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What Happens If Toenail Fungus Goes Untreated

Boots And Toenail Fungus

What can grow on the toe when trauma goes untreated!

Your job could be putting you in jeopardy of a toenail fungal infection, especially if you’re required to wear sturdy, heavy boots with poor ventilation. These shoes create a warm, sweaty environment that’s perfect for the development of toenail fungus. “Any occupation that causes or allows the feet to become sweaty or wet puts the worker at risk for a toenail fungal infection,” Dr. Zinkin says. “Organisms that cause both toenail fungus and athlete’s foot grow and thrive in a dark, moist place.”

To help minimize the risk of toenail fungus, alternate several pairs of work boots or shoes and allow each pair to dry after wearing. Also be sure to change your socks frequently even during the workday so that feet stay dry.

Why Toenail Fungus Should Never Go Untreated

While toenail fungus is common about 10% of all Americans and 50% of people over 70 get it its still an unpleasant and embarrassing condition. Its also contagious and difficult to treat. But that doesnt mean you shouldnt avoid treating it.

In the early stages, toenail fungus will likely not cause discomfort or embarrassing yellow, thick nails or pain that can make walking difficult. And, if you seek treatment early, you can prevent it from getting worse and painful.

Fungal Nail Infection Causes

Itâs a good idea to wash your hands and feet often. Use soap, and make sure you get between your fingers and toes.

Keep your fingernails and toenails short and trimmed straight across.

Wear socks that wick away moisture. If your feet sweat a lot, change your socks once or twice a day, or take off your shoes and let your feet cool when you have the chance.

Use antifungal powder or spray on your feet as well as in your shoes. Throw away old pairs of closed-toe shoes since fungi might be living in them.

If you get manicures at nail salons, visit only the ones that disinfect tools after each client. You can also bring your own file and clippers from home. Ask that your cuticles not be cut, since this can cause tiny breaks in the skin that let germs in.

Donât share towels if someone else in your family has nail fungus. This will pass around the infection.

See your doctor if you think you have nail fungus. You may need a prescription to treat it, whether that means taking a medicine by mouth or using a special cream. In severe cases, your nail may need to be removed so a healthy new one can grow in its place. Doctors can also use lasers to treat nail fungus.

You get an infection when a crack in your nail or the skin around it allows fungus to get inside and grow.

Youâre more likely to get a fungal nail infection if you:

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A Family History Of Toenail Fungus

“Toenail fungal infection can be affected by heredity and some families are more prone to it than others. In these cases, toenail fungus is sometimes seen at an earlier age,” says Cary Zinkin, DPM, a podiatrist in Deerfield Beach, Florida, and a spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, toenail fungus is most common in men over age 60. If you have a family history of toenail fungal infections, take time to inspect your feet daily and see a doctor promptly if you suspect toenail fungus.

Why Does My Nail Fungus Keep Coming Back

How To Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus Naturally With 5 Proven ...

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.

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What Is A Fungal Infection

There are two broad categories of fungal infections:

  • Relatively innocuous fungal infections that live on the skin, hair, and nails
  • Potentially more dangerous fungal infections that invade deeper structures of the skin or organs in the body called deep fungal infections.
  • Dermatologists treat fungal infections of the skin, as well as fungal infections in hair and nails. Often, these infections appear as itchy, scaley, rashes on the skin.

    Superficial infections are known by common names such as athletes foot and ringworm, or by medical names that indicate the fungus and location. These infections include:

    • Tinea unguum
    • tinea cruris
    • Tinea capitis

    Nail fungus, knowns as onychomycosis or tinea unguum, is the most common fungal infection with over three million cases a year.

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    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.

  • Wash and dry your feet well after exercising. Be sure to get between your toes.
  • If you use a communal area such as a shower at your gym or the local pool, wear waterproof shoes such as flip-flops to ensure your feet dont come into contact with contaminated surfaces.
  • If you suspect a case of athletes foot is brewing, treat it right away with over-the-counter creams mentioned above.
  • Because athletes foot and toenail fungus thrives in dark, damp environments, wear shoes that breathe and dont trap sweat inside of them, and change your socks often. Invest in some socks that wick moisture away from your skin.
  • Be sure to protect your feet at home if someone has a foot infection.
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    From One Toenail To Another And Feet

    This is one of the most common ways for toenail fungus to spread, Athletes foot also called tinea pedis, its a very contagious infection that affects millions of people worldwide. Athletes foot isnt that serious, but it can be difficult to cure. It causes itching, blisters, stinging, discolored thick toenails and burning between the toes.

