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:
What Other Conditions Can Be Mistaken For Fungal Nails
Here are some other conditions you may have instead of fungal nails:
Natural Remedies To Get Rid Of Nail Fungus
Isvaiyah has been a licensed pharmacist at Gadjah Mada University for nine years. She earned her M.Sc. from the same university.
Read on for 10 ways to beat nail fungus the natural way!
Nail fungus can attack any one of us, but theres no need to worry because there are a number of effective natural remedies out there. This condition normally affects toenails, but fingernails can also become infected. The infected nails often change color, becoming yellow, green, or black. They can also become painful. If left untreated, the fungus may gradually inflict serious damage to the nails, and eventually, have to be removed by a physician.
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Toenail Fungus: Causes And Risk Factors
Toenail fungus is a fungal infection in the toenail. It happens when a fungus anything from mold to yeast to other types of fungus gets in the nail bed from a cut or break in the nail or repetitive trauma to the nail, and penetrates the nail itself, says Dr. Sundling. The nail then continues to grow with the fungus. Once a nail plate is infected with fungus, it will never not be infected, and you must wait to see how it grows out and whether the new nail growing behind it is healthy. The new nail rarely grows in healthy without treatment, says Sundling.
Toenail fungus is very common 14 percent of people have it in North America, according to an article published in the journal PLoS Pathogens and its more common the older you get, adds Sundling. Wearing shoes that are too small can damage the nail and make it more vulnerable to fungus, as can having a fungal infection on the skin of the foot and not treating it, which could expose the nail to fungus. You may be more at risk to toenail fungus if you have diabetes, or a weaker immune system.
Is It Okay For A Nail Technician To Cut My Cuticles
They should not be cutting your cuticles or pushing them back. But you will have to ask them not to do this. Cutting the cuticle interrupts the protective barrier function it serves to keep the nail safe from infection.
Also, regularly pushing cuticles back causes permanent damage and can change the nail shape. Besides, its an unnecessary stepthe cuticle stops growing naturally after a few millimeters.
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Can A Nail Fungal Infection Be Prevented Or Avoided
Avoid situations that expose you to a fungus. This includes walking barefoot in locker rooms and having wet hands and feet often. This might be a problem for people who work in restaurants or house cleaning. People in a family can get nail fungal infections at the same time. This happens when their immune systems arent able to fight off the infection. Or it could be the infection is spread when using the same towels. It is important to routinely clean your shower, tub, and bathroom to lower risk of fungal infection.
How To Use Them
A person interested in trying a blend of essential oils can buy the oils online or from a health food store. Mix the oil with a carrier oil before applying the mixture to the affected nails.
Ozonized oils are oils infused with ozone gas. Examples of oils that are available in ozonized form include sunflower oil and olive oil.
According to , ozonized oils show positive effects similar to a traditional medication called terbinafine cream in treating one type of fungus. In this study, the researchers used rabbits to test the effectiveness of the treatment.
Another study carried out on 400 people tested how ozonized oils affected fungal infections. In this 2011 study , researchers used ozonized sunflower oil to treat toenail fungus.
Their results indicated that ozonized oils cured up to 90.5 percent of the total infections with only a 2.8 percent relapse rate after 1 year. The researchers concluded the ozonized sunflower oil works more effectively than ketoconazole cream, which is an antifungal medication.
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A Pharmacist Can Help With Fungal Nail Infections
Speak to a pharmacist if the look of your nail bothers you or it’s painful.
They may suggest:
- antifungal nail cream it can take up to 12 months to cure the infection and does not always work
- nail-softening cream it’s used for 2 weeks to soften the nail so the infected part can be scraped off
The infection is cured when you see healthy nail growing back at the base.
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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Reasons Your Fingernails Smell And What To Do About It
You bring a nail up to your mouth for a little nibble. Sure, you know biting your nails isn’t the best habit. But at the moment, you’ve got a bigger concern: Your fingernails seem to be radiating a strange, not-so-nice smell. What gives?
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First, don’t panic. Considering how many things our fingernails come into contact with each day, the occasional weird smell isn’t all that uncommon . But in some cases, an unpleasant fingernail odor could be a sign that you’re dealing with a problem like nail fungus.
Here’s what causes a smell under your fingernails and what you can do about it.
What Causes Fungal Nail Infections
- A fungal nail infection occurs when a fungus infects a fingernail, toenail or the skin under the nail .
- Fungi tend to attack nails that are already damaged through small cuts in the skin around your nail or through the opening between your nail and nail bed.
- Toenails are affected 7 times more often than fingernails.
- You can get a fungal nail infection from sharing personal items such as nail clippers, or towels, walking barefoot in public showers or pools, or if you have athletes foot , where the fungus spreads from your skin to your nail.
- Nail injury, athletes foot, diabetes, smoking or medication that suppress your immune system can increase your risk of getting a fungal nail infection.
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Is Toenail Fungus Really Such A Problem
If youre thinking you can just live with it, we dont advise letting toenail fungus go untreated. Its an insidious problem, and without treatment, you have to deal with the discomfort of the nail as well as feeling self-conscious about its unsightliness.
If you let a nail fungus infection go for too long, several problems emerge. The infected nail can become misshapen and increasingly separated from your nail bed. Itching and pain are unpleasant side effects if theyre too severe, you can have trouble wearing shoes or walking.
You need to be especially attentive to treating toenail fungus if your immune system is compromised. If youre living with diabetes, its critical not to ignore the fungus. Even a mild infection like this can snowball into something more serious, like cellulitis, a severe bacterial skin infection.
