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.
/6toenail Infection Is A Contagious Disease
Toenail fungus also known as onychomycosis is a common infection of the toenail. This contagious disease can be very painful and can even spread to other parts of the body, if not treated immediately.
The most common symptom of the toenail infection is a white, brown or yellow discoloration of one or more toenails. It may spread and even cause the nails to thicken and crack.
Traditionally, anti-fungal treatments such as terbinafine or fluconazole are used to cure toenail fungus, but these treatments have some serious side effects like upset stomach, dizziness, and jaundice. Most people opt for home remedies to cure this disease.
You can also try these popular home remedies, if your toenail is troubling you.
Which Treatment Is Right For Me
Nail fungus is usually harmless. But many people find discolored or thickened nails unpleasant to look at and want to get rid of the fungus as soon as possible. Fungal nail infections can also spread, and may infect other people. Regardless of the treatment you choose, it will take a while until the nail looks normal again. Its especially important to be patient where toenails are concerned. It can take a year for a healthy big toenail to grow back. Nail fungus can sometimes be very persistent despite treatment. It can also come back after successful treatment.
Topical treatment isnt likely to get rid of a fungal nail infection. Treatment with tablets is considerably more effective and takes less time. But some people cant take tablets because of the very rare, yet serious risks. How you feel about the pros and cons of the different treatment options is a personal matter. You can also discuss the options with your doctor.
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Laser For Toenail Fungus
If you have a wedding coming really soon, and you want to look good think of having a laser session to treat toenail fungus. this is the fastest treatment to root up fungus. However, you need to have a lot of money to execute this process.
There are two types of leaser treatment for toenail fungus. The expensive one is the cold laser it will take only a few minutes to remove the toenail fungus. The second option is the hot laser treatment for nail fungus. it is not recommended of children, older adults, and pregnant women. It will take almost 4 weeks for the treatment of toenail fungus.
You can read about the Laser treatment in detail from various experts like Dr. Ron has covered everything regarding laser treatment to cure toenail fungus, from where it would be much easier for you to understand the treatment.
Also, there are many home laser devices which one can use as laser treatment for fixing the fungus.
However, the regular method is very expensive in terms of cost.
What Are Treatments For Toenail Fungus
Do you need to treat your nail fungus? Maybe it doesn’t hurt, and the yellow, thick nails don’t bother you.
But nail fungus doesn’t go away by itself. And if you don’t treat it, there’s a chance it could get worse. It could spread to other nails or through your body. It could cause pain when you walk.
There are a number of ways to take care of it, including:
Nonprescription options. You can buy antifungal creams, gels, and nail polish at the store and online without a prescription. You might want to try one of them first if the infection doesn’t look bad. Some people also swear by home remedies like menthol rub, tea tree oil, mouthwash, or snakeroot extract — but studies show mixed results.
Prescription polish and creams. Your foot doctor will likely trim your nail and file away its dead layers. They may also take a piece of your nail and send it to the lab to make sure itâs really a fungus and to find out what type it is.
The doctor might suggest an antifungal drug that you paint on your nails. This may work on its own, or they may suggest you take it with antifungal pills.
Prescription medications. One of several antifungal pills may help. They work, but it may take many months to do the job. They also come with side effects like nausea, vomiting, and headaches. They may cause liver damage too, so your doctor will watch you closely while you take them. Be sure to tell them about any other meds youâre taking — some antifungal pills might not work well with them.
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How Effective Are Tablets In Treating Nail Fungus
Tablets for the treatment of nail fungus have been tested in several studies. All participants had an infection on their toenails caused by a skin fungus. Overall, the study results showed that tablets are considerably more effective than nail polishes or creams.
One year after a three-month treatment with terbinafine:
- About 17 out of 100 people who didnt have this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
- About 76 out of 100 people who had this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
In other words, the treatment with terbinafine got rid of the fungal infection in about 59 out of 100 people.