    You can catch athletes foot through direct contact with a person who is already infected or touching surface thats already contaminated by the fungus.

    The most common way of treating this infection is with over the counter topical antifungal medication. We recommend using Purely Northwest Toenail Fungus System because it features a foot soak which is very effective for these types of infection.

    There are several ways you can prevent yourself from getting athletes foot infection. These includes:

    • Put antifungal powder on your feet every day
    • Dont share shoes or socks
    • Wash your feet with water and soap and dry them completely
    • Wear shoes made of breathable
    • Going barefoot as often as possible
    • Regularly wash floor where you walk in bare feet

    Are Oral Medications For Nail Fungus Toxic

    What If I Don’t Treat Nail Fungus

    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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    Experiencing Nail Fungus In Its Early Stages

    Fungal nail infections are becoming a common nail problem, especially if you frequent public bathrooms, gym, saunas, or spas. People often dismiss nail fungus because it generally does not give any discomfort and the first signs are often hard to detect. Brown or black spots and white streaks may signify an infection in your nail. It may later on progress to more evident changes wherein the nail thickens or have a rougher surface. Although not bothersome, leaving a fungal nail infection untreated can make it harder and more frustrating to cure in the end.Total dystrophic onychomycosis, or severe nail fungal infections, is the end-stage of this nail disease. Fungus has started to infect larger portions of the nail causing it to become deformed, brittle, and weak. More often than not, it starts to become painful and even emit some type of foul odor. There is increased possibility for permanent damage to the nail. The infection may also spread to other parts of your body and create more serious illnesses.

    Who Is Most Likely To Experience These Issues

    Anyone with a weak immune system are more likely to experience the spreading of these terrible fungi. A fungal infection rarely spread below the surface of the skin to cause any serious illness.

    But people with HIV/AIDS, may find it very difficult getting rid of the infection. Also leaving toenail fungus untreated can cause variety of health issue. The most common ones are:

    Toenail Loss If the toenail fungus is left untreated, the cracking and chipping can become so severe that the only option leave is to remove the nail completely. Which can be a permanent problem.

    Pain If toenail fungus should go untreated for too long, the nail can become hard and brittle and it may cause discomfort when wearing a shoes which will make it even harder to walk.

    Spreading to Other Parts of The Body As we explained above, toenail fungus can be easily spread. So if nail fungus is left untreated it can eventually spread to other nails or to other areas of your body.

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    How Much Does Toenail Laser Fungus Removal Cost

    At our clinic, we include laser fungal therapy and treatment as a covered benefit.

    • While it is true that laser therapy is needed, it may require an in-person evaluation, as there are other options if it is decided that it is not worth it.
    • In most cases, laser toenail fungus therapy treatments can be in the range of what a standard co-pay would be anyway.
    • Visit us for a no-obligation consultation to see if laser toenail fungus therapy is beneficial for you.

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    Doctors Weigh Best Treatments

    What Is in Toenail Fungus Cream?  Digital Health Buzz

    The best treatment for fungal nail infections is a prescription that your dermatologist can prescribe that you take every day for two-to-three months. The pill is not for everyone, since oral antifungals can interact with other medications and can affect the liver.

    Fortunately if you dont want to or cant take a pill, there are topical solutions to treat nail fungus. Although topical medications are desirable because of the low risk of side effects and interaction with other medications, they have much longer treatment regimens. Generally, topical medications have a lower clearance rate compared to oral pills.

    Newer topical antifungals including Efinaconazole and Tavaborole have better penetration of the nail plate and so they work better compared to older topical medications, says Dr. Ng. She says the topical medications work best if you only have partial nail involvement.

    Lasers are approved by the FDA to temporarily increase the amount of clear nail. However, the cure rates are lower than oral medications and topical solutions.

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    Reduced Quality Of Life:

    When your infection started you might have thought that ignoring this little fungus isnt going to affect your life so much. However, as it grows stronger every day it will start reducing the quality of your life.

