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.
Are Oral Medications For Nail Fungus Toxic
The newer drugs are unlikely to cause any liver problems in patients without known liver disease. Blood tests are not needed for once-weekly treatment with fluconazole however, people taking longer courses often have their liver function tested before starting the medicine and then retested during the course of treatment. It is important to notify the doctor of all side effects while on the medication. You should tell your doctor of all current medications to prevent potential serious drug interactions.
Doctors Weigh Best Treatments
The best treatment for fungal nail infections is a prescription that your dermatologist can prescribe that you take every day for two-to-three months. The pill is not for everyone, since oral antifungals can interact with other medications and can affect the liver.
Fortunately if you dont want to or cant take a pill, there are topical solutions to treat nail fungus. Although topical medications are desirable because of the low risk of side effects and interaction with other medications, they have much longer treatment regimens. Generally, topical medications have a lower clearance rate compared to oral pills.
Newer topical antifungals including Efinaconazole and Tavaborole have better penetration of the nail plate and so they work better compared to older topical medications, says Dr. Ng. She says the topical medications work best if you only have partial nail involvement.
Lasers are approved by the FDA to temporarily increase the amount of clear nail. However, the cure rates are lower than oral medications and topical solutions.
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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.
Indicators And Signs Of Foot Fungus
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Itchy pores and skin is an early signal of foot fungus, or scaly, peeling pores and skin, or tiny blisters on the pores and skin that can pop at instances, says Sundling. The pores and skin tends to interrupt out within the form of a moccasin, or the realm of the foot moccasin would cowl. You dont see foot fungus on the highest of the foot fairly often. Its frequent to get a fungal an infection between the toes as properly, she provides.
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Luxuriate In Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is known for being incredibly calming for the senses, sure, but its also a great option for calming toenail fungal infections. According to a study published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, lavender provides a powerful antifungal punch. Lavender essential oil shows a potent antifungal effect against strains of fungi that are responsible for toenail fungus and other skin fungal infections, Hayag explains. When using lavender oil to treat toenail fungus, it is best to apply one to two drops of lavender oil to the affected nail and allow it to soak for 10 minutes. After soaking, she suggests gently scrubbing the area with a clean toothbrush and repeating the process daily until the infection has been resolved.
Treating Toenail Fungus Medically
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Can You Prevent Toenail Fungus
If your toenail fungus is caused by something in your control , then yes. You can:
You also may see a reduction in bouts of toenail fungus by keeping your toenails consistently clean, dry, trimmed, and free of nail polish .
However, many causes of toenail fungus are caused by other conditions, like chronic illness, old age, and diabetes, and there may not be much you can do to prevent fungus in these situations. Dr. Spielfogel does recommend using preventative products if you know you’re at risk for fungal infections the Dr.’s Remedy line of nail care products, for example, includes an antifungal cuticle oil that can be used nightly to reduce the risk of fungal growth.
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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.
Keep Clippers To Yourself
If you have been using a certain pair of clippers on your toes, you will very much want to disinfect or replace those as well. How best to do this?
- Let the clippers soak in boiling water for a few minutes.
- After removing them , scrub with dish soap and an old toothbrush to clean off any remaining dead skin cells or residues.
- Rise, then wipe down the clippers with a paper towel soaked in rubbing alcohol.
- Completely dry the clippers with a paper towel to avoid rusting.
You can also use Barbicide if you happen to have it around.
Now that you have a clean pair of toenail clippers, make sure to use them only on your toenails. They should be the larger kind designed for toenails, too. Sharing clippers runs another risk of fungal infection, and using the same pair of clippers on your fingernails and toenails can run the risk of transferring an infection from your feet to your hands, or vice versa.
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Gentian Violet Is Bright Purple
Another remedy that stains the nail and the toe is the old antifungal liquid, gentian violet:
I have used gentian violet with great success. It does dye your toe purple, but with nail fungus I was not wearing open-toe shoes anyway. You can get this online or at the pharmacy. Its cheap and effective.
JMG uses the foot soaks to relax:
Ive had 2-3 fingernail fungus attacks I used the half-water half vinegar solution to soak the nail for 20-30 minutes twice a day and it worked! It is not speedy, taking about a month or so to kill the fungus. It takes discipline, but it gives me an excuse to sit down, read, and relax while Im undergoing my treatment!
Ive been using the vinegar/Listerine mixture on my feet now for a month. It is working beautifully.
I got toenail fungus from a nail salon, and have had it for over 3 years. This is the only thing that has even touched the fungus .
My nail is now finally growing back normally and the fungus has turned white and the toenail is no longer spongy. Ill be able to wear sandals without bandaids very soon! Not only is Listerine/vinegar good for the toenails, but my feet have never looked better the cracks and redness have disappeared.
