Treating Fungal Nail Infection
Treatment may not be necessary in mild cases of fungal nail infection. For more severe or troublesome cases, antifungal medication may be recommended.
A fungal nail infection is unlikely to get better without treatment, but if you’re not bothered by it you might decide it’s not worth treating because treatment can take a long time, may cause side effects, and isn’t always effective.
Whether or not you decide to have treatment, you should still follow the self-help advice below to help stop the condition getting worse or spreading to others.
Natural Ways To Deal With Nail Fungus
Fight the funk.
This article was written by Hallie Levine and provided by our partners at Prevention.
That pedicure you shelled out big bucks for may have left you with an unwelcome gift: onychomycosis, otherwise known as nail fungus. Or maybe it’s a souvenir from the shared showers at your gym or your barefoot walks around the public pool. Although it starts innocuously enough, as a white or yellow spot underneath your finger or toenail, your nail can start to thicken and even crumble as the fungus penetrates deeper and deeper. Ick. And fungus is more likely to appear and persist in your toenails because your tootsies are often confined in the warm, moist environment of your shoes, where these little buggers can thrive.
If you see a dermatologist, you’ll most likely get a prescription for an antifungal oral medication such as Lamisil or Sporanox, which tend to be expensive, don’t always work, and carry side effects ranging from skin rashes to potentially toxic liver damage. “That’s not pleasant, which is why so many people look for a drug-free alternative,” says Joe Graedon, a pharmacologist at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy at Chapel Hill and author of The People’s Pharmacy. There are newer topical treatments, such as Kerydin, but they also require a prescription and can take up to a year to work. Here are some of Graedon’s top drug-free remedies for toenail fungus.
Toenail Fungus Treatment Complications
Here are some things to think about when deciding on a nail fungus treatment.
If you have a disease like diabetes, your doctor will make sure you treat nail fungus. This illness often makes you more likely to have other problems from minor foot issues.
You may not be able to take antifungal pills because of side effects or because they donât work well with other drugs you take. If that’s the case, try a product that goes onto your nail. Your doctor will call this a topical treatment.
Be patient. Your nails may not look “normal” after treatment. It can take as long as a year to 18 months for your nail to grow out a fungus.
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How To Treat Nail Fungal Infections Usa
It may take a while for a complete healing from nail fungus to occur, but there is now not any reason not to begin the procedure as a result of there is something accessible that is easy and straightforward to use.
Another possible cause is that the blood circulate to the toes is below that to the hands, making it more difficult for your bodys immune system to determine and eliminate the infection.
The goal is to make the protecting layer of the nail as thin as possible while averting injury to the flesh under the nail.
Types Of Fungal Nail Infections
There are four main kinds of fungal nail infection. Each looks slightly different:
- Distal or lateral subungual onychomycosis. This is the most common kind. It results from a fungus called a dermatophyte. You can get it in your fingernails or toenails. It starts in the nail bed, underneath the nail. Youâll see a yellowish colored area that spreads from the edges of the nail to the center, and places where it comes apart from the nail bed.
- White superficial onychomycosis. This is less common and only affects the nail surface, mainly on your toenails. It starts as white spots, which become powdery and cause the nail to crumble.
- Proximal subungual onychomycosis. This appears first as white spots in the center of the nail bed at the cuticle. They move outward as the finger or toenail grows. Itâs rare and usually affects people who have immune system problems, like HIV infection.
- Candidal onychomycosis. Yeast causes this infection that usually affects your fingernails. The area around the nails is often swollen and inflamed, and the nails may come off entirely. It tends to happen to nails that have been damaged by an injury or another infection.
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Dangers Of Traditional Treatment Options
Fungal nail infection is treatable with oral anti-fungal drugs, topical medications, surgery, or laser treatments. The problem with these modern treatments, however, is that they can sometimes cause complications. Depending on the chosen treatment, some of the possible side effects that may occur include skin rashes, blisters, loss of appetite, gastrointestinal issues, headaches, respiratory problems, abnormal nail growth, or liver damage.
Due to the many risks associated with modern treatments for fungal nail infection, many people are now opting for alternative remedies that are relatively safer. As an added bonus, its also possible to treat fungal nail infection using just a few basic ingredients one already has available at home.
What Causes A Fungal Nail Infection
Yeasts, moulds, and different kinds of fungi can cause fungal nail infections. Most are caused by the same type of fungus that causes athlete’s foot.
Fungi grow best in warm, moist places, and they can spread from person to person. You can get a fungal nail infection from walking barefoot in public showers or pools or by sharing personal items, such as towels and nail clippers. If you have athlete’s foot, the fungus can spread from your skin to your nails.
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What Does It Mean If A Girl Has White Nails
White nails are indicative of any or a combination of the conditions including anemia, overuse of nail polish, weak nails, kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and liver disease. Whole nail whitening is generally seen in cases of kidney problems, where there is protein deficiency in the body.
About Fungal Nail Infection
Many people develop a fungal nail infection at some point in their life. It’s not usually serious, but can be unpleasant and difficult to treat.
