When To See A Doctor About Toenail Fungus
If you are experiencing persistent toenail fungus or pain is present, you may need to see a specialist. A dermatologist or podiatrist may be able to assess your symptoms and send a small sample of the affected toenail or flesh to a laboratory to be analyzed as there are various types of fungi and yeasts that cause onychomycosis. Knowing the specific cause of your foot fungus can help identify what route to take to treat your condition.
Nail changes can also be caused by underlying conditions, like psoriasis and diabetes, so its important to seek professional medical advice if your condition persists or worsens. Bacterial and fungal infection of skin in diabetes patients often result in hospital admissions, and in severe cases, can result in amputations. If you are at a higher risk for infection, you should skip home remedies and seek professional medical treatment.
Facts You Should Know About Fungal Nails
Fungal infection of the nails sometimes makes the condition sound contagious or related to poor hygiene. In fact, up to 10% of all adults in Western countries have fungal infection of the nails. This percentage increases to 20% of adults who are age 60 or older. Toenail fungus is much more common than fingernail fungus.
In reality, abnormal-looking nails may be caused by a number of conditions including, but not limited to, fungal infection. There are many other reasons why your nails may look different.
Getting Toenail Fungus Treatment Immediately
If you suspect that you have been exposed to toenail fungus, you must act immediately. The longer you leave it, the more likely it will grow and spread across your home. Worse, it can even spread to your hands and groin.
Applying a toenail fungus cream or nail repair gel can eliminate the infection and remove any of the accompanying symptoms, while helping your nails grow back stronger than ever before.
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, a fungal infection can return. If so, continue applying your toenail fungus cream and make use of these preventative measures.
Dr. Mitchell Kline and Dr. Jeremy Green are widely recognized as two of the most admired and trusted dermatologists globally. Due to our patented Drs. Kline + Green product line, we can provide instant nail repair relief. To enjoy beautiful clean nails, place your order today. You wont be disappointed.
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Side Effects Of Toenail Fungus Medication
One of the many benefits of using a homeopathic remedy is that there are little to no adverse side effects. Topical treatments often prescribed to treat toenail fungus can potentially burn or blister the skin. Oral medications for treating onychomycosis can cause liver or gastrointestinal damage. Be sure to read your medications list of potential side effects. Consult your pharmacist, physician, or specialist if you are concerned about side effects of prescription drugs.
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.
Also Check: How You Get Rid Of Foot Fungus
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:
What Foods Should You Avoid To Prevent Toenail Fungus
Do you love carbs? If you do, then you have one thing in common with those pesky fungi. They easily metabolize most carbohydrates, which causes them to multiply faster than you can munch down that glazed doughnut.
You dont need to go on a totally carb-free diet, but you can cut down on the following:
- Sugary foods and sweetened drinks. Its okay to indulge your sweet tooth every once in a while. But if youre especially prone to fungal infections, or if youve had one before, you might want to think twice before getting that extra slice of chocolate cake or supersizing that soda.
- Refined carbohydrates. Also known as bad carbs, some examples of these are white rice, white pasta, pancakes, waffles, and any kind of bread that isnt whole grain. What sets these apart from the so-called good carbs is the refining or milling process. This eliminates all the good stuff from whole grains such as dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals.
- Alcohol.Aside from the fact that some alcoholic drinks have more sugar than you might think, alcohol can also weaken your immune system. This makes you more prone to fungal overgrowth and thus lead to toe nail fungus, among other kinds of fungal infections.
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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.
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.
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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.
Are Some People More Susceptible To Toenail Fungus Infection
Although everyone is potentially susceptible, several risk factors make a person more likely to get infected. Many factors are lifestyle related. If you have an active lifestyle, you may be exposed to situations where contact with fungi is more likely.
Genetic and health factors can also increase the risk of infection for people who:
- are 55 years or older
- have diminished blood circulation
- have a previous or existing injury or infection of the nail
- have athleteâs foot
- have a weakened immune system due to HIV/AIDS or diabetes, for example.
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.
Use Clean Tools When Pampering Your Feet
Whether youre giving yourself an at-home pedicure or treating yourself to a relaxing chiropody treatment, be sure to use clean instruments. Avoid sharing your personal tools with others, even if you think they dont have a toenail fungal infection. When getting a treatment at a salon or foot clinic, verify they are using clean, sterilised tools and that the pedicure basin has also been sanitized.