Itraconazole also proved to be effective. After one year,
- 7 out of 100 people who didnt have this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
- About 43 out of 100 people who had this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
In other words, the treatment with itraconazole got rid of the fungal infection in about 36 out of 100 people.
Some studies directly compared itraconazole and terbinafine with each other. They confirm that terbinafine is somewhat more effective than itraconazole.
Treatment with breaks is thought to be about as effective as continuous treatment. But that has only been looked into in a few studies.
When Should I Consult My Doctor About Toenail Fungus
Anyone with toenail fungus can try home remedies or OTC treatments, but some prefer to go right to their healthcare provider for a more aggressive treatment with prescription medication.
People with certain conditions, such as a compromised immune system, diabetes, or circulation problems, should see their doctor for toenail fungus. Anyone with signs of infection, such as pain, redness, or pus around the toenail, should seek medical care. People who have used home remedies or OTC treatments without success should also see their doctor.
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What Is Black Toenail Fungus
If you have a dark, thick toenail, it could be toenail fungus, which is usually caused by a type of fungus called dermatophytes. It affects the toenail and the area beneath the nail and causes color changes, thickening, and abnormally shaped nails.
Its fairly common, with at least 12% of American adults diagnosed with it, according to Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery. Older adults and people with diabetes, circulation problems, or a weakened immune system are more likely to have toenail fungus.
This infection doesnt usually go away on its own, and it can take a year or more to treat it with prescription medications. These are applied to the nail or taken in pill form.
Unsafe Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus
Although there are many effective home remedies for toenail fungus, there are still some natural and household products that can cause more harm than good. For example, you should never use bleach to get rid of toenail fungus. Its use may be toxic to the skin and cause severe skin irritation when not used properly.
Additionally, you should never use overly hot water when performing the variety of foot soaks mentioned above. Excessive heat to the nails and skin will not kill fungusand extreme temperatures may injure the skin causing burns, blisters, and sometimes permanent skin damage. Always use lukewarm water for soaking.
Urine is another home remedy that should be avoided. Previously, it had been believed to be effective against fungal infections due to its urea contents. While urea can help soften the nail bed to make it easier for antifungal medication to be absorbed, urine does not contain enough urea to be effective.
And, finally, do not remove or excessively trim toenails at home. Fungal toenails should be properly trimmed and maintained on a regular basis, but do not remove too much nail. If toenail clipping or removal is not done properly, damage to the nail bed may cause additional injury to the nail, which can be irreversible. There also is the risk of causing bacterial infections when the damaged nail is not removed properly.
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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.
Causes Of Toenail Fungus
Well, essentially its an imbalance of bad bacteria to good bacteria in your body. Just like with other health conditions that stem from gut-related problems, when you dont have enough good bacteria living within your gut, you wind up developing high levels of yeast and fungus in your body that can show up on your skin.
Besides poor gut health, other risk factors that can tip the scale in terms of an infection forming include:
- Having athletes foot
- Coming into contact with fungi, for example in nail salons, contaminated swimming pools, gyms and saunas
- Damaged nail beds
- Wearing dirty or tight shoes
- Skin conditions, such as psoriasis
- Circulation problems in the legs, from existing conditions like diabetes or artery disease
- A weakened immune system
- Genetic predisposition
In particular, fungal nail infections can be caused by three different types of fungus, either by themselves or in combination:
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What Causes Toenail Fungus
As I mentioned above, toenail fungus is often a sign of an underlying infection such as Candida overgrowth. However, plenty of environmental and lifestyle factors can contribute to toenail fungus. Bad bacteria can enter your body via cuts that occur on the skin surrounding your toenail, or in the separation between the nail and toe. Habits such as wearing sweaty socks or tight-fitting closed-toes shoes for a prolonged period of time can also contribute to your toenail fungus.4
If you live in a hot, humid climate, or spend a lot of time in the water, your chances of getting toenail fungus increases. A good rule of thumb for avoiding toenail fungus is to keep your feet as cool, clean, and dry as possible.
