Table of Contents
- 1 Fungal Nail Infection
- 2 Common Symptoms of Nail Fungus Infection
- 3 A Proper Diet Can Help Prevent Toe Nail Fungal Infection
- 4 Avoid Nail Fungus Infection
- 5 Diabetic Ingrown Toenail Infection Treatment
- 6 Diabetics Ingrown Toenail
- 7 Fungal Toe Nail Infection
- 8 Alternative Treatment For Nail Fungal Infections
- 9 Home Remedies For Nail Fungus
- 10 Homeopathic Fungal Nail Infections Treatment
- 11 Nail Infection Treatment – Drugs and Other Medical Procedures
Fungal Nail Infection
Fungal nail infection is one of the most common problems that affect a lot of people today. More than half of all the nail problems are caused by fungal infection.
The incidence of developing fungal nail infection is four times more common in toenails than in the fingernails. The infection can involve certain parts or the whole nail, including the nail bed, nail plate and the root. This is more prevalent in adult men than in women and the risk of developing this condition increases as the person gets older.
The growth of fungus in the nail is common among adults and older people because of the reduced blood circulation and their longer exposure to fungi. The nails also grow slower and thicken with age, thus making them more prone to infection. Aside from gender, the risk for fungal infection is also higher in those with a family history of this disease.
There are many species of fungi that can cause fungal nail infection. The most common specie so far, is the Trichophyton rubrum. This kind of fungus is known as a Dermatophyte because of its tendency to infect the skin and manifest several symptoms.
Fungi are present everywhere; in the air, dust and soil, that’s why it’s hard to tell where a particular person catches it. Fungi however, are microorganisms that live in warm moist places, so there are certain places that you should avoid or use with caution.
The commonly suspected areas where the fungus thrives are the locker rooms, swimming pools and shower floors. The frequent use of nail polish and acrylic nails can also make the nail more prone to nail fungal infection because it interrupts the flow of air in the nail. Preventing the infection can start with proper hygienic habits like spraying the socks and footwear.
Another good prevention method is to avoid wearing tight, non-breathing shoes and stay away from athletic floors. Washing of the feet daily and drying the areas between the toes can also help prevent fungal nail infection. Contrary to popular belief, the fungi carried on the fur of pets like cats and dogs don’t really cause fungus in the nails. The use of white socks also doesn’t prevent the infection.
Although fungal infection could have been caught somewhere, this condition is not very contagious. It is very common and finding more than one person in the household with the infection is not very surprising. The infection can only be transmitted to another person through frequent skin contact or by sharing items such as footwear, socks or gloves.
If you develop a fungal nail infection then you’ll find that the most effective treatments are natural remedies which can undergo home treatment.
Common Symptoms of Nail Fungus Infection
Symptoms of nail fungus infection will depend on the type of fungus infection you have. Nail fungus infection can cause unpleasant feeling but is usually not hurt you at the beginning and Athlete’s foot are often present.
The most common nail fungus infection, distal subungal onychomycosis, is caused by dermatophytes. It infects both the nail and the nail bed (skin underneath the nail).
Dermathophytes cause approximately 90% off all nail fungus infection. Some common symptoms if your nail infected by demathophytes:
- Your nail distorted in shape
- Yellow stripes in the nail bed and on the underside of the nail.
- Dry, with no lustre or shine.
- Build-up of bits and pieces of skin and nail fragments (debris) under the nail.
- Easily broken, crumbly or ragged.
(Infected nails may also separate from the nail bed, a condition called onycholysis. You may even feel pain in your toes or fingertips and detect a slightly foul odour.)
The second most common nail fungus infection that also caused by dermatophytes is white superficial onychomycosis. This type of nail fungus infection appears on the nail surface.
Some symptoms of white superficial onychomycosis:
- White stripes or spots on your nail surface.
- As the infection gets worse, your nail surface becomes soft and powdery.
- Your nail surface colour becomes brown of gray and crumbly; however the nail does not separate from the skin underneath.
