When Should I Call The Doctor
In rare cases, toenail fungus can cause an infection called cellulitis. Without prompt treatment, cellulitis may pose a serious danger to your health.
You should seek treatment guidance from a trusted healthcare provider if you have:
- Circulation problems.
- Redness, pain or pus near the toenail.
- Weakened immune system.
What Is The Outlook For Someone With Toenail Fungus
While toenail fungus is common, its usually not harmful. Symptoms mostly affect the look of your toenail.
Toenail fungus may spread to the skin between your toes or other areas of your body. When getting dressed, put your socks on first to reduce the chance of spread.
Treating toenail fungus takes a long time, and it doesnt always work. Even then, toenail fungus often returns. Discuss the pros and cons of treating toenail fungus with your provider to determine whats best for you.
Practicing good hygiene and foot care reduces the chance toenail fungus will come back. If you have diabetes, getting regular foot exams may help you address foot problems before they get serious.
How Do You Recognize Nail Fungus
- Discoloration of the nail in the initial stage
- Deformation and thickening of the nail plate
- Nails become brittle and individual layers of the nail split
- apart from the advanced stage of nail mycosis, the nail stands out from the nail bed
- Complete detachment and loss of the nail in the final stage of nail fungus
- Inflammation of the nail bed
Nail fungus can be recognized that the brand loses its luster, is thickened and discolored.
The color of the nail changes to white or a yellowish-brown tone in the initial stages of nail mycosis.
In addition, the shape of the toenail or the nail on the hand can change due to the fungi.
Another symptom that can be used to recognize nail fungus is that the affected nail becomes brittle and parts of the nail split off.
If it is an infestation with mold, the nail can become darker than if it is an infestation with dermatophytes, and black nail fungus develops.
Different areas of the nails can be affected.
In the beginning, the fungus usually penetrates the underside of the nail plate at the end of the nail and only then spreads towards the nail root. Most often, the toe nails are affected, especially the big toe nail.
Mycosis on the nails should be treated as it cannot heal on its own. If the nail fungus is ignored, the infection can spread to other nails.
In addition, the nail bed can become inflamed, and this can lead to severe pain.
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What Is A Fungal Infection Of The Nail
Fungal infections of the nails are also known as onychomycosis and tinea unguium. The fungi in question are usually those that cause athletes foot a common infection of the skin of the feet. In athletes foot the fungi live in the keratin that makes up the outer layer of the skin, but they can also invade the hard keratin of which nails are made. When this happens, the result is a fungal infection of a nail.
What Causes Fungal Nail Infections
- Spread from a fungal skin infection. For example, athlete’s foot is a fungal skin infection of the toes. This may spread to the toenails if the skin infection is not treated early. See the separate leaflet called Athlete’s Foot .
- Fingernail infection may occur after a toenail infection has become established. The fungus may spread to a finger if you scratch your itchy toes and toenail.
- Fingernail infections are also more likely to occur if you wash your hands frequently, or have them in water a lot. For example, if you are a cook, a cleaner or a hairdresser. Constant washing may damage the protective skin at the base of the nail. This may allow fungi to enter.
- A nail that has recently been damaged is also more likely to become infected.
- You have an increased risk of developing a fungal nail infection if you have various other conditions – for example:
- In some cases there is no apparent reason. Fungal germs are common and an infection can occur ‘out of the blue’.
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As Time Passes Your Nails Can Become More Severe
- Nails may look brownish, yellowish, with little white patches. Some may even be brown or black. Nails may get flaky, brittle, and chipped.
- Bits of “gunk” or debris may collect under your nails.
- Your nails may smell bad.
- Toenails may get so thick that wearing shoes cause pain. Discomfort from the infection may make it hard to walk, work, or do other activities.
- The daily task of putting on socks or stockings can even become difficult.
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.
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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.
Tips To Prevent Fungal Nail Infections
Making a few simple lifestyle changes can help prevent a fungal infection of the nails. Taking good care of your nails by keeping them well trimmed and clean is a good way to prevent infections.
Also avoid injuring the skin around your nails. If youre going to have damp or wet hands for an extended amount of time, you may want to wear rubber gloves.
Other ways to prevent fungal infections of the nails include:
- washing your hands after touching infected nails
- drying your feet well after showering, especially between your toes
- getting manicures or pedicures from trustworthy salons
- avoiding being barefoot in public places
- reducing your use of artificial nails and nail polish
Products to help you avoid nail fungus
If youre prone to excessive moisture around your fingernails or toenails, consider buying:
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Warning Signs Of Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is an unsightly and embarrassing infection that is contagious and often difficult to get rid of. And while some of you may have a mild case and barely even notice the fungal growth at all, others actually suffer from intense pain as their infection grows and spreads.
When patients visit our office looking to relieve pain caused by toenail fungus, they are usually finally doing something about the infection after months or even years! of ignoring the condition and allowing it to thrive.
Waiting to seek treatment they soon find is a huge mistake!
Request an Appointment
Whenever you have an infection, you shouldnt wait to seek medical care the sooner you get the care you need, the quicker and more effective treatments will be.
Its like the old saying goes, the early bird gets the worm. And this is true when it comes to toenail fungus looking for symptoms of this pesky condition before they become a problem will help you make the most of treatment opportunities and minimize complications.
The bottom line is that the more you allow fungus to grow and spread under your nail, the more difficult it will be to actually get rid of it. So staying aware of symptoms and catching them early can really make a huge difference for your recovery.
