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How To Deal With Toenail Fungus

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.

Who Is Most Likely To Develop Fungal Infections

Men are at a higher risk of developing fungal infections as compared to women. The reason is their poorer immunity as compared to women as the only fighting factor that prevents fungus from occurring in the immune system and women are said to have a stronger immune system than men.

Older people have more chances of developing finger and toenail infections. This is due to their poor circulation system as our antibodies are present in blood so a poorer circulation speed will result in the rate at which antibodies reach the target site to be slowed down. Besides that, our nails also grow more slowly and thicken as we age.

People suffering from diabetes develop foot infections more often. Because the healing power of people suffering from diabetes is affected drastically due to their abnormal blood sugar level. Risen sugar levels result in poor immunity thus more prone to bacterial infections.

Moreover, if you regularly wear artificial nails or apply nail polish that is shared with several people or have a nail injury the chances of bacteria attacking and causing an infection are more likely. Also, swimming in public swimming pools, visiting swampy, high moisture places and wearing closed shoes such as boots and tennis shoes and gloves will cause fingernails and toenails to develop a fungal infection.

Take Care Of Your Toes

Use soap and water to wash your feet, and dry well, including between toes. Trim your toenails — straight across — to keep them shorter than the end of your toe. Make sure the tools you use are clean, too. Wash clippers and files with soap and water, then wipe with rubbing alcohol. You might be tempted to cover up discolored nails with polish, but don’t. Your nail bed can’t “breathe,” which keeps fungus from going away.

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A Pharmacist Can Help With Fungal Nail Infections

Toenail Fungus Gel Nails

Speak to a pharmacist if the look of your nail bothers you or it’s painful.

They may suggest:

  • antifungal nail cream it can take up to 12 months to cure the infection and does not always work
  • nail-softening cream it’s used for 2 weeks to soften the nail so the infected part can be scraped off

The infection is cured when you see healthy nail growing back at the base.

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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.

Wearing Antifungal Nail Polish

  • 1Trim your nails. It is important to keep your nails trimmed and neat. Keeping your nails short will help keep the fungus from spreading. Use specialized clippers if your nails have become too thick.XResearch source
  • Wash your clippers with rubbing alcohol in between uses to prevent the fungus from spreading.
  • 2Wash your nails. Use soap and water, focusing especially on clearing your nails and cuticles of any grime or dirt. XResearch sourceAdvertisement
  • 3Apply a base coat. Use a small brush to spread the base coat across the nail. This will prevent your nails from stains and anchor the polish to your nail. XResearch source
  • Bring the brush down the middle of your nail in one, even stroke. Don’t try to cover the entire nail with this one stroke.
  • Then, starting from the same position as the first stroke, bring the brush down at an angle, covering the left side of your nail.
  • Repeating this process, place your brush at the same starting point and brush the right side of your nail.
  • Allow time to air dry.
  • 4Apply an antifungal nail polish. Starting at the base of your nail, use a downward stroke to apply an even coat of nail polish to the middle of your nail.XResearch source
  • Using the same technique as before, place the brush at the same starting point at the base of your nail and brush down at an angle, covering the left side of your nail.
  • Repeat this process for the right side of your nail. Be sure that the strokes are even and that no nail polish is pooling on your nail.
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    Toenail Fungus Treatment Complications

    Here are some things to think about when deciding on a nail fungus treatment.

    If you have a disease like diabetes, your doctor will make sure you treat nail fungus. This illness often makes you more likely to have other problems from minor foot issues.

    You may not be able to take antifungal pills because of side effects or because they donât work well with other drugs you take. If that’s the case, try a product that goes onto your nail. Your doctor will call this a topical treatment.

    Be patient. Your nails may not look “normal” after treatment. It can take as long as a year to 18 months for your nail to grow out a fungus.

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    Can You deal with Toenail Fungus?

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    How To Use Baking Soda For Toenail Fungus

    Most people will tell you that toenail fungus shouldn’t be ignored. The condition is primarily esthetic, but if left untreated, it can lead to some nasty complications.

    Things get even more complicated when you realize that fungus has high adaptability. It thrives in a humid environment, and given that our feet are often sweaty, you can easily see why some people deal with this condition for months and months.

    But, this is just the beginning of our troubles. It is tough to treat the condition, which is why some people opt for alternative treatments, such as using baking soda for toenail fungus.

    Things You Must Avoid To Keep Your Toenail Fungus Away

    There are plenty more natural remedies and treatments for nail fungus out there, but weâve found most either dont work that well or theyre too much bother, so we havent included them here. Bleach is a popular home remedy for toenail fungus but we strongly recommend you dont use it. The reason for this is simple any chemical you use on your skin, including your nails, ends up in your bloodstream. And bleach is one of the most toxic chemicals there is!

