Tips To Combat Foot Fungus
The best way to combat foot fungus is to reduce your exposure to it. There are simple things you can do to prevent from contracting foot and nail fungus.
If You See A Doctor What Will Your Treatment Be
When you see your toenail fungus doctor, there may be a few treatments they recommend or prescribe some of which are more pleasant than others. It all depends on the kind of fungus you have, as well as how severe your case is.
The doctor may have to take samples, which would be sent off to a lab to determine exactly what kind of fungus you have. So, be prepared for multiple doctor visits.
Your doctor may prescribe oral antifungal drugs or topical antifungal therapies. Sometimes, combining the two types of treatment has more success than one alone.
Oral antifungal drugs are generally taken for six to twelve weeks, but most of the time, you wont see any positive results until the nail has completely grown out.
There are also medicated nail polishes and medicated nail creams that can be prescribed, but the nail polish can take up to a year to deliver results.
In the most severe of cases, surgery to temporarily remove the nail might be recommended. This is so the doctor can treat the fungal infection under the nail directly.
If the infection is severe enough, the doctor might recommend the permanent removal of the nail.
Forms Certificates And Medicals
Who do I see: Medical SecretaryAdvice: A medial examination will be booked if necessary. Completion of forms, certificates and medicals are not covered under the NHS. Payment for reports must accompany the request or appointment booking . Charges are aligned with the BMAs guidelines. Please read the form carefully and fill in and sign any parts that you need to complete before you bring the form to the surgery. Allow up to 28 days for the process to be completed, you will be contacted by phone when your form is ready for collection. Please note we do not sign passport forms.
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What Symptoms Develop Due To Toenail Fungus
The first sign of a toenail fungus is a white or yellow spot that appears under the tip of your toenail. This discoloration marks the area where the fungus invaded.
As the infection spreads deeper into the toenail, the nails become thick and take on a yellow, green, or black color. Your toenail may become misshapen. Its also common for the nail to become fragile, making the edges crumble or crack.
What Is The Outcome For Someone Who Has Nail Fungus
With treatment, many people can get rid of nail fungus. Even when the fungus clears, your nail may look unhealthy until the infected nail grows out. A fingernail grows out in 4 to 6 months and a toenail in 12 to 18 months.
To clear the fungus, its important to:
Use the treatment exactly as prescribed
Apply the medicine for as long as prescribed
Keep all follow-up appointments with your dermatologist
Nail fungus can be stubborn. If you had a severe infection, its possible to clear the infection. A healthy looking nail, however, may be unrealistic, but you can expect the nail to look better and feel more comfortable.
Even with clearing, nail fungus can return. Youll find steps to reduce your risk in Tips: 12 ways to prevent another nail infection.
ReferenceGold LFS and Rosen T. Onychomycosis: Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies. Dermatology News . March 2016:2-15.
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See A Podiatrist For Toenail Fungus Treatment
If youre uncomfortable with the appearance of your toes, make an appointment with a podiatrist. Professional, modern treatment methods are more effective at clearing up fungal infections than over the counter and home remedies.
Tackling a fungal infection on your own could be difficult and frustrating. Over-the-counter creams are often not strong enough to treat infections appropriately, and more complex treatments arent available for consumer use. The toenail fungus doctors, or podiatrists, at Arizona Foot Doctors are qualified to deal with many foot and ankle issues, including toenail fungus, and are dedicated to making you feel confident and comfortable throughout the treatment process.
After a gentle evaluation, our podiatrists will prescribe the most appropriate treatment for your situation, identify any underlying causes, and help you avoid future infections.
What Other Conditions Can Be Mistaken For Fungal Nails
Here are some other conditions you may have instead of fungal nails:
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Know It May Have To Be Permanent
At this point, if he or she has not discussed this with you earlier, the doctor may recommend that you have the nail permanently prevented from growing back. This is only done in severe cases of fungus or other disorders where the problem would simply keep occurring if the nail grew back.
To do this, the doctor must destroy the nail matrix, which is the part of the toe that produces keratin, the element that toenails are made of.
The matrix can be dissolved chemically, which is the most common. This is called chemical cauterization, and involves the application of a chemical called phenol. Occasionally, some patients report their nails growing back, but generally this method is effective.
If this does not work, your doctor will perform a surgical matrixectomy. A flap of skin is surgically created at the base of the nail, where the matrix is located. After retracting the flap, the matrix is surgically removed.
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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
How Do Dermatologists Treat A Fungal Nail Infection
Treatment usually begins with your dermatologist trimming your infected nail, cutting back each infected nail to the place where it attaches to your finger or toe. Your dermatologist may also scrape away debris under the nail. This helps get rid of some fungus.
To completely get rid of the infection, most people also need one or more of the following treatments:
Medicine you apply to the nail: If you have a mild infection, a medicine that you apply to your nails may get rid of the infection. This treatment helps keep new fungus out while the nails grow. Fingernails typically grow out in four to six months. Toenails take longer, usually takes 12 to 18 months.
Probably the most difficult part of this treatment is remembering to use it as often as prescribed. Some treatments must be applied every day. Others you apply once a week. To get the best results, its essential that you apply these medicines exactly as directed.
