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.
Heres To Many More Years Of Foot Care
At Feet First Clinic, were always excited to welcome new clients! After a successful 12 years of treating our amazing patients, were ready to continue offering only the best foot care services and products. Give us a call to ask our friendly staff any questions you may have! Our Toronto foot specialists are ready to help!
Call us at 416-769-3338 or Book Your Assessment Today!
Treating A Fungal Nail Infection
Treatment is not always needed if your infection is mild.
Otherwise, your doctor may send a clipping of your nail to a laboratory for tests to find out the exact cause of the infection and to rule out other conditions. They will then discuss appropriate treatments with you.
Fungal nail infections can be treated and usually cured, but some types of treatment can take several months to work. The main treatment options are either antifungal tablets or antifungal nail paint.
Antifungal tablets are the most successful treatment but they may cause side effects. You should discuss this with your doctor before deciding which treatment to take.
It is important to ensure you look after your nails properly and practise good foot hygiene to stop the infection returning.
Don’t Miss: Will Tinactin Cure Toenail Fungus
How Fungi Infect The Nail
Onchomycosis, or toenail fungal infection, is an invasion by a microscopic organism that thrives in warm, damp environments. Fungal spores are in the air, and they will grow if they land on a receptive surface like your toenail. They feed off the nail tissues, burrowing into the skin under the nail. Over time the nail thickens and may lift off the nail bed as fungal debris accumulates. Once your nail is raised off the nail bed, it won’t reattach, and a new nail won’t grow from that part of the nail bed. However, your nail will continue to grow from the root at the base.
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.
You May Like: How Do You Get Rid Of Toe Fungus Naturally
Symptoms Of A Fungal Nail Infection
The most common symptom of a fungal nail infection is the nail becoming thickened and discoloured. The nail can turn white, black, yellow or green.
A fungal nail infection is usually painless at first and in most cases fungal nail infections will not cause any further complications. However, if the infection is left untreated it may cause pain and discomfort, but this is rare.
If there is pain in the toenail, this can eventually lead to difficulty wearing shoes and walking. In fingernails, it may cause difficulty writing.
As the infection progresses there can be further symptoms, such as the nail becoming brittle, with pieces of nail breaking off or even coming away from the toe or finger completely.
If left untreated, the skin can sometimes become inflamed and painful underneath and around the nail . There may also be white or yellow patches visible on the nailbed or scaly skin next to the nail.
Read more about how fungal nail infection is treated.
Clotrimazole And Betamethasone Dipropionate Cream Used For Toenail Fungus Fungus That Causes A Skin Fungal Infection
Clorox And Nail Fungus Toe Nail Fungus Vinegar Treatment How Long Will It Take To Get Rid Of It Why Wonf My Fungus Grow Out On My Toe Nail. Fucicort For Toe Fungus Spice To Put In Shoes To Combat Toenail Fungus. Toenail Fungus Filing Ataleat Foot Fungus. Foot Fungus Cure Diy Ointment With Thyme For Toenail Fungus.
Best Cures For Toenail Fungus Is Eucalyptus Oil Good For Nail Fungus. Tell Tale Signs Of Foot Fungus Emucare Toenail Fungus Dark Black Spot On Skin Fungus. Foot Fungus And Odor Amazon New Treatments Toenail Fungus.
Dont Miss: How To Cover Up Nail Fungus
Also Check: Do Toenail Fungus Creams Work
What Causes Toenail Fungus Under The Nails
Toenail infections, like other infections, are caused by tiny microscopic organisms living where theyre not supposed to be. In the case of toenails, these organisms are often fungi, like yeasts and molds. These invaders can live in the layer of dead skin cells around and underneath your toenails.
Toenail fungus is contagious and you can get it from being exposed to others infections. These yeasts and molds are present everywhere in the environment, but tend to grow and flourish in warm, moist places like community pools, gyms, and change rooms.
Your risk of getting the toenail infection increases if you:
- spend time in a warm, moist climate or wear sweaty shoes,
- wear shoes that are too tight or have metal toe-caps that may cause tiny injuries to the toenails,
- have health issues , or even from
- increasing age.
If you think you have toenail fungus under your nails, reach out to me or your health care provider to get an accurate diagnosis. Before treating it, you want to be sure if the reason for your unsightly toenails is, in fact, fungus under your nails . You dont want to let a fungal infection go too far, as not treating it can lead to further complications.
