What Causes Nail Fungus
Nail fungus occurs when fungi, yeast, or mold infect the skin. These types of infections are more likely to affect toenails than fingernails, and can be associated with athletes foot. Symptoms typically include white, brown, or yellow discoloration of the nail or thickening, cracking, and/or brittleness of the nail. If left untreated, the area of the infection can become painful.
There are several risk factors for developing nail fungus: tight shoes damaged nails walking barefoot in moist areas like swimming pools, saunas, and public showers poor blood circulation in your legs a weakened immune system and other skin conditions, such as psoriasis. You may even have a genetic predisposition to developing nail fungus.
Here at North Central Texas Foot & Ankle, well assess your specific case, perform tests to get to the bottom of the issue, and determine which treatment to provide you based on the test results.
How Do You Get Rid Of Green Nails Fast
Green nail syndrome responds well to treatment. Therapy consists of cutting the detached portion of the nail, keeping nails dry, and avoiding trauma to the area. Topical antibiotics, such as bacitracin or polymyxin B, applied two to four times per day will cure most patients if continued for one to four months.
How Long Does It Take To Cure Nail Fungus
When it comes to nail fungus, its important to differentiate between the time it take to treat or cure it versus the time it takes for a new, healthy nail to fully emerge.
It usually takes a few weeks to a few months to eradicate the underlying infection. This is most frequently accomplished by a combination of topical and oral antifungal medications. Because the fungus is protected from topical medications via the nail plate, and semi-protected from oral medications due to toes receiving limited circulation, the process is a bit slower than it might be for other areas of the body.
However, its important to remember that killing the fungus wont repair a nail that has already been damaged by it. Unfortunately, youll have to wait for it to grow out naturally, which could take several months.
While the full recovery period may be lengthy, it shouldnt discourage you! In time, a healthy and clear nail may grow in and return, bringing long-awaited relief and peace of mind. Get started on your treatment by calling Family Foot & Ankle Center at 689-3317 today.
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Toenail Fungus Home Care
Sometimes itâs possible to treat your toenail fungus at home. You can try:
- Over the counter antifungal creams or ointments. File or cut off any white markings on your nails. Soak your nails in water and dry off before you put on the medicated cream.
- Special nail care. If you keep your nails trimmed, it can reduce the pressure and pain you feel. You can also thin your nail bed by filing it down. This can help antifungal creams get to the problem easier.
Treatment Options For Nail Fungus
Most of my conversation is usually discussing medical therapy, so things that are available by prescription only. And those come in two main forms, which are topical antifungal medications, and then oral antifungal medications. There are other surgical or procedural options, so you can remove nails as well. And then there’s starting to be more interest in technologies like lasers for nail fungus.
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How Is Toenail Fungus Treated
Toenail fungus is notoriously tricky to treat. You may need to treat the condition for several months to get rid of the fungus. Still, toenail fungus often comes back.
A dermatologist or podiatrist can explain your treatment options. If you have a mild case that doesnt bother you, your provider may recommend no treatment.
Toenail fungus treatment options include:
- Oral antifungal medication: You take prescribed medication, such terbinafine , itraconazole and fluconazole , to treat the fungi. You will need to take this medication every day for several months . Your provider may use blood tests to check for potential medication side effects. These medications can affect the liver and interact with other medications, so oral antifungals are not for everyone.
- Topical medication: You regularly apply a medication right on the nail. The medication treats the fungi over time. Topical medications are most effective when paired with oral medications.
- Laser treatments: Your provider directs a high-tech laser beam and special lights at the toenail to treat the fungus. Lasers are FDA approved for temporary increase of clear nail in nail fungus but is not a cure. Cure rates for laser treatment are lower than oral and topical mediations so they are not typically used as first-line treatments for nail fungus.
What Causes A Fungal Rash
When your skin comes into contact with a harmful fungus, the infection can cause the rash to appear. For example, if you borrowed a pair of shoes from someone who had athletes foot, the fungus could come in contact with your foot and infect you. Rashes often pass from person to person or from animal to person by direct contact.
