What The Experts Say
The most common presentation of toenail fungus is a white/yellow discoloration of the nail that is thick and filled with yellow/white keratin debris. The more severe the toenail fungus, the thicker the nail, and the more nails involved makes it that much harder to treat the nails even with effective therapies.”Orit Markowitz, MD, founder and CEO of OptiSkin treatment center in New York City.
When To Refer To Podiatry
Before initiating topical or oral therapy, patients should ideally be referred to a podiatrist for nail trimming and debridement. This assists with removing as much fungus as possible and improves topical drug penetration. Debridement alone cannot be recommended for the treatment of OM patients using a combination of debridement and topical nail lacquer have shown a significant improvement in mycological cure compared with debridement only. Patients with nail trauma owing to footwear, dystrophic toenails affecting other toes or who describe discomfort when walking owing to thickened toenails should also be referred.
When there is treatment failure with topical, oral and combination therapies, a podiatrist may be able to carry out a chemical or surgical nail avulsion .
If there is doubt over the original diagnosis, or where no improvement has been seen with treatment, pharmacists should refer patients to a podiatrist or their GP.
Supported by RB
RB provided financial support in the production of this content.
The authors were paid by The Pharmaceutical Journal to write this article and full editorial control was maintained by the journal at all times.
How Do You Separate The Good Toenail Fungus Products From The Junk
We at Rejuvica Health have a passion for health remedies of all kinds and many of us have used alternative remedies to improve our lives and help get rid of similar embarrassing issues with great success. But through our experience in the industry weve found there is certainly a difference in the quality of products that we think everyone should consider before buying.
Next, we went out and compared some of the top products to our own in order to see which ones stack up and which ones dont make the cut. Here is our report:
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Treatment From Your Gp
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:
- loss of taste
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.
What If It Does Happen Again
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, a fungal infection can return. The good news is, you likely know what to look for in your nails by now, and catching it early will most likely mean a much easier and shorter treatment time than your first go.
Our treatments, including Lunula laser therapy, are ready for you when needed. We will be perfectly happy if we never have to use them for you again, however.
If you ever have any questions or suspicions regarding a potential fungal nail infection, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Call our Princeton office at or our Roselle Park office at . You also can consult our free downloadable guide on fungal nails for some more tips!
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There are multiple treatments for toenail fungus, though some are faster than others. The fastest way to eliminate the infection is through toenail laser treatment. Laser nail therapy specifically targets the microorganisms under your nail while leaving the keratin intact. In just a few treatments, the infection can be entirely eliminated. This allows your toenail to regrow healthy, clear keratin that then pushes out the old, discolored, damaged areas.
Traditional fungal nail treatments take a little longer to work. Topical medications have to be applied every day to the infected nails for as long as it takes to destroy the infectionwhich can be months. Oral medication is more efficient, since it travels through the blood stream to combat the fungus. Depending on your situation, you may have to take pills for a few weeks to a few months.
Toenail Fungus Home Care
Sometimes itâs possible to treat your toenail fungus at home. You can try:
- Over the counter antifungal creams or ointments. File or cut off any white markings on your nails. Soak your nails in water and dry off before you put on the medicated cream.
- Special nail care. If you keep your nails trimmed, it can reduce the pressure and pain you feel. You can also thin your nail bed by filing it down. This can help antifungal creams get to the problem easier.
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Treating Fungal Nail Infection
Treatment may not be necessary in mild cases of fungal nail infection. For more severe or troublesome cases, antifungal medication may be recommended.
A fungal nail infection is unlikely to get better without treatment, but if you’re not bothered by it you might decide it’s not worth treating because treatment can take a long time, may cause side effects, and isn’t always effective.
Whether or not you decide to have treatment, you should still follow the self-help advice below to help stop the condition getting worse or spreading to others.
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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Is Cellulitis Contagious
Cellulitis usually doesnt spread from person to person. It is possible to catch a bacterial skin infection if you have an open cut on your skin that touches skin that has an active infection.
If you do develop cellulitis from a transmitted infection, it could be dangerous if you dont treat it in a timely manner. This is why its important to tell your doctor as soon as you notice symptoms of cellulitis.
Complications of cellulitis can be severe if left untreated. Some complications can include:
- severe tissue damage
Your doctor will likely be able to diagnose cellulitis just by looking at your skin. A physical exam might reveal:
- swelling of the skin
- redness and warmth of the affected area
- swollen glands
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor may want to monitor the affected area for a few days to see if the discoloration and swelling spread. In some cases, your doctor may take blood or a sample of the wound to test for bacteria.
What Is Nail Fungus
Nail fungus onychomycosis is a common and stubborn nail disease. The discomfort and discolor start from beneath the nail tip. However, it is more on the toes than the fingernails. This infection is common in older males and can end in severe lower leg cellulitis.
Research shows this infection may reoccur in about 10% of the adult population. Some of its major symptoms include:
- Discolored nails dyschromia to white, black, green, or yellow
- Nail thickening
- You may have psychosocial issues because of ugly fingernails
- Formation of a gap between the nail and its bed
- The lower leg may experience cellulitis
- Dermatophytes are skin lesions like allergies brought by the fungus to other body parts
- If severe, its inflamed, brittle, filthy smell, and painful nails
Now, you have the above knowledge about the signs of this irritating finger and toe nail infection. Next, is a quick look at the conditions that trigger such fungal growth. In addition, a list of a few humble methods that help to clear the fungus off from your body.
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Dermatophytes: A Common Cause Of Toenail Fungus
Your toenails are composed of 80% hard keratin and 20% soft keratin. Keratin is also in your skin and hair. Dermatophytes, the fungi that usually cause onychomycosis, feed on keratin to grow and multiply.