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Laser Treatment For Nail Fungus
As you can see, tips for healthy feet without nail fungus can be easy to find. If you have caught nail fungus, it can be easily treated using the FDA-approved PinPointe laser, which typically only takes on treatment. Other treatments like topical solutions and oral medication are not as effective. Topical solutions have a very low cure rate. This is because the solution does not penetrate all the way through the nail bed. This is because it can lead to liver toxicity. You would need to have consistent blood tests throughout the course of taking the medication.
Our nail doctor in Santa Ana, CA recommends this treatment for toenail fungus. The PinPointe Laser treatment has the highest cure rate in the market. It has no side effects and no recovery period. As a result, you can go about your daily activities right after the treatment. Also, theres no pain.
If you have any signs of nail fungus, call us at 672-0625 our Santa Ana, CA location, or visit our website for more information on our doctors at one of our over 150 locations.
Tips For Keeping Toenail Fungus From Returning
Toenail fungus is a tough foe to battle. The sooner its found out, the easier it tends to be to treat. Unfortunately, most cases are not discovered until the fungus has had a good opportunity to entrench itself in your toenail.
Treatment has likely taken months, but youve reached that light at the end of the tunnel. The fungus has been declared eradicated and youre already growing new, clear toenails to replace the war-torn battlefields that once were. Well done!
Unfortunately, it can come back.
A fungal toenail infection is not like a cold. Having had it doesnt really mean your immune system is fully geared up to keep the same case from returning. And, like a cold, there is more than one type of nasty organism out there that can cause similar symptomsin this case, discolored, crumbling, thickened nails.
You know how bad it is. The last thing you want is to fight that battle over again, and people with diabetes should be especially careful of any type of infection. You also dont want anyone you live with to have to go through it, either!
So what can you do to prevent toenail fungus from coming back? Quite a lot.
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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.
What Are Some Of The Most Common And Effective Home Remedies For The Treatment Of Nail Fungus
- Essential Oils
Essential oils are often used in aromatherapy. These include lavender essential oil, lemongrass oil, tea tree oil, peppermint oil, rosemary oil, eucalyptus oil etc.
You shouldnt take them orally. Mix them in a carrier oil such as coconut and olive oils and apply topically or add a few drops of essential oils in your foot soak to clear out fungus.
- Aloe Vera Gel
Applying aloe vera gel on your nails or simply dipping your nails in aloe vera gel solution can help reduce the antifungal activity.
It has antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties.
- Zinc-rich Diet
Zinc has been proven to help in the absorption of various nutrients and minerals. It further destroys the fungi and prevents them from multiplying.
You can add zinc-rich foods to your diet or even spray zinc oxide on the affected area twice a day.
- Baking Soda
There are many studies that prove the effectiveness of baking soda. The paste of baking soda should be applied to the affected area twice a day or you can sprinkle it directly on dry foot.
Baking Soda foot soak has also proven to clear out fungal infections.
- Epsom Salt
Salts have been very useful in cleansing the nails and clearing out bacteria and fungi. It can prevent the overgrowth of fungi and also helps to keep the pH of your skin normal.
Also Check: How To Cure Toe Fungus
Treatments For Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus can be difficult to treat, and getting rid of it can take a long time. Ointments, antifungal pills and laser treatments can be used. The treatments are similar for children and adults, but it can be hard to keep up with daily regimens in children.
Where to start:
- Over-the-counter options include applying 100% tea tree oil twice daily for six months. You should see improvement in the infection, appearance and symptoms. Most topical treatments take at least this long to work because a new, uninfected nail must come in.
- Tea tree oil cures fungal toenail infection in about 18% of people who try it. It also improves nail appearance and symptoms in up to 60% of patients after six months of treatment.
- I donât advise soaking your toes in tea tree oil or other solutions meant to kill fungus. This has not been proven to kill nail fungus effectively.
If more treatment is needed:
How Is It Treated
Whether to treat a fungal nail infection is up to you. If it isn’t treated, it won’t go away. It might get worse.
If you decide to treat a fungal nail infection, you can try a non-prescription antifungal medicine that comes in a cream, lotion, or nail polish. Your doctor can also prescribe a stronger medicine. You may need to use this medicine for a few weeks or for as long as a year. Even so, it may not get rid of the infection.
Antifungal pills give the best chance of curing a severe fungal nail infection. But they may cost a lot and have serious side effects. You will need to see your doctor for regular testing if you take these pills.
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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.