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How To Manage Toenail Fungus

When To Refer To Podiatry

5 Ayurvedic proven ways to manage toenail fungus – Dr. Prashanth S Acharya

Before initiating topical or oral therapy, patients should ideally be referred to a podiatrist for nail trimming and debridement. This assists with removing as much fungus as possible and improves topical drug penetration. Debridement alone cannot be recommended for the treatment of OM patients using a combination of debridement and topical nail lacquer have shown a significant improvement in mycological cure compared with debridement only. Patients with nail trauma owing to footwear, dystrophic toenails affecting other toes or who describe discomfort when walking owing to thickened toenails should also be referred.

When there is treatment failure with topical, oral and combination therapies, a podiatrist may be able to carry out a chemical or surgical nail avulsion .

If there is doubt over the original diagnosis, or where no improvement has been seen with treatment, pharmacists should refer patients to a podiatrist or their GP.

Supported by RB

RB provided financial support in the production of this content.

The authors were paid by The Pharmaceutical Journal to write this article and full editorial control was maintained by the journal at all times.

There Is A Wide Range Of Options With Varying Success Rates

Other than keeping your toenails trimmed and perhaps painted, you may not pay much attention to them unless a problem develops. Healthy toenails are pink, shiny and smooth, but a fungal infection can cause them to become discolored, thick, brittle and even painful.

Toenail fungal infection, known as onychomycosis, is a common but challenging condition toenail fungus treatments include a wide range of options with varying success rates.

Causes of toenail fungus

Fungal nail infections are usually caused by fungi called dermatophytes that infect the skin beneath the nail yeast is another common culprit. Toenails are especially vulnerable to infection when your bare feet contact damp surfaces such as showers, swimming pools and locker rooms. If you have athletes foot, the infection can spread to the nails.

Wearing closed shoes such as athletic shoes for extended periods also can contribute to infection if your shoes and/or socks are damp from perspiration or heat. Moreover, if your shoes fit snugly enough to put pressure on your toes, they can damage the nail bed, making it more susceptible to infection.

People with chronic diseases, such as diabetes or circulatory problems, also may be more prone to toenail infections.

Symptoms of toenail fungus

Toenail fungus symptoms can develop slowly over time and may go unnoticed at first. Symptoms can include:

Toenail fungus treatments

  • Tolnaftate
  • Terbinafine

When to see a doctor for toenail fungus

Preventing toenail fungus

What Are The Foods That Are Said To Treat Toenail Fungus

  • 1. Coconut Oil

Lauric acid in coconut oil makes it impossible for fungi or yeast to grow. Most anti-fungal diets involve replacing your current food oil with coconut oil.

You may use it as a dressing on your salad, to cook or saute vegetables. You should use virgin or unrefined coconut oil as it has more benefits.

  • 2. Probiotics

Probiotics have been used for ages now to improve immunity levels. Unlike antibiotics, probiotics dont kill the good bacteria in your gut but promote the good bacterias growth by removing bad bacteria.

This process helps eliminate fungi of all types. You can find probiotics in many fermented foods such as yogurt, curd or other supplements.

Including probiotics in your daily diet can also improve digestion and metabolism.

  • 3. Sugar-Free Diet

If a sugar-free diet seems impossible to you, you can try a low-sugar diet. Consuming too much sugar or sweets can damage your metabolism and gut health.

Sugar allows yeast, Candida or fungi to grow and multiply more. Hence, you should find substitutes of sugar. You may use honey instead of sugar to add natural sweetness to your food.

Studies explain how chewing raw garlic every day can reduce fungis ability to thrive. Allicin in garlic provides you with lots of antioxidants that can help your body fight any alien attackers like fungi.

You can also have garlic supplements or simply include pieces of it in vegetable salads.

  • 5. Curcumin

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Preventing Nail Fungus Infection In Children And Babies

As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Before infection and subsequent treatment, it is best to avoid nail fungus infection in children first.

As fungal infections are transmitted by direct contact, parents should be vigilant in keeping their babies and children away from infected individuals and even pets. It is also recommended that they give their children their own tools and personal items, like combs, soaps, and towels to avoid the passing on of bacteria and fungi. They should also discourage their children from sharing their personal stuff with other people.

Children should be encouraged to practice good hygiene. They should wash and dry their hands and feet thoroughly often. Keep fingernails and toenails clean and trimmed, and use appropriate footwear in public spaces, such as wearing flip-flops or sandals at public pools and showers. Wear clean socks and shoes as well. If these get wet or damp, they should be changed as soon as possible.

Parents and other people who live with babies and children should also practice good hygiene. They should keep their homes clean and dry, especially the floor, if their babies are in their crawling stage.

Examples Of What You Can Include:

5 Ayurvedic proven ways to manage toenail fungus

While you may still continue to eat your regular meals, heres a list of foods that you can additionally include to heal your toenail fungus faster than usual.

