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What Does Fingernail Fungus Look Like

Treating Fungal Nail Infection

What does Toenail Fungus look like?

Treatment may not be necessary in mild cases of fungal nail infection. For more severe or troublesome cases, antifungal medication may be recommended.

A fungal nail infection is unlikely to get better without treatment, but if youre not bothered by it you might decide its not worth treating because treatment can take a long time, may cause side effects, and isnt always effective.

Whether or not you decide to have treatment, you should still follow the self-help advice below to help stop the condition getting worse or spreading to others.

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What Is The Anatomy Of The Nail

To have a better understanding of how fungal nail infection affects the nail, a general knowledge of the anatomy of the nail is helpful . The nail, or nail unit, consists of the following parts:

  • The nail matrix is where nail cells multiply and keratinize before being incorporated into the fingernail or toenail. Most of the matrix is not visible. The matrix starts under the skin 5 mm below the nail fold and covers the area called the lunula, or half moon .
  • The cuticle is a fold of modified skin where the finger or toe meets the nail. The cuticle protects the matrix from infection.
  • The nail plate is the nail itself.
  • The nail bed is the soft tissue underneath the nail, anchoring the nail plate. The nail plate protects the nail bed.

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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    Treatment Of Nail Fungal Infection At Different Stages

    Treatment of onychomycosis at the first stage is crucial as the infection hasnt exacerbated yet and therefore is easier to heal. Topical treatments, such as anti-fungal creams and gels or medicated nail polish are the most commonly used at this stage. However, it is ideal to use a topically-applied medication that not only can kill the fungus, but can penetrate the nail as well.

    Most topical treatments dont work because they cant penetrate the nail to get to the fungi. It is therefore recommended for sufferers to use a topical medication that can penetrate the nail and kill the fungus. A solution with 10% undecylenic acid, which can effectively get rid of the infection, and a penetrating agent , is recommended.

    For moderate nail fungus infection, such topical solutions can still work. However, many sufferers use that in conjunction with oral medicines. Many anti-fungal pills in the market can treat fungal nail infection, though it is still suggested to use such medicines along with topical solutions .

    Unfortunately, oral medicines are also more likely to cause side effects to patients. They are also not recommended for the elderly, pregnant women, and those who have other medical conditions or ailments.

    But again, fungi can come back, even without the nail itself. This is why its recommended for patients to use topical anti-fungal ointment to the nail bed and surrounding skin while waiting for the nail to grow back. Otherwise, the fungi will just return.

    How To Catch Nail Fungus Early

    Does this look like nail fungus? I remember kicking the ...

    You likely have an image in your mind of what toenail fungus looks like. The symptoms are pretty classic:

    • A yellowish or brownish color
    • Thickening of the nails
    • Deformation
    • Crumbliness

    But what if we told you that, by the time you see these signs, the fungus has already had plenty of time to set up shop and bury itself deep within your toenails?

    It takes a lot of time for symptoms such as those above to appear. And lets be honest: even when the main symptoms start to appear, we tend to have a habit of overlooking it, or just hoping it goes away on its own at least until it becomes too significant of a problem to ignore.

    We are not judging here. It is a very common and very human behavior.

    Nevertheless, the fact remains that the sooner a fungal infection is diagnosed and addressed, the faster and more effective treatments tend to be. And when it comes to toenail fungus, the early signs are definitely not as obvious as what they end up becoming.

    Catching and treating a fungal infection at its earliest stages can save you plenty of time and trouble, so we highly recommend paying attention to your feet and periodically checking for these first symptoms..

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    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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    What Are The Causes Of Toenail Fungus

    Essentially, there are three types of fungus that can cause toenails to become infected: yeast, mold, and dermatophyte. A yeast toenail infection is usually white, a mold infection is generally a dull brown, and a dermatophyte infection is generally yellow. These various causes have different treatment options, so its important to find out exactly what kind of toenail fungus you have before taking any severe measures to treat it.

    Living With A Nail Fungal Infection

    What Does ToeNail Fungus Look Like?

    If you have a nail fungal infection, some things can help:

    • Keep your nails cut short and file down any thick areas.
    • Dont use the same nail trimmer and file on healthy nails and infected nails. If you have your nails professionally manicured, bring your own nail file and trimmer from home.
    • Wear waterproof gloves for wet work . Wear 100% cotton gloves for dry work.
    • Wear socks made of wicking material . This pulls moisture away from the skin. Change your socks when they are damp from sweat or if your feet get wet. Put on clean, dry socks every day. Put over-the-counter antifungal foot powder inside your socks to keep your feet dry.
    • Wear shoes with good support and a wide toe area. Dont wear pointed shoes that press your toes together.
    • Avoid walking barefoot in public areas, such as locker rooms.

