Whos At Risk For Fungal Infections
There are many different causes of fungal nail infections. Each cause has a treatment of its own. Although many of the causes of a fungal nail infection are preventable, some risk factors increase the likelihood of developing one. Youre more likely to develop a fungal nail infection if you:
- wear closed-toe shoes, such as tennis shoes or boots
Nail infections occur more often in men than in women, and the infections are found in adults more often than in children. If you have family members who often get these types of fungal infections, youre more likely to get them as well.
Older adults have a high risk for getting fungal nail infections because they have poorer circulation. The nails also grow more slowly and thicken as we age.
A fungal infection of the nail may affect part of the nail, the entire nail, or several nails.
Common signs of a fungal nail infection include:
- a distorted nail that may lift off from the nail bed
- an odor coming from the infected nail
- a brittle or thickened nail
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
What Is Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot is a type of fungal skin infection. Fungi are microscopic plant-like organisms that thrive in damp, warm environments. They’re usually not dangerous, but sometimes can cause disease. When they infect the skin, they cause mild but annoying rashes. Fungal skin infections are also known as tinea infections.
When fungus grows on the feet, it is called athlete’s foot . It got this name because it affects people whose feet tend to be damp and sweaty, which is often the case with athletes. But anyone can get this infection.
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When To Visit The Dermatologist
Many over-the-counter foot powders, washes, sprays or creams are usually enough to treat foot fungus, Lain says, but in order to stop the infection from recurring its important to make changes. The infection will likely recur unless changes are made to daily activity: perhaps wearing open toe sandals instead of shoes, changing socks during the day if they get sweaty or adding in a drying powder to help reduce moisture.
If the infection doesnt improve or continues to spread after trying home remedies for foot fungus, Rodney says its time to visit your dermatologist.
If blisters develop or you notice that the infection has spread to your nails, dont delay, she adds. The longer you wait to treat the nail infection, the more difficult it becomes.
Next, read about what those white spots on your fingernails actually mean.
Doctors Weigh Best Treatments
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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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.
How To Heal Your Toenail Fungus At Home
HOW TO HEAL YOUR TOENAIL FUNGUS AT HOME
If you have mild toenail fungus, theres a very good chance that a home remedy can help you get rid of it. Though you can definitely try these with moderate to severe toenail fungus, too, as long as youre healthy, it is recommended that you see a specialist if its a bad case of fungus.
As always, if your immune system is compromised or you have diabetes, its always best to see a podiatrist so you dont risk making things worse or needing surgery.
Without further ado, here are several home remedies you can try to heal your toenail fungus.
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Ways You Can Treat Athletes Foot Today
What can you do today to begin treating a foot fungus issue? Here are some practical ideas that you can implement immediately.
Change your shoes. Footwear contributes to the development of foot fungus by providing it the dark, moist environment it likes. Most shoes create heat around the foot because there is no real air flow that can reach your toes. This causes sweating and if there is a foot fungus around, its going to start a party with those conditions. Find a breathable shoe that keeps your foot cool, go barefoot if you can, and use orthotics that are specifically designed to remove moisture for best results.
Wear socks. Wearing shoes without socks causes the moisture from your sweat to remain around the foot for a longer period of time. This increases the risk of athletes foot forming. Throw on a pair of cotton socks and youll instantly reduce that risk.
Keep your toes dry. If wearing socks isnt keeping your toes dry enough, then consider placing some facial tissues between your toes. It feels a bit strange to do at first, but the moisture will be removed from the places on the foot where the fungus likes to grow and that lowers your risk of an infection. You will need to change out your tissues 4-6 times per day.
You can also check out these 10 natural remedies for Athletes Foot from Global Healing Center for more ideas.
Side Effects Of Toenail Fungus Medication
One of the many benefits of using a homeopathic remedy is that there are little to no adverse side effects. Topical treatments often prescribed to treat toenail fungus can potentially burn or blister the skin. Oral medications for treating onychomycosis can cause liver or gastrointestinal damage. Be sure to read your medications list of potential side effects. Consult your pharmacist, physician, or specialist if you are concerned about side effects of prescription drugs.
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What Is A Fungal Nail Infection
Fungal nail infections are a common problem that can affect any nail, but most often affects the toenails.
They’re caused by the growth of fungal spores that make their way between the toenail and the skin underneath the nail bed. The spores feed off the skin or the keratin in the nail.
The type of fungi responsible for athletes foot, another common foot condition that affects the skin mainly between the toes, can cause the infection to spread to the nails.
More rarely, fungal nail infections can be caused by other types of fungi, usually yeasts, which tend to attack nails that are already damaged because they are easier for the fungi to invade.
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Keep Your Feet Dry And Clean
Its important to prevent athletes foot. Fungus can grow in dark, moist areas, making your feet an ideal place for athletes feet to develop. If you have athletes foot , keep your feet as dry and clean as possible.
Change your socks regularly. As soon as youre done working out, clean your feet and put on a fresh pair of socks. Dry the space between your toes. Dont go barefoot in public pool or gym areas.
