Trying Simple Hygiene Measures
What Causes Yellow Toenails
Healthy nails are usually clear in color and dont have any major issues like cracks, indentations, ridges, or abnormal shapes. If your toenails are turning yellow, it could be a result of something less serious, like aging or nail polish. Or it could be due to a more serious issue, like an infection.
How To Preventtoenail Fungus Infection
Prevention is important to minimize your risk of getting a first toenail fungus infection. But if youâre already undergoing treatment, itâs also important to increase its chance of success and reduce the chances of subsequent infections.
Fungi are everywhere, so you cannot completely eliminate the possibility of exposure, but you can take these measures to reduce your chances of infection:
- During treatment, avoid high-risk areas like public spas, swimming pools, showers and locker rooms where fungi are more likely to be picked up, but if you do visit these areas, protect yourself by wearing flip flops, washing your hands and feet thoroughly and drying them afterwards.
- Wash your feet and hands frequently and keep them dry, especially after sports. Wear cotton socks to absorb the sweat from your feet, and change them frequently to keep them dry and fresh.
- Wear shoes that are comfortable and allow adequate air circulation.
- Keep your toenails cut short, and if you have an infection, avoid using nail polish.
- Avoid sharing towels, shoes and nail care tools, such as nail clippers or nail brushes, especially to prevent transmission to family members.
- Stay healthy and keep your immune system strong. People with diabetes or psoriasis are at greater risk.
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Home Remedies For Fingernail Fungus Infection
Fingernail fungus is very itchy and irritating, and in some cases, this can lead to the feeling of pain on skin. It was also widely known as the result of sensitive and dry skin,caused by the skin water deficiency and can sometimes even cause skin redness. The situation can turn to be painful, embarrassing, and all-around nasty rapidly. Thus, you will need to take extra care while treating this problem. In fact, this infection can happen on both your toenails and fingernails and can cover around 6-8% of all adult population.
Acrylic Nail Fungus Home Remedies
The first step after noticing an infection is to have the acrylic nail removed and to wash your fingernail with soap and water. Avoid putting on a new nail until the infection clears.
Anecdotally, some people claim the following home remedies have helped them clear their infection:
- Vinegar. Vinegar contains acid that can inhibit the growth of fungi and bacteria. Try soaking your finger in a 2:1 ratio of warm water to vinegar.
- Vicks VapoRub. An older 2011 study found Vicks VapoRub seemed to have a positive clinical effect on killing toenail fungi. You can try applying a small amount to your finger once a day.
- Tea tree oil. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health , one small study found evidence that tea tree oil may help treat nail fungus, but more research is needed. Try applying oil to your nail twice per day.
- Oregano oil. The chemical thymol found in oregano oil may have antifungal properties. Try applying oregano oil to your nail twice per day with a cotton swab.
- Listerine mouthwash. Listerine contains ingredients that have antifungal properties. Some people claim soaking your finger in original Listerine for 30 minutes a day may help clear the infection.
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How To Stop Your Fungal Nail Infection Spreading Through Your Family
Fungal nail infections that leave one or more of your toenails with a yellow/white discolouration, or a flaky, brittle appearance, are the cause of 50% of all diseases affecting the nails. As the nail infection progresses, your nail may also thicken, lift away from the nail bed, and make wearing certain types of shoes uncomfortable. More than the physical symptoms that a fungal nail infection produces, for many of our patients, their persistent infections leave them hiding their toes in closed shoes and socks year-round, impacting their self-esteem and confidence with their appearance.
With many pharmacy anti-fungal creams and lacquers having a poor success rate while requiring multiple daily applications, prevention is far better and easier than cure. If youre currently battling a fungal nail infection, today our podiatry team has laid out the practical steps you can take to help stop it spreading to other members within your household, as well as sharing the one most effective treatment for fungal nails weve seen in our years of podiatry that is helping our patients get superior results.
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.
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Why Does My Nail Fungus Keep Coming Back
Are you dealing with stubborn nail fungus that just doesnt seem to go away and stay gone? However frustrating it may be, the good news is, youre not alone! Nail fungus is very common, with an estimated 3 to 12 percent of the population being affected.
It isnt always easy to determine if whats happening under your nails is a fungal infection or another skin condition. To be sure, go ahead and make an appointment with one of our experienced podiatrists, Samantha Childers, DPM, or Ricky Childers, DPM, at North Central Texas Foot & Ankle. In addition to our Decatur, Texas, location, we have an office in Roanoke, Texas, as well.
In the meantime, lets go over the causes of nail fungus, why it might keep recurring, and some ways to try to prevent it.
Clean Socks And Shoes
Regularly changing your socks and shoes can also cut down on the growth of unwanted foot fungus. Both socks and athletic shoes can also be washed in hot water to rid the growth of yeasts and fungi that may be growing on the fabric. Some shoes can be machine dried. Drying shoes in the sun is another option when cleaning footwear.
Adding a half-cup of baking soda or one cup of vinegar to the washing machine can help eliminate bacteria or fungus on socks or shoes.
