Apply Or Consume Garlic
A 2019 study published online indicated that garlic is an antifungal powerhouse, potentially making it a gem for treating toenail fungal infections. It is best to place crushed or chopped garlic on the affected area daily, Hayag says. It is important to take caution when following this remedy, as garlic has the potential to cause chemical burns to the skin. To avoid any burns, theres also the option of taking garlic supplements to see if that might help clear things up.
Home Remedies For Ingrown Toenails
There are also some simple home care tips to help you care for a toe that has an ingrown toenail. Heres what you can do:
- Soak your foot in clean warm water several times a day .
- Ensure your feet are dry except for when youre soaking them. Any moisture the rest of the day must be avoided.
- Wear open sandals to reduce pressure on the toenail until it heals.
- If you need to wear shoes, make sure they are roomy in the front so theres plenty of space around the toes.
- Simple over-the-counter painkillers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help ease the pain.
If you dont see any change in the condition or if the pain or symptoms seem to get worse, do get in touch with your doctor right away. Those with medical conditions like diabetes and vascular problems should be particularly careful and alert their doctor soon. If you have a badly infected toe, you might need a course of antibiotics prescribed by a doctor. If the problem is linked to a fungal infection, appropriate treatment will be suggested.
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Toenail Fungus And Diabetes
Toenail fungus is about twice as common in people with diabetesin fact, one in three people with diabetes have had it. Because diabetes causes nerve damage in the feet, a person may not notice the symptoms of toenail fungus and accidentally cause further damage or infection. Gone untreated, toenail fungus increases the risk of amputation.
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Should One Surgically Remove The Toenail Affected By Fungus Infection
Not everyone needs a surgical removal of the toenail fungus. Doctors try saving the nails as surgical removal of nails could be painful sometimes and it takes a long time for the nail to grow again.
However, when the infection is recurring or a severe one, there is risk of fungi entering other organs or damaging the entire foot. So it is essential for the nail to be removed.
The entire nail is not necessarily removed in all cases. The doctor may remove only the debridement when the fungus infection can be cut off.
And, in worst cases, the doctor may need to remove the entire nail to prevent its spread.
Complications: What If The Infection Is Left Untreated
If the nail fungus spreads deeper into the nail bed, it will cause the nail to thicken and turn green, yellow, brown, or black. As the infection progresses, the infected nail becomes brittle and pieces of it will start to break off from the toe or finger completely. Should the condition be left untreated, it can spread to other nails or cause skin around the infected nail to become inflamed. In more advanced stages, a foul smell may develop and white or yellow patches may be seen on the exposed nail bed. Over time, severe fungal nail infections can cause permanent damage to the nail root or nail bed.
It can be quite embarrassing to have this condition since this is an infection thats hard to hide. People with Onychomycosis may also find it difficult or painful to wear shoes, walk, or stand for long periods of time if their toenails have been infected severely.
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When To Refer To Podiatry
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.
Causes And Solutions: Toenail Fungus
Fungal infections can happen to anyone and anywhere. Some people have fungal infections in their hair, organs or even toenails.
The most common fungal infection is seen in the toenails. A fungus is very common and everyone has it in their bodies, but when a fungus multiples and fungi begin to thrive, you may have a serious toenail infection.
Although it may appear to be ugly, it is harmless till it spreads to your bloodstream.
Most people treat toenail fungus because it looks bad and can be painful sometimes. It may even be a danger to your health if it reaches the bloodstream.
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How Do I Know If I Have Toenail Fungus
A toenail fungal infection has a slow, eroding effect on your toenail but usually takes a while to develop and spread so you might not notice it at first.