You should also use shoes that are well ventilated and allow your feet to breathe to help athletes foot resolve more quickly.
Top 5 Best Spices To Kill And Cure Toenail Fungus
We all know that toenail fungus infections are very stubborn, and it is quite difficult to get rid of it. Unless you are going for laser treatments, all the other treatments, be it some oral ones, or medical ones, would take more than three months to get rid of the toenail fungus.
Thus, you should bear in mind that trying any of these methods will take almost 100 days, and one is supposed to stick to the method until the removal of the toenail fungus.
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How Do I Know If My Toenail Fungus Is Healing
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.
Are You Ready To Stop Your Athletes Foot Problem Today
There are many options available for you today to begin treating an athletes foot infection. It is important to start treating it immediately so that a surface skin issue doesnt become a nail issue as well. Use OTC medications, at-home treatments, or your preferred treatment method from this guide to stop the itch before you begin to feel the burn from this fungus.
You can also use a product like ClearNail Pro+ to work with creams and sprays, as well as some prescription medications, to treat difficult athletes foot infections that have spread. Be sure to speak with your doctor about any medications, supplements, and at-home treatments you are using as well so the best possible treatment plan can be created for you.
With ongoing treatment with the products found here or with prescription-strength items, you can begin to see results in just 7-10 days in many instances. This means you can finally tell your athletes foot to go away and then stay away for good.
Why wait? Get started today so that your feet can be happier every day because they are fungus-free.
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Hair Dryer And Talcum Powder
If fungi do not have an ideal environment to live in, they cannot continue to grow and thrive. Getting rid of moisture from the feet, especially between the toes, can help keep the fungus from spreading and getting worse.
People can remove moisture from their feet by thoroughly drying them with a hair dryer after bathing, making sure that no moisture remains but being careful not to burn the skin. People with loss of sensation or feeling in the feet should not use this method.
When the feet are dry, follow up by sprinkling them with talcum powder to help absorb sweat. Many foot powders contain talc and help keep the feet dry.
In addition to these steps, wearing socks that absorbs moisture away from the skin can help keep the feet dry. The following types of socks can help keep feet dry throughout the day:
- synthetic wicking fabric, often called tech socks
Changing socks at least once a day when feet feel sweaty or damp is also helpful. Or, in warmer weather, wear open shoes or sandals to increase airflow to the feet.
How Can It Be Treated
Treating a fungal nail can be a lengthy process it can take several months to clear. This is largely due to the time it takes for your toenail to grow.
You’ll only see a clear improvement when the damaged nail has grown out. It can take six months to a year after the treatment has finished before the nail looks normal again.
Speak to your pharmacist for advice on treating fungal nail infections. See your GP if over the counter treatment hasnt worked or if the infection is severe or has spread to other nails. Make sure you see your GP or a foot specialist if you have diabetes and develop a fungal nail infection, as people with diabetes are at an increased risk of foot problems.
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What Causes Toenail Fungus
It is very unlikely that a few exposures to an unclean environment will cause a fungal infection. Walking barefoot once or twice in a public shower will not generally spread the infection. Similarly, it is also unlikely that a single visit to a pedicurist will cause the infection. Lengthy exposure to a contaminated environment is often required in order to contract the fungal infection although individuals may be more susceptible to fungal infections than others.
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Your Options For Treating Toenail Fungus
If you think you may have toenail fungus, you should see a podiatrist or dermatologist, who will send a specimen or a piece of your nail to a lab. Different types of fungus are treated slightly differently, so its important to know which type you have, says Sundling.
Also, sometimes the root of the problem is not a fungus at all, but rather another condition, or some kind of trauma to the nail bed for instance, if you dropped something on your toe. There is no treatment for toenail trauma, but removing the nail may be an option if the nail is painful.
If you do have a toenail fungus, your doctor will likely recommend one or more of the following treatment options:
Foot Fungus: Causes And Risk Factors
A foot fungus is a fungal infection of the skin, better known as athletes foot, says Sundling. The fungus enters through cracks in the skin. Its known as athletes foot because athletes or anyone who is more active and sweats a lot is more at risk. Kids are also more at risk, because they dont tend to wear different shoes, and changing your shoes is one way to avoid foot fungus.
Foot fungus is very common. It does not mean that someone is dirty or didnt bathe, and if you have a compromised immune system, you may be more susceptible, says Sundling.
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When To See A Doctor About Toenail Fungus
If you are experiencing persistent toenail fungus or pain is present, you may need to see a specialist. A dermatologist or podiatrist may be able to assess your symptoms and send a small sample of the affected toenail or flesh to a laboratory to be analyzed as there are various types of fungi and yeasts that cause onychomycosis. Knowing the specific cause of your foot fungus can help identify what route to take to treat your condition.
Nail changes can also be caused by underlying conditions, like psoriasis and diabetes, so its important to seek professional medical advice if your condition persists or worsens. Bacterial and fungal infection of skin in diabetes patients often result in hospital admissions, and in severe cases, can result in amputations. If you are at a higher risk for infection, you should skip home remedies and seek professional medical treatment.