What Are Fungal Nail Infection Risk Factors
Risk factors for fungal nail infection include family history, advancing age, poor health, trauma, living in a warm climate, participation in fitness activities, immunosuppression , bathing in communal showers , and wearing shoes that cover the toes completely and don’t let in any airflow.
Fungal nail infections, especially toenail infections, can be contagious person to person from direct and indirect contact with an infected person or their clothing, such as wearing an infected person’s shoes or socks. The incubation period for a fungal nail infection is about 3 to 6 days.
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 To Help Toenail Fungus
Once you have been diagnosed with toenail fungus under your nails, there are several strategies that can help. They can be used independently or together, depending on your circumstances.
One treatment is with anti-fungal medications. These are pills taken by mouth, sometimes for weeks or months. Some people have medical conditions or are taking other medications that make these antifungal pills risky. Others who take them sometimes experience unwanted side effects. In these cases, I recommend other strategies.
Another common treatment for toenail fungus is medicated nail polish. These arent always very effective and must be used for many months. This is because nails are naturally a tough protective barrier. Because the infection is located underneath the nail, this makes it hard for the medication to penetrate through the nail to reach the underlying infection. This is especially true in cases where at least half of the nail is infected.
Both medications and medicated polish are long-term strategies that may be risky for many people, and may not work at all. Plus, treatment with these often takes several months.
This is why I prefer using laser technology. Its safe, quick, and pain-free.
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Gentian Violet Is Bright Purple
Another remedy that stains the nail and the toe is the old antifungal liquid, gentian violet:
I have used gentian violet with great success. It does dye your toe purple, but with nail fungus I was not wearing open-toe shoes anyway. You can get this online or at the pharmacy. Its cheap and effective.
JMG uses the foot soaks to relax:
Ive had 2-3 fingernail fungus attacks I used the half-water half vinegar solution to soak the nail for 20-30 minutes twice a day and it worked! It is not speedy, taking about a month or so to kill the fungus. It takes discipline, but it gives me an excuse to sit down, read, and relax while Im undergoing my treatment!
Ive been using the vinegar/Listerine mixture on my feet now for a month. It is working beautifully.
I got toenail fungus from a nail salon, and have had it for over 3 years. This is the only thing that has even touched the fungus .
My nail is now finally growing back normally and the fungus has turned white and the toenail is no longer spongy. Ill be able to wear sandals without bandaids very soon! Not only is Listerine/vinegar good for the toenails, but my feet have never looked better the cracks and redness have disappeared.
I soak my feet every night for 15-30 minutes. And Im going to continue doing this until my toenails have completely grown out, at least 3 times per week.
Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus
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Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis or tinea unguium, is a common nail condition affecting millions of people in the United States. Fungal nail infections can develop on the nail from various organisms such as molds, yeasts, and fungi. This usually occurs after these organisms come into contact with a cracked nail or skin surrounding the nail as the opening provides a portal of entry for these organisms.
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Nail Fungus Treatment Canada
Fact: Nail fungus is caused by fungi , yeasts , and molds, all of which are available in the environment.
Even if you catch the an infection in the 1st few days, they might be in a position to get rid of it. However, the fact is that youre not going to find out the disease until it has become well common. Something a bit stronger is needed to completely eradicate an established growth. As a result, you possibly can experiment with some sloppy creams that stain your socks and stink to high heaven. These have a bent to melt the nail, allowing the drug to penetrate more easily. The only drawback to this procedure is that it may result in weak toenails subsequently of repeated use.
To kill the fungus spores and forestall them from spreading extra, a magnificent antibacterial and antifungal cure is needed. As a result, once you might understand, I became more and more withdrawn as I looked for a remedy. Nail Fungus Treatment Canada As a result, once you might understand, I became more and more withdrawn as I looked for a remedy. However, every one of these approaches require a big amount of time, as each foot bath consultation should last at least half-hour per consultation on a regular basis for a few months on the way to see a tremendous change on your condition.
As a result, prescription drugs for onychomycosis are sometimes prohibitively costly.
What Does It Mean When Toenail Fungus Turns Black
- Patients frequently ask us, what does it mean when toenail fungus turns black?
- There is a chance that this could be a black yeast or a black toenail fungus, but it is usually dry blood.
- This usually means that the toenail is getting thick and ripping away from the underlying skin.
- These small blood vessels called capillaries rupture and form dry blood underneath the toenail.
- As the toenail dies, the toenail will eventually turn black and die.
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Foot Hygiene For Lasting Results
Using medications or procedures can vastly improve the appearance of your toenails if you have a fungal infection. However, for lasting results, you need to step up your foot hygiene habits. Remember, there is always a chance of reinfection because the fungus is present everywhere in the environment.
Here are some suggestions:
- Be nicer to your feet by wearing comfortable well-fitting shoes. Dispose of your oldest footwear and use an antifungal power in other footwear.
- Keep your feet clean and dry with daily washing with soap and thorough drying with a clean towel. Wear cotton socks, or none at all if youre in a warm, humid climate.
- Keep your toenails trimmed and regularly disinfect all tools you use to cut, file, or otherwise attend to your feet.
- Never share your footwear with others and wear something on your feet whenever you go to a swimming pool, gym, or another warm place where people walk around barefoot.
About Fungal Nail Infection
Many people develop a fungal nail infection at some point in their life. It’s not usually serious, but can be unpleasant and difficult to treat.
The infection develops slowly and causes the nail to become discoloured, thickened and distorted.
Toenails are more frequently affected than the fingernails.
The medical name for a fungal nail infection is onychomycosis.
