Laser Procedure For Toenail Fungus Under The Nails
Using a laser directly on the toenails helps to reach those areas underneath and inside the nail. This is because the type of light used can penetrate through the tough layers of the nails. Laser procedures are very convenient because they can be completed in under 10 minutes per foot.
The PinPointe foot laser is FDA-approved for the temporary increase of clear nail in patients with onychomycosis.
This machine can be used on almost all patients because it has virtually no side effects. In one study, over 83% of people who received three sessions with a laser and improved their foot hygiene had no fungi after 18-months.
Some people start to see visible improvement after just one visit, although you may need to return a small number of times for follow-up.
The laser works by targeting the fungi without hurting your skin and nails. Its designed to be at the right level to penetrate your nail and damage the infecting fungi, while not being too high to cause burning or pain for your feet. Most people dont feel anything, or they just feel a warming sensation.
At the time of the procedure, the toenail will usually not become instantly clearit takes time to grow out. As long as your infection is treated and you dont get re-infected, you should see new healthy, clear nail as it grows out within 12-18 months.
What Does It Mean When Toenail Fungus Turns Black
- Patients frequently ask us, what does it mean when toenail fungus turns black?
- There is a chance that this could be a black yeast or a black toenail fungus, but it is usually dry blood.
- This usually means that the toenail is getting thick and ripping away from the underlying skin.
- These small blood vessels called capillaries rupture and form dry blood underneath the toenail.
- As the toenail dies, the toenail will eventually turn black and die.
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Special Groups At Risk For Complications In Severe Onychomycosis
Delaying the treatment of a nail fungus until its late stages can be excruciatingly challenging. For some people with other diseases/conditions, avoiding the onset of severe onychomycosis is essential. The dangers that involve the end-stage nail disease can lead to an even more harmful situation for them.
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What Is The Treatment For Fungal Nails
Oral antifungal therapy has a high cure rate, depending on the medication. It can take nine to 12 months to see if it has worked or not, because that is how long it takes for the nail to grow out. Even when therapy works, the fungus may come back. Currently, an oral antifungal therapy is considered the best treatment for toenail fungus because of higher cure rates and shorter treatment duration compared to topical therapy.
Prescription oral medications that are effective against nail fungus include the following:
There are several innovative treatments that are still being tested:
- Laser therapy or uses application of light-activated agents onto the nail followed by shining light of a proper wavelength on the nail.
- Use of electrical current to help absorption of topical antifungal medications into the nail: This is also called iontophoresis.
- Use of a special nail lacquer that changes the micro-climate of the nail to make it inhospitable for the fungus to grow: If this works, it may be an inexpensive way to treat this problem in the future.
One way to definitively get rid of toenail fungus is by surgery. Surgical treatment of onychomycosis involves nail removal. However, this often only provides temporary relief, and recurrence is common unless additional antifungal medication is simultaneously used. However, surgical removal may be warranted when the affected nail is associated with other factors such as trauma and or infection.
What Is Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is an infection that gets in through cracks in your nail or cuts in your skin. It can make your toenail change color or get thicker. It can also hurt. Because toes are often warm and damp, fungus grows well there. Different kinds of fungi and sometimes yeast affect different parts of the nail. Left untreated, an infection could spread to other toenails, skin, or even your fingernails.
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Know How To Tell If You Have Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is a condition that’s self-diagnosable in most cases, but that doesn’t make it any less embarrassing. Now that you know how to tell if you have toenail fungus, you can begin treatment and get closer to having healthy nails again!
Want to keep your feet happy and pain-free? Shop Apex Footwear to find a huge selection of orthotic footwear that’s designed with your foot and toenail health in mind.
When Should I Call The Doctor
In rare cases, toenail fungus can cause an infection called cellulitis. Without prompt treatment, cellulitis may pose a serious danger to your health.
You should seek treatment guidance from a trusted healthcare provider if you have:
- Circulation problems.
- Redness, pain or pus near the toenail.
- Weakened immune system.
