socks are re-worn.
Eating and Health Habits
When To See A Doctor
In most cases, toenail fungus is considered a cosmetic problem. Still, it may cause serious complications for some people.
If you have diabetes, toenail fungus may lead to foot ulcers or other foot problems. According to a 2012 study, chronic toenail fungus is a significant risk factor for bacterial cellulitis of the leg.
If you have diabetes or a weakened immune system, you shouldnt use home remedies for toenail fungus. Contact your doctor for the appropriate course of action.
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Top 5 Fingernail Fungus Treatments Of: Which Brands Think Youre Stupid
If youre looking for a better fingernail fungus treatment, look no further!
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See how we make our pick:
If youre suffering from fingernail fungus, you are not alone
Nail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is one of the most common fungal infections. In fact, some estimates show that around 12 percent of the population suffers from fungal infections on their fingernails.
Fingernail fungus can develop over a long period of time before your nail yellows, becomes brittle, soft, changes shape, and even causes serious discomfort! This is why nail fungus can make sufferers embarrassing. That yellowing nail seems to rot and youre left hiding your feet from your friends and family.
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Affects Ears Fingers Nails Toes And Genitals
Fungal infections are some of the most common infections, affecting various parts of the body like, ears, fingers, nails, toes, genitals etc. Nail fungus is one such infection.
Onychomycosis is the name of the type of fungus that causes infection on nails both toenails and fingernails. This infection takes time to develop so you might not notice is initially.
Fungi are always present in your body alongside bacteria. The nail becomes infected when there is an overgrowth of fungus on or under the nail.
This infection is communicable and can spread via direct or indirect contact. For example, if you borrow an infected persons shoes or gloves, you too might catch the infection.
The fungus develops in warm, moist environment. This is why it usually affects toenails rather than fingernails as your feet are mostly covered while you wear shoes which provide the fungus an ideal environment to grow.
Causes and Risk Factors for Nail Fungus
Living or working in a hot, humid environment
Constantly covered feet
Diabetic patients, who have reduced blood circulation in their feet
Direct contact with someone who has nail fungus
Minor cuts or injuries around the nail
Using communal showers or public swimming pools
Sweating a lot, especially in your feet and on your hands
A weak immune system
Medications used to treat toenail fungus include terbinafine and itraconazole . Laser treatment is also available but it is expensive and doesnt guarantee results.
Tea Tree Oil
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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.
Natural Remedies To Get Rid Of Nail Fungus
Isvaiyah has been a licensed pharmacist at Gadjah Mada University for nine years. She earned her M.Sc. from the same university.
Read on for 10 ways to beat nail fungus the natural way!
Nail fungus can attack any one of us, but theres no need to worry because there are a number of effective natural remedies out there. This condition normally affects toenails, but fingernails can also become infected. The infected nails often change color, becoming yellow, green, or black. They can also become painful. If left untreated, the fungus may gradually inflict serious damage to the nails, and eventually, have to be removed by a physician.
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How Did I Get Fingernail Fungus
Fungal nail infection can develop in people at any age, but its more common in older adults. As the nail ages, it can become brittle and dry. The resulting cracks in the nails allow fungi to enter. Other factors such as reduced blood circulation to the feet and a weakened immune system also may play a role.
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Final Thoughts On How To Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus Fast
How to get rid of toenail fungus fast is not an easy question to answer, as there are quite a few variables to consider such as your health and commitment to a treatment plan.
That being said, if you are diligent with an effective treatment and take steps to eradicate the source of fungus in your life while protecting your feet from any potential re-infection, you will be miles ahead of most people.
Most importantly you should take action to finally get rid of toenail fungus in as much time as needed. The more you wait the worse it will be because toenail fungus are contagious and become more and more difficult to eradicate over time.
So how to get rid of toenail fungus fast? As fast as possible?
Get started as soon as you can with one of the effective treatment options mentioned above and persist until your nails are clear and healthy again.
OTC treatment options mentioned in this article:
Visit our main website to get a broader and deeper picture about the different treatments available to get rid of toenail fungus fast.
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When To See A Bethesda Md Or Springfield Va Podiatrist
If you try several of these remedies and see no results, its time to see a podiatrist. Toenail fungus is notoriously stubborn, so dont be too surprised if home remedies dont quite work. It can also take quite a long time for these home remedies to work because you have to continue doing them consistently until the new nail has fully grown out.
If youve tried the homeopathic route and arent satisfied with the results, you can always come see Bethesda, MD & Springfield, VA Podiatrist, Dr. Paul Ross! If you have moderate to severe foot fungus, it is recommended that you see a doctor anyway because there can be complications if the infection is left untreated. Call us at . We offer same day appointments if you dont want to wait.
Our Bethesda, Maryland and Springfield, Virginia Podiatry offices offer the most effective and state-of-the-art, quality podiatry care services with a smile to patients in our local community, including: Woodbridge VA, Fairfax VA, Annandale VA, Arlington VA, Alexandria VA, Burke VA, Gaithersburg MD, Potomac MD, Silver Spring MD, Rockville MD and Chevy Chase MD.
Return to a pain-free life and get back to the things you love!
What Are Treatments For Toenail Fungus
Do you need to treat your nail fungus? Maybe it doesn’t hurt, and the yellow, thick nails don’t bother you.
But nail fungus doesn’t go away by itself. And if you don’t treat it, there’s 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 doesn’t look bad. Some people also swear by home remedies like menthol rub, tea tree oil, mouthwash, or snakeroot extract — 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 itâs 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.
Prescription medications. One of several antifungal pills may help. They work, but it may take many months to do the job. They also come with side effects like nausea, vomiting, and headaches. They may cause liver damage too, so your doctor will watch you closely while you take them. Be sure to tell them about any other meds youâre taking — some antifungal pills might not work well with them.
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