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Why Does Toe Fungus Keep Coming Back

Treatment For Athlete’s Foot

Why does it take so long for a fungal toenail infection to go away?

Athlete’s foot is unlikely to get better on its own. But you don’t usually need to see a GP.

You can buy antifungal medicines for it from a pharmacy. They usually take a few weeks to work.

You can keep using some pharmacy treatments to stop athlete’s foot coming back.

It’s also important to keep your feet clean and dry.

You don’t need to stay off work or school as long as you follow this advice.

The Earliest Signs Of A Fungal Toenail Infection

The initial signs of toenail fungus are very subtle. They might not even register as a potential infection at all unless you know what youre looking for.

The earliest signs include:

  • Unusual white or yellow streaks or spots in the nail
  • Crumbling along the edges or tips of the nail, particularly where its discolored
  • Flaking of the nail in certain areas
  • Increasing distortion of nail shape
  • Potentially more noticeable foot odor

The spots and streaks can be a particularly tricky symptom, as such marks can appear when you have bumped your toe against something as well.

The best way to tell the difference between nail trauma and a fungal infection is to keep an eye on the marks for a while. Marks from a nail injury will eventually fade or grow out as the nail does. Spots and streaks from a fungal infection, however, will gradually change shape and grow.

If you are uncertain of your symptoms, it is never a bad idea to err on the side of caution and have them checked out anyway. Even if it doesnt turn out to be a fungal infection, youll at least have the peace of mind of knowing.

How To Prevent Both Foot And Toenail Fungus

While toenail fungus and foot fungus arent the same condition, the following tips can help you prevent both, says Sundling:

  • Practice good hygiene, such as keeping your feet clean.
  • Alternate your shoes during the week. Your feet sweat all day long. Alternating your shoes allows them to dry out, so the fungus cant survive.
  • Wear moisture-wicking socks that help dry out shoes and kill fungus. You can find these at running stores and athletic stores. If your socks are exceptionally sweaty, changing them more than once per day can help.
  • Wear shoes in public places like locker rooms, pools, and gyms to limit exposure to fungus.

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You Stopped Taking The Medication As Soon As Your Toenail Showed Signs Of Clearing Up

So you went to the doctor, got a diagnosis, got the medication needed to clear up the infection, and stopped taking the medication as soon as you noticed that your toenail was looking and feeling healthy again. That could very well be where it all went wrong. Just because it looks and feels like the infection is gone, doesnt necessarily mean it is. Most doctors would recommend to you that you continue to use the medical treatment a couple more weeks after your toenail looks cleared up because there most likely could be fungus still trapped under the toenail that you cant see. Avoid more pain, irritation, and medical costs by completing your treatment fully, even after you start feeling better.

Treatments For Fungal Nail Infections

Why Does My Ingrown Toenail Keep Coming Back?

Treatment isnt always needed for a mild fungal nail infection because its unlikely to cause any further problems and you may feel its 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 youre bothered by the appearance of the affected nail, or its causing problems such as pain and discomfort. Theyll 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 theyre 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.

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What Is The Best Home Remedy For Toe Fungus

Baking soda isnt a cure, but its one of the home remedies for toenail fungus that will limit the effect and possible spread of the fungus. Baking soda is alkaline based, which works against the acidic properties of the fungus. Soak your toe in a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to get the best effects.

Can I Do Anything To Take Care Of A Loose Toenail At Home

You should make an appointment to get your toenail checked out by a professional New Hampshire podiatrist if you notice any symptoms linked with your big toenail falling off, other toenail loss or experience any pain. However, you can also protect your toe by keeping it clean and bandaging it with sterile gauze or bandages.

If you have lost a toenail, are suffering from a fungal toenail infection, or have noticed that you have a loose toenail make an appointment with the talented and compassionate doctors and staff at Nagy Footcare. Dr. Nagy and his team will help you to preserve your toenails and general foot and ankle health.