Experiencing Nail Fungus In Its Early Stages
Fungal nail infections are becoming a common nail problem, especially if you frequent public bathrooms, gym, saunas, or spas. People often dismiss nail fungus because it generally does not give any discomfort and the first signs are often hard to detect. Brown or black spots and white streaks may signify an infection in your nail. It may later on progress to more evident changes wherein the nail thickens or have a rougher surface. Although not bothersome, leaving a fungal nail infection untreated can make it harder and more frustrating to cure in the end.Total dystrophic onychomycosis, or severe nail fungal infections, is the end-stage of this nail disease. Fungus has started to infect larger portions of the nail causing it to become deformed, brittle, and weak. More often than not, it starts to become painful and even emit some type of foul odor. There is increased possibility for permanent damage to the nail. The infection may also spread to other parts of your body and create more serious illnesses.
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Is It Toenail Fungus Or Something Else
Odd-looking toenail? It may be a fungal infection, but there’s a good chance that another condition could be to blame.
If you notice an odd spot on your toenail, you might assume its a fungal infection. However, theres a good chance that its not.
Spots or discolorations on or under a toenail could be bruises resulting from trauma to the nail, blood blisters, warts, or even subungual melanoma, a type of skin cancer, says Ami Sheth, a doctor of podiatric medicine in Los Gatos, California, and a spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association.
Since nail irregularities can be caused by diseases besides these as well, its best to get it looked at, says Dr. Sheth.
Richard Goad, a doctor of podiatric medicine at Baylor Scott & White Health in Waco, Texas, concurs. Sometimes the nail will be the first place to show another underlying problem, Dr. Goad says.
So is it a fungus, a false alarm, or another condition entirely?
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Whos At Risk For Fungal Infections
There are many different causes of fungal nail infections. Each cause has a treatment of its own. Although many of the causes of a fungal nail infection are preventable, some risk factors increase the likelihood of developing one. Youre more likely to develop a fungal nail infection if you:
- wear closed-toe shoes, such as tennis shoes or boots
Nail infections occur more often in men than in women, and the infections are found in adults more often than in children. If you have family members who often get these types of fungal infections, youre more likely to get them as well.
Older adults have a high risk for getting fungal nail infections because they have poorer circulation. The nails also grow more slowly and thicken as we age.
A fungal infection of the nail may affect part of the nail, the entire nail, or several nails.
Common signs of a fungal nail infection include:
- a distorted nail that may lift off from the nail bed
- an odor coming from the infected nail
- a brittle or thickened nail
How Can I Prevent Toenail Fungus
Theres no way to guarantee that you wont get toenail fungus. But you can take several steps to help prevent it:
- Avoid going barefoot in communal areas such as hotel rooms / showers, public showers, locker rooms and swimming pools. Most people pick up fungus in these situations. It helps to wear flip flops in these public areas.
- If you have a family member with foot fungus or nail fungus, try to use different shower or wear flip flops in the shower to avoid coming in contact with it.
- Trauma due to accidental or aggressive clipping of the nails can turn into portals of entry for the fungus.
- Clean your nail trimmer before using it.
- Do not tear or rip your toenails on purpose.
- If you have diabetes, follow all foot care recommendations from your healthcare provider.
- Keep your feet dry. Make sure to fully dry your feet after a shower.
- Soak toenails in warm water before cutting them. Or you can cut your nails after a shower or bath.
- Trim toenails straight across .
- Wear shoes that fit correctly. They should not be too loose or tight around the toes.
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How Will I Know If The Treatment Is Working
The new nail will grow slowly outwards from its base, and it may be 6 months to a year after the treatment has finished before the nails look normal again. Fingernail infections clear up more quickly and completely than toenail ones it can take 18 months for a toenail infection to grow out completely.
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Diagnosing And Treating Toenail Changes
If you notice changes in the appearance of your toenails, see a doctor promptly. If a fungal infection is suspected, a sample of the nail can be taken and analyzed by a lab to make a diagnosis. If the test comes back positive, an oral or topical antifungal medication may be prescribed to treat the fungus. Most antifungal medications are effective against most forms of toenail fungus, although treatment can take some time, in part because its hard to deliver any type of medication through the nail plate to the skin under the nail.
Most of the time, the treatment requires the whole nail to grow out, which can take up to a year, says Sheth. Treatment needs to be consistent and long-term if it has any chance of working.