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How Can I Tell If I Have Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus usually starts subtly, so you might not notice anything different with your nail immediately. After a while, though, you see some noticeable differences that indicate a fungal condition. Nails become:
Because a nail infected with a fungus is compromised, it can also break or split easily. As the condition progresses, itchiness and pain can occur, and the nail becomes separated from the nail bed.
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When Should I See My Doctor About A Rash
Most rashes are not serious. But its always a good idea to see your healthcare provider if you have skin changes. Your provider can recommend a course of treatment to help you feel better and diagnose any underlying conditions.
- Is all over your body.
- Starts suddenly and spreads quickly.
- Is painful, blistered or infected.
- Happens along with a fever.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Fungal skin rashes can be uncomfortable and itchy, but they are treatable. See your healthcare provider if you notice any rashes or changes in your skin. Typically, a course of antifungal creams will clear up the rash and relieve the itchiness. Your healthcare provider can also discuss preventive steps to keep the rash from coming back.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/25/2020.
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The Danger Of Waiting To Treat The Fungus
The greatest danger of not treating the foot or toenail fungus is that it can spread to other parts of the body, such as the hands and groin.
If for some reason you cant treat your toenails or your feet right away, at least use an antifungal topical cream on the surrounding skin, Dr. Ng says. That will help keep it from spreading and keep the skin intact.
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Nail Fungus: Polish Cream Or Tablets
Nail fungus can be very persistent. Topical treatment with nail polish may take up to one year. Tablets for treating fungal nail infections usually have to be taken for several weeks or months. They are much more effective than topical treatments, but they have more side effects.
Brittle nails and a whitish-yellowish or brownish discoloration are typical signs of nail fungus. The nails may also become thicker and change shape. The affected part of the nail sometimes detaches from the nail bed. The treatment options for nail fungus include nail polishes and creams as well as tablets. Nail polishes and creams are available in pharmacies without a prescription.
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How Do You Know When Fungus Is Dying
Top 5 signs your toenail fungus has gone nuclear Nail color changes. If your nail turns white and chalky or yellow, its not a good sign. Nail position changes. If your nail starts to curl downward or upward, its time to be concerned. Nail texture changes. Nail smell changes. Nail sensation changes.
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Stop This Skin Infection In Its Tracks With These Over
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Verywell / 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 athleteÃ¢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.
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How Fungi Infect The Nail
Onchomycosis, or toenail fungal infection, is an invasion by a microscopic organism that thrives in warm, damp environments. Fungal spores are in the air, and they will grow if they land on a receptive surface like your toenail. They feed off the nail tissues, burrowing into the skin under the nail. Over time the nail thickens and may lift off the nail bed as fungal debris accumulates. Once your nail is raised off the nail bed, it won’t reattach, and a new nail won’t grow from that part of the nail bed. However, your nail will continue to grow from the root at the base.
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Why You Should Never Let Toenail Fungus Go Untreated
Have you retired those adorable strappy sandals, even though theyre the perfect complement to your summery outfits? They definitely wont work with whats going on with your toenails so youve had to opt for a closed-toe option. Toenail fungus is definitely not a good look.
There are plenty of home remedies, but they dont seem to work. And nail fungus doesnt just go away on its own. Fortunately, the team at Easton Dermatology Associates can address any nail fungus issue you may have with a diverse menu of treatment options. We customize our approach to your particular infections history and severity.
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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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How To Spot A Nail Fungal Infection
Nail fungal infection, or onychomysis, is easy to spot. However, it is also easy to be mistaken for another nail disorder. Yellow nails, brittle nails, or blackened nails dont necessarily mean nail fungus they may be signs of other diseases or abnormalities. So what does a nail fungus look like? The infection starts with a fungusmost commonly dermatophytesthat infects one nail at first by getting in through the cracks of the nail. It is often painless, only making the nail look thickened and discolored. However, there are cases when the nail fungus infection can cause pain and discomfort. The nail may also begin to crumble from brittleness, or there may be white or yellow patches if the nail has been lifted from the skin underneath it . The fungus may also spread to and infect other nails.
