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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.
Dangers Of Using Bleach For Toenail Fungus
Bleach may actually cause toenail fungus to worsen and increase the likelihood of a toenail infection.
According to an article in the Asian Journal of Research in Dermatological Science, use of topical bleach can increase the risks for fungal infections because it can damage the skin and nails. This allows opportunistic fungus to come in through the damaged skin or nail and cause an infection.
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Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Nail Fungus
Although some people may refer to these alternative treatments as quack science, there appears to be a little more to these homemade remedies since many individuals have used them to cure their conditions. However, more research still needs to be conducted on the success rate of home remedies for nail fungus.
Some common and supposedly effective alternative treatments include:
According to Dr. Josh Axe of the Exodus Health Center, apple cidar vinegar not only helps to soothe sunburns, balance pH in the body, manage blood sugar levels, and aid in weight loss, its also an ingredient that contains anti-fungal properties. As such, many sufferers of fungal nail infection have now turned to this healthy food to cure their conditions.
The acidic properties of apple cidar vinegar prevent nail fungus from spreading. At the same time, apple cidar vinegar helps to get rid of dead skin cells while killing bacteria and fungi.
Simply mix it with water in equal parts then soak the infected nails for up to 30 minutes in the solution. Repeat this process daily and pat dry the infected nails after soaking.
Another study conducted by Russian researchers showed that a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide had been instrumental in killing off fungus at the radioactive Chernobyl site.
For this remedy, one should simply apply lemon juice on the infected nail for about 30 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.
Acrylic Nail Fungus Symptoms
If you are an acrylic nail lover, it is imperative for you to understand the symptoms of Acrylic nails fungus first. So, that you may rush to the treatment on the slightest symptoms. Otherwise, you may lose the entire nail.
Below are the commons symptoms that you can note if you get fungus on your nails.
- Discoloration. Your nail may turn whitish, yellow or green. In severe cases it will become black, if not treated on time.
- A slight pain around your nail. This is the time when the fungus has started growing under the nail.
- Redness around your nail.
- Itchiness that may feel like burning
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Natural Remedies To Get Rid Of Nail Fungus
Isvaiyah has been a licensed pharmacist at Gadjah Mada University for nine years. She earned her M.Sc. from the same university.
Read on for 10 ways to beat nail fungus the natural way!
Nail fungus can attack any one of us, but theres no need to worry because there are a number of effective natural remedies out there. This condition normally affects toenails, but fingernails can also become infected. The infected nails often change color, becoming yellow, green, or black. They can also become painful. If left untreated, the fungus may gradually inflict serious damage to the nails, and eventually, have to be removed by a physician.
What Is Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is usually an infection of the toenail caused by opportunistic fungi, explains Oliva. It may cause your nail to turn a yellow or white hue, thicken, or crumble at the outer edges.
While toenail fungus can occur in people of all ages, board-certified dermatologist Marie Hayag, MD, says that its most common in older folks. As the nail ages, it is prone to becoming brittle and dry, which can result in cracks in the nails that make it susceptible to fungal infections, she explains, noting that all of the aforementioned causes can be even more of a concern as a result.
Meet the Expert
- , MD, is a board-certified dermatologist practicing in Manhattan. She is an assistant clinical professor at Mount Sinai Hospital and also teaches in the Dermatology Departments surgery clinic.
- Francisco Oliva, DPM, is a Miami-based podiatrist who has been in private practice for 25+ years.
Nevertheless, because developing a toenail fungus can occur at all ages, we reveal the best ways to treat toenail fungus at home, below.
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Essential Oils As A Natural Remedy For Nail Fungus
Australian tea tree has been used as a home remedy by the indigenous people of Australia for a very long time. For hundreds of years, the plant has been used to cure skin problems. Tea tree essential oil has antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties. The fungicidal property makes this oil also interesting in nail fungus treatment. With tea tree oil you can treat nail fungus naturally. The essential oil is supposed to stop the growth of the fungus and is therefore a popular home remedy against nail fungus.
Besides tea tree oil, sage oil can also be used. Sage generally has both anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal effects. For this reason, this spice is also a Component of natural medicine. For the extraction of sage oil, the complete sage plant is used.
The application of the two natural remedies against nail fungus is similar. The respective tea tree or sage oil is applied to the fungus on the nail with a cotton swab three to four times a day. Alternatively, a foot bath with water and the essential oil can be applied. Care should be taken when applying directly to the nail! The concentrated oil must not come into contact with the skin, otherwise it may cause skin irritation. Therefore, I recommend the application only for people with insensitive skin.
Natural Home Remedies For Fungal Nail Infection Hydrogen Peroxide And Vinegar
This method will last for 3 days.
The first days, you soak your affected nails into a proper amount of 5% vinegar for about 5 minutes. During the process of soaking, pres and release your nails several times to make sure the vinegar can absorb under your nails. Rinse it off with water before patting it dry.
The 2nd day, you soak your affected nails into a proper amount of 2% hydrogen peroxide for 5 minutes or so. Repeat the same routine as the 1st day.
The 3rd day, you repeat what you did in the 1st day. On the 4th day, repeat the 2nd day.
Do this method for about 3 weeks to get noticeable results. However, you should not combine both hydrogen peroxide and vinegar because it can forms peracetic acid which may have different properties that you are not aware of.
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What About Bleach Baths
Bleach baths are an approach dermatologists may recommend for treating skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis and recurrent Staphylococcus infections on the skin. These involve mixing a very small amount of bleach in bath water typically a half cup of bleach to a full-sized bathtub of water.
While its true that bleach baths may temporarily kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses, the effects arent long-lasting and arent likely to treat an existing toenail fungal infection.
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 don’t panic. You can still use more conventional treatments.
