Should I See A Doctor For Toenail Fungus
A fungal infection of the toenails can be unpleasant, unsightly, and sometimes even painful. It can also lead to more severe complications in people who have diabetes or poor circulation. If you have toenail fungus, you may find that you have thickened, discolored, brittle, or crumbly toenails. Additionally, the shape of your nail bed may change, and the feet may have an odor, ranging from mild to foul. These symptoms could worsen over time if left untreated. Treatments for toenail fungus can include oral medications, medicated nail polishes or creams, and in more severe cases, nail removal. If you notice that the condition of your nails is worsening, or if you have diabetes or poor circulation, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist for treatment.
Toenail Fungus Treatment
Toenail fungus is a condition that affects many people and can be especially hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating and avoiding it.
Antifungals & Deterrence
Oral antifungal medicine has been shown to be effective in many cases. It is important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the proper regiment for you, or potentially explore other options.
Applying foot powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.
People In Danger For Feet Fungus
You can establish nail fungi because of a variety of factors, such as:
- As we age, our blood flow slows down, we are more exposed to fungal infections, and also our nails grow much more gradually
- Sweating greatly
- Having actually had athletes foot in the past
- Walking with no feet cover in wet public areas, such as swimming pools, fitness centers as well as shower rooms
- Injuries to the skin or nails or skin problem, such as psoriasis, prevail
- A weak immune system, diabetes or blood circulation concerns
Can I Wear Nail Polish If I Have Toenail Fungus
You may feel tempted to cover up a discolored toenail with nail polish. If you are using a topical antifungal, you probably should not use polish. Some providers may tell you not to wear it in any case. Polish traps in moisture from the nailbed . Because fungi thrive in moist environments, wearing nail polish may make a fungal infection worse. However, the nail continues to grow with or without polish.
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When To Go To The Doctor
If you suspect that you have nail fungus, dont hesitate to seek medical treatment. Over-the-counter antifungals may help keep the fungus from spreading to other nails, but they arent as effective at treating the nail bed as prescription medications. The dermatologists at The Dermatology Clinic can diagnose nail fungus and determine which course of treatment would be the most effective for your specific case. In addition, they can recommend ways to prevent nail fungus from reoccurring after it has been treated. Schedule an appointment today.
Difference Between Nail Psoriasis And Nail Fungus
There are high chances of getting confused between nail psoriasis and nail fungus. They have many similarities. Hence, it becomes important to tell them apart for correct diagnosis and treatment.
Symptoms of Nail Fungus
Deformation and thickening of nails
Pitting, deformation and thickening if nails
Darkening of the nails
Small red or white spots appear on the nail bed
Nail shape can get distorted
Nails turn yellow or brown in color
Brittle and dull nails
Debris build up underneath lifting the nail from its bed
Nails detaches from the bed and creates empty spaces in between
Discharge may be present in some cases
It can be painful
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Will A Podiatrist Treat Toenail Fungus
Fungal infections in the toenail are relatively common, causing foul smells and unsightly appearances around the nail plate. If you recognize the symptoms of toenail fungus, you must meet with the right doctor, a podiatrist, for proper treatment.
Podiatrists will treat toenail fungus by using topical creams, removing part of the nail, and or using more modern methods like laser therapy to eliminate the infection. At Arizona Foot Doctors, our podiatrists conduct a thorough evaluation of your nail before starting treatment to better understand the infections origin, possible underlying conditions, and to create a treatment approach that best fits your needs and lifestyle.
Take A Full Medical History
“The first step is to take a history of the problem,” says podiatrist , DPM, CEO of HappyFeet LLC. “In other words, I want to know how long have you had this and what previous treatment you’ve had.” A podiatrist needs to understand the extent of the problem and any other medical factors which may influence their choice of toenail fungus treatment. A full medical history is also important because the first line of defense is usually oral medication, but this treatment can have side effects for people with underlying health issues. Make sure you reveal everythinghere are 14 things to never lie to your doctor about.
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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
When to see a doctor for toenail fungus
Preventing toenail fungus
Do I Need To See A Toenail Fungus Doctor
However, if youve tried these home remedies and youre noticing a marked increase or a lack of improvement in your symptoms, it is recommended you visit a doctor. Especially if the nail becomes painful.
