Tips For Keeping Toenail Fungus From Returning
Toenail fungus is a tough foe to battle. The sooner its found out, the easier it tends to be to treat. Unfortunately, most cases are not discovered until the fungus has had a good opportunity to entrench itself in your toenail.
Treatment has likely taken months, but youve reached that light at the end of the tunnel. The fungus has been declared eradicated and youre already growing new, clear toenails to replace the war-torn battlefields that once were. Well done!
Unfortunately, it can come back.
A fungal toenail infection is not like a cold. Having had it doesnt really mean your immune system is fully geared up to keep the same case from returning. And, like a cold, there is more than one type of nasty organism out there that can cause similar symptomsin this case, discolored, crumbling, thickened nails.
You know how bad it is. The last thing you want is to fight that battle over again, and people with diabetes should be especially careful of any type of infection. You also dont want anyone you live with to have to go through it, either!
So what can you do to prevent toenail fungus from coming back? Quite a lot.
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Protecting The New Nail From Getting Infected
When you get a fungal nail infection, there is a good chance that you may get it again in the future. This doesnt mean that you will get it, but there is a higher probability. There are ways to help to protect the nail from getting reinfected. Here are some tips:
- Make sure that you thoroughly sterilize your old shoes with StinkBOSS. The fungus is still living there, and it doesnt die if you dont do something to eliminate the problem.
- If you cant afford new shoes, there are good antifungal sprays for keeping the fungus at bay. Spray the insides of your shoes after theyve been worn.
- When you trim your nails, trim them straight across.
- Make sure that your feet are thoroughly dry before putting socks on.
When you have had a fungal infection that has caused serious damage to your toenail, it is possible for a healthy one to grow back in its place. It will take time, though. It may seem like forever, but its not. You will likely see signs of a healthy nail in as little as a month or two.
How Is The Onychectomy Procedure Performed
Onychectomy or nail removal procedure involves
- A procedure that is usually performed on an out-patient basis and is often done under local anesthesia.
- The procedure may take less than 30 minutes.
- A tourniquet is applied around the finger or toe at its base.
- The surgeon then slips a surgical instrument underneath the nail to separate it from the underlying nail bed.
- The nail is then pulled out slowly and gently and the finger or toe is bandaged.
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Wearing Proper Shoes And Socks
Believe it or not, properly fitted shoes and socks can go a long way toward maintaining clear, shiny and healthy toenails. Socks that are too tight can restrict the blood circulation your nails need to grow strong, while shoes that dont fit properly can lead to ingrown toenails, black toenails , corns, , blisters and other foot issues that can potentially affect the way you walk and therefore put undue pressure on your toenails. Meanwhile, its smart to wear flip flops or other protective footwear when youre in damp public places like gyms, pools and locker rooms to help ward off plantar warts and toenail fungus.
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.
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Keep Your Footwear And Feet Dry
At some point, most of us come across the growth of black mold in our homes. This mold grows because the environment is moist and warm enough for the fungal spores to take root. So why is this relevant? Its the same with your footwear.
Keeping your feet dry is one of the most important ways to keep fungal growth at bay. When you wear the same pair of sneakers day after day, especially in the hot weather, they are going to be pretty moist and sweaty. This is an ideal place for fungus to start growing.
The big takeaway from this is: Alternate your footwear choices and try to find footwear that is made from natural and breathable materials.
What Is A Fungal Nail Infection
Fungal nail infections are a common problem that can affect any nail, but most often affects the toenails.
Theyre caused by the growth of fungal spores that make their way between the toenail and the skin underneath the nail bed. The spores feed off the skin or the keratin in the nail.
The type of fungi responsible for athletes foot, another common foot condition that affects the skin mainly between the toes, can cause the infection to spread to the nails.
More rarely, fungal nail infections can be caused by other types of fungi, usually yeasts, which tend to attack nails that are already damaged because they are easier for the fungi to invade.
Posted on 05.30.17|Yuko Miyazaki, DPM|
There are many places to go and things to do in Berkeley all year long, and especially in our summer months. No matter if you enjoy visiting the Berkeley Rose Garden or revisiting your childhood with a ride on the Tilden Park Merry-Go-Round, its always a little better when youre wearing sandals or open-toed shoes to air out your feet and keep them cool. You may disagree, though, if you have a case of fungal toenails!
Whereas some people are quite comfortable sporting open-toed shoes, others feel the need to keep discolored, distorted toenails hidden from the world. If you are one of those individuals, you should know there are fungal toenail treatment options that can help.
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Have Questions And Woes About Cutting Stubborn Fungal Toenails
Trimming toenails is not something most people tend to put a lot of thought into.
Although some of us should probably do it a bit more often, the act itself becomes pretty habitual. Snip, snip, done.
However, once a fungal toenail infection enters the picture, things can become a bit more difficult. Nails can grow thick, brittle, crumbly, and generally unwieldy. It starts to feel less like the classic way of trimming your toenails and more like hacking your way through a dense rainforest.
So what should you do when it comes to cutting thick fungal toenails to ensure a better experience? Were here to offer some advice.
Bacterial Infection Of The Nail
The Staphylococcus aureus bacterium is a common cause of bacterial infection of the nail. Typically, the infection first takes hold in the fold of skin at the base of the nail . Without treatment, the infection can worsen, leading to inflammation and pus. It is often associated with candida infection, particularly when it becomes chronic.Activities that predispose a person to a bacterial nail infection include:
- Having constantly wet hands
- Overzealous attention to the cuticles
- Severe nail biting, which can expose underlying tissues to infection
- Eczema around the fingernails.
