Diagnosing An Ingrown Toenail
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.
Tea Tree Oil Has Soothing Properties That Can Help In Pain Management
- Tea tree oil, or melaleuca oil, is a natural oil that comes from Australias Melaleuca alternifolia plant. Not only does tea tree oil possess antifungal properties, it also relieves itchiness, discomfort, and inflammation. There are many topical anti-fungal solutions that carry this natural ingredient in their product. An example is EmoniNail, which is an FDA-approved effective treatment for onychomycosis. If you choose tea tree oil and remedy it on your own, one must be reminded that it needs to be diluted. Direct application of tea tree oil is not ideal. This can easily be fixed by diluting it with coconut oil.
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What About The Cost Of Oral Medications For Fungal Nails
A further consideration is cost. Because newer oral antifungal agents are very expensive, some insurance companies balk at paying for what they consider a “cosmetic issue,” unless nail fungus causes pain or other functional symptoms. Terbinafine and fluconazole are now available as generic drugs and are quite inexpensive.
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What The Research Tells Us
Research shows a similar effect among three widely used oral antifungal medications terbinafine, griseofulvin, and azoles, although all produce side effects. Overall, terbinafine appears to have a slightly better cure rate than either the azoles and griseofulvin, and slightly fewer side effects which commonly include headaches, viral infections and nausea . Both terbinafine and the azoles have a similar ability to prevent the recurrence of infection . Griseofulvin has a similar cure rate to the azoles, but produces more side effects, including headaches, stomach disturbances, loss of taste, nausea, and allergic reactions .If you have a fungal nail infection there are oral antifungal medications available that may help cure the fungus and get you back to enjoying open toed shoes again!
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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.
Can Nail Fungal Infections Be Painful
Nail fungal infections are usually not alarming. Discolorations in the form of black spots or white streaks may dictate that your nails are infected. These early signs and symptoms normally do not provide any discomfort, and because of this, they can also be easily dismissed. However, as nail fungus progresses, it only exacerbates the problem.Severe onychomycosis is the end-stage and most advanced form of nail fungal infections. This is not only the most difficult stage to clear, but it is also the type of infection with the highest risk to permanent nail damage, secondary bacterial infection, and eventually gangrene. The prevalence of onychomycosis is increasing. In the United States alone, almost 6 to 12 percent of the population are suffering from this nail problem.
Severe nail fungus usually begins with nail discoloration it might be white, black, yellow, or green. The nails become thick and deform to an unusual shape and texture, making them difficult to trim. The nails health also suffers and the structure starts to become weak, brittle, and crumbly. Later on, the thickness of the nail inflicts pain and discomfort, particularly when placing pressure on the affected area. The pain may start to interfere with your daily activities, like standing, walking, and exercising. Being aware of how severe nail fungus manifests is key to preventing it.
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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.
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.
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What Can You Do To Help Prevent Fungal Nail
Maintain good foot hygiene and check and trim your nails on a regular basis. Nails should be cut or filed straight across . Always make sure your nail clippers are disinfected
Look out for athlete’s foot in the skin between the toes and treat with an antifungal cream as it can soon spread to the nails
Wear shoes that fit well and have enough space to allow your feet to ‘breathe’ a little this reduces the possibility of warm, moist environments where the fungi can breed
Throw out old shoes, especially trainers
Wear cotton socks and change them regularly
Don’t share your towels and socks with other people
Avoid walking around barefoot in public spaces wear flip flops or sandals around the pool or in public changing rooms and showers
Don’t use the same nail accessories or tools on your infected nail as the nails which are clear
What Are Treatments For Toenail Fungus
Do you need to treat your nail fungus? Maybe it doesn’t hurt, and the yellow, thick nails don’t bother you.
But nail fungus doesn’t go away by itself. And if you don’t treat it, there’s a chance it could get worse. It could spread to other nails or through your body. It could cause pain when you walk.
There are a number of ways to take care of it, including:
Nonprescription options. You can buy antifungal creams, gels, and nail polish at the store and online without a prescription. You might want to try one of them first if the infection doesn’t look bad. Some people also swear by home remedies like menthol rub, tea tree oil, mouthwash, or snakeroot extract — but studies show mixed results.
Prescription polish and creams. Your foot doctor will likely trim your nail and file away its dead layers. They may also take a piece of your nail and send it to the lab to make sure itâs really a fungus and to find out what type it is.
The doctor might suggest an antifungal drug that you paint on your nails. This may work on its own, or they may suggest you take it with antifungal pills.
Prescription medications. One of several antifungal pills may help. They work, but it may take many months to do the job. They also come with side effects like nausea, vomiting, and headaches. They may cause liver damage too, so your doctor will watch you closely while you take them. Be sure to tell them about any other meds youâre taking — some antifungal pills might not work well with them.