Dermatophytes love warm, moist environments, including:
- Public pools
- Locker rooms
Onychomycosis is highly contagious, so its easy to catch. When dermatophytes find their way to your feet as a result of exposure to sweat, public showers, or steam rooms, the dermatophytes consume the keratin in your nails by breaking it down into smaller particles. The crumbly residue on your infected toenails is actually keratin debris.
You can also get toenail fungus as a result of being more susceptible to foot problems, especially if youre diabetic, have circulation problems, or you have a weakened immune system. These other conditions, including chronic skin problems like psoriasis, often lead to toenail fungus if your feet are exposed to it, or you dont keep your feet cool and dry after swimming or going to the gym.
Signs And Symptoms Of A Fungal Nail Infection
A fungal nail infection may not cause any obvious symptoms at first.
As it progresses, the infection can cause:
- discolouration of the nail it may turn white, black, yellow or green
- thickening and distortion of the nail it may become an unusual shape or texture and be difficult to trim
- pain or discomfort particularly when using or placing pressure on the affected toe or finger
- brittle or crumbly nails pieces may break off and come away completely
Sometimes the skin nearby may also become infected and be itchy and cracked or red and swollen.
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What Other Conditions Can Be Mistaken For Fungal Nails
Here are some other conditions you may have instead of fungal nails:
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What Causes Toenail Infections
Fungi, molds, and yeast overgrowth primarily cause fungal toenail infections. But how do they actually develop in, under, and on the toenails? Here are some of the most common situations or environmental conditions that might make you contract onychomycosis:
- Walking barefoot in warm, moist public spaces. This includes public swimming pools, communal showers, and gyms.
- Contact with a person with fungal infection.
- A nail salon that does not disinfect or sanitize its materials properly.
- Old age may cause the toenails to become dry and brittle, causing tiny cracks in the nails. This then may become the entryway for fungi in the environment.
- Foot fungus such as Athletes foot, ringworm, and jock itch can also spread to the toenails.
- Underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes, weakened immune system, or poor blood circulation.
- A minor skin or nail injury, which can serve as the entry point of fungus.
Anyone can develop a nail fungal infection. However, studies suggest it occurs mainly in males than in females and older adults than in children.
Additionally, fungal infections can be hard to treat without antifungal pills and fungal nails laser treatment. So, avoid resorting to home remedies you see on the internet if you have a foot fungus, or else it will develop into a nail infection that can be difficult to get rid of.
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How To Prevent Both Foot And Toenail Fungus
While toenail fungus and foot fungus arent the same condition, the following tips can help you prevent both, says Sundling:
- Practice good hygiene, such as keeping your feet clean.
- Alternate your shoes during the week. Your feet sweat all day long. Alternating your shoes allows them to dry out, so the fungus cant survive.
- Wear moisture-wicking socks that help dry out shoes and kill fungus. You can find these at running stores and athletic stores. If your socks are exceptionally sweaty, changing them more than once per day can help.
- Wear shoes in public places like locker rooms, pools, and gyms to limit exposure to fungus.
Where Can I Find The Best Podiatrist In Florida
If you are tired of seeing your unsightly nails, then its time to seek the help of the podiatric experts at Florida Foot and Ankle Associates. We specialize in treating all kinds of foot, ankle, and toenail problems using the latest techniques and technologies, such as fungal nails laser treatment.
Besides nail and foot fungus, our experienced foot doctors also provide other services that focus on podiatric care. This includes:
So, whether youre looking for a heel pain doctor or an expert ankle surgeon, weve got you and your foot problems covered! Just contact us by calling at 786-662-3893 or scheduling an appointment, so we can start your consultation and treatment planning.
You can also visit our website to find one of our many offices closest to you.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.
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Q: What Are The Symptoms Of Toenail Fungus
1. The affected nail turns white-yellow or yellow-brown and the nail may thicken.2. A crust develops and the surrounding area may become red and swollen, causing discomfort.3. The nail becomes pitted and misshapen with grooves or ridges.4. Thickening, discoloration, and irregularities are present in the nail.
Home Treatments For Toenail Fungus Don’t Always Work
How long does it take to know if your home treatment remedy option has worked? It depends on the remedy and the severity of the fungal problem. While it usually takes 2 to 3 months for a toenail fungus infection to go away, it can take up to a year to completely heal. Most people will try at least 1 of the above home antifungal treatments before choosing to seek foot care from a professional.
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Who Is At Risk Of Getting A Fungal Nail Infection
Fungal nail infections can affect anyone as they are very contagious but are most prevalent in older individuals. You are more likely to develop fungal nail if you are over the age of 60. Gender also plays a role, with men three times more likely to have a fungal nail infection than women.
Other risk factors include:
Diseases that cause poor blood circulation
A weakened immune system
Toenail Fungus Requires Professional Treatment
If you suspect you have toenail fungus, dont wait to seek professional treatment. Dr. Tauber takes a whole-person approach to treating your toenails, so you may need oral antifungal medications as well as medicated nail polish or prescription creams to clear up the infection.
Additionally, she may recommend laser nail treatments with the Fotona ClearSteps system, or a combination of treatments that are best for your particular type of onychomycosis.
If your nails are crusted with keratin debris, Dr. Tauber can remove it so your toenails look better. If your infection is severe, she may recommend toenail surgery to temporarily remove the infected nail and treat the nail bed topically.
Take the first step toward putting your best, fungus-free foot forward by calling our office at 203-548-7688, or booking an appointment online today.
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Tips To Combat Foot Fungus
The best way to combat foot fungus is to reduce your exposure to it. There are simple things you can do to prevent from contracting foot and nail fungus.