Boots and other footwear that are not machine washable could be wiped out with a vinegar and water solution or sprayed with an over-the-counter antifungal spray. Medicated powders are also helpful in treating shoes for foot fungus.
Allowing the feet to breathe by taking off shoes and socks when possible can prevent fungal growth. Protect your feet by wearing breathable footwear and clean socks. Antimicrobial socks and shoes made from bamboo, copper, or specialty fabrics are also available. They can help reduce unwanted bacteria and yeast from growing in your footwear.
A proactive approach to keeping your feet clean and dry can prevent the spread of toenail fungus. You can wash or soak feet with warm soapy water or a foot bath using everyday household items. Soaking your feet in an all-natural, homeopathic concoction can be beneficial in reducing or eliminating toenail fungus.
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Sets With Creams And A Nail Scraper
Treatment sets that contain two creams and a nail scraper can also be used for the topical treatment of nail fungus:
- One cream has urea in it, which softens the nail so it can be removed.
- The other cream contains bifonazole, which has an antifungal effect.
For this treatment, the affected toe or finger first has to be soaked in warm water for ten minutes and then dried. After that, the urea-based cream is applied to the nail, and the nail is covered with an adhesive bandage. After 24 hours, the bandage is removed and the toe or finger is held in warm water again. The softened layer of the nail is then scraped off using a spatula, the cream is applied again and the nail is covered with a new bandage. This treatment is carried out over 14 days. Once the infected part of the nail has been scraped away completely, the skin beneath is treated for another four weeks with a bifonazole cream.
When Are The Different Treatments Considered
Most doctors recommend treating nail fungus with nail polish or cream if
- not much more than half of the nail is affected by the fungus,
- the base of the nail is not infected, and
- only some nails are affected.
Topical treatment is also usually recommended for children. One reason for this is that most oral medications arent suitable for children. Another reason is that children have thinner nails that grow more quickly, so its assumed that treatment with nail polish or creams is more likely to work in children than in adults. White superficial onychomycosis is also often treated with a nail polish or cream.
If several nails are infected by the fungus, or if the infection has spread out more on the affected nails, its usually necessary to take oral medication. And if the infection started at the base of the nail, its highly likely that only tablets will help.
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How Do You Get A Fungal Nail Infection
Most fungal nail infections occur as a result of the fungi that cause athlete’s foot infecting the nails.
These fungi often live harmlessly on your skin, but they can sometimes multiply and lead to infections. The fungi prefer warm, dark and moist places like the feet.
You’re more likely to get a fungal nail infection if you:
- don’t keep your feet clean and dry
- wear shoes that cause your feet to get hot and sweaty
- walk around barefoot in places where fungal infections can spread easily, such as communal showers, locker rooms and gyms
- have damaged your nails
- have a weakened immune system
- have certain other health conditions, such as diabetes, psoriasis or peripheral arterial disease
Fungal nail infections can be spread to other people, so you should take steps to avoid this if you have an infection.
What Is Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is a widespread fungal infection that affects the toenails. Less commonly, nail fungus infects the fingernails. Nail fungus is also called onychomycosis.
Toenail fungus happens when fungi get between the toenail and the toenail bed . This usually happens through a crack or cut in your toe.
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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
Treatments For Yellow Toenails
In most cases, yellow toenails are treatable. There are some medications and home remedies that might help cure yellow toenails or help lighten the yellow color. What treatment your doctor recommends will depend on whats causing the yellow nails.
For example, if your yellow toenails are being caused by a fungal infection, youll need antifungal medication to treat it. One of the most common prescription antifungal medications is ciclopirox 8 percent solution, which is applied to the nails like nail polish.
Other medications that can help cure yellow toenails include applying vitamin E, zinc, and a topical corticosteroid with Vitamin D-3.
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How Do I Know If I Have A Fungal Nail Infection
Because other infections can affect the nail and mimic symptoms of a fungal nail infection, the only way to confirm a diagnosis is to see a doctor. Theyll take a scraping of the nail and look under a microscope for signs of fungus.
In some cases, your doctor may send the sample to a lab for analysis and identification.
Over-the-counter products arent usually recommended to treat nail infections since they dont provide reliable results. Instead, your doctor may prescribe an oral antifungal medication, such as:
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
When to see a doctor for toenail fungus
Preventing toenail fungus
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Creams & Topical Treatments For Toenail Fungus
Over-the-counter fungal creams like clotrimazole dont work well for treating toenail fungus. Prescription nail polishes are available, but they take longer to work and arent effective for severe cases. Thats because they dont penetrate the nail very well. That said, they are still a good option for people with mild cases of toenail fungus, or for those who cant take the oral antifungals. Examples include:
Side effects are usually minor and include redness or burning at the application site.
You might hear or read about medicated chest rub as a treatment for toenail fungus, but its mostly hype. Its a tempting option because its so safe, easy to use, and cheap. But its not likely to help.
How To Prevent Toenail Fungus
Its not always possible to prevent toenail fungus, but often it is. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and its better to prevent nail fungus than to have to try to treat it. Well tell you what you can do, but well also tell you what to do if all your efforts at toenail fungus prevention dont work and you end up with an infection anyway.
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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.