Facts You Should Know About Fungal Nails
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.
Complications: What If The Infection Is Left Untreated
If the nail fungus spreads deeper into the nail bed, it will cause the nail to thicken and turn green, yellow, brown, or black. As the infection progresses, the infected nail becomes brittle and pieces of it will start to break off from the toe or finger completely. Should the condition be left untreated, it can spread to other nails or cause skin around the infected nail to become inflamed. In more advanced stages, a foul smell may develop and white or yellow patches may be seen on the exposed nail bed. Over time, severe fungal nail infections can cause permanent damage to the nail root or nail bed.
It can be quite embarrassing to have this condition since this is an infection thats hard to hide. People with Onychomycosis may also find it difficult or painful to wear shoes, walk, or stand for long periods of time if their toenails have been infected severely.
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:
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What Is The Best Medication For Psoriasis
Because psoriasis can vary in symptoms and triggers, finding the best medication can be hard to do. Many patients will have to try a few different medications before finding the one that works best. Your psoriasis treatment may be completely different than the one that works for another person. Consult a healthcare professional when selecting a medication for your psoriasis.
|Best medications for psoriasis|
|5 mg tablet taken 1 to 2 times daily||Blocks cellular processes to control inflammation||Headache, diarrhea|
Dosage is determined by your doctor based on your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and weight. Other possible side effects exist. This is not a complete list.
How Much Does Hydrogen Peroxide Cost Without Insurance
Hydrogen Peroxide is a generic, non-prescription compound available separately or in combination with other ingredients in several cosmetic, health, and industrial products. Insured and uninsured customers can expect to pay $11.99 for Hydrogen Peroxide. With a SingleCare discount card and a prescription for Hydrogen Peroxide, you pay only $3.05.
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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.
Healthy Foods That Are High In Iron
Iron is a mineral that serves several important functions, its main one being to carry oxygen throughout your body as a part of red blood cells .
Its an essential nutrient, meaning you must get it from food. The Daily Value is 18 mg.
Interestingly, the amount of iron your body absorbs is partly based on how much you have stored.
A deficiency can occur if your intake is too low to replace the amount you lose every day .
Iron deficiency can cause anemia and lead to symptoms like fatigue. Menstruating women who dont consume iron-rich foods are at a particularly high risk of deficiency.
Luckily, there are plenty of good food choices to help you meet your dailyiron needs.
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How To Use Them
A person interested in trying a blend of essential oils can buy the oils online or from a health food store. Mix the oil with a carrier oil before applying the mixture to the affected nails.
Ozonized oils are oils infused with ozone gas. Examples of oils that are available in ozonized form include sunflower oil and olive oil.
According to , ozonized oils show positive effects similar to a traditional medication called terbinafine cream in treating one type of fungus. In this study, the researchers used rabbits to test the effectiveness of the treatment.
Another study carried out on 400 people tested how ozonized oils affected fungal infections. In this 2011 study , researchers used ozonized sunflower oil to treat toenail fungus.
Their results indicated that ozonized oils cured up to 90.5 percent of the total infections with only a 2.8 percent relapse rate after 1 year. The researchers concluded the ozonized sunflower oil works more effectively than ketoconazole cream, which is an antifungal medication.
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.
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What Is The Best Medication For Toenail Fungus
Below is a list of the most recommended prescription treatment for toenail fungus.
|Best medications for toenail fungus|
|200 mg once daily for 12 consecutive weeks||Nausea, vomiting, rash, headache|
Dosage is determined by your doctor based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and age. Other possible side effects exist. This is not a complete list. A very rare side effect can be trouble breathing if this occurs, seek immediate emergency medical attention.
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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How Is Toenail Fungus Diagnosed
Nearly 3 million people in the United States are diagnosed with toenail fungus each year. Men are up to three times more likely to develop toenail fungus than women. You are also at a higher risk for a toenail fungus infection if you smoke or have diabetes. Also, individuals with compromised immune systems may experience toenail fungus that can turn into an infection.
When feet remain moist or damp, the fungus can grow, causing discoloration and thickening of toenails. Infection can cause discomfort and pain. The spread of fungus and infection can go from toe to toe, hand, fingernails, or skin on other parts of the body.
The toenail may become warped, cracked, or loosen itself away from the nail bed. Often the nail appears yellowish and may have white spots. Your doctor will examine your feet and potentially take a small sample of skin or nail to be sent off to a laboratory for testing. Your doctor may refer you to a dermatologist, podiatrist, or other healthcare professional if your condition is unusual or needs special care. Other foot conditions such as psoriasis can look similar to a fungal infection. Lab reports can indicate if the problem is fungal, helping the doctor prescribe the best medication for effective treatment.
How To Use It
Apply mentholated ointment directly to the affected nail. Do this about once a day for several weeks or until the nail shows noticeable improvements.
