Can A Nail Fungal Infection Be Prevented Or Avoided
Avoid situations that expose you to a fungus. This includes walking barefoot in locker rooms and having wet hands and feet often. This might be a problem for people who work in restaurants or house cleaning. People in a family can get nail fungal infections at the same time. This happens when their immune systems arent able to fight off the infection. Or it could be the infection is spread when using the same towels. It is important to routinely clean your shower, tub, and bathroom to lower risk of fungal infection.
How Is Toenail Fungus Treated
Toenail fungus is notoriously tricky to treat. You may need to treat the condition for several months to get rid of the fungus. Still, toenail fungus often comes back.
A dermatologist or podiatrist can explain your treatment options. If you have a mild case that doesnt bother you, your provider may recommend no treatment.
Toenail fungus treatment options include:
- Oral antifungal medication: You take prescribed medication, such terbinafine , itraconazole and fluconazole , to treat the fungi. You will need to take this medication every day for several months . Your provider may use blood tests to check for potential medication side effects. These medications can affect the liver and interact with other medications, so oral antifungals are not for everyone.
- Topical medication: You regularly apply a medication right on the nail. The medication treats the fungi over time. Topical medications are most effective when paired with oral medications.
- Laser treatments: Your provider directs a high-tech laser beam and special lights at the toenail to treat the fungus. Lasers are FDA approved for temporary increase of clear nail in nail fungus but is not a cure. Cure rates for laser treatment are lower than oral and topical mediations so they are not typically used as first-line treatments for nail fungus.
How To Trim Toenails With Fungus
This article was co-authored by and by wikiHow staff writer, Megaera Lorenz, PhD. 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 54,603 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.
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What Is Black Fungus Under Toenail
Patients routinely ask us, what is black fungus under the toenail?
- Black fungus under the toenail is caused by a toenail fungus-infected toenail detaching from the skin.
- This can usually result from the rupture of the small blood vessels called capillaries.
- When the capillaries rupture, they will create bleeding between the toenail and the skin.
- This small amount of blood flow between the nail and the underlying skin will eventually turn black and form a scab.
- This prevents the toenail from re-attaching to the skin.
- This essentially results in a dead toenail.
- Watch the video below to see how to fix black fungus under the toenails.
How To Help A Toenail Grow Back After Injury
If youre missing a toenail due to an injury, proper foot care is essential for your new toenail to grow in correctly. Youll also want to address whatever caused the old nail to come off.
- Be patient, because toenails grow slowly. If your toenail falls off after an injury, it may take a year or longer to regrow enough to cover the nail bed. If you lose only part of your toenail, it may grow back quicker.7
- Your nails thrive in a dry, clean environment. So, dress the affected toe well, and change the dressings often to encourage a clean environment on your foot.8
- Your diet plays a role in toenail growth. A toenail-healthy diet includes plenty of calcium, zinc, and iron.9
With these simple solutions, your feet will provide a healthy environment for your new nails to grow back in after an injury. You can usually handle treatment on your own.
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Why Did My Toenail Fall Off
There are a variety of reasons why your toenail falls off. The most common cause is injury or trauma, but we break it all down below:
- Trauma can cause the nail to pry away from the nail bed, like when its hit or jammed.
- Severe or repetitive toe stubbing/rubbing may cause a toenail to detach. This is also common in athletes who wear shoes that arent roomy enough. Similarly, long-distance runners and trail runners are particularly susceptible to black and ultimately detached toenails. In fact, you may come across athletes with multiple missing toenails.
Why Toenail Fungus Is So Stubborn
A fungal infection in your toenails is typically caused by a tiny organism called dermatophyte fungus. This type of fungus thrives in warm, moist environments think public swimming pools or locker rooms where it can be easily transferred between people.
Once you pick up the infection, it can spread fairly quickly, largely because you keep your feet inside shoes, creating the perfect environment for fungal growth.
Making matters worse, your toenails are fairly thick and made up of many layers, which means the fungus can set up shop deep within these layers, making it more difficult to target. In moderate-to-severe cases, the fungus can even get into the matrix of your nail, which means any new toenail growth is already infected.
Rounding out the list of hurdles is the fact that your toes dont benefit from great circulation, so your immune system is less likely to detect and fight off the foreign invaders.
What all of this amounts to is that many people think that a toe fungal infection is coming back when it never really went away in the first place.
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Symptoms Of Nail Fungus Infection
If youre unaware of what nail fungus infection may look like, two main symptoms help you determine it. These are discoloration with odor and a Change in Nail shape.
How Onychomycosis Affects The Toenails
Fungi are typically present in and on our body, alongside many other types of germs. However, they are completely harmless until the natural balance is disturbed, and fungi develop into an infection. When the immune system is weak, or you get the infection from somebody else, the nails will become thinner, fragile, discolored, and crumbly.
The toenails are more predisposed than fingernails to get a fungal infection. Onychomycosis often appears here after the condition athletes foot, which will spread to the toenails. Other causes include walking barefoot in public spaces, keeping feet in humid, dark places, wearing shoes or tight-fitting footwear for too long, and sweating excessively. According to the information published on National Library of Medicine, elderly patients with diabetes often get nail fungal infections.
Common symptoms are white or yellow streaks on the area affected, thickening, yellow spots, crumbling corners, flaking, unpleasant smell, discomfort while walking. The toenails lose their luster, and the patients will feel too embarrassed to show off their feet. An annoying consequence of this disease is that the toenails will not look normally, they will become curved and sometimes grow inwards the flesh. Whats left to do?