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Treating Fungal Nail Infection
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 you’re not bothered by it you might decide it’s not worth treating because treatment can take a long time, may cause side effects, and isn’t 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.
Signs And Symptoms Of A Fungal Nail Infection
A fungal nail infection may not cause any obvious symptoms at first.
As it progresses, the infection can cause:
- discolouration of the nail it may turn white, black, yellow or green
- thickening and distortion of the nail it may become an unusual shape or texture and be difficult to trim
- pain or discomfort particularly when using or placing pressure on the affected toe or finger
- brittle or crumbly nails pieces may break off and come away completely
Sometimes the skin nearby may also become infected and be itchy and cracked or red and swollen.
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When To Refer To Podiatry
Before initiating topical or oral therapy, patients should ideally be referred to a podiatrist for nail trimming and debridement. This assists with removing as much fungus as possible and improves topical drug penetration. Debridement alone cannot be recommended for the treatment of OM patients using a combination of debridement and topical nail lacquer have shown a significant improvement in mycological cure compared with debridement only. Patients with nail trauma owing to footwear, dystrophic toenails affecting other toes or who describe discomfort when walking owing to thickened toenails should also be referred.
When there is treatment failure with topical, oral and combination therapies, a podiatrist may be able to carry out a chemical or surgical nail avulsion .
If there is doubt over the original diagnosis, or where no improvement has been seen with treatment, pharmacists should refer patients to a podiatrist or their GP.
Supported by RB
RB provided financial support in the production of this content.
The authors were paid by The Pharmaceutical Journal to write this article and full editorial control was maintained by the journal at all times.
Preventing Nail Fungus While Wearing Artificial Nails
Nail fungus from artificial nails can be prevented by performing some precautions, such as:
- Making sure you are not allergic to any artificial nails and nail glue. To know this, do a little allergy test by having only one nail applied initially. Pay attention to any itching, redness, or pain occurring afterwards.
- Avoid applying artificial nails if you have infected skin around the natural nails, as this may cause bacteria or fungus to be trapped in between the nails, causing nail fungus effects.
- If you are experiencing artificial nails that are detached from the natural nails, clean the gap by soaking your finger in alcohol solution before re-gluing the artificial nail. Re-gluing without firstly clean the gap will cause fungus to be trapped inside the nail and may cause it to eventually spread.
- Avoid wearing artificial nails for more than three months, as these nails might have been exposed to humid, moist, and dirt environment that can be perfect for fungus growth. Replace the artificial nails regularly and give your natural nails a chance to breathe before attaching the new ones.
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Dermatologists Explain The Cause Of Nail Fungus
Do you or someone you love suffer from nail fungus? Its a common problem that can happen to anyone, but there are a few individuals who are at a higher risk than others. Did you know that your age, health, and lifestyle can all play a part in whether you will develop those unsightly, thickened surface, yellow nailbeds?
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Ways To Know If There’s Fungus In Your Nails
If your nails are looking a little off, in terms of color or texture, it may be related to health condition. No matter how much care you may take of your nails â toes and hands â occasionally you can get fungus under nails that can definitely be harder to detect. If you are questioning whether or not you have nail fungus, you’ll want to consult your doctor as soon as possible.
As a certified health coach, I recommend people regularly assess their bodies to see if there’s anything outside the norm. And, if there is, a doctor’s appointment is the next move. So, what’s nail fungus exactly? Onychomycosis, a fancy name for nail fungus, can happen when your nails come into contact with fungus, or yeast. This can occur when you’ve been in a moist environment, during exercise, or sometimes when wearing fake nails, as it’s possible for fungus to get stuck under your real nails . Well, if you have nail fungus, don’t freak out, as it’s easy to treat. A few ways? Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, FAAD, a dermatologist in Beverly Hills tells Bustle your best bet is, “rimming back the dead, infected nail. Treating concomitant athletes foot , using topical antifungal solutions daily for up to a year, and taking oral antifungal pills.” Here are seven signs you might have nail fungus to look out for.
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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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:
- Are a man
What Is The Prognosis Of Fungal Nails
Curing fungal nails can be difficult and treatment can take up to 18 months. Relapse and reinfection are common. Trying to remove or modify your risk factors, if possible, is essential to preventing reinfection. People who have medical illnesses that predispose them to fungal nails can have an even more difficult time eradicating the fungus.
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What Causes Nail Fungus
Many things can cause nail fungus, but it all starts from fungi that get into the nailbeds and fester. Small, microscopic organisms called fungi cause an infection in the nail that multiplies. Commonly, a condition such as ringworm or athletes foot introduces the fungi to the nail.
Still, having skin-to-skin contact with other contaminants or someone infected can also cause this unsightly problem. Places like locker rooms, saunas, or a pool deck are also loaded with fungi, they love to dwell in moist areas. Walking across a public pool deck barefooted may be all it takes to introduce fungi to your nails.
You can pick up this infection from a pair of finger or toenail clippers, or even a bath towel in the household. Another shocking thing to consider is that you can develop this fungus even if you havent been exposed. The feet of someone who wears socks and shoes are regularly subjected to moisture from sweat, and its easy for fungi to thrive in such an environment.
How does the fungus make the leap from the skin to the nail? Here are a few ways to consider:
- Cuts or abrasions surrounding the nailbeds
- Cracks or tears in the nail
- A space or separation between the toe or finger and the nail
Underneath the nail is nice and warm because the body is nearly 99 degrees. The infection can set up residence there as its the perfect breeding ground to live and thrive. Once it begins to grow here, it will move and spread to other areas of the body.