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How To Care For Nail Fungus

Best Ways To Treat A Nail Fungus

How to Cure Toenail 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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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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How Long Does Tea Tree Oil Takes To Work On Toenail Fungus

Ive read somewhere that tea tree oil has antifungal properties and when applied to the toenails, it seems to help clear them up. Does this work on toenail fungus? Well, the best way to answer that question is to say that it doesnt work on toenail fungus. It might have some effect, but its not very good. I suppose if you used a different type of remedy for your toenail fungus then it wouldnt hurt to give it a try, but if youre like me you dont want to waste your money or your time.

Another question that someone might ask about tea tree oil is, does it contain any side-effects? Well, theres one major side effect and thats it can make your nails grow in a different way. You see, tea tree oil basically acts like an antiseptic and helps kill off the fungus thats causing your problem.

Other things that it may help with is, if you have a fungal infection in your toenails then you can also use it. Its been known to help soothe cuts and sores. So, now you know how long does tea tree oil take to work on toenail fungus? It depends on the type of fungus that you have. The better informed you are, the better youll be when it comes to choosing the right treatment.

Treatment From Your Gp

Natural remedy to treat toenail fungus in 2020

Your GP can prescribe antifungal tablets. You’ll need to take these every day for up to 6 months.

Tablets can have side effects including:

  • headaches
  • loss of taste
  • diarrhoea

You cannot take antifungal tablets if you’re pregnant or have certain conditions. They can damage your liver.

If your nail has a very bad infection, you may need to have it removed. This is a small procedure done under local anaesthetic.

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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.

Oral medications can come in capsules, tablets, or liquid. Some common prescriptions are Diflucan , Lamisil , Onmel , and Sporanox .

What Is The Outcome For Someone Who Has Nail Fungus

With treatment, many people can get rid of nail fungus. Even when the fungus clears, your nail may look unhealthy until the infected nail grows out. A fingernail grows out in 4 to 6 months and a toenail in 12 to 18 months.

To clear the fungus, its important to:

  • Use the treatment exactly as prescribed

  • Apply the medicine for as long as prescribed

  • Keep all follow-up appointments with your dermatologist

Nail fungus can be stubborn. If you had a severe infection, its possible to clear the infection. A healthy looking nail, however, may be unrealistic, but you can expect the nail to look better and feel more comfortable.

Even with clearing, nail fungus can return. Youll find steps to reduce your risk in Tips: 12 ways to prevent another nail infection.

ImageGetty Images

ReferenceGold LFS and Rosen T. Onychomycosis: Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies. Dermatology News . March 2016:2-15.

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Indicators On Nail Fungus: Here’s What It Is And How To Treat It You Need To Know

However, avoiding tight, nonbreathing shoes or steering clear of athletic facility floors may very well be the best prevention available. Daily washing of the feet and drying between the toes can help to prevent nail fungus. The fungi carried on the coats of pets, like cats and dogs, don’t often cause nail fungus.

On top of infection, you can also experience discoloration, thickening, and separation from the nail bed. Unfortunately, the simple truth is that everyone is exposed to the microorganisms that cause these infections, says Dana Stern, M.D., a New York City-based dermatologist and nail health expert at Nu Skin. So, why do some people develop full-on nail fungus and others dont? The causes are multi-factorial but some of the more common factors that put you at risk for fungal infections include older age, diabetes, suppressed immunity, poor circulation, excessive sweating, and irregular growing nails, notes Dr.

Stern. White superficial onychomycosis is the second most common it leads to white spots on the surface of the nail, which can ultimately spread to resemble a white chalky powder covering the entire nail, says Chen. How to Prevent Nail Fungus, Even though the fungi responsible for these nail infections are pretty much everywhere, there are a few universal things you can do to aid in prevention.