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Preventing And Treating Dry Skin
Dry skin often means that the nails are also dry. Very dry skin can even crack open and bleed, exposing the nails to fungal and bacterial infections.
When the skin surrounding the nail bed or nail matrix is dry, it could damage the nails as they grow.
To prevent dry skin, moisturize hands and nails during the winter months and apply lotion after washing hands. People who have eczema should choose eczema-friendly creams that are highly moisturizing.
Whats The Best Way To Care For A Nail Thats Fallen Off Or Damaged
Here are tips for how to care for a damaged nail, and speed the healing process:
- Apply a cold compress for up to 20 minutes to reduce swelling and inflammation. Wrap a cloth over an ice pack before applying to your skin.
- Keep your nail elevated. This reduces blood flow to the injury, which can decrease swelling and bruising.
- Take biotin supplements. These supplements promote cell growth, and help your body metabolize protein-building amino acids, thus contributing to faster nail growth.
- Keep the wound dry and covered. The skin underneath your toenail is sensitive. Clean and dry your nail bed daily and cover it with a bandage. Change the bandage once a day.
- Apply antibiotic ointment to the damaged nail to prevent infection.
- If it hasnt already, try to keep the nail in place until it is ready to fall off. This provides extra protection to the nail bed underneath.
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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.
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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Heres To Many More Years Of Foot Care
At Feet First Clinic, were always excited to welcome new clients! After a successful 12 years of treating our amazing patients, were ready to continue offering only the best foot care services and products. Give us a call to ask our friendly staff any questions you may have! Our Toronto foot specialists are ready to help!
Call us at 416-769-3338 or Book Your Assessment Today!
How Can I Tell If I Have Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus usually starts subtly, so you might not notice anything different with your nail immediately. After a while, though, you see some noticeable differences that indicate a fungal condition. Nails become:
Because a nail infected with a fungus is compromised, it can also break or split easily. As the condition progresses, itchiness and pain can occur, and the nail becomes separated from the nail bed.
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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 .
Protect Your Feet In Public
You can lock down your home against fungus rather easily, but the world is another matter. Fungus thrives in warm, damp, moist environments, and there are plenty of them out there with a lot of foot traffic.
If you are going to high risk areas such as gyms, locker rooms, and public pools, you need to keep your feet protected. A pair of sandals oreven bettershower shoes will provide a good amount of cover in the worst of it.
Of course, wash your feet well after your time in a shower room or pool, and make sure they are fully dry before you put socks and shoes back on.
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How Does Nail Growth Work Anyway
The Matrix is not just a cool futuristic movie it is also the name of the area on the finger where nails grow, just beneath the cuticle. As cells age and your nails grow, the nail cells harden and the matrix produces softer new cells from the bottom. Thats why nails feel harder on top and softer towards the bottom. Some fun facts about your nails: The average growth rate for nails is 0.1 mm each day. Fingernails grow faster than toenails. Nails grow quicker in warmer months, on your dominant hand, if you are a man and during pregnancy. Nail disorders make up 10% of skin conditions.
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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What Can I Do To Help
Take medication as directed and do not give up without discussing this with a doctor.
Side-effects are uncommon with modern medication but tell a doctor if you notice any problems with treatment.
Tips on nail care if you have a nail infection, with or without taking medication, include the following:
- Keep your nails cut short and file down any thickened nail.
- Use a separate pair of scissors to cut the infected nail to prevent contaminating the other nails. Do not share nail scissors with anyone else .
- Avoid injury and irritants to your nails. For example, if fingers are affected, use cotton and vinyl gloves for wet work. Use heavy cotton gloves for dry work.
- If toenails are affected, wear properly fitted shoes with a wide toe box.
- Keep your feet cool and dry as much as possible.
Why Are Curved Toenails An Issue
If your toenails are curving, there are a few complications that could develop.
One of the biggest dangers of having curved toenails is that it could predispose you to ingrown toenails.
If your toenails curve, they will eventually grow back into the skin next to the nailbed.
When your toenails break the surface of the skin, they create a portal for infection. Because you have a lot of bacteria that live on your skin naturally, this could lead to nail fungus or a cuticle infection.
Then, this infection could spread to other areas of the body. To prevent this from happening, you should cut your toenails properly and keep your eyes open for ingrown toenails.
Furthermore, if you have long, curved toenails, this could make it more likely for you to break your nail if you whack your foot on something.
For example, stubbing your toe could cause you to break your toenail, cracking your toenail halfway down the nail bed. This can lead to blood underneath the surface of the nail, a serious bruise, and a significant amount of pain. This is something you can avoid as long as you cut your toenails regularly and prevent curved toenails from happening.
If you would like to straighten your curved toenails, what are the best options available?
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Tips For Growing Healthy Toenails
Heres how to grow strong and healthy toenails free from fungus, bacteria, ingrown nails and other conditions that require a visit to a podiatrist.
It doesnt matter whether youre a man or a woman: Strong, healthy toenails are a must for overall health and wellbeing. And all it takes to get clear, shiny toenails any podiatrist would be proud of is a few basic maintenance steps you can easily do at home.