  • Fruits containing less sugar and more vitamin C: Lemon, berries, limes
  • Lots of vegetables but not the starchy ones.
  • Grains such as millet, oats or buckwheat.
  • Proteinous foods such as chicken, eggs, salmon etc.
  • Fats from virgin oils of olive or coconut.
  • Some organic dairy products including ghee and butter.
  • Nuts including almonds, seeds, and coconut.
  • Lots of herbs and some antioxidant-rich spices
  • Herbal tea
  • And lastly, some natural condiments.
  • Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Fungus On Feet At Home

    Can Diet Changes Help For Treat Toenail Fungus Infection: Learn All

    Fungal infections are sudden and you always spot them out of nowhere. You see your nail has been discolored for a while and it strikes that you may have a toenail fungus infection.

    It is quite common to have a toenail fungus infection. However, the fact is not many people treat this infection.

    It is easy to treat toenail infection in its beginning stage.

    You should first make some diet changes to help your immunity levels increase. This can successfully cure toenail fungus infection.

    Toenail Fungus Or Fungal Nails

    Toenail Fungus can be the cause of your funny looking nail. Do you have a discoloured or thickened toenail? Does your nail crumble or appear lifted from the nail bed? Then you may have onychomycosis a fungal nail infection. These infections occur in the nail bed and sometimes the surrounding tissue. This condition commonly presents alongside tinea pedis .

    Our podiatrists are experts at the diagnosis and treatment of fungal toenail infections.

    • Entry of fungal organisms into the nail bed
    • Fungal organisms establish a site of infection here
    • Fungal organisms release substances and proteins that break down keratin in the skin and nail
    • Over time the infection can then spread through the nail altering the thickness, colour and shape of the nail

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    What Does Fungus Look Like

    Toenail fungus usually starts off as a small white or yellowish spot near the tip of the nail.

    As the fungal infection spreads and goes deeper into the nail, it causes the nail to discolor and become opaque. The nail thickens and eventually crumbles at the edges.

    Nail fungus varies from white to yellow and can sometimes appear brown.

    Regardless of the color of your fungi, it will be sort of splotchy looking rather than one uniform color.

    The progression of the color of bruising will happen in a matter of days from dark red to black, as opposed to nail fungus which starts off white or yellowish and may eventually turn brown after weeks or months.

    Nail fungus will make the nail look dull as the fungus starts to separate the keratin in the nail plate and it becomes opaque.

    What Tests Might I Have For Toenail Fungus


    Your provider will probably take a small sample from underneath your nail to further analyze it. Viewing the cells under a microscope can confirm a toenail fungus diagnosis. If the initial test is negative, a scraping can be sent to see if the fungus grows out in a culture. It also helps your provider identify the type of fungus.

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    The Importance Of Hygiene

    When treating a fungal nail, always wash your hands after applying a treatment and remember to use a separate towel for your feet when youre drying them. Its a good idea to tell those close to you about your fungal nail infection so they can take precautions too. Dont share shoes or socks with them as it can be contagious.

    What Does A Toenail Bruise Look Like

    The color of your toenail is a good indicator of whats going on. Toenail bruising usually starts off as a dark red and turns purple, then dark rusty brown, and finally, it turns black.

    And If the dark spot in the nail looks shiny, you can still see through the nail around the colored spot to the nail bed, and the discolored spot is uniform in color , then its most likely a bruise.

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    How To Manage Black Toenails Naturally

    Black toenails, also known as runners toes, are rather common. They are called runners toes because we often experience the grey or black nails after a long walk or run. This is because as we walk or run our feet slide forward in our shoes hitting the front, top, and sides of our shoes. Our feet get compressed by socks and shoes which causes swelling. This can damage your toenails by creating a blister under the toenail. When this happens, the excess blood flow and fluid cause your toenail to come out of the toenail bed, this extra blood can make your toenail turn black.

    Treatment Options For Nail Fungus

    Looking at sickening toenail fungus  yours or a companion ...


    Dr. Hull:


    Dr. Hull:

    Most of my conversation is usually discussing medical therapy, so things that are available by prescription only. And those come in two main forms, which are topical antifungal medications, and then oral antifungal medications. There are other surgical or procedural options, so you can remove nails as well. And then there’s starting to be more interest in technologies like lasers for nail fungus.


    Dr. Hull:


    Dr. Hull:


    Dr. Hull:

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    How To Prevent Both Foot And Toenail Fungus

    While toenail fungus and foot fungus arent the same condition, the following tips can help you prevent both, says Sundling:

    • Practice good hygiene, such as keeping your feet clean.
    • Alternate your shoes during the week. Your feet sweat all day long. Alternating your shoes allows them to dry out, so the fungus cant survive.
    • Wear moisture-wicking socks that help dry out shoes and kill fungus. You can find these at running stores and athletic stores. If your socks are exceptionally sweaty, changing them more than once per day can help.
    • Wear shoes in public places like locker rooms, pools, and gyms to limit exposure to fungus.