If the test comes back negative for fungus, your doctor may begin investigating other causes for the abnormal appearance of your toenails. Sometimes symptoms involving other parts of the body help point to a diagnosis.
People with yellow nail syndrome, for example, may experience leg swelling or breathing problems. Those with alopecia could see their hair begin to fall out.
And, according to Goad, With psoriasis, patches of red, scaly skin may be seen on the knees, elbows, and face, too. Its usually not limited to just the toenails.
Additional reporting by Susan Jara
How Toenail Fungus Occurs
Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is an infection that develops when microorganisms grow under the surface of your nail. It typically occurs after your toenail has had contact with a dermatophyte fungus, though it can also be related to molds or yeasts.
Anyone can have toenail fungus, but its more common in older adults. The condition affects about 75% of people over age 60. With age, your nails become more brittle and cracks develop on the surface. These cracks are the perfect entry points for fungi.
Mayo Clinic Q And A: Treatment For Toenail Fungus Isnt Always Necessary
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I am in my late 50s, and a few of my toenails have turned a yellowish color and seem to have thickened. Is this something I should be concerned about? Is there anything I can do to fix this?
ANSWER: What youre likely experiencing is a fungal nail infection. Fungal nail infections are common, especially among older adults. As nail growth slows with age, its easier for fungus to establish in the nail bed. Treatments are available, although they may take some vigilance and are not always necessary.
Toenail fungus usually is caused by a microscopic organism called dermatophyte fungus. It often begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your toenail. But as the infection goes deeper, nail fungus may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and crumble at the edge. These fungal infections are more likely to happen in your toenails than in your fingernails because toenails often are confined in a dark, warm, moist environment, where fungi can thrive. Toes also have less blood flow than fingers, making it harder for your bodys immune system to detect and stop the infection. But it is possible for fingernails to be affected.
The older you are, the more likely you are to get toenailfungus. Thats because as you age, your immune system changes. Inaddition, your nails become more brittle and drier over time, creating morecracks where fungus can live.
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What Is A Toenail Infection
A toenail infection occurs when bacteria or a fungus grows on or under your nail.
Symptoms of a fungal nail infection include:
- yellow or brown discolouration of the nail
- the nail is crumbly when cut
- the nail gets thicker
- the nail separates from the nail bed
If you have diabetes, it is important to see your doctor as soon as symptoms appear. A toenail infection can cause complications.
How Can I Tell If I Have Toenail Fungus
Fungal infections of the toenails are quite common, and are caused by microorganisms that make their way into the tiny cracks in our skin, usually around the toenails. The toes are most often the site of infection because of the favorable environment of the foot dark and damp. There are several indications or symptoms of a toenail fungus, and if you know what to look for these symptoms are very easy to spot.
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What To Do About Toenail Fungus Under Your Nails
Are you embarrassed about your unsightly toenails?
If your toenails look discolored, thickened, or are becoming more brittle or painful, you may have toenail fungus under your nails.
Dont worry, youre not alone! Millions of Americans have toenail fungus infections, called onychomycosis. Its estimated to affect 10 percent of the general population, 20 percent of people over 60 years, and 50 percent of those older than 70 years.
The good news is there are a number of strategies that can help turn your discolored and unsightly nails into clearer, healthier-looking nails.
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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Does Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Fungus
Hydrogen peroxide has long been applied to a wide variety of uses. From disinfecting minor cuts and scrapes and household cleaning to hair bleach and tooth whitening. Now it has become a popular nail fungus treatment alternative to prescription medication.
But does it work?
According to The CDC, hydrogen peroxide kills yeasts, fungi, bacteria, viruses, and mold spores.
Just remember: just because something has been proven to have antifungal properties, does not mean that it will automatically get rid of a toenail fungal infection.
The concentration and exposure level are also important.
This is where the data is lacking.
There is no clinical data to support the idea that hydrogen peroxide, or any other home remedy , has been proven to be an effective treatment against toenail fungus.
Although there is no clinical proof of its efficacy, there is lots of anecdotal evidence from people who have used hydrogen peroxide for toenail fungus and it worked for them.
Bear in mind that hydrogen peroxide may not work for everyone. But there really is no harm in trying to see if it works for you. Its inexpensive and there are no harmful side effects if used properly.
So why not give it a go?