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What Causes Nail Fungus In Fingernails

Lifestyle And Home Remedies

What is nail fungus?

Often, you can take care of a fungal nail infection at home:

  • Try over-the-counter antifungal nail creams and ointments. Several products are available. If you notice white markings on the surfaces of the nails, file them off, soak your nails in water, dry them, and apply the medicated cream or lotion.
  • Trim and thin the nails. This helps reduce pain by reducing pressure on the nails. Also, if you do this before applying an antifungal, the drug can reach deeper layers of the nail.

Before trimming or using a nail file to thin thick nails, soften them with urea-containing creams. If you have a condition that causes poor blood flow to your feet and you cant trim your nails, see a health care provider regularly to have your nails trimmed.

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Can A Nail Fungal Infection Be Prevented Or Avoided

Avoid situations that expose you to a fungus. This includes walking barefoot in locker rooms and having wet hands and feet often. This might be a problem for people who work in restaurants or house cleaning. People in a family can get nail fungal infections at the same time. This happens when their immune systems arent able to fight off the infection. Or it could be the infection is spread when using the same towels. It is important to routinely clean your shower, tub, and bathroom to lower risk of fungal infection.

What Is The Prognosis Of Fungal Nails

Curing fungal nails can be difficult and treatment can take up to 18 months. Relapse and reinfection are common. Trying to remove or modify your risk factors, if possible, is essential to preventing reinfection. People who have medical illnesses that predispose them to fungal nails can have an even more difficult time eradicating the fungus.

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Diagnosis And Treatment Of Nail Problems

Any abnormal changes to your nails should be medically investigated. See your doctor for treatment or possible referral to a dermatologist. If the cause of your nail problem is not immediately apparent, your doctor may take nail clippings and scrapings from beneath the nail for laboratory analysis. Fingernail infections usually respond faster to treatment than toenail infections.Depending on the cause, treatment may include:

  • Antibiotics for bacterial infections
  • Antifungal preparations, mainly oral tablets, for fungal infections in the nails
  • Treatment for any contributing skin disease
  • Advice on appropriate nail care.

Thoughts On Over The Counter Nail Fungus Treatments Are There Any That Might Work

10 Causes Of Fungal Nail Infection!
  • Stephen McIntosh

    My doctor told me that Vicks Vapor Rub is effective in treating toenailfungus. I have been using it for approximately 3 weeks, but I cannot sayfor sure that it is having any effect. What have others said about itsuse for toenail fungus?

  • Your doctor is a nut.

  • Jason
  • Dont Miss: Does Uv Light Kill Fungus On Skin

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    How Can I Stop My Nail Fungus From Returning

    Chances are, if youre exposing your feet to the same spaces in which they previously became infected, theyll likely get infected again. Instead of walking barefoot through communal areas like public pools and showers, try wearing flip-flops or other appropriate shower shoes. Just make sure you thoroughly clean and dry your feet afterward.

    When you treat yourself to a pedicure, make sure the establishment is clean, licensed, and in accordance with state standards. Are the nail techs sterilizing their equipment between each use? If not, this could be why nail fungus keeps popping up on your toes. Time to find a new favorite spot!

    If youve taken medication for nail fungus or used antifungal creams or polishes and stopped using them at the first sign of healthier nails, this could be why your nail fungus keeps coming back. Although it seems like the fungus is gone, some that isnt visible to the naked eye could remain. If treatment is stopped too early, some remnant fungus may continue to grow, which will lead to what is perceived to be another infection.

    If your doctor gives you oral medication, make sure to finish it in accordance with your doctors recommendations. If youre using over-the-counter polish or cream, its recommended that you keep using it up to a couple of weeks after the appearance of a healthy nail.

    • 4.95/5

    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 Prevent Toenail Fungus

    Because fungi are everywhere , they can be present months before they find opportunities to strike and before signs of infection appear. By following certain precautions, including proper hygiene and regular inspection of the feet and toes, chances of the problem occurring can be significantly reduced.