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    Both Brittle And Thicker Nails Point To Signs Of Fungus

    If youre trying to figure out how to tell if you have toenail fungus, and you dont see obvious signs in relation to color, ridges or smell, check the texture of your nail. This is an obvious sign that somethings wrong, and it gets worse when left untreated.

    Brittle nails can start by peeling from the sides, or even get caught on something and snag. Over time, the nail becomes even weaker and can sometimes get ripped off.

    In contrast, some people develop thicker nails. If youve had brittle nails that started getting thicker and youre noticing a change in color and other symptoms, seek help right away,

    Contrary to popular belief, these nails arent healthy and put you at risk of having an advanced case of toenail fungus thats hard to get rid of. Folks who let their toenail fungus progress find it hard to wear shoes or anything that puts pressure on this part of their feet.

    Take notice of weak or overly thick nails once you discover changes. Other causes exist that lead to brittle or thick nails, so its important you find the right solution for your issue.

    Fungi Nail When Should I See A Doctor

    Only a trained medical professional is qualified to diagnose a nail fungus infection so it is important to visit your doctor if you suspect that you have an infection. Your doctor will take a close look at your nails and if there is any question as to whether or not you have a fungal infection a small tissue sample will be taken from underneath your nail. This sample will then either be scrutinized by the doctor under a microscope, or sent it off to a lab for analysis. A correct diagnosis is very important as it is the first step in the get rid of nail fungus treatment plan.

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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.

    How Do You Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus In One Day

    Toenail Fungus: Pictures, Treatment, Home Remedies ...

    According to a 2016 review, thymol has antifungal and antibacterial properties. To treat toenail fungus, apply oregano oil to the affected nail twice daily with a cotton swab. Some people use oregano oil and tea tree oil together. Both products are potent and may cause irritation or allergic reaction.

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    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.

    ImageGetty Images

    ReferenceGold LFS and Rosen T. Onychomycosis: Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies. Dermatology News . March 2016:2-15.

    What Does Nail Fungus Looks Like

    • You stubbed your toe and damaged the nail.
    • You may have cracked a fingernail or trimmed it too close.
    • Your bare feet may have come into contact with a place where someone with an infection recently stood, such as a locker room, shower, or pool area.
    • If you shared a nail file, emery board, or nail clippers with someone who has an infection, it may have gotten under your nail. Anyway you damage a nail gives this fungus an opening to get under your nail and grow.

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    Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus

    Trimming and thinning your nails can be a helpful toenail fungus home remedy. It allows topical medicines to penetrate better. It can also relieve pain and pressure from thickened nails. Using a urea-containing cream before thinning them with a file helps soften them and makes the process easier. Be sure to sterilize trimmers, files, and other nail tools afterwards.

    Do not try to manage toenail fungus at home if you have diabetes or circulation problems. See your doctor instead for your safety.

    Are Oral Medications For Nail Fungus Toxic

    What does a Fungus Toenails Look Like? Audubon, West Chester, Newtown Square PA – Podiatrist

    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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    How Nail Fungus Look

    Nail fungus looks infected with big yellow or white cracked nails. Luckily, those infected nails dont cause pain in most of the cases. Skin, however, around the nails will feel irritated and painful. If that happens it is a big chance that you can get an infection called Paronychia. Paronychia is painful and makes your toes swollen and extremely red. So watch out for that.

    How Do I Know If My Toenail Fungus Is Going Away

    Nail fungus can be resistant to treatment and nails take a long time to grow out, so it can take several weeks or months for an infection to be fully resolved. You will know that the treatment is working and the infection is clearing up when you see growth of a new, healthy nail from the base of the nail bed.

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    Will Vicks Vapor Rub Kill Toenail Fungus

    Vicks VapoRub can cure toenail fungusnail fungus

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    Visible signs of a fungal nail infection include:

  • scaling under the nail, which is called subungual hyperkeratosis.
  • white or yellow streaks on the nail, which is called lateral onychomycosis.
  • a crumbling corner or tip of the nail, which is called distal onychomycosis.
  • Hien Heusen

    Prevention Of Nail Fungus

    Getting Rid of Toenail Fungus

    Always try to prevent it before it happens, because every prevention is better than the treatment itself. Try to do the following to avoid having those ugly fungi all over your nails:

    • Keep your hygiene at a decent level. That includes a good care of your feet.
    • Treat the athletes foot if you have it. In case this happens, it is better to act than to regret.
    • You should be wearing specific types of socks, called the absorbent socks. They can help your feet to stay dry.
    • Last but not least, which does not apply on all, is to control your blood sugar if you have diabetes.

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    What Are Common Causes Of Nail Loosening

    Common causes of your nail loosening or detaching from the nail bed may include:

    Symptoms of this slow-growing nail fungal infection may include:

    • Nail thickening
    • Debris under the nail
    • Nail loosening

    The area where the nail is loose may have a white appearance where it has separated from the underlying nail bed.

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