Here are some of the toenail symptoms you may encounter:
- Change in color often the toenail turns yellow, brown, white, or eve green
- Nails become thicksometimes so thick you cant get a toenail clipper to work
- Toenail shape becomes curved, twisted, or ingrown on the sides
- Initially, a white dot may show itself which then slowly grows larger
- Toenails become brittle and break easily, sometimes they seem to crumble or get chalky
- Toenails become flaky and break off
- Sometimes the toenail has a cottage-cheese type substance especially under the hard-outer shell
- Toenails may loosen and separate off the nail bed occasionally they may even fall of entirely
- You get pain around the toenail as the hard, curved nail digs down into the sides
- There is a bad-cheese smell coming from your toenails
- Eventually, the fungus spreads to your other toes and even out onto the skin on your feet
If left untreated, you can develop a secondary bacterial infection and even get ulcerations, which are extremely dangerous if you are diabetic or have poor circulation. For some people, toenail fungus has even ultimately led to the surgical amputation of toes or even leg amputations.
Does Vicks Vapor Rub Cure Toenail Fungus
It has been rumored that curing toenail fungus is as easy as going to your kitchen pantry or bathroom medicine cabinet. Vinegar and Vicks Vapor Rub are two products that are supposed to cure toenail fungus.
The problem with these home remedies is that there is no recommended treatment regimen for either product. There also have not been any clinical studies confirming that either treatment is effective. The Mayo Clinic mentions both treatments, but emphasizes that there is no clinical evidence supporting either claim.
A podiatrist can diagnose your condition as onychomycosis and provide scientifically-based treatment that is right for you.
There are three types of treatment for onychomycosis:
- Topical Medications
- Oral Medications
- Laser Treatment
All of these treatments penetrate the nail bed at the source of nail infection. The problem with vinegar baths or applying Vicks Vapor Rub is that they dont penetrate the nail bed and get to the source of the fungal infection.
If you want the best treatment options available for killing fungus, call our office at 816-943-1111. Dr. Mark Green has been treating conditions of the foot and ankle for over nineteen years.
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Can I Get Toenail Fungus From The Gym
You can get toenail fungus from the gym, particularly in the changing rooms and showers.
The changing rooms are the first place where people take off their warm, damp shoes and expose their feet and their fungal nail infections.
This fungus can then be tracked all over the changing room and into the showers where its ready to be transmitted to your toenails.
Fungal nail infections will be relatively common with regular gym-goers. The fungus is easy to pick up in such a communal space, while the fact that theyre sweating in the sneakers provides the right environment for that fungus to grow and pass on to others.
Your best bet to avoid getting toenail fungus at the gym is simply to avoid going barefoot take some flip-flops or slip-on shoes to wear in the changing rooms and showers.
Prevention Is The Best Treatment
We can also advise you on how to prevent toenail fungus in the first place, by practicing good hygiene methods, wearing footwear in places where the fungus thrives, choosing the right shoes and socks, not sharing personal items with others, and keeping diseases like diabetes under control. Dr. Howard Schaengold provides expert foot care to the residents of Sammamish, Redmond, Bellevue, and Issaquah. He specializes in laser surgery for many foot problems, including fungal toenails. Call The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic today at , or use the book an appointment button on our website, and get rid of your fungal infection for good!
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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.
Why Does It Develop
A fungal nail infection occurs from the overgrowth of fungi in, under, or on the nail. Fungi thrive in warm, moist environments, so this type of environment can cause them to naturally overpopulate. The same fungi that cause jock itch, athletes foot, and ringworm can cause nail infections.
Fungi that are already present in or on your body can cause nail infections. If you have come in contact with someone else who has a fungal infection, you may have contracted it as well. Fungal infections affect toenails more commonly than fingernails, likely because your toes are usually confined to shoes, where theyre in a warm, moist environment.
If you get a manicure or pedicure at a nail salon, be sure to ask how the staff disinfects their tools and how often they do it. Tools, such as emery boards and nail clippers, can spread fungal infections from person to person if theyre not sanitized.
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Can I Get Toenail Fungus From Pedicures
Put simply, yes: you can get fungal nail infections from pedicures.
As nail salons see plenty of bare feet coming and going, theres lots of opportunity for people to bring toenail fungus into the salon, and consequently on the pedicurists hands and tools, into the foot baths, and even on the nail polish itself.
If you happen to have a small cut or opening near your nail bed which is relatively likely if your pedicurist is trimming your cuticles or cutting your nails then all that fungus from the other customers will be introduced straight into your nail. And if youre prone to infection, you can expect a fungal nail infection in no time at all.
