There Is A Wide Range Of Options With Varying Success Rates
Other than keeping your toenails trimmed and perhaps painted, you may not pay much attention to them unless a problem develops. Healthy toenails are pink, shiny and smooth, but a fungal infection can cause them to become discolored, thick, brittle and even painful.
Toenail fungal infection, known as onychomycosis, is a common but challenging condition toenail fungus treatments include a wide range of options with varying success rates.
Causes of toenail fungus
Fungal nail infections are usually caused by fungi called dermatophytes that infect the skin beneath the nail yeast is another common culprit. Toenails are especially vulnerable to infection when your bare feet contact damp surfaces such as showers, swimming pools and locker rooms. If you have athletes foot, the infection can spread to the nails.
Wearing closed shoes such as athletic shoes for extended periods also can contribute to infection if your shoes and/or socks are damp from perspiration or heat. Moreover, if your shoes fit snugly enough to put pressure on your toes, they can damage the nail bed, making it more susceptible to infection.
People with chronic diseases, such as diabetes or circulatory problems, also may be more prone to toenail infections.
Symptoms of toenail fungus
Toenail fungus symptoms can develop slowly over time and may go unnoticed at first. Symptoms can include:
Toenail fungus treatments
When to see a doctor for toenail fungus
Preventing toenail fungus
Treatments For Fungal Nail Infections
Treatment isn’t always needed for a mild fungal nail infection because it’s unlikely to cause any further problems and you may feel it’s not worth treating.
Whether you decide to have treatment or not, you should still practise good foot hygiene to stop the infection getting worse or spreading to others.
Speak to your GP or pharmacist if you’re bothered by the appearance of the affected nail, or it’s causing problems such as pain and discomfort. They’ll probably recommend:
- antifungal tablets tablets taken once or twice a day for several months
- antifungal nail paints special paints applied directly to the nail over several months
- nail softening kits where a paste is used to soften infected parts of the nail, before they’re removed with a scraping device
A procedure to remove the nail completely may be recommended in severe cases. Laser treatment, where a high-energy laser is used to destroy the fungus, is also an option. But this is only available privately and can be expensive.
You can reduce your risk of developing a fungal nail infection by:
Nail salon equipment can sometimes be the source of fungal nail infections. If you regularly visit a salon, make sure any equipment used is properly sterilised between uses.
Best Ways To Treat A Nail Fungus
Nail fungus can cause thick, discolored nails, and, for some patients, it can even be painful. An Internet search will bring up plenty of ways to treat the condition, but which ones are best? Dermatologist Dr. Christopher Hull discusses what nail fungus actually is, why its so hard to get rid of, and which treatments work best.
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Experiencing Nail Fungus In Its Early Stages
Fungal nail infections are becoming a common nail problem, especially if you frequent public bathrooms, gym, saunas, or spas. People often dismiss nail fungus because it generally does not give any discomfort and the first signs are often hard to detect. Brown or black spots and white streaks may signify an infection in your nail. It may later on progress to more evident changes wherein the nail thickens or have a rougher surface. Although not bothersome, leaving a fungal nail infection untreated can make it harder and more frustrating to cure in the end.Total dystrophic onychomycosis, or severe nail fungal infections, is the end-stage of this nail disease. Fungus has started to infect larger portions of the nail causing it to become deformed, brittle, and weak. More often than not, it starts to become painful and even emit some type of foul odor. There is increased possibility for permanent damage to the nail. The infection may also spread to other parts of your body and create more serious illnesses.
Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis or tinea unguium, is a common nail condition affecting millions of people in the United States. Fungal nail infections can develop on the nail from various organisms such as molds, yeasts, and fungi. This usually occurs after these organisms come into contact with a cracked nail or skin surrounding the nail as the opening provides a portal of entry for these organisms.
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Creams & Topical Treatments For Toenail Fungus
Over-the-counter fungal creams like clotrimazole dont work well for treating toenail fungus. Prescription nail polishes are available, but they take longer to work and arent effective for severe cases. Thats because they dont penetrate the nail very well. That said, they are still a good option for people with mild cases of toenail fungus, or for those who cant take the oral antifungals. Examples include:
Side effects are usually minor and include redness or burning at the application site.
You might hear or read about medicated chest rub as a treatment for toenail fungus, but its mostly hype. Its a tempting option because its so safe, easy to use, and cheap. But its not likely to help.
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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Pills For Toenail Fungus Treatment
Oral medications, or those that come in pill form, generally work more quickly than topical medications for toenail fungus treatment. They have higher cure rates and the overall treatment time may be shorter than topical options. Pills to treat toenail fungus, however, will require a prescription. It is also important to note that improvement will continue AFTER oral therapy is stopped, and it may take 9 to 12 months for you to see full results.
