What Is The Outlook For Someone With Toenail Fungus
While toenail fungus is common, its usually not harmful. Symptoms mostly affect the look of your toenail.
Toenail fungus may spread to the skin between your toes or other areas of your body. When getting dressed, put your socks on first to reduce the chance of spread.
Treating toenail fungus takes a long time, and it doesnt always work. Even then, toenail fungus often returns. Discuss the pros and cons of treating toenail fungus with your provider to determine whats best for you.
Practicing good hygiene and foot care reduces the chance toenail fungus will come back. If you have diabetes, getting regular foot exams may help you address foot problems before they get serious.
Is It Fungus Or Melanoma
Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that can develop on the nail bed. It has a dark brown or black color and can be mistaken for toenail fungus or another toenail problem like a bruise. Melanoma is much less common than toenail fungus, but it can be life-threatening if not caught early.
Both toenail fungus and melanoma can appear as a dark stripe on the toenail and may increase in size over time. The toenail can become split and damaged in both conditions.
Toenail fungus is more likely to cause thickening of the toenail and a buildup of material underneath it. Melanoma causes the skin of the nailbed to change color, which does not happen with toenail fungus, but it can be difficult to see.
Because melanoma can be very aggressive, its important to have your doctor examine a darkened toenail. Your doctor can confirm the diagnosis of toenail fungus by looking at clippings under a microscope and of melanoma by taking a biopsy.
Diagnosis And Treatment Of Subungual Melanoma
Diagnosing and treating subungual melanoma is much more involved.
Once your doctor performs the initial assessment and determines you might have subungual melanoma, theyll commonly suggest a nail biopsy.
A nail biopsy is the primary diagnostic tool available for making a definitive diagnosis. A dermatologist or nail specialist will remove some or all of the nail for examination.
If theres a diagnosis of cancer, depending on the severity and how early it was found, treatment can include:
- surgery to remove the affected nail
- amputation of the knuckles of the finger or toe
- amputation of the entire finger or toe
How Do I Know If I Have Toenail Fungus
Fungal nail infections are often caused by many different microorganisms called fungi that live in the environment. These microorganisms dont typically cause a problem until we injure and break down the perfect barrier to the outside world: our skin and nails. When this happens, the small cracks in your nail or the surrounding skin can allow these fungi to enter and cause an infection.
As we mentioned, this is a common infection that goes by the name of onychomycosis. It can cause your nail to become painful, discolored yellow or brown, thick, and more likely to crack and break. They also seem irregular in appearance compared to your other nails.
How Do You Know If Your Nail Fungus Is Cleared Up
Anyone is at risk for a toenail fungal infectionit simply takes being exposed in the right kind of environment. Going barefoot in a warm, damp place such as a public locker or shower room, for example, is one way to pick up this type of infection. When it invades and grows under the nail, it causes the nail to become discolored, thickened, and brittle. Fortunately, we have many methods of treatment including topical ointments, oral medications, and the Q Clear Laser that can eradicate the problem.
Nail fungus can be resistant to treatment and nails take a long time to grow out, so it can take several weeks or months for an infection to be fully resolved. You will know that the treatment is working and the infection is clearing up when you see growth of a new, healthy nail from the base of the nail bed. You can work at slowly trimming off the old, infected nail as the new one grows in.
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How Aggressive Is Subungual Melanoma
The key points to remember for subungual melanoma are: It has the same histopathological process as cutaneous malignant melanoma. Some studies suggest it is more aggressive than cutaneous malignant melanoma, but this is likely due to late presentation. It should be diagnosed using excision or an incision biopsy.
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Tips To Prevent Fungal Nail Infections
Making a few simple lifestyle changes can help prevent a fungal infection of the nails. Taking good care of your nails by keeping them well trimmed and clean is a good way to prevent infections.
Also avoid injuring the skin around your nails. If youre going to have damp or wet hands for an extended amount of time, you may want to wear rubber gloves.
Other ways to prevent fungal infections of the nails include:
- washing your hands after touching infected nails
- drying your feet well after showering, especially between your toes
- getting manicures or pedicures from trustworthy salons
- avoiding being barefoot in public places
- reducing your use of artificial nails and nail polish
Products to help you avoid nail fungus
If youre prone to excessive moisture around your fingernails or toenails, consider buying:
With fungal nail infections, the main cause is typically
Certain behaviors and preexisting conditions that can affect your risk of nail fungus include:
- old age
There are many overlaps between nail fungus and nail cancer. Since its easy to mistake cancer of the nail for a fungal infection, you should see a doctor immediately to get a definitive diagnosis.
See a doctor immediately if you suspect you have toenail fungus or subungual melanoma.
Since the prognosis of subungual melanoma gets worse the longer it takes to diagnose, its better to be safe and get any possible symptoms checked out and cleared as soon as they appear.
