Facts You Should Know About Fungal Nails
Many changes in fingernails or toenails may cause people to think they have a fungal infection of the nails, medically known as onychomycosis or tinea unguium.
Fungal infection of the nails sometimes makes the condition sound contagious or related to poor hygiene. In fact, up to 10% of all adults in Western countries have fungal infection of the nails. This percentage increases to 20% of adults who are age 60 or older. Toenail fungus is much more common than fingernail fungus.
In reality, abnormal-looking nails may be caused by a number of conditions including, but not limited to, fungal infection. There are many other reasons why your nails may look different.
How Is Athletes Foot Treated
Athletes foot can often be treated with over-the-counter topical antifungal medications. If OTC medications dont treat your infection, your doctor may prescribe topical or oral prescription-strength antifungal medications. Your doctor may also recommend home treatments to help clear up the infection.
When To See A Bethesda Md Or Springfield Va Podiatrist
If you try several of these remedies and see no results, its time to see a podiatrist. Toenail fungus is notoriously stubborn, so dont be too surprised if home remedies dont quite work. It can also take quite a long time for these home remedies to work because you have to continue doing them consistently until the new nail has fully grown out.
If youve tried the homeopathic route and arent satisfied with the results, you can always come see Bethesda, MD & Springfield, VA Podiatrist, Dr. Paul Ross! If you have moderate to severe foot fungus, it is recommended that you see a doctor anyway because there can be complications if the infection is left untreated. Call us at . We offer same day appointments if you dont want to wait.
The Podiatry Centers treat all medical and surgical foot and ankle conditions. Licensed Bethesda, MD Podiatrist, Dr. Paul Ross can help bring you foot and ankle pain relief.
Our Bethesda, Maryland and Springfield, Virginia Podiatry offices offer the most effective and state-of-the-art, quality podiatry care services with a smile to patients in our local community, including: Woodbridge VA, Fairfax VA, Annandale VA, Arlington VA, Alexandria VA, Burke VA, Gaithersburg MD, Potomac MD, Silver Spring MD, Rockville MD and Chevy Chase MD.
Return to a pain-free life and get back to the things you love!
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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.
Apple Cider Vinegar And Epsom Salt
Another foot soak method, this is said to work really well for toenail fungal infections. Apple cider vinegar has a number of healing and antibacterial properties if its organic, making it a go-to for many homeopathic treatments.
- 1/3 cup full strength ACV
- 2 cups hot water
- 1/3 cup Epsom salt
Mix and soak your toes/feet for at least 30 minutes every day. Apple cider vinegar is also a good supplement to take internally for overall health and to promote healing of fungus and bacteria from the inside out.
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Tips For Prevention Of Fungal Nails
Nail fungus causes only 50% of abnormal-appearing nails. It can be hard to tell the difference between the different causes of discolored nails . Onychomycosis is often not treated. Reasons to receive treatment include
No one knows where a specific person catches the fungus, as it is everywhere. However, since the fungus does thrive in warm moist areas , there are certain areas one should avoid or use with caution. Shower floors, locker rooms, and swimming pools are suspected of being sources of the fungus, although there are no studies proving this fact. Nail polish and acrylic nails also make the nail less “breathable” and make the nail more susceptible to fungal infection. Fungi are everywhere — in the air, the dust, and the soil. Hygienic measures such as spraying socks and footgear sound sensible, and perhaps these measures can even help a little bit. However, avoiding tight, nonbreathing shoes or steering clear of athletic facility floors may very well be the best prevention available. Daily washing of the feet and drying between the toes can help to prevent nail fungus. The fungi carried on the coats of pets, like cats and dogs, don’t often cause nail fungus. Wearing white socks does not help.
How To Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus Fast And Easy
- How To Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus Fast And Easy?
Toenail fungus can be difficult to get rid of. Often, if the wrong treatment is applied, it can get worse. Thats why you need to know how to get rid of toenail fungus fast, the RIGHT way, so it doesnt come back.
We recommend over the counter treatments for those looking learning how to get rid of fungus on toenails because options like laser treatments are expensive, nail removal is painful, and home remedies rarely work . We recommend that you try a topical, over the counter treatment for your nail fungus.