Vinegar is a common household product found in cooking and some home cleaning solutions. Though no clinical evidence exists to date, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that vinegar is an effective tool to help treat toenail fungus.
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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.
How To Treat Toenail Fungus With Lemon Juice And Olive Oil
Another effective home remedy that can fight the fungal infection on toenail is the mixture of lemon juice and olive oil. Regular application of this mixture will give you your beautiful nails in no time. Know how this natural treatment works to give you amazing results.
How to use?
- Squeeze out the fresh lemon juice
- To the juice add an equal amount of olive oil
- Apply the mixture on the infected nail
- Gently massage the blend and leave it for a few hours
- After that, rinse it off and pat the nail dry
- Repeat this remedy daily to get the desired results.
Benefits of Lemon juice and olive oil mixture
Lemon juice has strong acidic and antimicrobial properties that fight off the fungal infection. It soothes your skin and controls the growth of fungus. Olive oil moisturizes the skin and keeps it soft and supple. Use this remedy daily for some time, and you will get smooth and beautiful skin devoid of any infection.
Lemon juice may irritate sensitive skin. Hence, those with a history of allergy must rub a small amount of the lemon juice on their arm to check their skins sensitivity to the lemon.
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Removing Debris Under The Toenail
Before you find out how to get rid of keratin debris , lets take a closer look at what keratin is, and what it does for your toenails. Keratin is made up of many layers of dead, flattened skin cells that contain protein. The leftover protein is used to create your fingernails and toenails.
Without keratin, we wouldnt have the hard shell exteriors covering our fingers and toes. So, be glad that these dead cells are building up and the remnants of their protein are being put to good use. But, if keratin is natural, why would we worry about it becoming debris?
What is Keratin Debris?
Since we now know that areas like fingernails and toenails are rich in keratin, it makes sense that it can be broken down and cause problems. When you have an infection, like a toenail fungus, it can deteriorate the keratin in your nails. This fungus, also known as onychomycosis, only needs to break down small amounts of the keratin for you to see the symptoms.
If youve ever had a toenail fungus, and notice your nails start to crumble easily, thats the breakdown of keratin. When those small particles manage to get underneath the nail, its considered to be debris.
Again, one of the biggest symptoms youll notice with keratin debris is the crumbling of your nails. If they appear to break off easily or look jagged around the edges, theres a good chance keratin is being chipped away.
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How To Trim Toenails With Fungus
This article was co-authored by . Marta Nagorska is a Nail Technician and Nail Art Blogger based in London, UK. She runs the blog, Furious Filer, where she gives tutorials on nail care and advanced nail art. She has been practicing nail art for over 5 years and graduated from Northampton College with distinction with a Nail Technician and Manicurist degree in 2017. She has been awarded the top spot in the OPI Nail Art Competition.There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 48,865 times.
Fungal infections can thicken your toenails, making them difficult to trim. You might also be worried about spreading the infection to your other nails during trimming. Fortunately, you can make the trimming process safer and easier by choosing the right tools and softening your nails before you trim them. You can also protect your healthy nails by properly disinfecting your nail care tools after each use.
What Causes Fungal Nails And What Are Some Of The Risk Factors
In normal, healthy people, fungal infections of the nails are most commonly caused by fungus that is caught from moist, wet areas. Communal showers, such as those at a gym or swimming pools, are common sources. Going to nail salons that use inadequate sanitization of instruments in addition to living with family members who have fungal nails are also risk factors. Athletes have been proven to be more susceptible to nail fungus. This is presumed to be due to the wearing of tight-fitting, sweaty shoes associated with repetitive trauma to the toenails. Having athlete’s foot makes it more likely that the fungus will infect your toenails. Repetitive trauma also weakens the nail, which makes the nail more susceptible to fungal infection.
Elderly people and people with certain underlying disease states are also at higher risk. Anything that impairs your immune system can make you prone to getting infected with the fungus. These include conditions such as AIDS, diabetes, cancer, psoriasis, or taking any immunosuppressive medications like steroids.
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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.
The Black Line On Toenail Fungus
A black line on the toenail fungus is called melanonychia.
This means that you have brown or black lines on your toenails.
A black line associated with toenail fungus might be melanoma, but this is usually unlikely.
If the black line extends into your skin, this is called a Hutchinson sign. A Hutchinson sign is much more likely to signal toenail cancer or toenail melanoma relating to your black toenail fungus. This might be something called subungual melanoma.
Black toenail cancer, such as subungual melanoma, is sporadic. Personally, in our clinic, we have seen thousands of black toenails and black lines on toenails. Between all those cases, we have rarely seen toenail melanoma.
But there are cases where we do perform biopsies if the toenail does appear suspicious. A toenail biopsy with a podiatrist can be one of the most effective ways to confirm no melanoma underneath the toenail.
It is essential to always check with your podiatrist and get a biopsy if you are worried about melanoma.
There is no 100% foolproof method to ensure that there is no melanoma underneath her toenail.
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