Whether it's sandal season or not, you don't want toenail fungus. Toenail and foot fungus are both common conditions. They generally don't cause much pain. This is why so many people ignore it until the pain sets in. Let's talk today about what causes this type of fungus? What can it do? How can you prevent it? How is it treated? We're talking all that AND more.
Fungi love dark and damp places, and your feet provide a perfect home to these nasty microbes. Both toenail and foot fungus can be caused by the same organism. But, they aren't the same condition, and they are treated differently.
Toenail fungus is a fungal infection in the toenail. It happens when a fungus gets in the nail bed from a cut or break in the nail, and penetrates the nail itself. On the other hand, a foot fungus is a fungal infection of the skin, better known as athlete foot.
The fungus enters through cracks in the skin. It's known a foot because athletes are more at risk due to all the sweating. Kids are also more at risk because they often don't switch shoes. Switching shoes decreases your risk of getting foot fungus. The fungus could be anything from mold to yeast to other types of fungus.
As for the toenail fungus, the nail then continues to grow over the fungus. Once a nail plate is infected with fungus, it will not be infected, and you must wait to see how it grows out, and whether the new nail growing behind it is healthy. The new nail rarely grows healthy without treatment. Toenail fungus is more common among older people. The most common reason for toe fungus is constant damage to the nail.
Wearing shoes that are too small can hurt the nail and make it more vulnerable to fungus. Also, you may be at a greater risk of toenail fungus if you have diabetes, or a weaker immune system. So, it becomes important to look for signs.
When you have toenail fungus, the nail tends to be thick. It's a little bit more brittle and breaks easily. Discoloration of nails is also very common. It could lead to yellow, brown, or dark-white nails. It's not always painful, but it may hurt if the nail gets so thick that it pushes into the skin.
If you think you have it, you should see a podiatrist or dermatologist. They will send a specimen or a piece of your nail to a lab. Fungus treatment is different depending on the type. The doctor needs to know which kind you have before anything can be prescribed.
Also, sometimes the root of the problem is not a fungus at all. It's another condition. Sometimes, it's a some kind of trauma to the nail bed. For instance, if you dropped something on your toe. There's no treatment for toenail trauma, but removing the nail may be smart if it's hurting too much.
If you do have a toenail fungus, your doctor will likely recommend one or more of the following treatment options The easiest is trimming the nail. A podiatrist usually does this while the patient is on medication. Most of the time, the nail gets so thick, you can't trim it yourself. In this situation, you soak your foot in lukewarm water for a while. This will make the nail softer and easier for trimming.
The next option would be prescription topical medications. These are used the same way you would use nail polish. One of these medications is efinaconazole (eff-in-ah-kon-uh-zoll). This has a success rate of about 50%. It's generally recommended for long-term use.
Another similar medication, ciclopirox (sick-lo-pie-rox), has a 20% success rate. You must use it for 11 to 12 months. If you like painting your toenails with regular nail polish, you won't be able to while you're on these medicines.
Terbinafine (terr-bin-uh-feen) is an oral medication you take every day for three months. It's up to 70% effective, but can have severe effects on your liver. If you're at risk of liver disease, or taking other meds that are processed through the liver, like cholesterol medication, you can't take it.
Itraconazole (it-ra-con-uh-zoll) is another oral medication for toenail fungus. It's 50% effective, and you take it for three months. Removing the infected part of the nail, and sometimes the nail completely, is another treatment option for toenail fungus.
There are two ways to do it. First, you can do it permanently, so it never grows back. The second option is you take your chances and let it grow back in. Sometimes it grows back as a healthy nail, and sometimes it grows back with the fungus.
If you wanna go a little fancier, there are laser treatments for your fungus. More research needs to be done to figure out how safe it is, but the FDA has approved several of these lasers. Just make sure you see a doctor before you choose any type of treatment. Now,
The first one is Vicks VapoRub. Vicks VapoRub is a topical ointment. While it is designed to get rid of a cough, its active ingredients like camphor, and eucalyptus oil may help treat the fungus.
A 2011 study found that Vicks VapoRub had a positive clinical effect in the treatment of toenail fungus. To use it, you simply need to apply a small amount of Vicks to the affected area. Do this at least once a day.
This is an antifungal made from plants in the sunflower family. A 2008 study showed that the remedy is as effective against toenail fungus as some prescription medications. In the study, snakeroot extract was applied to the affected area every third day for the first month, twice a week for the second, and once a week for the third.
Number three : is tea tree oil. This is an essential oil with antifungal and antiseptic abilities. According to a study, tea tree oil might be effective against toenail fungus. To use it, paint the tea tree oil directly onto the affected nail twice daily with a cotton swab.
Number four : is oregano oil. Oregano oil contains thymol. According to a 2016 review, thymol has antifungal and antibacterial properties. To treat toenail fungus, apply the oregano oil to the affected nail twice daily. This is again done with a cotton swab. Some people use oregano and tea tree oil together.
The problem is that both products are powerful, and may cause irritation or allergic reactions.Combining them may increase this risk. You can also try olive leaf extract. An active substance in this extract is oleuropein, which is said to have antifungal, antimicrobial, and immune-boosting abilities.
You can apply olive leaf directly to nail fungus, or ingest it in capsule form. According to a 2012 review, taking one to three olive leaf capsules with your meals twice a day is more effective than physical olive leaf for treating toenail fungus. It's recommended you drink plenty of water while taking this treatment. Easily available in the market as a cosmetic product.
ozonized (ozone-ize) oils can also be very effective in treating your toenails. Ozonized oils are oils like olive or sunflower oil that are injected with ozone gas. According to a 2011 study, this type of ozone exposure can destroy organisms such as fungi, yeast, and bacteria. To treat toenail fungus with ozonized oil, work the oil into the affected toenail twice a day. Again, rub the cotton swab gently over the nail to make sure you're getting the infected area.
Treating your toenails with vinegar might help. Keep in mind that there is still no physical evidence that vinegar works. Some people have tried it and said it's effective. If you’re like to give it a go, it's pretty safe. To do it, soak your whole foot in one part vinegar, two parts warm water for up to 20 minutes a day.
This next one is actually pretty popular, as hard as it is to believe. Using listerine mouthwash is also very popular for fungus. Listerine contains ingredients such as menthol, thymol, and eucalyptus. All of these can effectively work against toe fungus. Supporters of the treatment recommend soaking your whole foot in listerine for 30 minutes a day.
The next one on the list is also found in your kitchen. A 2009 review said that garlic has some antifungal and antimicrobial capabilities. You can treat toenail fungus with garlic by placing chopped or crushed garlic cloves on the affected area for 30 minutes daily. While this seems like it would work, you can also do garlic capsules.
The infection can also be controlled and treated by making changes to your diet. The link between diet and health is clear. The healthier the foods you eat, the better chance your body has to fight off conditions like toenail fungus.
Give your body the nutrients it needs by eating foods like that are rich in probiotics, calcium, vitamin D and fatty acids. Foods with a lot of protein can help your nail regrow a lot quicker. As weird as this is to believe, given what we just talked about, there are some people who simply ignore their fungus.
Instead of going through treatment, they simply put nail polish over the affected area. In most cases, toenail fungus is considered a cosmetic problem. Still, it may cause serious complications for some people. If you have diabetes, toenail fungus may lead to foot ulcers or other foot problems.
According to a 2012 study, chronic toenail fungus is a significant risk factor for bacterial cellulitis in your leg. If you have diabetes or a weakened immune system, you shouldn't use home remedies for toenail fungus. Contact your doctor to figure out what you should do.
It’s so important to take care of your feet. An unhealthy foot can have some serious effects on your overall health.