Causes Of Toenail Fungus
Fungal toenail infections are a result of various fungal organisms. The most common cause of this infection is a kind of fungus known as dermatophyte. Mold and yeast can also be responsible for toenail infections:
Fungal toenail infection can affect people at any age, but older adults are usually more susceptible. As the nail ages, it can become dry and brittle. The resulting crack in the nail gives room for fungi to have access. Other factors such as a weakened immune system or reduced blood circulation to the feet may also be responsible for the infection.
Toenail fungal infection can begin with the athletes foot , spreading from one nail to another. But getting an infection from another person is unlikely.
Recommended Reading: Does Vicks Kill Nail Fungus
How Do We Treat Fungal Nail Infections
We no longer recommend the use of creams, lacquers or sprays on their own because of the poor results from both clinical studies and our experience. Instead, we use two different types of laser to safely and effectively help treat fungal nail infections with minimal hassle for you.
We have both hot and cold laser available at different clinics, and your podiatrist will recommend the best treatment option for you based on your symptoms and severity.
Recommended Reading: How Do I Fix My Toenail Fungus
Facts You Should Know About Fungal Nails
Fungal infection of the nails sometimes makes the condition sound contagious or related to poor hygiene. In fact, up to 10% of all adults in Western countries have fungal infection of the nails. This percentage increases to 20% of adults who are age 60 or older. Toenail fungus is much more common than fingernail fungus.
In reality, abnormal-looking nails may be caused by a number of conditions including, but not limited to, fungal infection. There are many other reasons why your nails may look different.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Fungus In Home
What Is A Fungal Nail Infection
Fungal nail infection is a common problem. Around half of all nail problems are due to a fungal infection.
Fungal nail infection is about four times more common in toenails than fingernails and can involve all or part of the nail, including the nail plate, nailbed and root of the nail.
It usually affects adults, especially men, and becomes more common as you get older.
Read information about other nail abnormalities.
What Causes Fungal Nails And What Are Some Of The Risk Factors
In normal, healthy people, fungal infections of the nails are most commonly caused by fungus that is caught from moist, wet areas. Communal showers, such as those at a gym or swimming pools, are common sources. Going to nail salons that use inadequate sanitization of instruments in addition to living with family members who have fungal nails are also risk factors. Athletes have been proven to be more susceptible to nail fungus. This is presumed to be due to the wearing of tight-fitting, sweaty shoes associated with repetitive trauma to the toenails. Having athlete’s foot makes it more likely that the fungus will infect your toenails. Repetitive trauma also weakens the nail, which makes the nail more susceptible to fungal infection.
Elderly people and people with certain underlying disease states are also at higher risk. Anything that impairs your immune system can make you prone to getting infected with the fungus. These include conditions such as AIDS, diabetes, cancer, psoriasis, or taking any immunosuppressive medications like steroids.
You May Like: What Kind Of Doctor Do I See For Toenail Fungus
Toenail Growth: How Long It Takes For A Toenail To Grow Back
Chances are you, or someone you know has lost a toenail at some point. Whether it was from sports or a falling object, detached toenails are quite common. Other than the obvious yuck factor, there are typically few ill effects.
But, thats not always the case. In this article, we explain the various reasons your toenails might fall off, how to treat a fully- or semi-detached toenail, and how long it actually takes for a toenail to grow back.
Toenails are thickened extensions of the top layer of our skin. Like our skin, toenails are made of keratin, a type of protective protein that is less prone to scratching or tearing than other cell types our body produces. Keratin is particularly tough.
As the cover to your nail bed, toenails are put under a great deal of stress. Everyday pressures include rubbing against your shoes, a stubbed toe, the presence of bacteria and fungi, and being your toes protector against falling objects. These types of situations can damage the toenail, sometimes to the point of it falling off completely.
Not only does a nail expose the nail bed below, but it can also be painful, and difficult to ensure a toenail properly grows back in the place of the lost nail. Next, we break down why your toenails fall off in the first place, the rate of toenail growth, as well as some tips and tricks for healthy nail growth.
When To Contact A Doctor
Toenail fungus is typically not a significant problem for most people. However, if there are no improvements or complications occur as a result of home remedies, people should speak with a doctor and stop using the home remedy as soon as possible. It is also advisable to contact a podiatrist if a person notices any discoloration, thickening, or abnormality of the toenails.
Furthermore, people at higher risk for complications should seek medical treatment for their toenail fungus and avoid home remedies altogether. This includes those with diabetes or with weakened immune systems.