    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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    The Danger Of Waiting To Treat The Fungus

    The greatest danger of not treating the foot or toenail fungus is that it can spread to other parts of the body, such as the hands and groin.

    If for some reason you cant treat your toenails or your feet right away, at least use an antifungal topical cream on the surrounding skin, Dr. Ng says. That will help keep it from spreading and keep the skin intact.

    Know About Surgical Treatment


    If you are serious case of toenail fungus infection then you need to fix it with surgical treatment. In this case, the options include partial or complete nail removal. When the nail gets removed, then antifungal creams are applied to ward off the infection on the affected area for reinfection of new nails. Total nail removal is not usually needed.

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    Best Ways To Treat A Nail Fungus

    Nail fungus can cause thick, discolored nails, and, for some patients, it can even be painful. An Internet search will bring up plenty of ways to treat the condition, but which ones are best? Dermatologist Dr. Christopher Hull discusses what nail fungus actually is, why its so hard to get rid of, and which treatments work best.


    Dr. Hull:


    Dr. Hull:


    Dr. Hull:

    Is Cellulitis Contagious

    Cellulitis usually doesnt spread from person to person. It is possible to catch a bacterial skin infection if you have an open cut on your skin that touches skin that has an active infection.

    If you do develop cellulitis from a transmitted infection, it could be dangerous if you dont treat it in a timely manner. This is why its important to tell your doctor as soon as you notice symptoms of cellulitis.

    Complications of cellulitis can be severe if left untreated. Some complications can include:

    • severe tissue damage

    Your doctor will likely be able to diagnose cellulitis just by looking at your skin. A physical exam might reveal:

    • swelling of the skin
    • redness and warmth of the affected area
    • swollen glands

    Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor may want to monitor the affected area for a few days to see if the discoloration and swelling spread. In some cases, your doctor may take blood or a sample of the wound to test for bacteria.

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    Use The White Vinegar

    To treat any skin infection than white vinegar is one of the best as it is easily available and is anti-fungal in nature. It also helps to balance the pH of skin, which lowers the inflammation and pain of toe. Mix a cup of warm water with two teaspoons of white vinegar. Soak your affected toenail in this mixture for 15 minutes. Rinse it off and rub it softly with a cloth to dry it. Repeat the remedy two times in a day.

    Apply The Oregano Oil

    Pin by shola smith on Glowing skin

    Oregano oil is in use for centuries for getting rid of toenail fungus. It has all the properties for healing toenail fungus like anti-fungal, antiseptic, antiviral, analgesic, antiseptic and antibacterial. Mix two teaspoons of both olive and oregano oil. Apply it to your toenail directly and leave it for 20 minutes. Rinse it off and apply it regularly for fast healing.

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    Are Oral Medications For Nail Fungus Toxic

    The newer drugs are unlikely to cause any liver problems in patients without known liver disease. Blood tests are not needed for once-weekly treatment with fluconazole however, people taking longer courses often have their liver function tested before starting the medicine and then retested during the course of treatment. It is important to notify the doctor of all side effects while on the medication. You should tell your doctor of all current medications to prevent potential serious drug interactions.

    Staying One Step Ahead Of Toenail Fungus

    An established fungal infection is hard to eradicate, but you can stop its spread and improve your toenail’s appearance.

    Toenail fungus isn’t a pressing health problem. Yet a fungal infection can ruin the appearance of your nails and cause pain as it lifts the nail away from the nail bed. And fungal infections are notoriously difficult to get rid of. “You may want to consider fungal toenail a condition to be managed rather than cured,” says Dr. James P. Ioli, chief of the podiatry service at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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    Make Use Of Olive Oil

    Olive oil helps in providing moisture to the skin of toe lost due to toenail. It heals and make skin smooth as it is rich in vitamin E and antioxidants. It reduces itching and redness of the skin too. Rub a few drops of extra virgin olive oil or a combination of olive oil and honey on your toenail. Gently massage for few minutes two times a day. You can also add a pinch of turmeric powder to some olive oil and apply on your toenail.

    Bruised Toenail Or Fungus How Can You Tell

    How to manage fungal infections of the nail?-Dr. Rasya Dixit

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    So youve found yourself with a discolored toenail. Now youre wondering if its a bruised toenail or fungus. Its a good question because if it is toenail fungus, you are going to want to treat that ASAP.

    Toenail fungus affects millions of people and becomes more prevalent as we age. Not only is it rather unsightly, but toenail fungus is hard to treat and spreads easily.

    The sooner you start treating a nail fungal infection, the more chance of success you will have of getting rid of it and the less time it will take.

    In this article, we will show you how to tell the difference between a bruised toenail and toenail fungus. Do you really need to worry about it, or do you need to start treating it before it gets worse?

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