A Proper Diet Can Help Prevent Toe Nail Fungal Infection
The fungal infection is common on both; fingernails and toenails. Toenail fungus, in medical terminology, is known as onychomycosis. These fungi harm the body as they grow under the nail and digest the substance name keratin that protects the nail. The body overproduces the keratin and a result of that, the nail gets detached from the nail-bed. The fungus, there, grows wider and deeper and finally starts eating up the tissues surrounding the nail and then it makes the discoloration. The entire set-up changes to necrosis and then local incision of removal of the nail remains as the only treatment.
To avoid such hazardous situation, one can prevent the condition in many ways. Natural therapies and home remedies are very useful preventing toenail infection. A proper diet can also help preventing toenail fungal infection in an effective way. Many dermatologists now agree that dietary changes can also prevent and treat toenail fungal infection. This is probably due to healthy diet can strengthen the immune system that can help preventing any mild infection such as toenail infection on the initial stages.
Nails are important part of the body and they require proper nutrition. Flaky and brittle nails, painful hangnails, curved nails, discoloured nails and redness around the nail-bed indicate that the body is lacking of some Vitamins and minerals as a result of that, nails are not healthy and in shape.
To prevent toenail fungal infection, your nail must be healthy and for that proper dietary supplements are necessary to have. One must follow a diet plan to remain healthy. The first rule comes in any condition is having plenty of water a day. Water is essential element that can flush out the toxins from the body through sweating and urine. Sulphur, silicon and biotin rich food also help keeping the nails healthy and shiny. Some of the choices to have that include broccoli, onions and soy.
Some of the dieticians agree with dermatologists that one should eat food that is good source of protein, folic acid and Vitamin C. Each of them carries great value of healing various skin problems. Deficiency of any of them will lead to various health ailments including nail problems. Many of the cosmetologists suggest having Vitamin B 12 when you have curved and dark looking nails. Such supplements can be found in diet and you can also have them as health supplements (available in various forms like syrups, tablets, capsules and injections).
Many health experts believe that to run body system smoothly, one should have probiotics. Lactus bacillus, acidophilus capsules etc help keeping the colons free from toxins and relieve constipation that is main cause for producing unwanted gases and materials. Nails too, get benefited with such supplements and these supplements are generally advised with Vitamin D, E and zinc. They all support the nail to be healthy and grow smoother.
Some of the ancient folk medicinal systems like Ayurveda suggest taking onion and garlic as they are powerful immune-boosters and help fighting with any kind of infection including toenail fungal infection. Nowadays, with advancement in technology, garlic pills are also available in the market that can be taken after consulting holistic doctor.
Avoid Nail Fungus Infection
Regardless of the type of onychomycosis, there are some basic steps that you can take to avoid attracting the organisms that are at the root of it. Basically the steps are associated with personal hygiene and a little bit of common sense.
1) Keep your Nails Short and Clean
Keeping your nails trimmed, short and filed properly is a priority. This stops dirt, grit and debris from getting under the tips of your nails, which disables the organisms’ ability to gain entry to a site and begin their destructive process. Be careful not to cut or nick the skin around the nail bed as this too gives germs a perfect place to breed. Don’t share your nail clippers, files or scissors with other people.
2) Change Your Socks and Shoes
It may sound simple enough, but wearing clean, dry socks and shoes can dramatically reduce your chances of contracting toenail fungus. Because fungi thrive in warm, wet environments, they are especially happy in your sweaty shoes and socks. Keep your feet clean, dry, and in clean footwear at all times.
3) Don’t Share Footwear, Towels or Socks
Because this disease is contagious, sharing clothing items that come in contact with your feet or hands is an absolute no-no. You’ll only increase your own risk of attracting this disease by sharing these types of personal items. And if you are unlucky enough to have it yourself, you can easily pass it on to others.
4) Don’t Bite Nails
Many of us do this from time to time, mostly unconsciously. It is simply a habit. But it’s a habit you can break. The problem is that often times you tear or rip away the skin around your nails, and as said before, this gives a breeding ground for the germs that are associated with nail fungus.5) Watch Your Diet Bad carbohydrates and sugars can increase your blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels provide a food source for the dermatophyte moles to feed and multiply.
Restrict these types of foods in your diets in any event, because high blood sugar levels only lead to other diseases such a high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.