And of course, if you want to catch it early, you need to know what to exactly look for thats why we are here!
How Do Health Care Professionals Diagnose A Fungal Nail Infection
Fungal nail infection can be identified by its appearance. However, other conditions and infections can cause problems in the nails that look like fungal nail infection. Fungal nail infection must be confirmed by laboratory tests before beginning treatment, because treatment is long, expensive, and does have some risks.
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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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Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Nail Fungus
You will need to be really patient and persistent once curing it. You can only tell that you have Onychomycosis based on the appearance of your nails, so if you get it you will need to properly cure it for the upcoming period of time. Treatments are mostly requiring a medication called Terbinafine, which you need to take every 3 months through your mouth.Since toenail fungus is usually harmless but very difficult to treat, there are some home remedies and alternative medications that might help you.
This can be your solution which you can prepare at home. Start by getting yourself:
- 4-5 tablespoons of baking soda
- 1 cup of white vinegar
- A bowl to soak your feet in
- Paper towels
Mix 1 cup of your vinegar with plenty of water. Soak your feet in that mixture for 15 minutes and dry your feet with towels. Later that day, add a few tablespoons of baking soda the next time you prepare the soak for your feet. You can do these soaks about twice a day. It is good for you because the vinegar will kill the fungus and the baking soda will calm down the growth of it.
Medications For Nail Fungus From Fake Acrylic Nails
Some nail fungus from artificial acrylic nails may cause the natural nail to detach from its nail bed. If this happens, be sure you perform proper wound care to prevent infection.
- Clean the wound with water or saline solution.
- Dab a thin layer of Neosporin or antibiotic ointment onto the nail bed.
- Cover the wounded nail bed with breathable gauze to provide moist environment.
- Replace the gauze regularly and prevent it for getting wet.
Should no home remedies work well for the fungal-infected nails, oral medications can be taken. However, these medications may cause several side effects, such as liver problem, so that prolonged consumption should be avoided.
Anti-fungal ointment can also be applied to the infected natural nail and nail bed to get rid of the causal fungus.
Can Home Remedies Help With Fingernail Fungus
As with nail fungus on the feet, home remedies are often used for fingernail fungus.
In addition to baking powder, garlic, or vinegar, tea tree oil, and lavender oil are also very popular. They are supposed to help against nail fungus and destroy it.
I wrote you a detailed report on the various home remedies for nail fungus.
There you will find all information on the topic.
Why Do Fungal Infections On My Toenails Keep Coming Back
Some evidence suggests that certain people may have a genetic predisposition to nail fungus infections. Recurrent infections may also occur in people who have weakened immune systems. They can also be a sign of diabetes, a condition that compromises blood flow to the feet and makes it harder for the body to fight the fungus.
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Is It Toenail Fungus Or Something Else
Odd-looking toenail? It may be a fungal infection, but there’s a good chance that another condition could be to blame.
If you notice an odd spot on your toenail, you might assume its a fungal infection. However, theres a good chance that its not.
Spots or discolorations on or under a toenail could be bruises resulting from trauma to the nail, blood blisters, warts, or even subungual melanoma, a type of skin cancer, says Ami Sheth, a doctor of podiatric medicine in Los Gatos, California, and a spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association.
Since nail irregularities can be caused by diseases besides these as well, its best to get it looked at, says Dr. Sheth.
Richard Goad, a doctor of podiatric medicine at Baylor Scott & White Health in Waco, Texas, concurs. Sometimes the nail will be the first place to show another underlying problem, Dr. Goad says.
So is it a fungus, a false alarm, or another condition entirely?
How To Spot A Nail Fungal Infection
Nail fungal infection, or onychomysis, is easy to spot. However, it is also easy to be mistaken for another nail disorder. Yellow nails, brittle nails, or blackened nails dont necessarily mean nail fungus they may be signs of other diseases or abnormalities. So what does a nail fungus look like? The infection starts with a fungusmost commonly dermatophytesthat infects one nail at first by getting in through the cracks of the nail. It is often painless, only making the nail look thickened and discolored. However, there are cases when the nail fungus infection can cause pain and discomfort. The nail may also begin to crumble from brittleness, or there may be white or yellow patches if the nail has been lifted from the skin underneath it . The fungus may also spread to and infect other nails.
As some of these symptoms can also be found in other nail and skin conditions, its recommended that the nail is assessed by a doctor. Proper diagnosis of the condition can mean proper treatment.
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Below Is A Guide To Other Foot Problems That Affect Dogs
Interdigital eczemza is an infection that occurs on the feet and toes. Dogs have a tendency to lick their feet if the feet become injured or a foreign object gets stuck in the foot . Unfortunately the constant licking makes the foot really wet leading to an infection in-between the foot pads.
As the infection takes hold all this is does is to perpetuate the situation as the pain causes the affected dog to continue licking the affected area. If this continues the dog will become lame. The normal treatment for interdigital eczema will involve the vet clipping any hair, cleaning the affected area and then removing any foreign object . The area will also need to be bandaged to stop the dog from licking the injured foot. The vet may also prescribe anti-inflammatory and antibiotic medicated cream.
Interdigital cysts are another problem that can affect a variety of breeds including Bull Terriers and Dobermanns. The cysts develop in-between the toes and can burst spontaneously and can lead to lameness. Treatment for this condition may involve the cysts being lanced and then anti-inflammatory and antibiotic drugs prescribed. The cysts may also need surgery. It is also thought that breeds that have less space in-between their toes can cause this problem due to the constant friction when walking.