Why? Because it is your least expensive yet most effective option. However, if you have a few hundred dollars to spend then you should definitely visit your doctor as he/she can offer you different toenail fungus treatment options. Some of the options your doctor may prescribe are Antifungal lacquers and prescription strength lotions. Both of these are good for those people with mild to moderate infections.
Another option is surgery. Surgery is recommended for those who have severe, painful nail fungus. There are several types of surgery such as laser and nail removal. Both are expensive and can be very painful.
More About How To Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus, although not a painful condition can be very embarrassing. It is a condition where fungus invades the nail beds, causing a discoloration and a change in texture.
Types Of Toenail Fungus Treatments
Over The Counter Toenail Fungus Treatment Products
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How To Prevent Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus seems not such a serious issue. But it may damage your nail permanently, and it also may start other serious infections. So we must follow some tips to prevent it
- Always wash your feet with soap and pat them dry. Do not leave moisture in between your fingers.
- The fungus is contagious, and it spreads in warm and wet places. So avoid going to public places like swimming pool, toilet barefoot.
- Try to change your diet and make yourself habituated with enough protein-enriched foods. Take foods or supplements that contain iron, calcium, and vitamin D. This will prevent brittle nails.
- Put a habit to wear clean socks and shoes. The fungus often grows in moist shoes.
- Do not allow your toenail to grow big. So trim your nails short.
- Use food gel or powder to keep your foot fresh and dry.
- If you have a previous history of toenail fungus, keep antifungal cream and use it once a week.
- Check your nails and feet daily if you have diabetes.
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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.
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How To Treat Toenail Fungus: 4 Main Type Of Infections
The four main types of nail fungal infections
- White superficial onychomycosis
This type of nail fungal tends to affect the nail surface only, most probably on toenails. Besides, this condition begins similar to white spots and later becomes powdery, causing nail crumbling.
- Candidal onychomycosis
This infection is caused by yeat and affects fingernails. You will notice that area around your nails is getting inflamed and swollen, where the nails can even come off wholly.
Besides this type of nail infection occur mainly to nail which have been injured or gotten another infection.
- Lateral or distal subungual onychomycosis
This is a result right from the fungus known as dermatophyte and its most common nail infection. It begins under the nail or nail bed, where you can even contaminate it in your toenails or fingernails.
Next, someone will start noticing a yellowish-colored zone that spreads right from the nail edges to the center along with the place where the nail comes apart.
- Proximal subungual onychomycosis
Proximal first appears as white spots right in the nail bed or center of the cuticle. Further, they can move outward while toenail or finger grows. Besides, this condition is not common and mostly affects individuals with immune systems issues such as HIV infection.
Is It Possible To Prevent The Recurrence Of Nail Fungus
Tinea pedis, also known as athlete’s foot or foot fungus, can cause recurrence of fungal nails. Therefore, it is important to manage this condition. One can apply over-the-counter antifungal medicines such as clotrimazole or terbinafine cream as directed to affected skin. Keeping footwear and socks clean can be helpful. You can also use portable UV light sanitizers to disinfect shoes.
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What Are Treatments For Toenail Fungus
Do you need to treat your nail fungus? Maybe it doesn’t hurt, and the yellow, thick nails don’t bother you.
But nail fungus doesn’t go away by itself. And if you don’t treat it, there’s a chance it could get worse. It could spread to other nails or through your body. It could cause pain when you walk.
There are a number of ways to take care of it, including:
Nonprescription options. You can buy antifungal creams, gels, and nail polish at the store and online without a prescription. You might want to try one of them first if the infection doesn’t look bad. Some people also swear by home remedies like menthol rub, tea tree oil, mouthwash, or snakeroot extract — but studies show mixed results.
Prescription polish and creams. Your foot doctor will likely trim your nail and file away its dead layers. They may also take a piece of your nail and send it to the lab to make sure itâs really a fungus and to find out what type it is.
The doctor might suggest an antifungal drug that you paint on your nails. This may work on its own, or they may suggest you take it with antifungal pills.