Diabetic Ingrown Toenail Infection Treatment
This article is for diabetics looking for information on ingrown toenails and their treatment. Diabetic ingrown toenail infection treatment is different from other people and it is vital that the condition is treated by a doctor and quickly. Here you will find information on the causes and symptoms on an ingrown toenail, why diabetics need to pay attention to foot problems and how to care for your feet.
Causes and Symptoms
An ingrown toenail usually affects the big toes but some people have it occur on the little or others. It begins with sensitivity to the flesh where the side of the nail meets the toe and the area is red. This can progress to the area becoming inflamed and then to the nail cutting and growing into the flesh. If not treated quickly it can then become infected, which is obvious from the pus, additional swelling and pain.
Causes can vary – often tight fitting shoes or high heels that squeeze the toes together can be a factor, cutting nails incorrectly by curving rather than straight across, sometimes a person is genetically pre-disposed to have them, injury to the toe or infection can also cause it.
Treatment of Ingrown Toenails
There are three main stages to an ingrown toenail, stage one is when the condition is new, and can be treated with soaks, lifting the nail with a rolled cotton swab, wearing open shoes and elevation. This will ease symptoms after just one or two days and the condition itself will be relived in a couple of weeks. Stage two is when there is infection, antibiotics are needed and if home treatment is unsuccessful a doctor may remove part or the entire nail. Stage three the toenail is removed and ablation may be performed which means a chemical or surgical action that kills the cells that grow the nail so it does not grow anymore.
Diabetic Ingrown toenail infection treatment should happen at stage one. Rather than dealing with it yourself at this stage you should go to a doctor. If there is an infection it is essential you see your doctor or go to an emergency ward as the potential health risks to a diabetic with an infection in the foot is high. Diabetic Ingrown toenail infection treatment is not something to be taken lightly.
Diabetics Ingrown Toenail
If you are diabetic it is important that what others see as inconvenient foot conditions, you see as potential serious health problems. Diabetics are more likely to get infections because of the changes their condition causes to the immune system and can lead to loosing sensation of the feet. Toenails can thicken and curve which makes ingrown toenails more likely so it is a good idea to have your nails trimmed regularly by a podiatrist.
How Diabetes Can Affect Your Feet
Diabetes affects both the nerves and the blood flow of the feet. If you are not managing your diabetes it can lead to damaged nerves meaning you do not feel cold or pain. This means an ingrown toenail would not be noticed from the pain alone and infection can set in. If the blood flow is affected it takes longer to heal which means you could develop gangrene. Treatment of gangrene is often amputation – at least 56,000 diabetics have an amputation each year.
Fungal Infections of Fingernails
Fingernail fungal infection or fungal nail infection are medically known as onychomycosis. This is the condition in which, any nail of the body is affected by infection caused due to microorganisms (generally fungus).
There are many causes that give rise to fingernail fungal infection such as any cut or wound, poor hygiene of nails, to keep nails wet and moist, wearing unwashed socks for longer period etc. All these reasons invite fungus to locate at those tiny places under and around nails. The fungus grows well in dark and moist environment and then, it produces certain symptoms.
The symptoms for fingernail fungal infection include discoloration (generally purple or yellowish), pain and in some worse cases, pus formation. There will be thickening of the nails and they become brittle. They are highly tender and person suffering from such problem finds difficulty in walking, wearing socks or shoes and if they are on the hands’ nails, pressing, catching, typing and holding the things.
People who are diabetic, having circulatory problems, wearing tight glove, working in moist or humid environment and those who sweat a lot are at higher risks of having fingernail fungal infections. Those people with poor hygienic condition and/or those who wear footwear with no ventilation are also susceptible to have fingernail fungal infections. Sportspersons who are likely to get hurt, fall or damage their fingers keep the doors open for fungus to come, locate and then spread infection.
The condition can be diagnosed by local examination and in more advanced stage, sending the cut material to the laboratory for investigation. The microscope identifies any fungus present into the culture. Once diagnosed, the fingernail fungal infection can be prevented earliest possible.