Don’t Miss: How To Rid Foot Fungus
What Side Effects And Drug
The possible side effects of itraconazole include headaches, dizziness, stomach and bowel problems, and rashes. Itraconazole can also interact with a number of other drugs. These include cholesterol-reducing and blood-sugar-lowering medications, as well as certain sleeping pills. It is therefore important to let your doctor know about any medication you take. Itraconazole is not an option for people with heart failure . It also isnt suitable for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Terbinafine can cause gastrointestinal problems and a temporary loss of taste and smell. It can also interact with certain antidepressants and heart medications. Overall, terbinafine has far fewer drug-drug interactions than itraconazole. Nevertheless, its still important to tell your doctor if you are taking any other medication. As a precaution, this medication should not be taken during pregnancy or if you are breastfeeding.
The studies only rarely reported on how often the different side effects occurred. But most people tolerate nail fungus medications well. Only a few people in the studies stopped treatment because of side effects.
But there is a very small risk of liver damage from taking itraconazole or terbinafine. For this reason, people with a liver disease are only given these medications if its absolutely necessary.
Types Of Toenail Fungal Infections
Toenail infections affect about 14 percent of the population at any given time, according to a study published in June 2014 in PloS Pathogens. The most common symptoms of a toenail fungal infection include discoloration of the nail, debris under the nail, irregularity of the white part of the nail, nail thickening, and pain, says Sheth.
Toenail fungal infections can usually be categorized into one of the following five subtypes:
Distal Subungual Onychomycosis This is the most common form of toenail fungal infection, usually occurring in the portion of the nail closer to the tip and on the underside of the nail. The nail may become thick, yellow, or brittle.
Endonyx Onychomycosis People who have endonyx onychomycosis have fungus growing between the layers of the toenails. With this type of fungus, toenails usually have a milky white color and may be pitted or split. They usually dont thicken or separate from the nail bed.
Proximal White Subungual Onychomycosis This is a relatively uncommon form of toenail fungus, seen most often in people with weakened immune systems due to conditions such as HIV. The fungus enters the toenail through the cuticle and affects the part of the nail closer to the base, turning it a whitish color.
Also Check: Can You Put Nail Polish On Toenails With Fungus
Medical Complications From Untreated Fungal Toenail Infection
Without proper treatment to stop your toenail fungal infection from getting worse, or spreading, complications will eventually develop. Fungal infections of your toenail can spread to the surrounding skin and when your skin becomes cracked, bacteria can enter and cause an abscess.
An abscess on the toe is a tender mass generally surrounded by a colored area from pink to deep red. They are often easy to feel by touching. Inside they are full of pus, bacteria and debris.
Untreated toenail fungal infections can lead to cellulitis and should be treated immediately with antibiotics. Untreated skin infections of the toe may lead to severe cellulitis and if the infection enters the bloodstream it can become septicemia, also known as bacteremia or blood poisoning. Once the infection enters the bloodstream the bacteria and their toxins are carried through the bloodstream to your entire body. If the bacteria levels become high enough, septicemia can quickly become life threatening.
A good reason to seek treatment if you suspect you have a toenail fungal infection is because of the similarity of symptoms for differing diagnosis of more serious toenail conditions. You may have a toenail fungus, but you could also be experiencing similar symptoms of a toenail viral infection , complications from toenail trauma, a pre-malignant lesion or, more seriously, melanoma of the nail bed.
Who Gets Toenail Fungus
Men are more likely to get it than women. The older you are, the better your chances are, too. People who have diabetes, athlete’s foot, or a weak immune system, who smoke, or whose family members have it are also at a higher risk. If you spend a lot of time in the water or you’ve injured your toenail, your odds for getting toenail fungus go up.
Also Check: How To Cure Fungus On Hands
Have Questions And Woes About Cutting Stubborn Fungal Toenails
Trimming toenails is not something most people tend to put a lot of thought into.
Although some of us should probably do it a bit more often, the act itself becomes pretty habitual. Snip, snip, done.
However, once a fungal toenail infection enters the picture, things can become a bit more difficult. Nails can grow thick, brittle, crumbly, and generally unwieldy. It starts to feel less like the classic way of trimming your toenails and more like hacking your way through a dense rainforest.
So what should you do when it comes to cutting thick fungal toenails to ensure a better experience? Were here to offer some advice.
Read Also: How To Clean Your Toenails Fungus