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What Causes Toenail Fungus And How To Prevent It
Unfortunately, the warm and moist environment inside your shoe can make you vulnerable to fungal infections. When these occur on the toenail, doctors call the condition onychomycosis. Fungal skin infections commonly called athletes foot can often affect the foot as well.
One of the you get a fungal toenail infection is when fungus invades small cracks in your toenail. Some people are at greater risk for this occurring, including those with:
- circulation problems, especially related to the feet
- history of injury, surgery, or damage to the nail
- impacted immune system function
Home Remedies For Fingernail Fungus Infection Best Natural Treatments:
Fingernail fungus could be downright terrifying so that people not only have to see but also experience the awful symptoms, causing uncomfort to patients. Scientifically called tinea unguium oronychomycosis, fingernail fungus is a relatively popular as far as nail infection that many people are concerning about. Some of the trigger factors that lead to fingernail fungus are included but not limited to former nail injuries, abundant perspiration, genetics, and several health diseases and problems I personally had my friend and family member who used to suffer from fingernail fungus simply because they did not wear gloves while using harsh cleaning products. Trust me, it was really terrible. The situation can turn to be painful, embarrassing, and all-around nasty rapidly. Thus, you will need to take extra care while treating this problem. I know that this is a very popular issue for individuals, so I have decided to collect information and combine the best home remedies for fingernail fungus infection in an only list that can definitely help you save a lot of money and efforts spending on a laser therapy to deal with fingernail fungus. Women should not forget that acrylic nail is also well-known to cause high risks of developing fingernail fungus. Just with a simple google image search, you will find out several pictures that will surely make you re-think about whether or not you should use artificial nails.
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What Causes A Nail Fungal Infection
The infection is usually caused by exposure to a fungus. The fungus grows in wet, dark conditions. The fungus grows when your feet are in warm, sweaty environment . It enters your nail through a crack in the nail.
Nail fungal infections happen at any age. They are more common in adults older than 60 years of age. They are common in people who have diabetes or circulation problems. They also are common in people with a weakened immune system. Men are more likely than women to get fungal nail infections.
Treatment Options For Fungal Nail
Treatment options, some of which can be prescribed by your GP and the others found at your local pharmacy, include:
Antifungal nail creams or paints
These are applied directly to the nail over several months and are most effective when used at the early stages of the infection. They aren’t generally considered to be as effective as tablets because it can be difficult for the product to reach the deep layers of the nail. Some people choose them over tablets because side effects are less common. These are available over the counter.
A paste is applied to soften the infected area. This is then covered with a plaster for 24 hours. The next day, the paste is washed off and the softened nail gently scraped away.
This process has to be repeated every day for two to three weeks. When no more of the infected nail can be removed, an antifungal paint is applied to prevent re-infection as the nail grows over the next few months. These kits are available from your pharmacist.
These are only available on prescription and need to be taken for several months, before the infection has completely cleared up. Some tablets are unsuitable for people taking certain medicines, and some people may experience side effects. Always see your doctor or pharmacist for advice about medicines.
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What Does Fungal Nail Look Like
Usually, it first appears on the edge of your nail, under the tip, as a white or yellow streak. This streak gradually spreads down the side of your nail to the base.
Eventually, your nail becomes brittle, discoloured, thickened and distorted. It can become so thick that it hurts when pressed against the side of a shoe.
The nail may end up crumbling and splitting, and separating from the skin. It often turns yellow or brown.
The surrounding skin may also become infected and may itch, crack, form a blister, or appear white especially between the toes. Its important to act quickly if you notice any of these symptoms. If you don’t treat the infection, there’s a chance it will worsen and spread to other nails.
Nail Anatomy And Onychomycosis Infection
Figure 1 shows the composition of the nail, including the nail plate , nail bed and nail matrix.
Figure 1: Nail anatomy and physiology
The nail plate and nail bed are joined by layers of hard, translucent, keratinised cells. The nail bed and nail matrix are vascular components of the nail, with nail cells located within the nail matrix where the nail plate is formed. The thickness of the nail plate determines the length of the matrix
- Apply cosmetic nail varnishes or artificial nails
- Walk without footwear in public areas
- Cut nails too short.
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Treating Toenail Fungus Vinegar
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Are There Any Side Effects Or Issues To Consider With At Home Treatments
At home laser treatments are considered a safe and effective way to help treat onychomycosis. These products are painless and do not harm or affect the surrounding tissues of the treated area. There is also no noticeable side effect or complications with at home laser treatment for fungus.
The biggest problem with at home devices is that they take time to work. While you can do them in the comfort of your own home and each treatment only takes 7 minutes , you will have to do the procedures for 3 to 4 months to determine their effectiveness. Some people may find this to be too much of a time investment.
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How Do Dermatologists Treat A Fungal Nail Infection
Treatment usually begins with your dermatologist trimming your infected nail, cutting back each infected nail to the place where it attaches to your finger or toe. Your dermatologist may also scrape away debris under the nail. This helps get rid of some fungus.
To completely get rid of the infection, most people also need one or more of the following treatments:
Medicine you apply to the nail: If you have a mild infection, a medicine that you apply to your nails may get rid of the infection. This treatment helps keep new fungus out while the nails grow. Fingernails typically grow out in four to six months. Toenails take longer, usually takes 12 to 18 months.
Probably the most difficult part of this treatment is remembering to use it as often as prescribed. Some treatments must be applied every day. Others you apply once a week. To get the best results, its essential that you apply these medicines exactly as directed.
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the following medicines that you apply to the nail to treat nail fungus:
Side effects from these medicines are generally mild. Possible side effects include redness and swelling, an ingrown toenail, and stinging or burning when you apply the medicine. In clinical trials, none of these side effects caused patients to stop using the treatment.
The FDA has approved the following systemic medicines to treat nail fungus: