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.
Why Toenail Fungus Infection Is More Common In Elderly People
Although toenail fungus infection can affect people of all ages, those who are 60 years old and above are more likely to suffer from it than those who are younger. The condition affects nearly 20% of seniors, while it only affects 2.6% of children younger than 18. There are several factors why people over 60 are at an increased risk of nail alterations and disorders, and these point to their less-than-optimal health. Older people generally have weakened circulation on their distal extremities, impaired immune system, and faulty biomechanics. They also undergo normal age-related changes and disorders, making them more susceptible to nail fungus infections.
Also, elderly people who have health issues such as diabetes are doubly at risk of acquiring nail fungus infections.
What Tests Might I Have For Toenail Fungus
Your provider will probably take a small sample from underneath your nail to further analyze it. Viewing the cells under a microscope can confirm a toenail fungus diagnosis. If the initial test is negative, a scraping can be sent to see if the fungus grows out in a culture. It also helps your provider identify the type of fungus.
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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.
How Do I Know If I Have A Fungal Nail Infection
Because other infections can affect the nail and mimic symptoms of a fungal nail infection, the only way to confirm a diagnosis is to see a doctor. Theyll take a scraping of the nail and look under a microscope for signs of fungus.
In some cases, your doctor may send the sample to a lab for analysis and identification.
Over-the-counter products arent usually recommended to treat nail infections since they dont provide reliable results. Instead, your doctor may prescribe an oral antifungal medication, such as:
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Signs And Symptoms Of Foot Fungus
Itchy skin is an early sign of foot fungus, or scaly, peeling skin, or tiny blisters on the skin that will pop at times, says Sundling. The skin tends to break out in the shape of a moccasin, or the area of the foot that a moccasin would cover. You dont see foot fungus on the top of the foot very often. Its common to get a fungal infection between the toes as well, she adds.
Do I Have Black Toenail Fungus Or A Bruise Underneath My Toenail
- In our experience, it is much more likely to have a bruise underneath the toenail rather than black toenail fungus.
- In a lot of people, it is common to have both toenail fungi develop first. This toenail fungus can make the toenail thicker, leading to bleeding and bruising developing underneath the toenail.
- This can make the toenail thick, dark, and discolored.
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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.
Protect Your Feet In Public
You can lock down your home against fungus rather easily, but the world is another matter. Fungus thrives in warm, damp, moist environments, and there are plenty of them out there with a lot of foot traffic.
If you are going to high risk areas such as gyms, locker rooms, and public pools, you need to keep your feet protected. A pair of sandals oreven bettershower shoes will provide a good amount of cover in the worst of it.
Of course, wash your feet well after your time in a shower room or pool, and make sure they are fully dry before you put socks and shoes back on.
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Preventative Steps To Take
While you cant always help your risk factors for toenail fungus, there are some preventive steps you can take:
- Bring your own sterilized instruments, such as nail clippers, to a nail salon.
- Keep your toenails short and clean to prevent nail trauma that can lead to cracking. If you have difficulty trimming your own toenails, your doctor may recommend seeing a podiatrist to help.
- Dont share personal care items like fingernail clippers or pumice stones with another person.
- Throw away or treat potentially infected footwear.
- Wear clean socks and wash socks after use.
- Wear sandals when walking in a locker room, public shower, or any other places where fungus is likely to grow.
Toenail fungal infections have a high rate of recurrence, even after youve treated them. Thats why its important to couple treatment measures with preventive ones to give yourself the best chance for keeping your toenails healthy in appearance.
How Do You Get A Fungal Nail Infection
Most fungal nail infections occur as a result of the fungi that cause athlete’s foot infecting the nails.
These fungi often live harmlessly on your skin, but they can sometimes multiply and lead to infections. The fungi prefer warm, dark and moist places like the feet.
You’re more likely to get a fungal nail infection if you:
- don’t keep your feet clean and dry
- wear shoes that cause your feet to get hot and sweaty
- walk around barefoot in places where fungal infections can spread easily, such as communal showers, locker rooms and gyms
- have damaged your nails
- have a weakened immune system
- have certain other health conditions, such as diabetes, psoriasis or peripheral arterial disease
Fungal nail infections can be spread to other people, so you should take steps to avoid this if you have an infection.
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Making A Vinegar Soak
If you want to try treating your nail fungus with vinegar, then the best thing to do is soak your foot in a vinegar-water mixture. Diluting the vinegar is important to prevent it from irritating your skin. Try a daily soak and see if it helps clear the infection. If not, then dont panic. You can still use more conventional treatments.
What Can You Do To Help Prevent Fungal Nail
Maintain good foot hygiene and check and trim your nails on a regular basis. Nails should be cut or filed straight across . Always make sure your nail clippers are disinfected
Look out for athletes foot in the skin between the toes and treat with an antifungal cream as it can soon spread to the nails
Wear shoes that fit well and have enough space to allow your feet to breathe a little this reduces the possibility of warm, moist environments where the fungi can breed
Throw out old shoes, especially trainers
Wear cotton socks and change them regularly
Dont share your towels and socks with other people
Avoid walking around barefoot in public spaces wear flip flops or sandals around the pool or in public changing rooms and showers
Dont use the same nail accessories or tools on your infected nail as the nails which are clear
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Best Ways To Disinfect Shoes From Toenail Fungus
What if I told you that most of the times the toenail fungus infection occurs because the shoes were not clean. Cleaner shoes mean healthy toes. If one would not clean his shoes once in a while, chances are that he might get the toenail fungus.