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Know Not To Be Afraid
Surgery can be nerve-wracking and scary. Nobody likes pain, hospitals, scalpels, cuts, and anesthesia. The whole idea can be very unpleasanteven reading about it can turn the stomach!
But, it is very important to remember that thousands of people have experienced nail removal and have lived to tell about it! While there may be some discomfort and pain following the procedure, if a qualified doctor or other medical professional has concluded this is the best treatment for your specific problem, let that give all the comfort it should. We are very blessed to live in a world where so many health problems can be easily corrected!
Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus
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Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis or tinea unguium, is a common nail condition affecting millions of people in the United States. Fungal nail infections can develop on the nail from various organisms such as molds, yeasts, and fungi. This usually occurs after these organisms come into contact with a cracked nail or skin surrounding the nail as the opening provides a portal of entry for these organisms.
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How To Treat Fungal Nail Effectively
Owing to the high recurrence rate of fungal nail infections, pharmacy professionals should be able to advise patients on effective treatment and preventative and appropriate self-care strategies to avoid re-infection.
Fungal nail infection is a mycotic infection caused by fungal invasion of the nail structure and is one of the most common nail disorders, representing half of nail abnormalities in adults. Its prevalence in Europe is around 4.3% over all age groups and 15.5% of all nail dystrophies in children. OM is more commonly diagnosed in men and older people, affecting 2050% of people aged over 60 years. An increased incidence among older people may be attributed to multiple factors, including reduced peripheral circulation, diabetes, inactivity, relative immunosuppression, and reduced nail growth and quality. Toenails are affected more commonly than fingernails.
This article will cover the causes, types and treatment of OM, practical information to help guide patient consultations and when to refer to podiatry.
About Fungal Nail Infection
Many people develop a fungal nail infection at some point in their life. It’s not usually serious, but can be unpleasant and difficult to treat.
The infection develops slowly and causes the nail to become discoloured, thickened and distorted.
Toenails are more frequently affected than the fingernails.
The medical name for a fungal nail infection is onychomycosis.
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How To Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus
First, the bad news: Dr. Jenkins and Dr. Spielfogel both admit that toenail fungus is extremely hard to treat, especially at home.
“The most effective treatment is an oral systemic antifungal medication, such as Lamisil, once per day for 12 weeks,” says Dr. Jenkins. “It cures around 75% of patients, but 25% won’t be cured and will need repeat treatment or even a surgical treatment, like removing the toenail.”
For the most part, Dr. Jenkins says Lamisil is generally safe for use, though it canin rare casescause liver enzyme abnormalities. She adds that this side effect is almost never seen in children, and that your doctor will monitor these enzymes and perform frequent blood work during your course of treatment to ensure Lamisil is not negatively affecting your liver.
If you’re still concerned about Lamisil as a treatment option or you have an existing medical condition that prevents you from safely taking it, your doctor may prescribe a topical treatment instead…but those take a lot longer to work and only have a 25%-30% cure rate.
Finally, you can try a home remedy for toenail funguswhile most of them aren’t terribly effective, they don’t come with many side effects, either. If your toenail fungus is mild, you might be able to see results over time.
If you’re going to attempt an at-home remedy, it’s important to give your toenail some extra TLC, says Dr. Spielfogel: “Keeping the area clean and dry may help keep the infection under control.”
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.
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Toenail Fungus Treatment Complications
Here are some things to think about when deciding on a nail fungus treatment.
If you have a disease like diabetes, your doctor will make sure you treat nail fungus. This illness often makes you more likely to have other problems from minor foot issues.
You may not be able to take antifungal pills because of side effects or because they donât work well with other drugs you take. If that’s the case, try a product that goes onto your nail. Your doctor will call this a topical treatment.
Be patient. Your nails may not look “normal” after treatment. It can take as long as a year to 18 months for your nail to grow out a fungus.
Homeopathy As A Natural Medicine For Nail Fungus
Homeopathic medicines are ideal for providing a complete cure for infected nails as they tackles the root cause. Being non-intrusive and non-toxic, this natural treatment delivers good results in case of nail fungal infections.Moreover homeopathic toenail fungus treatment are very safe and can be used for a long period without any side effects .
Who gets Nail Fungus ?
The incidence of fungal infection in the nails is found mostly in people who are subjected to a chronic exposure to detergents or water, people who indulge in repeated manicuring or those who suffer from an injury in the nail margin.This condition may assume an acute or chronic nature. People generally tend to neglect it in the initial stages due to which the infection can become chronic. It may be superficial or it may penetrate into the deeper tissues. In the beginning, the condition may manifest itself only as color change but in the long run, it may exhibit itself as a distortion of the nails. Homeopathic remedies top the list for natural treatments for nail fungus
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