If You Arent Sure Of The Diagnosis
If a podiatrist has never diagnosed you with nail fungus before, you may be incorrectly self-diagnosing your condition. There are many foot and nail conditions that can mimic the abnormalities associated with nail fungus, such as onycholysis, a hematoma under the nail, psoriasis, and paronychia. By scheduling an appointment with a foot and ankle specialist, you can be sure that youre getting the right treatment for your specific condition.
Stop Toenail Fungus In Its Tracks
Toenail fungus happens when tiny organisms called fungi begin to grow under your toenail. A fungal infection may require medicines or other medical treatment.
Toenails are especially susceptible to fungal infections because your toes are often in shoes, the perfect environment for fungal growth. Fungi like to grow in places that are dark, warm and moist.
You may be at a higher risk of toenail fungus if you are older, wear socks or shoes that dont allow air to get in and out well, walk barefoot in damp places like around pools, or have other foot conditions like athletes foot. Health conditions that affect your circulation or your immune system also make you more likely to get toenail fungus.
What To Think About
Some people are not sure whether they want to use antifungal pills because of the side effects.
If you have a condition such as diabetes that might complicate a minor foot injury or infection, your doctor may suggest treating a fungal nail infection, even if it doesnât bother you.
Combining nail removal with antifungal creams or pills is likely to be more effective than using one of these treatments alone.
If you have a mild fungal infection or are concerned about the risks of oral antifungal medicine, consider using a topical treatment, such as Lamisil or Penlac.
Even after treatment, your nails may still look irregular in shape and appearance. It can take a year or longer before they return to normal.
Fungal nail infections often come back.
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How Long Does It Take For Vinegar To Kill Toenail Fungus
The antifungal properties also make vinegar soaks a good idea for people who have toenail fungus. Soak your feet for 10 to 15 minutes daily in a vinegar bath until the infection subsides. You can increase the length of time in the soak gradually. It may take two to three weeks or longer to see improvement in symptoms.
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When Is It Time To Visit A Foot And Ankle Doctor For Toenail Fungus
A harmless toenail fungus can be more dangerous than you think. When you feel like youre handling it and want to take care of it yourself, its a tough pill to swallow. It is possible that your toenail fungus may be out of your control. However, especially with ailments related to your feet, you cant be too overcautious. Get your symptoms checked out so you can rule out something more serious.
At the end of the day, toenail fungus can be more serious than poor hygiene. In fact, toenail fungus can often come from the things you dont seem to realize.
This article will help you recognize when its time to get to the foot and ankle doctor to treat your toenail fungus.
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How To Use Vinegar For Toenail Fungus
Step 1: Get a bottle of vinegar. It does not matter which kind of vinegar you use, as they will all have varying amounts of acetic acid, but you may want to stick with apple cider vinegar or white vinegar to keep things simple. Specialty flavored or intensely colored kinds of vinegar may have unnecessary ingredients or introduce the risk of staining skin, carpet, or clothing.Step 2: In a vessel for the foot soak, mix 1 part vinegar with 2 parts water until there is enough liquid to cover the entire foot area. If you use undiluted vinegar, you will likely not harm yourself, but you may increase the risk of skin irritation or just use up unnecessary amounts of vinegar. This mixture will have a strong vinegar smell, but once the skin dries and the mixture is washed out the smell should dissipate.Step 3: Soak your feet in the mixture for anywhere between 10-30 minutes. You may then rinse and dry your feet, or just let the vinegar solution air dry off of your skin. Step 4: Repeat the soak with a fresh solution each time as needed once or multiple times daily.Tip: If the fungus does not seem to be going away or getting worse, you will need to speak with a doctor to look into getting prescription therapy.
How Can You Recognize Toenail Fungus
Essentially, the main symptom of toenail fungus is the discolored appearance. Affected nails are dull, darkened, and distorted. In addition to visual cues, your toenails will also be thickened, yet brittle and crumbly. When the infection has been present for an extended period of time and become more severe in nature, you may even detect a slightly foul odor.
Some patients experience pain with this condition, particularly when the fungal infection causes toenails to separate from their respective nailbeds.