I soak my feet every night for 15-30 minutes. And Im going to continue doing this until my toenails have completely grown out, at least 3 times per week.
When To Contact A Doctor
Toenail fungus is typically not a significant problem for most people. However, if there are no improvements or complications occur as a result of home remedies, people should speak with a doctor and stop using the home remedy as soon as possible. It is also advisable to contact a podiatrist if a person notices any discoloration, thickening, or abnormality of the toenails.
Furthermore, people at higher risk for complications should seek medical treatment for their toenail fungus and avoid home remedies altogether. This includes those with diabetes or with weakened immune systems.
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Dangers Of Traditional Treatment Options
Fungal nail infection is treatable with oral anti-fungal drugs, topical medications, surgery, or laser treatments. The problem with these modern treatments, however, is that they can sometimes cause complications. Depending on the chosen treatment, some of the possible side effects that may occur include skin rashes, blisters, loss of appetite, gastrointestinal issues, headaches, respiratory problems, abnormal nail growth, or liver damage.
Due to the many risks associated with modern treatments for fungal nail infection, many people are now opting for alternative remedies that are relatively safer. As an added bonus, its also possible to treat fungal nail infection using just a few basic ingredients one already has available at home.
Tips To Speed Your Cure And To Prevent Reoccurrence
One way to assure you have figured out how to get rid of toenail fungus for good is having a preventative mindset. Do you go to the pool on a regular basis? What kind of foot wear do you have for the pool? Here are a few more ideas to consider:
Treating Shoes One area many people overlook in the treatment plan is their shoes. Fungi love dark, damp places, which means the interior of the common shoe is like a 5-star hotel! Reduce the temptation to set up residence by cleaning your footwear consistently while you are undergoing treatment. You can purchase commercial sprays or simply create your own with household vinegar.
Replacing Shoes It could be time to replace your practically threadbare sneakers. They may be the most comfortable pair of shoes you have ever owned but they probably house a host of fungi. Choose well fitted shoes that breathe.
Socks Consider spritzing your socks with a vinegar solution before tossing them in the laundry, particularly if laundry day is 24 or more hours away.
Foot Care Pay special attention to your feet, keep them dry, toenails clipped, clean and filed. We can take our feet for granted sometimes, so take a few extra minutes after your shower or before bed to take care of them. Be especially mindful if you have an injured toenail as this is a prime way for fungus to enter.
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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.
How To Naturally Treat Nail Fungus 12 Solutions
November 17, 2020 by Robin
Nail Fungus is a common complaint, it usually starts as a small spot under the nail and without treatment it can spread. Weve put together a list of 12 natural remedies that will help treat the fungus and keep your nail from thickening and becoming discolored.
Nail fungus is not fun to deal with, its usually caused by moisture being trapped under the nail in just the right conditions. Before purchasing an expensive treatment from the pharmacy, give one of these natural remedies a try.
Are you dealing with Nail fungus? Its not fun! Its caused by moisture getting trapped in a warm, dark place, like a wet shoe. It usually begins with a yellow or white spot just under the tip of the nail. As it spreads you may notice the nail becoming thick and brittle and in some cases become darker in color. If left untreated it can go on indefinitely.
There are several treatments for nail fungus, many can be purchased over the counter. However, before making a wasted a trip to the store, you owe it to yourself to try some of these remedies that our grandmothers used, they are just as effective and much cheaper.
NATURAL NAIL FUNGUS REMEDIESAlways consult a doctor before using any home treatments.
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Cause Of Toenail Fungus
Onychomycosis can be caused by the overgrowth of certain fungi, such as dermatophytes and yeast, in your toenail. The fungal spores may be airborne or live naturally on the skin and find their way to your foot or toenail.
The fungi thrive in warm and humid conditions. So, if your feet remain damp or sweaty, these microbes will multiply rapidly and give rise to an infection.
Any crack or tear in the skin or nail can provide the fungi entry into the deeper tissue. They sustain themselves by feeding on the nail tissue, and they slowly penetrate the skin under the enamel.
As the fungal debris collects under the nail enamel, it starts to thicken and rise above the nail bed. This damaged and discolored part of the nail will not heal and reattach to the nail bed again but will eventually grow out.
Common symptoms of toenail fungus include the following:
- The infected toenail gradually becomes thick and turns yellow, brown, or white.
- Since the infection weakens the nail, it may develop cracks.
- There is generally no pain, but the infection becomes progressively severe.
- In some cases, toenail fungus may be accompanied by athleteâs foot, which is also a fungal skin infection that affects the foot, especially the area between the toes.
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.
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