With certain homemade remedies, essential oils, disinfectant dusting powders and soaking the affected area in some anti-fungal solution may help curing the disease. Keeping the nail and its surrounding dry provides healthy environment to the nail to remain in shape and in good condition.
Fingernail fungal infection, if left untreated or untouched, may result into various complications those can be hazardous. Such complications may require the surgery as other medical treatment including modern medicines may not work then. Untreated or poorly treated fingernail fungal infection starts spreading inside and by sides of the nails and then eventually starts covering surrounding structures like cuticles and another finger.
If the infection has spread beyond limits that part of the body gets necrosed (death of the living cells) and then it requires surgery. The surgery will be local incision and removal of the fingernail along with surrounding tissues that are affected. Therefore, it is always advisable to pay attention towards the nail that is getting affected to prevent forthcoming complications and hazardous condition leaving a deep cut and removal of the body part as the only effective remedy.
Once it is removed, one should take precaution so that it should not come again. Hygiene of nails, powdering it with disinfectants, keeping it dry, eating enough Probiotics and soaking the fingernails into disinfectant or anti-fungal lotion regularly will prevent the fungus to grow again.
Fungal Toe Nail Infection
Whenever you experience some itchiness in your foot or especially your toe, and then do not ignore it as something common. It could be possible that you must have got a fungal toe nail infection. This infection is more common in sportsmen but not necessarily, as it may happen to you and me as well, due to many reasons.
The fungi start developing on your toe nails and could make them brittle and discoloured. In the initial stages, you may not feel much pain but it may become painful later on. Initially, you would just find a discoloured toenail and would experience bad smell.
To prevent this infection from happening, just make sure that you wash your hands and feet after visiting public places. Wash your feet even if you are wearing shoes.
You should also make it a point to wear clean socks every time. If you are in the habit of not washing your socks regularly, then please change it! Do not share towels, handkerchiefs or any other material of somebody who has already got this infection.
Some home remedies to treat fungal toe nail infection are as follows:
- Apply tea tree oil twice a day on the infected toe. Apply some oil on a cotton ball and rub it on your toe once in the morning and once before going to bed.
- Fill a bucket with equal amounts of water and apple cider vinegar. Soak your toe in this water for 15-20 minutes. Once removed from this, dry your toenails completely.
- Another useful remedy is to soak a cotton ball in lime juice. Rub the affected area twice a day. Keep changing the lime juice content every day.
In case all these remedies do not work, then consult your local physician. Don’t worry a lot if you have got this infection. Just relax and in case you can’t figure out if you have fungal toe nail infection or something else, then just visit you doctor and ask him.
Help With Treating Fungal Infections
What is the right toenail fungus cure? You will know the best cure for this horrible condition if you have used any kind of cure while achieving total fungus eradication. Toenail fungus is one of the most popular diseases known to man.
Anyone regardless of age, sex, or race, can have it. The most vulnerable people to toenail fungus are those who usually swim in public pools, use public bath tubs and saunas, and shower in gyms. Toenail fungus is a very contagious disease and proper hygiene combined with other remedies is the best way to treating it.
There are many toenail fungus cures out there. However, before discussing any them it is ideal to let you understand how to keep your toes clean. This way you will understand how to keep your toe away from fungus and prevent existing fungal infection from spreading to other areas of the body.
Keeping your toe as dry as possible is necessary. See to it that your shoes fit you well and are not tight enough to prevent air from entering. When you are in public always keep your toes well protected. You do not want to risk infecting other people. If you love wearing closed shoes make sure to apply anti fungal spray or powder on your shoe. This can help weaken the fungus on your toe.
One of the most widely used toenail fungus cure is a topical cream. You can buy anti-fungal creams on any pharmacy as prescribed by your doctor. Toenail fungus creams are applied to the affected area until the symptoms may disappear. This usually works for a month or more depending on the gravity of the infection. Other than the use of anti-fungal creams you can also take oral medications for treating nail fungus.
Although anti-fungal pills or tablets are costly, they can effectively get rid of fungus. The only disadvantage of these remedies is that they have side effects which can bring in added discomfort to the body and have been known to cause liver damage.