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the following medicines that you apply to the nail to treat nail fungus:
Side effects from these medicines are generally mild. Possible side effects include redness and swelling, an ingrown toenail, and stinging or burning when you apply the medicine. In clinical trials, none of these side effects caused patients to stop using the treatment.
The FDA has approved the following systemic medicines to treat nail fungus:
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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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What Causes Fungal Nails And What Are Some Of The Risk Factors
In normal, healthy people, fungal infections of the nails are most commonly caused by fungus that is caught from moist, wet areas. Communal showers, such as those at a gym or swimming pools, are common sources. Going to nail salons that use inadequate sanitization of instruments in addition to living with family members who have fungal nails are also risk factors. Athletes have been proven to be more susceptible to nail fungus. This is presumed to be due to the wearing of tight-fitting, sweaty shoes associated with repetitive trauma to the toenails. Having athlete’s foot makes it more likely that the fungus will infect your toenails. Repetitive trauma also weakens the nail, which makes the nail more susceptible to fungal infection.
Elderly people and people with certain underlying disease states are also at higher risk. Anything that impairs your immune system can make you prone to getting infected with the fungus. These include conditions such as AIDS, diabetes, cancer, psoriasis, or taking any immunosuppressive medications like steroids.
Fungal Nail Infection Causes
A fungal nail infection is caused by an overgrowth of fungi. These fungi fall into three categories:
These cause most cases of toenail fungus infections and also cause athletes foot, which can spread from person to person.
Moulds are usually found in soil and these typically do not spread from one person to another. It is uncommon for you to catch a nail infection this way.
Yeasts are normally found on the body and can cause a nail infection if they grow out of control.
Fungal nail infections are usually triggered when the conditions are right for the fungi to grow. This includes when:
- Your feet or hands are warm, moist and in dark conditions for a period of time, for example if you wear socks, shoes or gloves
- Your feet and hands arent kept clean and dry
- Nails are broken or damaged
- You have a weakened immune system or are suffering from certain other illnesses, like diabetes
You can read more about the causes and triggers for a fungal nail infection.
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Nail Fungus Can Come Back
Did you just visit a professional who claimed that the toenail fungus will never come back after the treatment? This is a complete lie. The truth here is that even though the laser can help eliminate toenail fungus completely, there are chances for it to come back. This is just like any other allergy, such as the common cold or any can come back again.
What Can I Do About It
There are many treatments. None of them work all the time.
Your doctor can give you pills to kill the fungus. They work better than other treatments. But you need to take them every day for several months. You will have to have blood tests to check for side effects.
If you have fungus on only half of one nail, special nail polishes can sometimes kill the fungus. There are also treatments that use lasers and special lights to kill the fungus. These are new treatments, and doctors don’t know yet how well they work. Most health insurance plans won’t pay for them.
Here are some things you can do to lower the chance of getting more fungus on your nails:
Dry your feet with a towel and hair dryer after bathing.
Wear sandals or shoes made of real leather. Don’t wear shoes made of rubber, plastics, or man-made materials.
Wear socks made out material that absorbs moisture, such as merino wool, nylon, or polypropylene. Don’t wear cotton socks.
Use antifungal sprays or powders in your shoes. You can buy these at drugstores without a prescription.
Don’t go barefoot in public showers.
Don’t use nail polish or nail extenders, such as acrylic or gel nails. If you get manicures and pedicures, go to salons you trust, or bring your own tools.
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Nail Fungus Can Become A Serious Problem
Although nail fungus is not serious initially, it can become a more serious problem. That’s because when the infection is severe, it can:
- Cause pain.
- Cause the nail to fall off.
- Lead to the removal of the infected nail by the doctor if no other treatment works.
- Spread the infection to other nails.
- Cause other types of fungal and bacterial infections, such as cellulitis.
If the fungus moves to your skin around your nails, it can cause the skin to become cracked. If you have a weakened immune system, it’s easier for bacteria to enter through those cracks. It’s then possible to get cellulitis a type of bacterial skin infection common on the feet. If not treated, this infection can spread throughout the body and even be fatal.
For all of these reasons, you should confirm that you have a fungal nail infection and seek treatment if needed.
Podiatrists Foot & Ankle Surgeons Located In Arlington Tx & Mansfield Tx
If youre embarrassed by discolored, flaking toenails, youre not alone. Its estimated that a toenail fungus affects about 20% of all Americans. The doctors at Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers offer conventional medical care for toenail fungus. However, the team realizes that a fungal infection can be hard to eliminate, so they also offer treatment with the HyperBlue PLUS® laser. If youre concerned about toenail fungus, schedule an appointment online or call one of the two locations in Arlington or Mansfield, Texas.
- Request Appointment
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One Treatment Is Usually Enough
Laser treatment is not affordable, depending upon the numbers of sessions you need to take to eliminate the problem. And when it comes to talk about the toenail fungus, it usually takes only one session to eliminate the problem in some cases, it is sometimes necessary to repeat treatment, depending upon the severity of the fungus.