The top treatments for toenail fungus are:
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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Treating Toenail Fungus Medically
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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Can Nail Fungus Be Treated Quickly
All antifungal treatments take time. The first signs of progress will be visible within 1 to 3 months. On average, a fingernail takes about 6 months to completely regrow a toenail on the other hand may take 9 to 12 months or even longer. Thats why its unrealistic to expect dramatic improvements in the short term. One package is enough for the entire treatment because you only need to apply Loceryl® once a week*.
Take A Full Medical History
The first step is to take a history of the problem, says podiatrist , DPM, CEO of HappyFeet LLC. In other words, I want to know how long have you had this and what previous treatment youve had. A podiatrist needs to understand the extent of the problem and any other medical factors which may influence their choice of toenail fungus treatment. A full medical history is also important because the first line of defense is usually oral medication, but this treatment can have side effects for people with underlying health issues. Make sure you reveal everythinghere are 14 things to never lie to your doctor about.
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What Other Conditions Can Be Mistaken For Fungal Nails
Here are some other conditions you may have instead of fungal nails:
When To Seek Help
Most fungal nail infections are not serious and only need selfcare measures . See your pharmacist or doctor for treatment if:
- The nail/s are painful or they bother you.
- you are at risk of complications from the infection, eg, if you have diabetes, peripheral vascular disease or connective tissue disorders.
Many nail conditions can look like a fungal infection such as an old injury, a bacterial infection or psoriasis. Your doctor may take a small sample of your nail to confirm if it really is a fungal infection.
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Does Kerasal Work And How
As for what it claims about changing the appearance of the infected nails, it does work. However some people use this as the sole treatment for their nail fungal infection.
It is important to note the disclaimer we discussed above. Although most people assume that it can be used to treat nail fungal infection and it targets those with nail fungal infection, it is not a total treatment.
It could help the other treatment methods like applying prescription products. By thinning out the nail, it could better absorb the product you have to put in it.
Simply put, Kerasal does work. But it only works to improve the appearance of the nails and not as a nail fungal infection treatment.
In order to see how it works, lets take a closer look at the notable ingredients and what it does to the nail.
- Lactic Acid This is the star ingredient for this formula. It can help soften the thick nails to improve the texture. Thick nails can be painful and this product can help relieve that pain while improving its appearance. Thicker nails could be more prone to splitting and breaking, this helps prevent that.
- Propylene Glycol Nails with fungal infection tend to change in texture and be flaky. This is the ingredient that could help reduce flakiness.
- Urea This ingredient helps thin out the nail by removing the dead tissues. It could also further help in the healing process.
It is just used to help improve the appearance of discolored and damaged nails.
What Is Kerasal And What Are Its Claims
Kerasal is a nail treatment product that is produced by Moberg Pharma. It is an over-the-counter product package in a tube.
In this type of packaging, it would be easier to apply the product because you just have to remove the cap and wipe it over the nail.
The main purpose of the Kerasal Fungal Nail Renewal is to bring back the natural appearance of your nails before the fungal infection changed it.
Fungal infection causes the appearance of the nail to change in such a way that the color turns yellowish or brownish. Apart from that, the nail becomes thicker and there can be a change in the texture, density, and smoothness.
You may be tempted to just paint your toenails and forget about it. But thats not a good idea.
Kerasal promises to see results in as little as 14 days. However, you may already see improvements in as little as 2 days.
Do note that Kerasal places a disclaimer on their website stating that their product doesnt cure or prevent fungal infections. Its not medically shown to work, unlike prescription products.
However, there are many people who buy it for their fungal infection.
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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.
How Long Does Laser Removal Take
How long does laser removal take? Toenail fungus can be a long-lasting, difficult-to-treat condition. If you have toenail fungus, you probably want to have it removed immediately. Unfortunately, there is no miracle cure for fungus. No treatment will instantly remove the harm that has been done to your nail from fungus.
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Using Vinegar To Soak Feet
Though vinegar is harmless, it is a good idea to dilute it before using for foot soak. A ratio of 1:2 for vinegar and water is a good standard ratio that can be used by almost everyone for soaking their feet. A stronger solution can be used if you tolerate this dilution.
The vinegar soak may feel like it stinks, but the smell will vanish once the vinegar dries off from the feet. Essential oils can be added to change the scent of the soak. Tea tree oil and lavender oil are good options, as they will provide you with their additional benefits of being antiseptic and antifungal, along with their wonderful smell.