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Understanding Why Toenail Fungus Keeps Coming Back

There are some reasons for toenail fungus returning. As stated above, your nails provide the perfect environment for a fungus to grow and thrive. But, even after it is gone, we can make the same mistakes that caused it to appear in the first place. Some common causes include:

There are antifungal toenail polishes that can help, available in a variety of colors. These antifungal polishes contain things like Vitamin E and C, and sometimes tea tree oil. The best types include DaniPro and Dr.s Remedy.

Foot Fungus: Causes And Risk Factors

Why are my Toenails Falling Off? [Toenail Regrowth After Falling Off]

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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Check Your Nails To Find Early Signs Of Infection

Following these precautions will reduce your risk of getting another infection. Fungal infection, however, are very common. You can get another one. Early treatment delivers the best outcome.

You can find signs of an early fungal infection by checking your nails and the skin around them at least once a month. You want to look for:

  • Changes in nail color, such as a white spot or brown or yellow streak

  • Changes to the texture of your nails

  • Soreness or swelling around a nail

  • Dry, itchy skin

If you notice any signs of infection, make an appointment to see your dermatologist.

ImageGetty Images

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Keep Your Shoes And Socks Dry

You can avoid warm, damp, and dim environments around you, but the inside of your shoes can fit the bill for fungus rather well, too.

Take steps to make your shoes and socks more inhospitable for fungus. That means keeping them dry as best you can.

Try to switch between pairs of shoes every 24 hours. Give the last pair of shoes you wore time to air dry, or put them on a shoe dryer if you dont have that much time.

Also, keep your socks dry as best you can. If your feet tend to sweat profusely and your socks are soaked by the middle of the day, bring an extra pair of dry socks with you to switch into. Not only does it lower your fungus risk, but it will keep you feeling more comfortable as well.

It can also be helpful to wear socks made of materials that wick moisture away from your feet instead of holding it close to them. Merino wool and many synthetic fibers like nylon are often good for this job. Standard cotton socks, unfortunately, tend to be terrible.

And if the rate at which your feet sweat bothers you, please dont hesitate to schedule an appointment with us about it. We may be able to help.

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How Are Ingrown Toenails Treated

Treatment for ingrown toenails is relatively straightforward. Your trusted podiatrist will make an appointment for you as soon as possible to treat your ingrown nail quickly. If you have to wait a day or so before an appointment is available you can soak your toe in warm water with Epsom salts to control any inflammation and wear shoes that allow for plenty of room around your toes.

Once you are in the podiatrists office for treatment, after applying a local anesthetic he will cut out the portion of your toenail that has grown into your flesh. He may prescribe a topical cream or ointment as well as antibiotics to fight off any infection that may be present.

How Can I Regrow My Toenail Bed

Why Does My Nail Fungus Keep Coming Back?: Neuhaus Foot ...

Soak your foot in a combination of 1 tsp of salt and 4 cups of warm water for 20 minutes, 2 or 3 times each day, for the first 3 days after you lose your toenail. Cover with a fresh bandage. Ensure the nail bed is kept dry and clean until the nail bed is firm and you see signs of the nail growing back.

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Why Do Patients So Often Relapse

There are multiple factors that may contribute to the high rate of fungal nail infection recurrence. Patients with a genetic predisposition to onychomycosis, who are immunocompromised, or who have diabetes, are likely to experience relapse and may never achieve a permanent cure .

This may be due either to failure to eradicate the infecting fungus or to re-infection with a new fungal strain following subsequent exposure. Arthroconidia, which are chains of fungal conidia that are formed by breakage of the fungal hyphae, are considered to be the primary means of nail invasion. These arthroconidia, which have thicker cell walls than conidia formed in vitro, have been shown to be more resistant to antifungals and, thus, may remain in the nail bed as a reservoir for recurrent disease . However, the incidence of innate resistance among dermatophytes is low. Our Center conducted in vitro susceptibility testing of 140 sequential isolates from subjects who failed treatment in an oral terbinafine clinical trial. In all cases, the minimum inhibitory concentrations of terbinafine against each patient set were identical or within one tube dilution, implying no resistance development. The same results were obtained within each set with fluconazole, itraconazole, and griseofulvin . This further indicates that there was no crossresistance between antifungal agents . This study showed that failure to cure the infected nails may be due to host/family factors.