    • Regularly clean and dry feet to resist disease. Follow a strict regimen of washing the feet with soap and water.
    • Change socks and hosiery daily and change out shoes on a regular basis.
    • Clip toenails straight across so the nail doesnt extend beyond the tip of your finger or toenails.
    • Wear socks that are made of synthetic fiber to wick away moisture. Cotton and wool socks dont wick away moisture as fast as synthetic fiber does. This can be helpful in denying a hospitable environment for the fungi to grow in.

    Prevention Of Nail Fungus

    Nail Fungus Infection : Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments | Toenail and Fingernail Fungus Treatment

    Proper foot and hand hygiene is very important to prevent fungal infections. For example, keep nails short, clean and dry and do not bite nails, do not share socks and shoes, avoid using artificial nails and nail polish, use antifungal powders or sprays, do not wear socks or shoes that are too tight and allow feet to ventilate.

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    What Are Dermatophytes

    The word dermatophyte comes from the Greek terms derma, meaning skin, and phytos, meaning plant. Dermatophytes do not fall under a specific biological classification. The term is a general label for pathogenic fungi capable of growing on skin and causing skin disease. Dermatophytes fall under the genera Trychophyton, Epidermophyton, and Microsporum.

    When To Seek Help

    Most fungal nail infections are not serious and only need selfcare measures . See your pharmacist or doctor for treatment if:

    • The nail/s are painful or they bother you.
    • you are at risk of complications from the infection, eg, if you have diabetes, peripheral vascular disease or connective tissue disorders.

    Many nail conditions can look like a fungal infection such as an old injury, a bacterial infection or psoriasis. Your doctor may take a small sample of your nail to confirm if it really is a fungal infection.

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    Nail Polish And Contaminated Equipment

    Nail psoriasis or fungus?: Differences, symptoms, and outlook

    A 2018 study found evidence that fungi may be able to live and multiply in some nail polishes. It may be a good idea to avoid sharing nail polish.

    Contaminated equipment at a nail salon can also expose you to types of fungi that may lead to an infection.

    Your fungal infection may not cause any symptoms in the beginning, until it progresses.

    As the infection gets worse, you may experience:

    Fingernail infections often clear up on their own or with home remedies. Antifungal medications are used for more serious infections.

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    How Can Toenail Fungus Spread

    There are various reasons for that. The toenail fungus is already quite contagious, and resistive to all kinds of weather. However, knowing what can be the real cause for the spread of toenail fungus can help you understand how to prevent it efficiently.

    Here we have discussed a few of the potential reasons that can be a cause of the spread of toenail fungus among people, and on your body parts.

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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.

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    Nail Fungal Infection Treatment

    Fungal Nail Infection, Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment.

    Prescription medicines can treat a fungal nail infection. Oral antifungal medicines help a new nail grow. This will replace the infected nail. You may need to take antifungal medicine for 6 to 12 weeks. Some oral medicines are not safe for people who have liver problems. They are not safe for people who have a history of congestive heart failure. Tell your doctor if you have one of these conditions. Your doctor will decide which medicine is right for you.

    Apply topical treatments to the top of your nail. Topical medicines usually do not cure fungal nail infections.

    In severe cases, a doctor might remove the nail completely. It can take several months to a year for the infection to go away.

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    Causes Of Hand Fungus

    There are many different dermatophytes, and each of them affects a particular part of the body. However, there are only three types of hand fungal infections. Lets take a look at these in detail.Fungus of the hands : Tinea mannum is the fungus that affects the hands and the palms. Commonly, it is seen on the fingers. Some of the symptoms of this kind of infection are as follows.

    • Scaly or crackling skin
    • Itching and burning of the infected area
    • Inflammation

    What Other Conditions Can Be Mistaken For Fungal Nails

    Here are some other conditions you may have instead of fungal nails:

  • Lines and ridges: These are common and may be considered normal. They may worsen during pregnancy. A large groove down the center of the nail can be caused by nail biting. Some people may develop these changes following chemotherapy.
  • Senile nails: As you age, the nails become brittle and develop ridges and separation of the nail layers at the end of the nail. To avoid this, try to clean solutions and don’t soak the nails in water.
  • Whitish or yellowish nails can occur due to onycholysis. This means separation of the nail from the nail bed. The color you see is air beneath the nail. The treatment is to trim the nail short, don’t clean under it, polish if you want to hide the color, and wait two to three months. Persistent onycholysis can make the nails susceptible to fungal infection.
  • Red or black nails due to a hematoma, or blood under the nail, usually occur from trauma . The discolored area will grow out with the nail and be trimmed off as you trim your nails. If you have a black spot under your nail that was not caused by trauma, you may want to see a dermatologist or a podiatrist if it involves a toenail to make sure it is not melanoma . A simple biopsy can rule out malignancy .
  • Trichophyton

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    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.