If you are a person suffering from low circulation, a weakened immune system, and/or diabetes, it is also highly recommended that you skip the at-home treatments and go straight to seeing a foot fungus doctor, as you are at a higher risk of severe complications.
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How Does A Nail Fungus Start
Nail fungus infection is a common dermatological disorder that begins either under the nail or in the nail itself. It is mostly caused by a dermatophyte fungus, though there are cases that it is caused by Candida yeast as well. Also called onychomycosis, the condition affects both fingernails and toenails, though it is more prevalent in toenails. Fungi thrive in warm and moist environments, which perhaps describe a lot of footwear. Nail fungus infection can also start with the same dermatophyte fungus that causes athletes foot, the Trichophyton. So when a person has athletes foot, its also likely that the fungal infection would spread to the nails.
Fungal infection gives nails an abnormal appearance. The first sign of it may be a discolored dot on the nail or the skin under the nail. There may be white or yellow streaks on the nail, a crumbling corner or tip of the nail, flaking on the nails surface, yellow spots at the bottom of the nail, and scaling under the nail. The infected nail may also be thickened or brittle, and it may detach from the nail bed. In some cases, there may also be odor coming from the infected nail.
Make Certain That Your Feet And Also Feet Are Properly Maintained
An adjustment in the texture or shade of your nails suggests illness. A fungus in its onset could be your chance to catch it.
Your physician or pharmacologist can tell you what to do if you think you have athletes foot, or one more condition.
The fungi can likewise infect your toe nails if it is not treated.
The effectiveness and also cost of treatment for fungus infections vary widely.
The antifungal medicine requires to permeate the nail bed to be fully effective.
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What Causes A Fungal Nail Infection
Yeasts, moulds, and different kinds of fungi can cause fungal nail infections. Most are caused by the same type of fungus that causes athlete’s foot.
Fungi grow best in warm, moist places, and they can spread from person to person. You can get a fungal nail infection from walking barefoot in public showers or pools or by sharing personal items, such as towels and nail clippers. If you have athlete’s foot, the fungus can spread from your skin to your nails.
Can Nails Get Skin Cancer
Many different types of skin cancer, including melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma, can form under or around a nail. If you see a growth in these areas, see a board-certified dermatologist. Skin cancer is highly treatable when detected early.
Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, may appear as a dark streak or spot on the nail. People with skin of color are prone to this type of melanoma. Many nail streaks are harmless, and they are common in people of color. However, its important to see a board-certified dermatologist if you notice a dark streak or spot on your nail and you dont remember injuring it.
Melanoma under the nail
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Fungal Infection Of The Nails
Dirt, poor hygiene, and living in a humid area are all causes of a fungal infection in your toenails. Fungal toenail infections can cause discoloration, making your nail appear any of these colors:
If a fungal infection is causing your nail discoloration, you may have success treating it with an over-the-counter antifungal cream.
Surgical Toe Fungus Removal Treatment
This is the last resort to treat the toenail fungus condition. The whole nail can be removed or part of it can be removed to allow a healthy growth of the nail. Sometimes the nail might be removed with some skin underneathit depends on the level of infection. This will ensure that the nail that grows back will not be susceptible to infections.
Over the counter remedies bought from your local drug store are not expensive. However, they are not as strong and might not completely clear the fungal infection. If they clear the infection for some time and it comes back, seek an alternative cureby visiting a podiatrist for further treatment.
John Smith is a Digital Marketing Consultant with more than 8 years of experience in SEO, SEM, SMO, blogging, etc having wide knowledge base into content marketing.
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What Is Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is a widespread fungal infection that affects the toenails. Less commonly, nail fungus infects the fingernails. Nail fungus is also called onychomycosis.
Toenail fungus happens when fungi get between the toenail and the toenail bed . This usually happens through a crack or cut in your toe.
What Are The Signs The Treatment Is Working
In some cases, you might not really see sure signs that the fungi are âdyingâ per se. But you might begin to see some subtle changes in the appearance of your infected nail.
If you see these signs, itâs a good thing, but donât optimistically stop treatment. Even if you have great physical changes, it doesnât mean the fungus is gone — keep on treating it as long as your doctor recommends.