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Toe Infection Home Treatment
You can treat athletes foot with antifungal sprays or creams available at your pharmacy. You can also check with a pharmacist about getting special padded socks that reduce the amount of moisture on your feet.
Toenail fungus can be treated with a variety of home remedies, including over-the-counter ointments and natural oils.
Who Gets Toenail Fungal Infections
A fungus can invade the toenails of anyone at any age, but it is far more common in older adults. Once you hit 60, your chances of getting a toenail fungus increase to about 75 percent. The odds are higher because blood flow is reduced as we get older, which slows nail growth. Nails become more dry and brittle, causing them to crack.
A fungus can enter through a break in the skin or under or beside the toenail. And quite frankly, toenails just get more difficult to reach and trim as our flexibility declines.
Longer nails are more prone to trauma, so older adults who may have trouble trimming their nails are at risk for trauma and subsequent infection, says dermatologist Shari Lipner, MD, associate professor of clinical dermatology at Weill Cornell Medicine, New York.
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Orthopedic Doctors For Foot Care
Many people dont realize just how vital proper foot care really is until they have an infection thats difficult to treat. The medical professionals at the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence realize how important caring for each and every part of the body is to maintaining the body in top condition.
We are an Official Orthopaedic Medicine Provider of the Olympics as an Olympic Training Center. We achieved this designation because our team is specially trained in treating sports injuries, including issues involving the feet, muscles, and joints.
Our team offers top-notch medical care and state-of-the-art techniques and technologies diagnosing and treating professional athletes and amateurs alike right here in Colorado Springs.
Call us today at to schedule an appointment, or fill out our simple online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you get back on your feet again!
How To Treat Nail Fungus And Why You Always Should
Aside from the pain and discomfort, its crucial to treat nail fungus because it can spread and cause permanent damage to your toenail beds. Plus, it is more difficult to treat when it advances, and it does not just go away on its own.
For those with diabetes or a weakened immune system, nail fungus can increase the risk of an infection of the surrounding skin.
Treatments include medicated nail polish, topical antifungal creams, and oral medications. At Town Center Foot & Ankle, podiatrist Dr. Stephen G. Eichelsdorfer offers an effective high tech treatment to get rid of toenail fungus and prevent it from returning. He uses PinPointe FootLaser system to destroy the fungus on the affected toe as well as the surrounding toes.
This method enables Dr. Eichelsdorfer to destroy fungus that is present on neighboring toes but has not caused symptoms yet. This way you destroy all the nail fungus at once to prevent a recurrence. Recurrences are fairly common.
For more information on how to prevent, diagnose, and treat toenail fungus, call Town Center Foot & Ankle with offices in Kingwood and Atascocita, Texas, or make an appointment online.
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Conditions That May Look Like Toenail Fungus
Several health conditions can affect the appearance of your toenails and may be mistaken for toenail fungus.
Psoriasis Psoriasis can cause red, scaly patches on the skin. More than half of people with skin psoriasis also have it on their nails. Toenails and fingernails affected by psoriasis may be thick, discolored, crumbly, or loose. Some people will have nail changes with psoriasis, and if it affects the matrix , then these changes are permanent, says Sheth.
Skin Cancer A discolored spot underneath a toenail may be a sign of melanoma, a potentially fatal form of skin cancer. Melanoma under a toenail usually looks like a brown or black streak or may appear similar to a bruise. Although this isnt common, its also not rare, says Sheth. Her advice: Its always good to check it out.
Darier Disease This genetic disorder typically causes yellowish, wartlike blemishes on the body. However, some people with Darier disease also have fingernail or toenail irregularities, such as nails that are marked with red and white streaks, according to Genetics Home Reference. Sheth notes, however, that shes never had a biopsy come back with a diagnosis of Darier disease.
Staying One Step Ahead Of Toenail Fungus
An established fungal infection is hard to eradicate, but you can stop its spread and improve your toenail’s appearance.
Toenail fungus isn’t a pressing health problem. Yet a fungal infection can ruin the appearance of your nails and cause pain as it lifts the nail away from the nail bed. And fungal infections are notoriously difficult to get rid of. “You may want to consider fungal toenail a condition to be managed rather than cured,” says Dr. James P. Ioli, chief of the podiatry service at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
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How Long Does Toenail Fungus Treatment Take
This process may take up to a year for your nail to fully grow out the infected nail.
The American Academy of Dermatology Association says fingernails typically grow out in 4 – 6 months while toenails take can take 12 to 18 months.
However, the physical appearance might noticeably improve within a few months. Even if the physical appearance is better, donât stop treating the nail as reinfection is very possible.
What Should You Know When Having Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is an infection of the toenails caused by a variety of fungi. It can cause pain, swelling, and discoloration under or around the nail. Toenail fungus is prevalent, with at least 25% of all adults aged 18-40 experiencing it once in their lifetime. Fortunately, its treatable, and in Bakersfield, CA, some reliable podiatrists can help. Therefore, if you experience itching, burning, or even bleeding near your nails, find them for a diagnosis and treatment. Consider targeting top-notch specialists in toenail fungus in Bakersfield, California, for quality assistance.