It can happen mostly in summers and monsoon when our feet get sweaty and dirty quite often. According to researchers, at any time almost 14 to 15 % of people are affected with toenail fungus. When we get this infection it feels like everything will be fine within a few days, but this is not what actually happens.
The toenail fungus is a stubborn infection that can eat all your toenails if not treated on time. Furthermore, it is very contagious, if someone has toenail fungus infection, chances are that people around him will also get infected. It spreads really fast.
Among the many preventive methods for the toenail fungus, cleaning your shoes is one of them. Not even the infected persons, but also the healthy ones should take great care of their feet by keeping the shoes clean.
Those having chronic disease are also advised to keep an eye on what they eat, and wear. A sight infection can change their life forever. For example, if a man is suffering with diabetes, he will need to take special care otherwise, the toenail fungus can cause serious damage to their toes and feet altogether.
For some people the simpler and quick methods will be more feasible, while others can go for the longer ones. All of these are effective.
Home Remedies To Help Remove Or Stop Toenail Fungus From A Harrisburg Podiatrist
Toenail fungus is extremely unattractive and can make individuals feel self-conscious about their feet. If stopping into your local foot doctor is not a possibility, you are not entirely out of luck. There are five home remedies that work well above the rest as toenail fungus treatment options.
1. Use a Rub of Tea Tree Oil and Orange Oil
A mixture of 1 teaspoon tea tree oil, half a teaspoon of orange oil, and half a teaspoon of grapeseed or olive oil can be rubbed onto the toenails with a cotton ball to clear up toenail fungus. This treatment is not one your University Area podiatrist will provide so you will have to do this at home as part of your daily routine. The natural anti-bacterial and fungicidal properties of tea tree oil make it a very promising toenail fungus treatment option.
2. Rub Coconut Oil on Your Feet
Coconut oil is one of the most commonly used products for natural remedies. When it comes to foot fungus, this product works like magic. The fatty acids in coconut oil work as natural fungicides, causing the fungal membranes to break down and clear up. Use gloves to rub coconut oil to the infected toenail. You can even rub coconut oil over your entire foot to leave your skin soft and nourished. A thin layer applied 2 to 3 times a day works great as a toenail fungus treatment.
3. Soak Your Feet in Baking Soda and Vinegar
4. Olive Tree Extract
5. Oregano Oil
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When To See Your Doctor
If you think you have athletes foot and it hasnt subsided after a week of home treatment, make an appointment to see your doctor. You may need prescription antifungals to get rid of the infection.
You should also make an appointment to see your doctor if you have athletes foot and diabetes. This is especially true if you have signs of a secondary bacterial infection, which can be more dangerous in those with diabetes due to their nerve damage.
Signs of infection include redness, pus, swelling, drainage, and fever. If you have diabetes, you may not feel pain in your feet due to nerve damage.
Your doctor will likely be able to diagnose athletes foot just by looking at it.
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 .
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Tincture Of Iodine Kills Skin Nail Fungi
Tue., Aug. 3, 2010
Q. For more than 20 years, I was plagued with dry, flaky skin on the side of my nose and behind my earlobes. I went to several doctors, including dermatologists. We tried various salves, to no avail. After a while, this added up to big bucks.
I wondered if this ailment was caused by a fungus. As a chemist, I know that iodine is very, very effective on fungus and many bacteria. I applied tincture of iodine with my fingers and got cured within a week.
Its been two months, and the spots have not returned. The cost of treatment was less than $2. I previously had success treating toenail fungus with iodine. Since I am a man, dark toenails did not bother me.
I have suggested iodine treatment to many friends, and the responses have been enthusiastic. Many have solved their nail problems after other pricey treatments were unsuccessful.
A. Iodine was discovered about 200 years ago. As a tincture, it has broad antiseptic activity. You are correct that it kills fungus.
Tincture of iodine is dark brown, and it can stain, so not everyone will want to use it on the face. Other readers have also reported success applying tincture of iodine to fungus-infected nails.
Q. My internist says I need extra vitamin D and suggested I spend more time in the sun. My dermatologist insists that I need to use a high-SPF sunscreen every day and stay out of the sun. I am feeling extremely confused and hope you have some information that can help me sort out this dilemma.
The Basics Of Nail Fungus Prevention
Fungal nails are unsightly, embarrassing, and occasionally smelly. They are also notoriously difficult to treat. A podiatrist in Sugar Land can use advanced treatments that arent available at drugstores to eradicate the fungal infection. Once its gone, your foot doctor will give you instructions to prevent the fungal infection from coming back .
Keeping Your Feet Clean
For people who are prone to developing recurrent fungal nail infections, showering once daily may not be enough to keep the feet clean enough. If you shower in the morning, bathe your feet again in the evening. You can use a loofah or clean washcloth to thoroughly work the soap around your feet and toes.
Keeping Your Feet Dry
Fungi love damp, warm environments like the insides of your shoes. Each time you take a shower or bathe your feet separately, dry your feet thoroughly with a clean towel. Be sure to dry between your toes. Your podiatrist might recommend applying a topical medication a few times per week after cleaning your feet. You can also apply foot powder to help your feet stay dry. If you tend to sweat heavily, you may need to change your socks during the day.
Using Public Locker Rooms
Fungal infections easily spread in gyms, public pools, and locker rooms. Always wear shower shoes around the edges of the pool and in the public showers. Let your shower shoes dry completely between uses.
Reducing Your Risk of Nail Injuries
Wearing Proper Footwear
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