Here are some positive initial signs your treatment is working:
Changes in color
Toenail fungus can cause the nail to become white, yellow, black, or brown. As the fungus diminishes, the discoloration of the nail might slowly dissipate. Over time, youâll see areas of discoloration get smaller and smaller.
If your toenail infection has caused your nails to become thick and raised off your nailbed, a sign of effective treatment is a decrease in nail thickness. However, this might not totally resolve until your nail regrows.
New nail growth is healthy
Over time the new growth will begin to show at the base of your nail. If the treatment is working, the new growth should be healthy and will likely look a little different from the upper part of the nail.
Clear delineation between new nail growth and infected nail
With time, this new growth will become longer and longer, making its way to the top of your nail. As this happens you might see a clear line between healthy new growth and the older infected nail.
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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.
What Causes Fungal Nail
Fungal nail is most commonly caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes which infect the nail and the nail bed. It is highly contagious and transmitted in places like shower cubicles, swimming pools and changing rooms where people are barefoot. Toenail fungus can also be transferred in nail salons where the same nail accessories are used for many customers. Furthermore, nail trauma can also increase the chances of developing a fungal nail infection.
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How Long Does Toenail Fungus Treatment Take
This process may take up to a year for your nail to fully grow out the infected nail.
The American Academy of Dermatology Association says fingernails typically grow out in 4 – 6 months while toenails take can take 12 to 18 months.
However, the physical appearance might noticeably improve within a few months. Even if the physical appearance is better, donât stop treating the nail as reinfection is very possible.
Living With A Nail Fungal Infection
If you have a nail fungal infection, some things can help:
- Keep your nails cut short and file down any thick areas.
- Dont use the same nail trimmer and file on healthy nails and infected nails. If you have your nails professionally manicured, bring your own nail file and trimmer from home.
- Wear waterproof gloves for wet work . Wear 100% cotton gloves for dry work.
- Wear socks made of wicking material . This pulls moisture away from the skin. Change your socks when they are damp from sweat or if your feet get wet. Put on clean, dry socks every day. Put over-the-counter antifungal foot powder inside your socks to keep your feet dry.
- Wear shoes with good support and a wide toe area. Dont wear pointed shoes that press your toes together.
- Avoid walking barefoot in public areas, such as locker rooms.
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When Should You Call Your Doctor
- Increased pain, swelling, redness, tenderness, or heat.
- Red streaks extending from the area.
- Discharge of pus.
- Fever of 38Â°C or higher with no other cause.
- A fungal infection appears to be spreading to the skin under the nail, the nail itself, or the surrounding skin.
- The infected area is painful.
- A thickened toenail causes discomfort.
- Your nail’s appearance concerns you.
If you think you have a fungal nail infection, see your doctor. Your doctor can check your nail and recommend ways to treat it.
What Causes A Nail Fungal Infection
The infection is usually caused by exposure to a fungus. The fungus grows in wet, dark conditions. The fungus grows when your feet are in warm, sweaty environment . It enters your nail through a crack in the nail.
Nail fungal infections happen at any age. They are more common in adults older than 60 years of age. They are common in people who have diabetes or circulation problems. They also are common in people with a weakened immune system. Men are more likely than women to get fungal nail infections.
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How Can I Prevent Toenail Fungus
Theres no way to guarantee that you wont get toenail fungus. But you can take several steps to help prevent it:
- Avoid going barefoot in communal areas such as hotel rooms / showers, public showers, locker rooms and swimming pools. Most people pick up fungus in these situations. It helps to wear flip flops in these public areas.
- If you have a family member with foot fungus or nail fungus, try to use different shower or wear flip flops in the shower to avoid coming in contact with it.
- Trauma due to accidental or aggressive clipping of the nails can turn into portals of entry for the fungus.
- Clean your nail trimmer before using it.
- Do not tear or rip your toenails on purpose.
- If you have diabetes, follow all foot care recommendations from your healthcare provider.
- Keep your feet dry. Make sure to fully dry your feet after a shower.
- Soak toenails in warm water before cutting them. Or you can cut your nails after a shower or bath.
- Trim toenails straight across .
- Wear shoes that fit correctly. They should not be too loose or tight around the toes.