The infection develops slowly and causes the nail to become discoloured, thickened and distorted.
Toenails are more frequently affected than the fingernails.
The medical name for a fungal nail infection is onychomycosis.
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What Are The Symptoms
A nail with a fungal infection may:
- Turn yellow or white.
- Get thicker.
- Crumble and split, and it may separate from the skin.
When you have a fungal nail infection, it can be uncomfortable or even painful to wear shoes, walk, or stand for a long time. The fungus could also spread to other nails or your skin. Over time, the infection can cause permanent damage to your nail or nail bed.
Additional Tips For Treating And Preventing Nail Fungus
- Wash and disinfect all of your shoes and socks.
- Disinfect your nail clippers with hot water and alcohol.
- Keep your fingers and toes covered when you are outside.
- Keep your nails short and clean.
- Thoroughly dry your nails after washing your hands and feet.
- Spray your gloves and shoes with anti-fungal sprays on a regular basis to kill lingering fungi.
- Always dry your shoes and socks properly. Moisture is your worst enemy as it creates a breeding ground for fungus.
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How To Treat Toenail Fungus Otc Nz
Youre just as prone to agreement the virus in a public location as youre on your own residence, in response to analysis.
Prior to using a product, that you can gather product information from the internet on the way to have a treatment that adds long-lasting effects.
The herbal curative and antifungal characteristics of oils equivalent to tea tree oil, almond oil, clove oil, sulphur, and jojoba oil are the one ingredients used during this remedy.
Are There Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus
The Internet is filled with anecdotal information on how to cure toenail fungus using home remedies. Vinegar is a commonly recommended home remedy. Some people apply various oils such as tea tree oil, coconut oil, essential oils, and oil of cedar leaf to their nails as well. The effectiveness of these home remedies is highly doubtful. Application of household bleach and hydrogen peroxide is also not recommended due to lack of evidence that these treatments work. These agents can also cause unwanted skin irritation. Thickened nails that have been affected by fungus can be difficult to trim. Using topical urea cream will soften the nail and make it easier to trim. These creams do not require a prescription.
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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.
Side Effects Of Using Hydrogen Peroxide For Nail Fungus Treatment
If you experience any of the following side effects, try using a solution weaker than 2%. You can also try diluting the solution further with water.
- Hydrogen peroxide can irritate your skin causing redness, stinging, and mild itching.
- It may also dry out your skin and cause cracked feet.
- Peroxide can cause your skin to peel.
If you ever notice discoloration on your skin, it might be nail fungus. The next time this happens, you know what to do. Have you ever dealt with nail fungus? What helped you treat it? Tell us in the comments section below.
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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.
What Other Conditions Can Be Mistaken For Fungal Nails
Here are some other conditions you may have instead of fungal nails:
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Nail Fungal Infection Treatment
Prescription medicines can treat a fungal nail infection. Oral antifungal medicines help a new nail grow. This will replace the infected nail. You may need to take antifungal medicine for 6 to 12 weeks. Some oral medicines are not safe for people who have liver problems. They are not safe for people who have a history of congestive heart failure. Tell your doctor if you have one of these conditions. Your doctor will decide which medicine is right for you.
Apply topical treatments to the top of your nail. Topical medicines usually do not cure fungal nail infections.
In severe cases, a doctor might remove the nail completely. It can take several months to a year for the infection to go away.
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.
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Vinegar And Hydrogen Peroxide For Nail Fungus
You have to repeat this process every day until, and even after, the problem subsides. Getting rid of nail fungus is not easy and will take a lot of patience and effort.
Why This Works
Vinegar is an acidic solution that helps relieve itching and restores the pH balance of your skin and nails. These properties help the liquid create an unfavorable environment for the fungi to breed in, killing off the infection. Apple cider vinegar helps reduce inflammation, reducing the pain caused by nail fungus.
Take Care Of Your Toes
Use soap and water to wash your feet, and dry well, including between toes. Trim your toenails — straight across — to keep them shorter than the end of your toe. Make sure the tools you use are clean, too. Wash clippers and files with soap and water, then wipe with rubbing alcohol. You might be tempted to cover up discolored nails with polish, but don’t. Your nail bed can’t “breathe,” which keeps fungus from going away.
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Toenail Fungus Prescription Medications
Sometimes prescription medications are needed to treat a toenail infection that just wont go away with natural remedies or over-the-counter medication in a few months. In this case, prescription-strength antifungal medication can eradicate stubborn onychomycosis.
Topical medications often are effective in treating mild to moderate toenail fungus. Topical solutions may include medicated nail polishes or liquid medications. Loprox , Penlac , Kerydin , and Jublia are among the top prescription drugs for toenail 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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Does Your Child Need To See A Doctor About Toenail Infection Or Fingernail Infection
Yes. Take your child to your GP if your child has any of the symptoms described above, especially if theres pus around your childs toenail or fingernail, or your child is in pain.
Its also important to see your GP if your child keeps getting nail infections. This might be a sign of an underlying illness.