As some of these symptoms can also be found in other nail and skin conditions, its recommended that the nail is assessed by a doctor. Proper diagnosis of the condition can mean proper treatment.
Does Toenail Fungus Go Away On Its Own
Fungal Nail Infections can be easily ignored in its early stages. It goes unnoticed or neglected because someone might not consider it urgent. With day-to-day work and activities, one might not have time to get a minor discoloration on the toenail. As time goes by, the minor discoloration can get worse and cause the nail to thicken.
Toenail fungus does not heal on its own. It does not usually cause pain, making it easy to ignore. It may not seem like a big deal now because you can cover it up, but it may be a cause for concern when it gets worse.
If you leave toenail fungus untreated, the nail can grow thicker and harder. It can grow deformed and lose its shape. This will make it difficult to walk or cause pain while walking. It can also make wearing shoes uncomfortable and painful.
Because fungi spread easily, if you leave toenail fungus untreated, it can spread to the other parts of the body. It will begin spreading to the other parts of the foot and cause athletes foot. The athletes feet cause itchy, red, and scaly skin.
If you have diabetes or other diseases that compromise the immune system, the infection can get worse and harder to manage. The fungus can spread uncontrollably when the immune system is weak or compromised.
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What Are The Most Effective Treatments For Toenail Fungus
The experts at Easton Dermatology Associates offer treatment customized to your exact situation, whether youve just noticed an irregularity with your toenail or youve been battling fungus for a while. Treatment options include:
- Prescription oral antifungal medications
- Topical nail cream
- Special antifungal nail polish that allows your nails to breathe
No matter what treatment you adopt, patience is key. It can take several months to clear up toenail fungus because even nails that grow at an average rate dont grow rapidly. We treat your fungus until its a thing of the past, and we also advise you on how to prevent a recurrence.
Its much easier to solve the problem when youre in the early stages of infection, before it becomes too advanced.
Do at either of our locations in Easton or Salisbury, Maryland, so we can start helping you eliminate embarrassing and persistent nail fungus problems ASAP. When next summer rolls around, you can be back in those oh-so-chic sandals!
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Top 5 Signs Your Toenail Fungus May Have Escalated To An Infection
A little case of toenail fungus is practically a rite of passage you quickly learn not to go barefoot in a locker room or shared shower area again and to always pack clean socks. But what happens when your toenail problem goes beyond a suspect smell and yellowed appearance?
At Rocky Mountain Foot and Ankle Center, with locations in Wheat Ridge, Granby, Evergreen, and Arvada, Colorado, our team of podiatrists and foot and ankle surgeons provide care for fungal toenail infections and much more. They believe in educating patients about skin and nail care so you can help avoid common problems and keep your feet healthy and strong.
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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.
How Do I Know If I Have Toenail Fungus
A toenail fungal infection has a slow, eroding effect on your toenail but usually takes a while to develop and spread so you might not notice it at first.
Here are some of the toenail symptoms you may encounter:
- Change in color often the toenail turns yellow, brown, white, or eve green
- Nails become thicksometimes so thick you cant get a toenail clipper to work
- Toenail shape becomes curved, twisted, or ingrown on the sides
- Initially, a white dot may show itself which then slowly grows larger
- Toenails become brittle and break easily, sometimes they seem to crumble or get chalky
- Toenails become flaky and break off
- Sometimes the toenail has a âcottage-cheeseâ type substance especially under the hard-outer shell
- Toenails may loosen and separate off the nail bed occasionally they may even fall of entirely
- You get pain around the toenail as the hard, curved nail digs down into the sides
- There is a bad-cheese smell coming from your toenails
- Eventually, the fungus spreads to your other toes and even out onto the skin on your feet
If left untreated, you can develop a secondary bacterial infection and even get ulcerations, which are extremely dangerous if you are diabetic or have poor circulation. For some people, toenail fungus has even ultimately led to the surgical amputation of toes or even leg amputations.
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