A natural or homemade toenail fungus cure is another way to treat fungal infections on the toe. Since the advent of high technology, home remedies for treating toe nail fungus have already been practiced. These ancient treatments include the use of garlic oil, tea tree oil, and oregano oil.
Garlic and tea tree oils are strong anti-infective. Both can effectively get rid of fungus because they have powerful anti-fungal components. Moreover, tea tree oil and emu oil can help shed off dead skin cells and can help in keratin production. These natural remedies can help clear the nails by revitalizing its underlying skin.
Vinegar is another natural toenail fungus cure. This is another treatment that can help you see results; however, it does not always work. You may want to try a toenail fungus treatment that has a strong guarantee and few side effects.
Treating toenail fungus needs more patience because it takes time. Although some of the treatment options are easy, the healing process can actually take quite some time regardless of the treatment method. Patience, perseverance, and self-discipline are the secret to preventing, and treating any kind of skin disorder including toenail fungus.
Alternative Treatment For Nail Fungal Infections
Nail fungus is an unattractive problem that can also be quite painful. Moreover, it is difficult to treat, especially with over-the-counter medications. Because of this, nail fungus typically recurs. Sometimes infected nails separate from the nail bed, causing a condition known as onycholysis. The infection may cause pain in the fingertips or toes, and it often produces a foul-smelling odour.
Conventional Treatment For Nail Fungus
Once it begins, nail fungus will persist until treated. Over-the-counter products, such as antifungal nail creams or ointments, are common. But they are not very effective for treating nail fungus.
Doctors usually prescribe oral antifungal medications that clear up infections and encourage new nail growth. It can take months to eliminate an infection, however, and prescription drugs can have negative side effects. They are not recommended for patients with liver disease or congestive heart failure.
Some doctors opt for topical medications. Prescription creams are usually combined with over-the-counter products containing urea to speed absorption. Topical medications do not provide a cure, of course, but merely a relief. They are usually used in conjunction with prescription oral medication.
Mild or moderate cases of nail fungus can be controlled with antifungal lacquer. Patients paint this prescription nail polish on their nails and the surrounding skin, once a day for a week. The layers are then wiped off with alcohol to prepare for fresh applications. This treatment is effective but lengthy, often taking a year before nail fungus is cleared.
Severe cases of nail fungus may require surgery, such as nail removal or laser treatment. Lasers, or photodynamic therapy, is not available everywhere. And nail removal results in very slow new nail growth.
Home Remedies For Nail Fungus
Because conventional medical treatment takes a long time to work, and is not always effective, some patients turn to home remedies. Vinegar and menthol rubs are two home remedies said to work for nail fungal infections. Common antiseptics are another home remedy solution.
Although there is no evidence that vinegar can cure nail fungus, vinegar soaks have been shown to inhibit bacterial growth. Experts suggest soaking feet in a mixture of one part vinegar to two parts warm water. Patients can soak their feet daily, for fifteen to twenty minutes at a time. For irritated skin, patients can increase the amount of water in the soak, or cut back to about three times a week.
As with vinegar, menthol rubs are also thought to help with nail fungal infections. While no scientific evidence exists, numerous anecdotal reports suggest that menthol rubs are an effective home remedy. Most people simply apply a bit of the menthol rub to the affected fingernail or toenail.
Some people have reported success with certain antiseptics, as well. Common antiseptics for nail fungus include decolorized iodine, peroxide, and chlorine bleach.
Antiseptics are typically applied with a cotton swab dipped in the liquid and applied to the infected nail and surrounding skin.
Homeopathic Fungal Nail Infections Treatment
Nail Fungus Control© is a homeopathic fungal nail infections treatment made by the company Forces of Nature®. This company owns a USDA certified organic facility and use only organic ingredients for this remedy and the other products they make.
For people who want to use homeopathic fungal nail infections treatment this is an option you may want to consider. They sell over the counter at pharmacies and health stores as well as online, in U.S and around the world. On orders over $75 they also offer free shipping.
Why Choose Natural Treatment Over Synthetic
This company argue that because we share a similar ‘blueprint’ biologically with natural ingredients they work better together, absorbing what is needed more easily, healing and soothing where needed. The body does not have reactions or struggle to use them. This means that they work faster. Synthetic treatments may try to mimic natural healing, but not all the components are there and the chemicals in them can cause side effects, and may not be absorbed as easily.