What Is The Outcome For Someone Who Has Nail Fungus
With treatment, many people can get rid of nail fungus. Even when the fungus clears, your nail may look unhealthy until the infected nail grows out. A fingernail grows out in 4 to 6 months and a toenail in 12 to 18 months.
To clear the fungus, its important to:
Use the treatment exactly as prescribed
Apply the medicine for as long as prescribed
Keep all follow-up appointments with your dermatologist
Nail fungus can be stubborn. If you had a severe infection, its possible to clear the infection. A healthy looking nail, however, may be unrealistic, but you can expect the nail to look better and feel more comfortable.
Even with clearing, nail fungus can return. Youll find steps to reduce your risk in Tips: 12 ways to prevent another nail infection.
ReferenceGold LFS and Rosen T. Onychomycosis: Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies. Dermatology News . March 2016:2-15.
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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.
Treatment From Your Gp
Your GP can prescribe antifungal tablets. You’ll need to take these every day for up to 6 months.
Tablets can have side effects including:
- loss of taste
You cannot take antifungal tablets if you’re pregnant or have certain conditions. They can damage your liver.
If your nail has a very bad infection, you may need to have it removed. This is a small procedure done under local anaesthetic.
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Best Ways To Treat A Nail Fungus
Nail fungus can cause thick, discolored nails, and, for some patients, it can even be painful. An Internet search will bring up plenty of ways to treat the condition, but which ones are best? Dermatologist Dr. Christopher Hull discusses what nail fungus actually is, why its so hard to get rid of, and which treatments work best.
Nail Anatomy And Onychomycosis Infection
Figure 1 shows the composition of the nail, including the nail plate , nail bed and nail matrix.
Figure 1: Nail anatomy and physiology
The nail plate and nail bed are joined by layers of hard, translucent, keratinised cells. The nail bed and nail matrix are vascular components of the nail, with nail cells located within the nail matrix where the nail plate is formed. The thickness of the nail plate determines the length of the matrix
- Apply cosmetic nail varnishes or artificial nails
- Walk without footwear in public areas
- Cut nails too short.
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The Supplements And Medicine For Fungus Removal
You can treat the toenail fungus through internal treatments. It is possible by working on your immune system, and letting the body clean the toenail fungus on its own.
Many supplements are exclusively designed to treat toenail fungus or any other skin infection. They may contain probiotics, immunity boosters, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant compounds. These supplements are going to make your body stronger and treat toenail fungus internally.
Concord Foot Doctor Explains How To Eliminate Toenail Fungus Naturally
Toenail fungus is a common yet frustrating problem. You can catch it from using a shared shower, walking barefoot at a public pool, or even getting a pedicure. It can grow quickly under your toenail and cause the nail to thicken and crumble.
If the toenail fungus is severe, you should visit your local foot doctor for treatment. However, you can also try a natural toenail fungus treatment to solve the issue without chemicals or medicines. Here are six of the best natural remedies:
1. White Vinegar
White vinegar other wise known as Acetic Acid can help eliminate fungus when diluted in lukewarm water. The acidity of vinegar creates an environment that most fungus find in hospital and may help eliminate a fungal toenail infection.
2. Listerine and White Vinegar
The thymol and menthol in Listerine evaporate quickly and cause dehydration of superficial fungus infecting a toe nail plate. Soak for 15-20 minutes 3-4 days per week.
3. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a popular home remedy for many skin infections, including fungal infections. Dab a few drops of the oil onto your toenails twice a day, or mix a few drops of oil with some water and soak your entire foot.
4. Urea Paste
You can buy over-the-counter urea paste to dissolve the infected portion of the toenail. Then, use an over-the-counter antifungal cream to prevent infection in the area. Before you do this, though, you should consult your local foot doctor.
5. Pau Darco Tea
6. Vicks VapoRub
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