What Other Conditions Can Be Mistaken For Fungal Nails

How to Cure Nail Fungus

Here are some other conditions you may have instead of fungal nails:

  • Lines and ridges: These are common and may be considered normal. They may worsen during pregnancy. A large groove down the center of the nail can be caused by nail biting. Some people may develop these changes following chemotherapy.
  • Senile nails: As you age, the nails become brittle and develop ridges and separation of the nail layers at the end of the nail. To avoid this, try to clean solutions and don’t soak the nails in water.
  • Whitish or yellowish nails can occur due to onycholysis. This means separation of the nail from the nail bed. The color you see is air beneath the nail. The treatment is to trim the nail short, don’t clean under it, polish if you want to hide the color, and wait two to three months. Persistent onycholysis can make the nails susceptible to fungal infection.
  • Red or black nails due to a hematoma, or blood under the nail, usually occur from trauma . The discolored area will grow out with the nail and be trimmed off as you trim your nails. If you have a black spot under your nail that was not caused by trauma, you may want to see a dermatologist or a podiatrist if it involves a toenail to make sure it is not melanoma . A simple biopsy can rule out malignancy .
  • Trichophyton

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    Living With A Nail Fungal Infection

    If you have a nail fungal infection, some things can help:

    • Keep your nails cut short and file down any thick areas.
    • Dont use the same nail trimmer and file on healthy nails and infected nails. If you have your nails professionally manicured, bring your own nail file and trimmer from home.
    • Wear waterproof gloves for wet work . Wear 100% cotton gloves for dry work.
    • Wear socks made of wicking material . This pulls moisture away from the skin. Change your socks when they are damp from sweat or if your feet get wet. Put on clean, dry socks every day. Put over-the-counter antifungal foot powder inside your socks to keep your feet dry.
    • Wear shoes with good support and a wide toe area. Dont wear pointed shoes that press your toes together.
    • Avoid walking barefoot in public areas, such as locker rooms.

    What Causes Fungal Nails And What Are Some Of The Risk Factors

    In normal, healthy people, fungal infections of the nails are most commonly caused by fungus that is caught from moist, wet areas. Communal showers, such as those at a gym or swimming pools, are common sources. Going to nail salons that use inadequate sanitization of instruments in addition to living with family members who have fungal nails are also risk factors. Athletes have been proven to be more susceptible to nail fungus. This is presumed to be due to the wearing of tight-fitting, sweaty shoes associated with repetitive trauma to the toenails. Having athlete’s foot makes it more likely that the fungus will infect your toenails. Repetitive trauma also weakens the nail, which makes the nail more susceptible to fungal infection.

    Elderly people and people with certain underlying disease states are also at higher risk. Anything that impairs your immune system can make you prone to getting infected with the fungus. These include conditions such as AIDS, diabetes, cancer, psoriasis, or taking any immunosuppressive medications like steroids.

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    When Are The Different Treatments Considered

    Most doctors recommend treating nail fungus with nail polish or cream if

    • not much more than half of the nail is affected by the fungus,
    • the base of the nail is not infected, and
    • only some nails are affected.

    Topical treatment is also usually recommended for children. One reason for this is that most oral medications arent suitable for children. Another reason is that children have thinner nails that grow more quickly, so its assumed that treatment with nail polish or creams is more likely to work in children than in adults. White superficial onychomycosis is also often treated with a nail polish or cream.

    If several nails are infected by the fungus, or if the infection has spread out more on the affected nails, its usually necessary to take oral medication. And if the infection started at the base of the nail, its highly likely that only tablets will help.

    Toenail Care Getting Your Toenails Healthyand Looking Good

    9 Best Home Remedies for Toenail Fungus to Prevent Infection

    Good toenail care is important and is often overlooked in todays hectic lifestyle, as a result nail health can, and often does, suffer.

    Many people spend their whole day on their feet and the last thing that is needed is pain from problem feet, an ingrowing toenail or an irritating itch from athletes foot or worse.

    However, there are many things that can be done to get toenails and feet back into good condition.

    Once they are in good condition a little preventative maintenance and a little attention will keep them in good health and a shining example of how healthy nails should look.

    Here we have put together some good, no nonsense information with some top tips on how how to care for your toenails and feet.

    We have a section on ingrown toenail treatment where you can get all the advice on the home treatment of this condition.

    We also have a section on and general maintenance ideas you can use to keep your feet and toe nails in top condition.

    For young mums there is a section on childrens toenails. Here you can learn how to care for your new baby’s toenails and why toenail care at this young age is so important for your baby’s foot health.

    How the child’s nails should be cut and how to select the correct foot ware so to avoid any problems like ingrown toenails, verruca’s, athletes foot etc.