    Lavender Oil For Fungal Infections

    Causes and Treatments for Nail Fungus (Onychomycosis)

    Lavender is another essential oil that is effective for getting rid of a fungal infection on your hands or feet.

    The Journal of Medical Microbiology reported on the antifungal properties of lavender essential oil. Studies have shown that lavender can help to kill off dermatophytes that cause fungal skin infections. It was also found that lavender oil is an effective antifungal agent even when hand fungus infections are resistant to pharmaceutical drugs.11

    To use lavender oil to help get rid of a fungal infection from your hand, all you have to do is mix 2-3 drops of essential oil with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Apply to the affected patch of skin on your hand daily.

    Lavender can also be used to keep your skin looking youthful and healthy.

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    All About Nail Fungus

    This site is dedicated to providing you with the best information regarding nail fungus its symptoms, causal factors, characteristics, available treatments and preventative measures you can take. Medically, it is known as onychomycosis or tinea unguium, and is a very common condition that begins as a white or yellow spot underneath your fingernail or toenail. Nail fungus can also cause your nail to discolor, split, crack, thicken and crumble at the edge. It can cause a lot of discomfort as well as causing embarrassment due to its unsightly appearance. We aim to provide the most comprehensive resource available about nail fungus and how to effectively treat it quickly and effectively, even ways to prevent future outbreaks.

    We provide you with impartial, up-to-the-minute information regarding this very common infection, which affects many individuals. Symptoms vary between individuals, as does the length, frequency and duration of the infection. Nail Fungus spreads quickly, so understanding its causes and what preventative measures you can take will help eradicate this uncomfortable condition, once and for all.

    Treatments For Nail Fungus

    Ointments and creams are available at medical stores but are not so effective. Oral antifungal medicines like Lamisil, Sporanox and Diflucan are available but generally it takes nearly four months to replace the nail that is infected.

    Apart from this, there are antifungal nail polishes like ciclopirox and other creams which may be used to clear the infection but complete cure of the infection will is not possible with these creams.

    For extreme cases, doctors tend to extract the nail completely for curing the infection.

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    I Bite My Nails Sometimesdoes It Matter

    Biting nails and the skin around them is a bad habit. People who bite their nails dont like to do it, but its hard to stop. Youre introducing bacteria from the nail into the mouth and creating an opening in the skin or under the nail that can introduce bacteria, fungus or yeast that can cause infection.

    Deformed Or Brittle Nails

    Dermatophytes: The Cause of Fingernail and Toenail Fungus

    A violent toe-stubbing, dropping a heavy object on the toe or some other trauma can injure the nail bed and cause the nail to grow in a deformed way. The nail may be thickened or ridged. It is a normal ageing process for nails to thicken.Deformed or brittle toenails can benefit from regular professional attention. Trimming, shaping and nail care from a podiatrist can improve the health of your toenails and help diagnose and treat more serious nail problems.

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    How To Avoid Growth Of Dermatophytes And Nail Fungus

    Prevention is better than cure when it comes to all diseases, including dermatophyte-induced nail fungus. Here are few preventive habits that can keep nail fungus at bay:

    • Wear rubber gloves that protect your hands from overexposure to water, as moist atmosphere can be a breeding ground for fungi.

    • Wash your hands and feet frequently with soap water, making sure you scrub in between the toes.

    • Cut your fingernails and toenails regularly. Do not cut them too short as you can damage the tissue and provide an entry to fungal spores. Do not share nail clippers or files with other people.

    • Wear socks that absorb sweat, and choose open-toe shoes to reduce clamminess. Discard old worn-out shoes.

    • Make use of anti-fungal spray or powder for the insides of your shoes.

    • Desist from wearing artificial nails and nail polish as they create an environment that is perfect for the proliferation of nail fungi.


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