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Why Is Part Of My Nail So White Now Instead Of Pink
The reason our nails have that nice pink colour is because of the tiny blood vessels that feed the nail bed directly beneath your nail. When the nail exceeds the nail bed at the tips of the nail, it appears white. The same is true if part of your nail is now white the nail has separated from the nail bed, and so now appears white instead of pink.
Be careful if this is the case dirt and bacteria can get trapped in this newly formed cave between the nail and nail bed, putting you at risk of infection. To help, you can wash and dry thoroughly in this area or cut the nail back accordingly, being careful not to go too far.
Is It Fungus Or Melanoma
Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that can develop on the nail bed. It has a dark brown or black color and can be mistaken for toenail fungus or another toenail problem like a bruise. Melanoma is much less common than toenail fungus, but it can be life-threatening if not caught early.
Both toenail fungus and melanoma can appear as a dark stripe on the toenail and may increase in size over time. The toenail can become split and damaged in both conditions.
Toenail fungus is more likely to cause thickening of the toenail and a buildup of material underneath it. Melanoma causes the skin of the nailbed to change color, which does not happen with toenail fungus, but it can be difficult to see.
Because melanoma can be very aggressive, its important to have your doctor examine a darkened toenail. Your doctor can confirm the diagnosis of toenail fungus by looking at clippings under a microscope and of melanoma by taking a biopsy.
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How To Get Toenail Fungus To Grow Out
If your toenail is yellow and opaque, you may have toenail fungus. Nail fungus is a contagious infection that grows in dark, wet places. You may develop nail fungus by walking barefoot in wet public areas like swimming pools and gym changing rooms. You can treat toenail fungus at home. In severe cases, you may need to see a doctor. Talk to your physician before attempting to cure toenail fungus yourself, especially if you have other health conditions or symptoms.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Cut your nails as short as possible, using nail clippers. The longer your toenails are, the more room the fungus has to grow and multiply underneath your toenails. Do not use the same nail clippers on your infected toenail and your healthy toenails 1. Wash the nail clippers thoroughly with hot water and soap every time you cut your nails.
Soak your feet in a vinegar solution for 20 minutes, once a day. Mix one part vinegar and two parts warm water in a large bowl. Although vinegar is not scientifically proven to kill fungus, some specialists recommend using it to keep the fungus from spreading. Continue to soak your feet in vinegar until the fungus grows out completely.
Wear 100-percent cotton socks every day. Fungus grows and spreads in damp areas, so keep your feet as dry as possible. Change your socks once or twice a day to keep your fungal infection from spreading.
Is There Anything I Can Do To Make My Toenail Grow Back Faster
Absolutely. Although theres no single sure-fire way to encourage faster toenail growth, there are lots you can do to encourage a healthy toenail to grow back in the place of your lost partner. Here are some simple at-home remedies for ensuring your nail has the best chance at growing back:
- Soak your foot in a combination of 1 tsp of salt and 4 cups of warm water for 20 minutes, 2 or 3 times each day, for the first 3 days after you lose your toenail. Cover with a fresh bandage.
- Ensure the nail bed is kept dry and clean until the nail bed is firm and you see signs of the nail growing back.
- Watch for signs of infection such as increased heat, redness, pain, tenderness, swelling, or pus.
- Remove any artificial nail if it begins to separate from the nail bed. Leaving it on can tear the nail bed.
- If you trim off the detached nail, you reduce the chance of nail catching and tearing. If part of your toenail has completely fallen off, dont remove the remaining nail. However, if there is still a piece of toenail attached, carefully trim it using toenail clippers.
- Take biotin supplements. Biotin aids in the metabolism of protein-building amino acids that are essential for toenail growth.
- Use nail hardeners. Nail softness makes nails more prone to breaking, which increases the need for nail regrowth.
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Skin Growing Around Your Nails
When your skin starts to grow around the corner of your toenail, causing redness and discomfort, you’ve got an ingrown nail. There are two main types of ingrown nails, according to Fullem: those caused by improper cutting and those that just naturally occur.
To avoid creating an ingrown nail yourself, always cut the nail slightly rounded . And dont cut down into the corners. Often times, a sharp edge is left that will grow into the skin in weeks or a month or two and that can create a bad infection, says Fullem.
If its just one ingrown that pops up out of the blue, soak it in warm water and epsom salts for 10 minutes and apply antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin twice a day, he suggests. If you get recurrent ingrowns, a podiatrist can clip your nails professionally, too.
Seem to simply be predisposed to them even if youre trimming properly? A podiatrist can perform a procedure called a partial matrixectomy, which partially removes the side of the nail permanently. The area will drain and be slightly sore for a few weeks after the procedure, but the end result, if successful, is the elimination of future ingrown nails, Fullem notes.
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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Get An Early Start On Summer
To treat some of these toenail treatments, a podiatrist will often cut down the toenail or remove it. Thats why winter care is important. Your toenails need time to grow back.
Get a head start on summer by taking care of your toenails now. Start with a visit to the podiatrist and make sure to follow up with good foot care at home. By the time summer hits, your toenails will be strong, smooth and healthy.
Other Factors That Affect Regrowth
Other factors affect the speed of regrowth. For example, nails tend to grow slower in older adults and in colder climates. Nails grow faster in the summer.
In addition, nails on a dominant hand tend to grow faster than nails on a nondominant hand.
Its also been noted that trauma or an injury increases the rate of regrowth, due to an increase of blood flow to the injured area.
Overall health also has an impact on growth. Nail growth can slow down if youre sick or malnourished. And since hormones affect regrowth, your toenails and fingernails might grow quicker during pregnancy.
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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.