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Should I Choose Westchester Center For Dermatology For Treatment
The doctors at Westchester Center for Dermatology in Manhattan and Scarsdale are all board certified dermatologists who spend some of their training studying fungus and how it relates to the skin and nails. The treatment protocols are state of the art and current.
Contact us for a consultation today regarding toenail fungus treatment in Scarsdale.
Laser Treatment For Fungal Nails
The Lunula Laser is the easy and convenient treatment that helps turn your discolored and disfigured nails into clearer, healthier looking nails.
- The only touchless, painless treatment for onychomycosis
- No pain, no downtime, and no risk
- No more embarrassment about unsightly feet
The Lunula Laser uses low-level laser light to treat foot fungus, and requires very little time or set-up for physicians or their staff. Its the only system you can turn on and walk awaythe device is already pre-set. In fact, only four 12-minute sessions are needed to treat the affected area.
The Lunula Laser is the simple and painless solution to effectively treat onychomycosis. From baseline to 6 months post treatment patients experienced 6.15mm of new clear nail growth or 37% clearing of the nail.
Toenail fungus is a condition that many people develop and suffer from. Toenail fungus often results in the discoloration and thickening of the toenail, which can cause embarrassment for many people. The condition begins as a small white or yellow growth beneath the tip of the nail and at its worse can develop into the nails deterioration.
What Are The Likely Complications Of An Ingrown Toenail Surgery
Complications from an ingrown toenail surgery are very rare, but they can take place. Such complications include a wound that heals slowly, infection after the surgery, recurrence of the problem, and prolonged tenderness.If you ignore the proper wound care as directed by your doctor then you are at risk of having complications with your wound. The good thing is that these complications can easily be managed. Prescribed antibiotics can deal with the infections.
What Is A Fungal Nail Infection
A fungal nail infection occurs when a fungus attacks a fingernail, a toenail, or the skin under the nail, called the nail bed. Fungi can attack your nails through small cuts in the skin around your nail or through the opening between your nail and nail bed.
If you are healthy, a fungal nail infection probably won’t cause serious problems. But it may look bad, hurt, or damage your nail or nail bed.
A fungal nail infection could lead to more serious problems if you have diabetes or a weak immune system. Talk to your doctor about the best way to treat a nail infection if you have one of these problems.
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Causes Of Nail Fungus
With fungal nail infections, the main cause is typically
Certain behaviors and preexisting conditions that can affect your risk of nail fungus include:
- old age
There are many overlaps between nail fungus and nail cancer. Since its easy to mistake cancer of the nail for a fungal infection, you should see a doctor immediately to get a definitive diagnosis.
See a doctor immediately if you suspect you have toenail fungus or subungual melanoma.
Since the prognosis of subungual melanoma gets worse the longer it takes to diagnose, its better to be safe and get any possible symptoms checked out and cleared as soon as they appear.
Fungal infections are not considered life-threatening, but the 5-year survival rate for subungual melanoma can vary dramatically depending on how early the cancer is identified. According to the Canada Dermatology Association, chances of recovery can range anywhere from 16 to 80 percent .
If you wait too long for diagnosis and treatment, theres a risk of the cancer spreading throughout the bodys organs and lymph nodes.
Ask The Doctors What Can I Do About Toenail Fungus
Dear Doctor: I had toenail fungus two years ago, and my doctor prescribed Lamisil. It took a long time, but it worked. Now the fungus, which is so ugly, is back again. Why is it so hard to get rid of, and are there any new treatments available?
Dear Reader: Toenail fungus is fairly common, but that’s not much consolation to the 6 million or so people in the United States who have to put up with it. It’s an often-unsightly infection caused by a microscopic organism called a dermatophyte that lives beneath the toenail. More precisely, it colonizes the portion of the nail known as the matrix, which is underneath the cuticle.
Initial symptoms are a yellowish or brownish discoloration of the toenail. As the infection progresses, nails will often become thickened, crumbly and malformed. Although the fungus affects the appearance of the nails, it actually lives on the layer directly beneath the toenail. That’s why it’s so difficult to treat.
Your nails are made up of keratin, a tough, fibrous protein. The same hard shell that protects your toes is giving shelter to the fungus. For topical medications to be successful in killing the fungus, they have to be able to reach it.
Anti-fungal creams and liquids are available, both in over-the-counter preparations and by prescription. But because nails are not porous, it’s difficult for the medication to reach the infection in concentrations great enough to kill the fungus. As a result, success rates for topical treatments are low.