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Infections Return When You Stop Treatment Early

Lots of my patients use topical anti fungal medication to treat athlete’s foot. That’s not the worst decision: these creams can be effective. Especially if your infection is limited to small patches of skin, like on your heel.

But here’s one problem. Most people who use topical anti fungal medication only use it until their symptoms clear up. So, when the such itching and burning skin feels better, they stop applying cream. And that’s a problem. Because, even when your feet feel better, that fungus isn’t completely gone. Which means, after you stop using that fungus-fighting medication, your symptoms will return.

At that point, you might think your athlete’s foot came back. But the truth is, it never went away in the first place! Now, I know it’s pretty difficult to continue a course of medication after the discomfort is gone. I get what you’re thinking. ‘It’s all better if there’s no pain or itching, right?’

To which I answer: ‘It may be better, but it is not well!’ As I just said, using an anti fungal medication for a short period of time will first help your symptoms. But, at the point symptoms disappear, the fungus could still be going strong. That’s one reason why your podiatrist should prescribe your Athlete’s foot medication. And provide you with detailed application instructions. Including when to start and stop your Athlete’s foot treatment.

Tips To Stop Fungal Toenails From Coming Back


Having toenail fungus is, unfortunately, not like having chickenpox. Youre not fully immune from a fungal infection once youve already dealt with it. Theres still a significant risk it can return if you dont take steps to prevent it!

You likely know how challenging it can be to eradicate fungal toenails although were proud to provide laser treatment that offers significant advantages over topical medications, even after a fungus is fully gone, the damage it leaves to your nails remains until the nail can grow in new, clear nail tissue to replace it.

Nobody wants to go through that process again and we certainly dont want you to have to, either!

Fortunately, reducing your risk of getting fungal toenails again is relatively simple. Here are some effective tips to follow .

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Protect Your Feet In Public

You can lock down your home against fungus rather easily, but the world is another matter. Fungus thrives in warm, damp, moist environments, and there are plenty of them out there with a lot of foot traffic.

If you are going to high risk areas such as gyms, locker rooms, and public pools, you need to keep your feet protected. A pair of sandals oreven bettershower shoes will provide a good amount of cover in the worst of it.

Of course, wash your feet well after your time in a shower room or pool, and make sure they are fully dry before you put socks and shoes back on.

One: Effective Professional Treatment

Well be honest with you: fungal toenails can be very, very stubborn. Most home treatments are minimally effective at best. Even the currently most prescribed treatment, oral antifungal drugs, have a somewhat spotty track record of success to go along with a moderate risk of side effects.

Yet as we mentioned above, complete eradication of the infection is a necessary first step in breaking the cycle. So if your previous efforts havent gotten the job done, its time to step up your treatment game.

We have helped our patients achieve incredible treatment success using combination therapy, which involves pulse dosing antifungal medications alongside 3-4 monthly laser therapy sessions.

Its much harder for the fungi to resist this combination of methods than either one alone. Essentially youre attacking the infection on two frontsfrom the inside out with medication, and from the outside in with laser therapy.

If the idea of using a laser is freaking you out a bit, dont worry! The truth is that this is one of the absolute safest treatment technologies a doctor will ever use on you. The laser does not hurt, does not damage your skin or body in any way, does not require any additional medications or downtime to function, and has no known side effects.

And because were only pulse dosing the oral meds instead of having you on them daily for 12 weeks, your risk of any adverse reaction to them is also greatly reduced.

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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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