About Nail Fungus Control©
This homeopathic fungal nail infections treatment is intended to soothe the symptoms and treat infected nails. It should ease the pain, reduce the inflammation and soreness and clear up symptoms such as distortion, brittleness, thickness and discolouring. As well as treating the nail it also heals the skin around it.
There is a twofold approach to treatment, organic homeopathic medicine and added healing botanicals. Its development took eleven years and included leading doctors and the company founder travelling the world looking at plants with medical properties.
What Is in This Homeopathic Fungal Nail Infections Treatment?
- Calendula Officinalis
- Madagascar Eugenia
- Madagascar Pelargonium
- Sri Lankan Cymbopogon
- Australian Melaleuca
How to Use It
Before using this treatment you need to wash the area properly and dry it well. Then apply one or two drops to the affected nails and rub in. Repeat three times a day.
Remember nails can take a while to grow out healthy, finger nails around 6 months, and toenails about 9 months. However, you are advised to see a doctor if you see no improvement at all after 7 days. This is too soon to expect to see much change in a fungal infection of a nail, but since the company offer a one year money back guarantee it may be worth giving it a try anyway. It is not to be taken internally and should be kept out of children’s reach. It should also not be used on children who are younger than three years old.
Nail Infection Treatment You Can Use
Onychomycosis or nail infection affects many individuals around the globe. This condition can affect the toenails, fingernails and the surrounding skin; however, infection of the toenails is more common. This condition can be treated though the infection is rooted within the nails. There are a couple of nail infection treatment methods that you can use to treat this condition.
A possible nail fungus infection may be present if the nail has become thickened and discoloured. It may turn white, yellow, green or black. The development of the infection can cause the nail to become flaky. The nail can gradually break away from the finger or toe until it falls off entirely.
If the infection is not treated right away, it can cause skin inflammation which could result to painful sensation underneath or around the nail. White and yellow patches may be cited on the nail bed and the skin around the nail can become scaly. Typically, this type of infection is not associated with pain until the infection becomes severe.
Nail Infection Treatment – Drugs and Other Medical Procedures
There are two ways to remove a nail; surgically and non-surgically. Antifungal pills are frequently used in the treatment of nail infections. Among the most commonly used drugs to treat nail infections are Sporoanox, Griseofulvin, Lamisil and Ketoconazole.
However, these drugs also have possible side effects such as dizziness, nausea, vomiting and liver damage. There are also antifungal creams, lotions and gels that are used for the treatment of these type infections. These should be applied to the infected nail and skin. These are usually used for mild nail infections.
Lasers and nail removal can also be used for nail infection treatment. A Noveon laser is currently being used by some podiatrists for onychomyscosis treatment. Nail removal can be used to treat onychomyscosis. However, this procedure is only for severe cases of nail infection and is not always necessary.
Nail Treatment Infection – Alternative Medicine
Like other diseases, there are also alternative remedies for nail infection. Here are some of the many herbal remedies that are used to heal nail fungal infections.
Australian tea tree oil is an essential oil with anti-fungal properties; this treatment is widely used by many people. The natural anti-microbial property of Grapefruit seed extract is also known to kill nail fungus and prevent further infection.
The Snakeroot leaf extract are also known to treat exterior onychomycosis. The extract of snakeroot leaf is said to be equivalent to certain anti-microbial drugs such ketaconazole and ciclopirox.
Individuals with a fungus infection are advised to maintain good hygiene during a nail infection treatment. They should make sure that the infected nails and skin is clean at all times. It is important to remember that whenever a nail infection appears, treat it immediately to avoid further nail problems. Even a mild nail infection can cause discomfort which could affect productivity and quality of life. An ugly infected nail is unsightly and can affect their self-esteem in a negative manner.
Individuals who suspect they have a nail infection should seek proper treatment right away. Appropriate nail infection treatment should be used to restore the natural condition of the nails.
Sutapa Das is involved in healthcare market research since 2010. She is passionate about healthcare and loves to write on various health topics.