    In addition, try and limit the amount of sugar, pasteurized milk and hydrogenated fats in your diet. These help candida and other fungus grow in the body. Also wear open shoes and try and let your feet breathe as much as possible. Moisture from sweaty feet is one of the main causes of toenail fungus.

    So werecommend you try these natural treatments for your nailfungus Youâll be pleasantly surprised by the results!

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    Foot Fungus: Causes And Risk Factors

    A foot fungus is a fungal infection of the skin, better known as athletes foot, says Sundling. The fungus enters through cracks in the skin. Its known as athletes foot because athletes or anyone who is more active and sweats a lot is more at risk. Kids are also more at risk, because they dont tend to wear different shoes, and changing your shoes is one way to avoid foot fungus.

    Foot fungus is very common. It does not mean that someone is dirty or didnt bathe, and if you have a compromised immune system, you may be more susceptible, says Sundling.

    What To Do If Youre Losing A Toenail To Fungus

    How to deal with toe fungus (and other common summer foot ...

    There are only a few reasons why your toenail might fall off: injury, medical removal, or toenail fungus.

    If youâre dealing with thickened, yellowed toenails that are brittle and becoming misshapen — youâre certainly not alone. Toenail fungus is extremely common. Experts estimate that onychomycosis, the medical term for toenail fungus, affects 1 in 10 people.

    If left untreated, severe toenail fungal infections can cause toenail detachment. In this article, we detail why this happens and what to do next.

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    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 you’ve 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.

    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:

    • Amorolfine

    • Efinaconazole

    • Tavaborole

    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:

    • Fluconazole

    • Itraconazole

    • Terbinafine

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    Erase Discoloration With A Clorox Soak

    Sounds wacky, but soaking your feet in diluted bleach packs a one-two punch that brightens fungus-yellowed toenails while stopping an infection in its tracks. Credit goes to hypochlorous acid, a natural antibacterial compound found in bleach, reveals Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital. It eradicates fungus spores as it gently lightens darkened keratin proteins in toenails. To do: Stir no more than one tablespoon of bleach into eight cups of warm water, then soak feet in the mixture for 10 minutes a day for two weeks.

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    What Is Toenail Fungus Exactly

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    Toenail fungus happens when tiny microscopic organisms called fungi get underneath your toenails, causing an infection, according the American Academy of Dermatology .

    Not-so-fun fact: The same fungus that causes jock itch and athletes foot can also cause toenail fungus, which can infect your nails and the skin underneath, says Gary Goldenberg, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

    Depending on the type of fungus youre dealing with, an infection can cause a slew of unpleasant symptoms, including:

    • Nail discoloration
    • Debris buildup underneath the nail
    • Lifting of the nail from the skin
    • Nail thickening or crumbling
    • Nail thinning or splitting

    Toenail fungus is highly contagious and, if you have a fungal infection on your foot, the fungus can spread to one or more of your nails.

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    Clean Socks And Shoes

    Regularly changing your socks and shoes can also cut down on the growth of unwanted foot fungus. Both socks and athletic shoes can also be washed in hot water to rid the growth of yeasts and fungi that may be growing on the fabric. Some shoes can be machine dried. Drying shoes in the sun is another option when cleaning footwear.

    Adding a half-cup of baking soda or one cup of vinegar to the washing machine can help eliminate bacteria or fungus on socks or shoes.

    Boots and other footwear that are not machine washable could be wiped out with a vinegar and water solution or sprayed with an over-the-counter antifungal spray. Medicated powders are also helpful in treating shoes for foot fungus.

    Allowing the feet to breathe by taking off shoes and socks when possible can prevent fungal growth. Protect your feet by wearing breathable footwear and clean socks. Antimicrobial socks and shoes made from bamboo, copper, or specialty fabrics are also available. They can help reduce unwanted bacteria and yeast from growing in your footwear.

    A proactive approach to keeping your feet clean and dry can prevent the spread of toenail fungus. You can wash or soak feet with warm soapy water or a foot bath using everyday household items. Soaking your feet in an all-natural, homeopathic concoction can be beneficial in reducing or eliminating toenail fungus.

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    Pathophysiology Of Toenail Fungus

    The pathophysiology of a disease refers to the study of changes caused by it to the suffering organ or organism. In the case of toenail and fingernail fungal infections, the pathophysiology of the nail is altered such that it is not able to provide its normal function. The nail becomes distorted, weak and the whole morphology may appear different. The function of the nail is to protect by providing a hard covering to the nail bed. In this case, the affected nail part or even the whole nail fails to do so. This results in weakening of the nail and often times the nail even gets separated from the nail bed.

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    What Is The Most Effective Treatment For Toenail Fungus

    The most effective toenail fungus treatment for you will largely depend on your symptoms and situation. Your provider will consider several factors before recommending a treatment plan thats customized to you.

    Overall, oral antifungal medications may offer the most treatment potential. Pairing oral drugs with topical antifungal medication may make treatment more effective.


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