    Find the proper tools you may need to treat any toenail condition, see what they look like and how to use them correctly.

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    Avoiding Damage To Your Nails

  • 1Avoid keeping your nails in wet or dirty environments. Conditions like that encourage the growth of bacteria beneath your nails, which can be difficult to dislodge. Furthermore, repeated lengthy contact with moisture can increase your likelihood of getting split fingernails.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • If you frequently wash dishes, garden, or clean with harsh chemicals, try wearing rubber or plastic gloves that can protect both your skin and fingernails from undue stress.
  • 2Take steps to stop if you bite your nails. While this can be a difficult habit to break, its important because your mouth has germs and bacteria that can easily enter your body through abrasions created by your teeth.XResearch source
  • Try protecting your nails by painting a layer of clear gel on them, which may be more difficult to bite through.
  • You can also try using a nail polish that tastes bitter, so that the nasty taste discourages you from nail chewing.XTrustworthy SourceAmerican Academy of DermatologyProfessional organization made of over 20,000 certified dermatologistsGo to source
  • If you absolutely need to make your nails appear more elongated, carefully push your cuticles away from your nail tips with the flat edge of a wooden orange stick.XResearch source
  • It is a myth that regularly cutting your cuticles means they will grow faster when you stop.
  • However, vertical ridges running the length of the nail are normal.
  • Nail Removal Home Remedies And Laser Treatment

    In the most serious instances of toenail fungus infection, the toenail may be removed surgically or dissolved with acid. This can be done to just a portion of the nail in the hope that the remaining nail will grow back healthy. In cases where the entire toenail has to be removed, artificial nails and products using light-cured resins to form a temporary covering can be used to protect the underlying tissue until the nail grows back.

    If you prefer to go the home-remedy route, such as applying tea tree oil or Vicks VapoRub to your nails, keep in mind that the effectiveness of these products for treating toenail fungus hasn’t been well studied, and they are not recommended by podiatrists.

    Finally, the Food and Drug Administration has approved several laser devices for temporary increase in clear nails in patients with onychomycosis. But while laser treatments are vigorously marketed, clinical trials of lasers have reported mixed results, and the treatments may not be covered by health insurance. If you wish to try laser treatment of toenail fungus, speak to your doctor about what to expect from the treatment, and call your insurance carrier to find out whether the treatment will be covered.

    Additional reporting by Susan Jara.

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    How To Get Rid Of Toe Fungus

    This article was co-authored by . Dr. Mark Co is a Podiatrist who runs his own private practice in San Francisco, California. Dr. Co specializes in treatments for bunions, ingrown toenails, toenail fungus, warts, plantar fasciitis and other causes of foot pain. He also offers custom orthotics for the treatment and prevention of foot and ankle issues. Dr. Co completed a Master of Business Administration at New York University and an MA in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Co also completed his DPM at the California School of Podiatric Medicine and a residency and internship at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Santa Clara, California. Dr. Co was awarded San Franciscos Top 3 Podiatrists in 2018, 2019, and 2020. Dr. Co is also a member of the CPMA .There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 96% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,481,677 times.

    Tips For Prevention Of Fungal Nails

    How to Prevent Toenail Fungus | Foot Care

    Nail fungus causes only 50% of abnormal-appearing nails. It can be hard to tell the difference between the different causes of discolored nails . Onychomycosis is often not treated. Reasons to receive treatment include

  • diabetes,

    No one knows where a specific person catches the fungus, as it is everywhere. However, since the fungus does thrive in warm moist areas , there are certain areas one should avoid or use with caution. Shower floors, locker rooms, and swimming pools are suspected of being sources of the fungus, although there are no studies proving this fact. Nail polish and acrylic nails also make the nail less “breathable” and make the nail more susceptible to fungal infection. Fungi are everywhere — in the air, the dust, and the soil. Hygienic measures such as spraying socks and footgear sound sensible, and perhaps these measures can even help a little bit. However, avoiding tight, nonbreathing shoes or steering clear of athletic facility floors may very well be the best prevention available. Daily washing of the feet and drying between the toes can help to prevent nail fungus. The fungi carried on the coats of pets, like cats and dogs, don’t often cause nail fungus. Wearing white socks does not help.

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