The best way to avoid this is to choose a really hygienic nail salon that refuses to treat people with visible toenail fungus.
Feel free to ask how they sterilise their tools, if they change their gloves between customers and whether theyve disinfected the footstools and baths before you use them.
Many nail salons these days use disposable emery boards and pumice stones, while metal tools are put into a sterilising packet and autoclaved.
Its much harder to avoid fungus from nail polish as the brush obviously cant be sterilised between customers. Some nail salons will include the cost of a small pot of unopened polish in the cost of a pedicure. It may cost a little more but is likely cheaper than long-term treatment for toenail fungus!
Am I At Risk For Developing Toenail Fungus
The organisms that cause a toenail infection thrive in dark, moist places, including inside your shoes. While anyone can develop the problem, these factors increase your risk:
- Excessively sweaty feet
- Shoes that arent ventilated
- Not wearing socks
- History of athletes foot
- Skin or toenail injury
- Diabetes or peripheral artery disease
- A weakened immune system
Youre also more likely to develop a fungal infection if you go barefoot in damp, public places like gyms and swimming pools.
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Why Is The Treatment Necessary
Onychomycosis, leads to discoloration and deformation of the nails. Particular problems include thickening, which may cause pain and make basic nail cutting difficult. In patients with complicating factors, deformed nails can lead to surrounding tissue damage and once again promote secondary bacterial infection. Furthermore, a recent study has highlighted the psychological, social and occupational effects of the condition which appear to have been underestimated by health care professionals for treating the condition.
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Best Antifungal Home Remedies
Home remedies for fungal nail infections are very popular with people looking either to top up their prescribed or over-the-counter treatment, or with those looking to avoid the chemical-laden products entirely.
Not all home treatments were created equal some simply wont work while others will yield only very minimal results like softening the skin on your toes.
If you do want to try antifungal home remedies, you need to pick ingredients that have some antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic properties that can stop the fungus from growing and even help it to die. If possible, you need the remedy to actually come into contact with the fungus to yield the best results.
These are the most popular home remedies for fungal nail infections:
- Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree is an essential oil that is known for its antifungal and antiseptic qualities.
Add a couple of drops to the end of a cotton bud and insert under and on the surface of your nail try to apply it to the fungus if you can. Note that tea tree oil is very powerful so you may need to dilute it will a drop or two of coconut oil or olive oil if you have sensitive skin.
This is our favourite brand of Tea Tree Oil its inexpensive, 100% pure and FDA registered.
Vinegar is another natural product thats widely lauded for its antifungal and acidic properties.
- Oil of Oregano
For an inexpensive, 100% pure and therapeutic grade product, try this Oil of Oregano.
- Vicks VapoRub
You can buy Vicks VapoRub here.
Remedies To Fight Toenail Fungus At Home
Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is perhaps one of the most common nail disorders. It is a fungal infection that penetrates through chinks in your toenail, cuts in the surrounding skin, or the separation between the nail and the toe, and affects the material below the toenail.
The fungus tends to thrive in certain conditions, such as abnormal body pH, a weakened immune system, continuous exposure to a moist environment including sweaty shoes and socks, poor hygiene, and diabetes.
As embarrassing as this condition may be, simply camouflaging your unsightly toenail, such as painting your nails, without tending to it properly would do you more harm than good. If the infection goes untreated long enough, it could spread to the adjoining skin, to the other toenails, and even perhaps to your fingernails.
Healthy Foods That Are High In Iron
Iron is a mineral that serves several important functions, its main one being to carry oxygen throughout your body as a part of red blood cells .
Its an essential nutrient, meaning you must get it from food. The Daily Value is 18 mg.
Interestingly, the amount of iron your body absorbs is partly based on how much you have stored.
A deficiency can occur if your intake is too low to replace the amount you lose every day .
Iron deficiency can cause anemia and lead to symptoms like fatigue. Menstruating women who dont consume iron-rich foods are at a particularly high risk of deficiency.
Luckily, there are plenty of good food choices to help you meet your dailyiron needs.
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