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Is It Toenail Fungus Or Something Else
Odd-looking toenail? It may be a fungal infection, but theres a good chance that another condition could be to blame.
If you notice an odd spot on your toenail, you might assume its a fungal infection. However, theres a good chance that its not.
Spots or discolorations on or under a toenail could be bruises resulting from trauma to the nail, blood blisters, warts, or even subungual melanoma, a type of skin cancer, says Ami Sheth, a doctor of podiatric medicine in Los Gatos, California, and a spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association.
Since nail irregularities can be caused by diseases besides these as well, its best to get it looked at, says Dr. Sheth.
Richard Goad, a doctor of podiatric medicine at Baylor Scott & White Health in Waco, Texas, concurs. Sometimes the nail will be the first place to show another underlying problem, Dr. Goad says.
So is it a fungus, a false alarm, or another condition entirely?
What Are The Treatments For Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is notoriously hard to cure. If over-the-counter fungal treatments have not worked, see your doctor. Treatment will depend on how severe the infection is and the specific type of fungi causing it.
Your doctor may start by trimming your nail, removing debris from under the nail, and scaling away the dead nail layers. Then, treatment may involve the following:
- Topical toenail fungus medication in the form of medicated nail polish or cream you apply to the nail. Some products are for daily use and others are once weekly. Treatment can take up to 18 months and is only suitable for mild infections. Thinning the nail with a file before application may be necessary to help the medicine penetrate the nail. Always sterilize nail tools after use. Topical medicines include amorolfine , ciclopirox , efinaconazole , and tavaborole .
- Oral antifungal drugs you take by mouth include fluconazole , griseofulvin , itraconazole , and terbinafine . These drugs have a higher cure rate and work more quickly than topical products. Treatment generally takes up to 12 weeks. However, they carry a risk of liver toxicity, side effects, and drug interactions. You will need blood tests and frequent monitoring if your doctor prescribes these medications.
- Combination therapy can be more effective than either topical or oral drugs alone.
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What If I Have Later Stages Of Toenail Fungus
If your nails have already reached the thick, crumbly, majorly discolored stage, dont fret. Your case is not hopeless!
Toenail fungus can actually be quite complex, but our experts will take the time to carefully examine your condition, assess both the type and severity of the disease, and then recommend a precisely tailored treatment plan we feel will give you the optimal chance of clearing the fungus. One particular treatment method were particularly proud to be able to offer is laser treatment.
Laser treatment is able to pass through nail tissue and hit a fungal infection right at the source. Topical medications, on the other hand, can have more trouble reaching the underlying infection. And oral anti-fungal medications, while able to treat the problem from the inside out, can sometimes come with side effects that dont make them recommended for certain patients.
A course of laser treatment typically requires 3-4 sessions spaced out over a period of weeks or months, depending on the severity of the condition. These sessions dont cause any burning and rarely cause any pain most patients will feel a warming sensation and nothing more.
Toenail Fungus: What You Need To Know & Healing Options
Sandal season isnt a celebrated time for everyone. If you have noticed your toenails arent looking as smooth and healthy as they used to, and you are too embarrassed to slip on your leather sandals this summer, perhaps there is something more serious going on.
Toenail fungus often goes unnoticed, especially in the elderly, as most people may think its just part of the aging process. However, toenail fungus is quite a common infection and is prevalent among both young and older adults.
This post looks at how to identify, treat, and prevent toenail fungus and how Yeargain Foot & Ankle can help you heal.
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Topical Therapy How Do You Know You Have Fungus On Your Toes
Topical therapies are much safer, but also much less effective and sometimes quite expensive. Popular prescription topicals include Ciclopirox laquer , Carmol® 40 and Keralac® Nail Gel. Dont expect miracles from these medications, but they can help decrease discoloration and thickness, prevent progression and are a great adjunct therapy. How Do You Know You Have Fungus On Your Toes
Over The Counter and Home Remedies
1. Place an anti-fungal powder or spray in the shoes every other day.
2. Make sure you rotate your shoes often and keep them in a cool dry place. Use a shoe dryer in the winter if necessary.
3. Change your insoles frequently, and make sure they dry out between use. How Do You Know You Have Fungus On Your Toes
4. Try using an antiperspirant spray on your feet before your workout, if your feet sweat excessively.
5. Wash your shower mat regularly in hot water, or step out of the shower, onto a towel, which is washed after each use.
6. Bleach out the shower on a weekly basis. Bleach works better than antimicrobial cleaners.
7. Make sure your shoes fit well. Ill-fitting shoes can lead to jamming at the toes. Jamming at the toes leads to microtrauma at the nails and increases the chance for fungal infection.