    In the first days, it will make it difficult for you to walk normally, which can be a big problem if you do a job in which you have to be active and walk again and again.

    Later, it will spread to other body parts and other nails, which might burn your foot in pain. It can be really painful if your shoes have tight-fitting since it will cause a lot of itching too.

    Lastly, if it reaches the last stage, unfortunately, you will need to remove your nail. This experience can be a nightmare to some people since sometimes the infection spreads too much that you may need to amputate your leg. This call can ruin the quality of your life, so make sure you never ignore it.

    You can check more about Nail fungus and Laser treatment on SoundMedTech.

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    What Causes Nail Fungus

    Toenail Fungus Treatment – How to Get Rid of Toenail Fungus *the Complete Guide*

    Nail fungus occurs when fungi, yeast, or mold infect the skin. These types of infections are more likely to affect toenails than fingernails, and can be associated with athletes foot. Symptoms typically include white, brown, or yellow discoloration of the nail or thickening, cracking, and/or brittleness of the nail. If left untreated, the area of the infection can become painful.

    There are several risk factors for developing nail fungus: tight shoes damaged nails walking barefoot in moist areas like swimming pools, saunas, and public showers poor blood circulation in your legs a weakened immune system and other skin conditions, such as psoriasis. You may even have a genetic predisposition to developing nail fungus.

    Here at North Central Texas Foot & Ankle, well assess your specific case, perform tests to get to the bottom of the issue, and determine which treatment to provide you based on the test results.

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    How Paronychia Can Be Prevented

    Good hygiene is important for preventing paronychia. Keep your hands and feet clean to prevent bacteria from getting between your nails and skin. Avoiding trauma caused by biting, picking, manicures, or pedicures can also help you prevent acute infections.

    To prevent a chronic infection, you should avoid excessive exposure to water and wet environments and keep your hands and feet as dry as possible.

    Toenail Fungus Symptoms And Risk Factors

    Toenail fungus symptoms are not pretty. At first, you may notice small white spots and possibly a foul smell. As the condition worsens, your nail gets thicker, which makes it harder to trim or cut, and turns yellow or brown. Nail fungus can spread from nail to nail and, eventually, make your nails split and crumble.

    In addition to older people, people with certain conditions like diabetes or psoriasis are at higher risk for developing fungus. Other risk factors include having a history of athletes foot, which is an infection between your toes, a propensity for sweaty feet, and those with a weakened immune system.

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    Nail Fungus May Spread To The Skin And Other Nails

    Nail fungal infections are highly contagious, and it is possible that they may spread to other healthy nails surrounding it. Fungus does not only infect nails. It may also result to the contamination of the foots skin. This condition is more commonly known as athletes foot and it makes the skin on your feet red, itchy, and cracked. People who wear heavy footwear and sweaty socks all day are more susceptible to the spread of nail fungal infections to the other areas of the feet.

    What Is The Best And Fastest Way To Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus

    Untreated Toenail Fungus Untreated?

    These drugs are often the first choice because they clear the infection more quickly than do topical drugs. Options include terbinafine and itraconazole . These drugs help a new nail grow free of infection, slowly replacing the infected part. You typically take this type of drug for six to 12 weeks.

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    How Did I Get A Toenail Fungus Infection

    There are circumstances that may leave you particularly susceptible to a fungus infection. Age is certainly a factor, and older people with poor circulation to the feet or who have diabetes are at heightened risk. In general, everyone should be vigilant about foot protection in environments that nurture fungi, such as locker rooms, swimming pool areas, and public showers. Get in the habit of wearing shower shoes or flip-flops and wash and disinfect them thoroughly when you get home. The absence of infection will be your proof that good foot hygiene habits work.

    If you suspect you have a toenail fungus infection, your first course of action should be to see your doctor, who will diagnose the type and severity of the infection and the best course of treatment, up to and including blood tests. Your doctor may also refer you to a dermatologist or podiatrist. There are many oral and topical treatment options available and your health care professional will prescribe the most effective to address your fungal infection. One possibility of many is laser treatment, which has proven safe and effective against most cases of toenail fungus. Clear nail growth has been shown to emerge after the first laser treatment session.

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