Prescription medications. One of several antifungal pills may help. They work, but it may take many months to do the job. They also come with side effects like nausea, vomiting, and headaches. They may cause liver damage too, so your doctor will watch you closely while you take them. Be sure to tell them about any other meds youâre taking — some antifungal pills might not work well with them.
Soak In Listerine And White Vinegar
The combination of Listerines antifungal ingredients and vinegars acidity makes an inhospitable environment for fungi. This treatment is effective for green nails which may have whats called atypical organisms, says Dr. Goldenberg. If you have true toenail fungus, its less likely to work, though.
How to use it: Combine the two in equal portions and soak your toes in the solution, ideally for 45 to 60 minutes daily.
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Is It Nail Fungus Or Something Else
While a trained professional is the best source of diagnosing conditions, you can get a general idea of what type of situation you have based on the symptoms. Start by looking at your nails and nail bed.
If its a fungal infection, you might see yellow streaks. You might notice pieces of skin and fragments of the nail under the nail. The nail may be discolored and might . The nail itself might be brittle, broken, or thickened.
Several common nail conditions are commonly mistaken for nail fungus, however.
Because other problems share characteristics with fungal infections, your best bet is to consult a doctor to make sure it IS a toenail fungus infection and not something more serious.
The following are nail conditions that have similar symptoms to nail fungus.
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Top Home Remedies To Treat Toenail Fungus
While fungal toenail infections tend to be fairly common in all ages, older adults are more frequently diagnosed. Toenail fungus occurs when fungi are allowed to enter small cracks in the toenails or the surrounding skin. Walking barefoot in high-risk environments, like gyms, pools, and salons is the most common reason for being diagnosed with a toenail fungus infection.
There are certain situations in which youre more likely to get toenail fungus, such as when you have a toenail injury, athlete’s foot, diabetes, a weak immune system, and/or blood circulation problems.
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Your Options For Treating Toenail Fungus
If you think you may have toenail fungus, you should see a podiatrist or dermatologist, who will send a specimen or a piece of your nail to a lab. Different types of fungus are treated slightly differently, so its important to know which type you have, says Sundling.
Also, sometimes the root of the problem is not a fungus at all, but rather another condition, or some kind of trauma to the nail bed for instance, if you dropped something on your toe. There is no treatment for toenail trauma, but removing the nail may be an option if the nail is painful.
If you do have a toenail fungus, your doctor will likely recommend one or more of the following treatment options:
Why Does It Develop
A fungal nail infection occurs from the overgrowth of fungi in, under, or on the nail. Fungi thrive in warm, moist environments, so this type of environment can cause them to naturally overpopulate. The same fungi that cause jock itch, athletes foot, and ringworm can cause nail infections.
Fungi that are already present in or on your body can cause nail infections. If you have come in contact with someone else who has a fungal infection, you may have contracted it as well. Fungal infections affect toenails more commonly than fingernails, likely because your toes are usually confined to shoes, where theyre in a warm, moist environment.
If you get a manicure or pedicure at a nail salon, be sure to ask how the staff disinfects their tools and how often they do it. Tools, such as emery boards and nail clippers, can spread fungal infections from person to person if theyre not sanitized.
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Can I Wear Nail Polish If I Have Toenail Fungus
You may feel tempted to cover up a discolored toenail with nail polish. If you are using a topical antifungal, you probably should not use polish. Some providers may tell you not to wear it in any case. Polish traps in moisture from the nailbed . Because fungi thrive in moist environments, wearing nail polish may make a fungal infection worse. However, the nail continues to grow with or without polish.
Natural Remedies For Fungal Nail Infections
Casey Gallagher, MD, is board-certified in dermatology. He is a clinical professor at the University of Colorado in Denver, and co-founder and practicing dermatologist at the Boulder Valley Center for Dermatology in Colorado.
Nail fungus remedies are sometimes used to treat fungal infections in the toenails or fingernails. Also referred to as onychomycosis, nail fungus is often difficult to treat with conventional medicine. But while natural nail fungus remedies are widely used, there is very little scientific support for their effectiveness.
To date, very few studies have tested the use of natural nail fungus remedies. Heres a look at some natural substances often recommended in the treatment of nail fungus.
This photo contains content that some people may find graphic or disturbing.
DermNet / CC BY-NC-ND
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