Another problem is that untreated fungus eventually can spread to either neighboring toenails or to the skin of your foot, causing athletes foot. Possibly the worst outcome of untreated nail fungus is needing to have your nail surgically removed.
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Kill Fungus Within Toenails
Cut and file your toenails to make them as short and thin as possible. This may help the bleach to penetrate the nail and kill the fungus.
Pour warm water into a bucket or basin that is large enough to accommodate the affected foot.
Add 1 tbsp. of bleach to the bucket or basin of warm water 1.
Soak the affected foot in the bleach solution daily. You may have to wait several weeks to see signs of improvement.
Wash your foot with a gentle, moisturizing soap and water that does not contain bleach. This may help to get rid of any bleach residue that could dry and irritate your foot.
Dry your foot thoroughly, including the area between your toes. Damp areas encourage fungal growth.
Your doctor may be able to offer medical treatment that will provide improvement faster or more reliably than home remedies. Consider seeing your doctor for help. Discontinue bleach-solution foot soaks if your skin becomes irritated. Alternatively, you might restrict your soaks to one a day or every other week to see whether that helps. Some people also use a solution of bleach and water to kill the fungus that causes athletes foot.
Never mix bleach with ammonia or vinegar. Doing so will produce a dangerous chlorine gas. Do not apply undiluted bleach to your toenails. It may irritate the skin on your foot.
- Cut and file your toenails to make them as short and thin as possible.
- This may help to get rid of any bleach residue that could dry and irritate your foot.
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.
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Treatments For Fungal Nail Infections
Treatment isn’t always needed for a mild fungal nail infection because it’s unlikely to cause any further problems and you may feel it’s not worth treating.
Whether you decide to have treatment or not, you should still practise good foot hygiene to stop the infection getting worse or spreading to others.
Speak to your GP or pharmacist if you’re bothered by the appearance of the affected nail, or it’s causing problems such as pain and discomfort. They’ll probably recommend:
- antifungal tablets tablets taken once or twice a day for several months
- antifungal nail paints special paints applied directly to the nail over several months
- nail softening kits where a paste is used to soften infected parts of the nail, before they’re removed with a scraping device
A procedure to remove the nail completely may be recommended in severe cases. Laser treatment, where a high-energy laser is used to destroy the fungus, is also an option. But this is only available privately and can be expensive.
You can reduce your risk of developing a fungal nail infection by:
Nail salon equipment can sometimes be the source of fungal nail infections. If you regularly visit a salon, make sure any equipment used is properly sterilised between uses.
What Is The Treatment For Fungal Nails
Oral antifungal therapy has a high cure rate, depending on the medication. It can take nine to 12 months to see if it has worked or not, because that is how long it takes for the nail to grow out. Even when therapy works, the fungus may come back. Currently, an oral antifungal therapy is considered the best treatment for toenail fungus because of higher cure rates and shorter treatment duration compared to topical therapy.
Prescription oral medications that are effective against nail fungus include the following:
There are several innovative treatments that are still being tested:
- Laser therapy or uses application of light-activated agents onto the nail followed by shining light of a proper wavelength on the nail.
- Use of electrical current to help absorption of topical antifungal medications into the nail: This is also called iontophoresis.
- Use of a special nail lacquer that changes the micro-climate of the nail to make it inhospitable for the fungus to grow: If this works, it may be an inexpensive way to treat this problem in the future.
One way to definitively get rid of toenail fungus is by surgery. Surgical treatment of onychomycosis involves nail removal. However, this often only provides temporary relief, and recurrence is common unless additional antifungal medication is simultaneously used. However, surgical removal may be warranted when the affected nail is associated with other factors such as trauma and or infection.
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What Causes A Fungal Nail Infection
Fungal nail infection is caused by three main classes of organisms: fungi that infect hair, skin, and nails and feed on nail tissue , yeasts, and non-dermatophyte molds. All three classes cause the very similar early and chronic symptoms or appearances, so the visual appearance of the infection may not reveal which class is responsible for the infection. Dermatophytes are, by far, the most common causes of fungal nail infection worldwide. Yeasts cause 8% of infections, and non-dermatophyte molds cause 2% of fungal nail infections.
- The dermatophyte Trichophyton rubrum is the most common fungus causing distal lateral subungual onychomycosis and proximal subungual onychomycosis .
- The dermatophyte Trichophyton mentagrophytes commonly causes white superficial onychomycosis , and more rarely, WSO can be caused by species of non-dermatophyte molds.
- The yeast Candida albicans is the most common cause of chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis of the nail.
What Is Fingernail Fungus From Acrylic Nails
Over 50% of people suffer from fingernail fungus from acrylic nails, which are notably more common in people with acrylic nails. 68 women who had nail issues after having acrylic nails removed developed acrylic nail fungus after the removal, according to a study by Trusted Source.
An adhesive is used to attach fake nails that go under your skin. It is possible to get moisture trapped between your nails and them if your gloves become loose or are not put on properly. Moisture-loving fungi can colonize the trapped water and grow rapidly.
Nail fungal infections & mold under acrylic nails are generally caused by fungi called dermatophytes, such as Trichophyton rubrum.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Fungal Nail Infection
Often the only symptom is difficulty trimming your nails but other symptoms of fungal nail infections are:
- The nail gets thicker.
- Change in colour of some or all of your nail turns yellow, white, blue, purple or black.
- The skin near the nail may itch, or crack.
- Pain around the nail area which can make it uncomfortable to walk or exercise or put on shoes.