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Symptoms Of Toenail Fungus
There are various symptoms to watch out for when you are trying to self-diagnose toenail fungus. These symptoms can include:
- The toenail becoming brittle and ragged with edges that seem to be crumbling.
- A thickening of the toenail that is more than normal.
- The toenail growing into a distorted shape and thickening as it grows.
- When the nail turns a darker shade because of trapped dirt.
- There is a foul smell coming from the nail itself.
- The toenail is turning a different colorlike a yellow-brown or a white-yellow.
If you are experiencing any or more of these symptoms, it might be time to try some home remedies or treatments. You can either deal with them at home, by using over-the-counter medications like nail creams or ointments. Or you can alter the nail yourself and then add the medication. Altering the nail may include thinning it down with a file or trimming it down with a clipper or nail scissors. Being able to get to the infected parts of the nail is important when applying medicine.
Dont get to this point if you can. There are a few preventative care measures you can take right now of your nail:
What Kind Of Growths Can Occur Around The Nails
A growth on the skin surrounding a nail is often a wart. Warts are common on the hands and feet. When warts develop near a nail or grow under the nail, they should be treated. Treatment can get rid of the wart, enabling you to use the finger or toe normally. Dermatologists offer a variety of treatments for warts.
Jelly-like growths called mucinous cysts can appear on the skin above the cuticle. These cysts can be painful. If allowed to grow, a cyst can damage nail or cause it to become deformed. A board-certified dermatologist can recommend the right treatment for this type of cyst.
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Are There Different Types Of Toenail Fungus
Yeast infection: The yeast Candida albicans can cause toenail infection. This one is relatively rare as it mostly occurs in children with a genetic disorder of the immune system in which an extensive Candida infection affects the scalp, mouth, torso, and nails.
White islands: An extremely common infection , this is a superficial toenail fungus that can spread to the nail bed in which cloudy white islands are developed on the nail.
Distal toenail infection: The most common cause for toenail infection is when the tip of the nail lifts from the nail bed, allowing fungus to enter the tissue. This can be caused simply by wearing shoes that are too tight and is called distal subungual onychomycosis.
Proximal toenail infection: Often seen in people with conditions that affect the immune system, sometimes the fungus can enter the nail bed from the cuticle area.
Know It Need Not Be Your Only Option
As already mentioned, nail removal is usually a last resort, after other methods have failed to be effective. As such, your doctor is not likely to recommend or even mention nail removal before trying oral and topical medications, ointments, and various other treatments.
Depending on the precise issue, many people have found great success and healing using all kinds of other treatments. Because nail fungus is a very common reason for toenail removal, look at thesedifferentoptions for how to safely and effectively treat toenail fungus.
However, the more severe the case and the longer it has gone without treatment, the more likely your doctor will insist on nail removal as the only possible option.
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Ingredients Backed Up By Science
Unlike FDA-approved medicines, most supplements are subjected to little oversight. So their claims of natural ingredients might not be right after all. However, there are a few that are science-backed.
We only picked supplements backed by scientific research. We also considered their positive effects on nails.
Podiatrists Clear Strategy To Treat Toenail Fungus
The podiatrist will be interested to know how long you have suffered from the problem and what treatments you have pursued so far. This helps her to understand the magnitude of the problem and treatment factors you have considered. A full medical history is important to rule out underlying health issues that could interfere with the oral medication given.
The doctor will physically examine the nails to determine the extent of damage and the color.
Just by conducting a physical exam, the doctor cannot conclude that you have a fungal nail infection. They need to eliminate the possibility of it being yeast or mold. The doctor scrapes under the nail to harvest samples and send them to the lab. This will help the doctor prescribe the best course of treatment once the problem is identified.
The doctor can recommend oral treatments aseffective and they may take up to three months to work such as Sporanox, Diflucan, and Lamisil. The treatment could have unpleasant side effects such as skin problems, stomach upset,and liver damage. If you have an existing liver problem you cannot tolerate oral medications.
This non-invasive treatment is offered by podiatrists and it works quickly. The laser kills the fungus attacking underneath the nail without damaging the nail itself. This is considered as an effective treatment.
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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.