The Truth About Fungus on Toes
Having great toenails is the dream of everyone, whether a woman or a man. However, very few people can boast of healthy, clean and good-looking toenails. The culprit is toenail fungus. Fungus colonization of the toes can lead to serious effects, but extreme cases can lead to loss of the nail and even infection of the surrounding tissues. What actually is toenail fungus and can it be cured? In this post, we will try to answer these questions and many more, and provide you with a reliable solution if you are a sufferer.
Toenail Fungus Explained
Toenail fungus, or just nail fungus, is an infection that invades the nails or cuts in your skin around the nails. An organism named fungus (yeast or mold) causes the infection. Your toenails are preferred habitats for fungus because of the damp and warm environment existing there. These organisms grow extremely well and they can multiply in big numbers if left untreated.
The medical term for nail fungus is onychomycosis or tinea unguium. Am sure you have heard something called athletes foot. This is the name of nail and skin fungus if it infects the skin between your toes. Medically, athlete’s foot is referred to as Tinea pedis. In most cases, to nail fungi coexist with athlete’s foot leading to speculation that one leads to the other.
Very many different types of fungi and at times yeast can cause the infection. Nonetheless, the signs and symptoms of the infections are often similar. The complications of toenail infections can be serious especially if left untreated. Nail fungus often affect many toenails but not all at the same time. It can spread to the surrounding skin and soft tissue, and even your fingernails.
Causes and Risk Factors for Toenail Fungus
Fungi usually live on your skin and under the nails. Why do the organisms change from seemingly harmless organisms to deadly ones? Well, the problem is most likely you! Are your surprised? Remember these organisms thrive in warm, dark and moist areas. The following situations can encourage fungal growth on your nails:
- Failure to keep your feet clean and dry
- Wearing shoes that cause your skin to get warm and sweaty
- Living with damaged nails.
- Walking around barefoot in areas where fungi or yeast thrives such as commercial (public) bathrooms/ washrooms, locker rooms as well as gymnasia
- Having poor immunity as in immunosuppression or use of certain medications
- Suffering from certain diseases such as psoriasis, diabetes and/or peripheral arterial disease
- Certain lifestyles such as smoking
It is important to note that toenail fungus is contagious meaning it can spread easily from one person to another. You need to know who among your closest associations has the infection and avoid close contact with him or her such as using her footwear.
How Can You Tell You Have Toenail Fungus?
It is not difficult to tell you are suffering from toenail fungus. The signs and symptoms are extremely obvious. Your needs will appear thicker than normal, misshapen or wrapped and discolored. Your nails may also be very brittle meaning they break easily even with minimal force. At times, a tell tale sign could be a small white dot on the nail that gets bigger by the day.
With further colonization, the nail can loosen and even separate from the nail bed. If the is happens, the fungus can get access to your skin and the surrounding soft tissues. The result is serious distortion of the toenail and potential to cause serious widespread cellular and tissue infection. Such infection may also cause serious pain and discomfort especially if you apply pressure or using the infected toe or toes.
Certain conditions, such as psoriasis, may present with the above symptoms making difficult to know for sure that your condition has resulted from fungal infection. This makes it important to see a specialized doctor to make the right diagnosis. The specialist in skin conditions is a dermatologist while the one responsible for the feet is referred to as a podiatrist. The doctor will perform some tests including taking as sample from the infected area.
Treatment of Toenail Fungus
Ask those who have suffered from toenail infection and they will tell you how difficult it is to treat fungal infections. Why is this, especially considering the advancement in medical technology? The answer lies on the physiology of fungi and yeast. These organisms are eukaryotes meaning they have cells resembling those of humans. This makes it difficult to have a product that kills the fungus without harming the cells of the host. This also explains why antifungal medications have terrible side effects.
Mind infections usually does not require medical intervention as they can be eliminate by simple strategies that you will soon learn. Conversely, severe infection presenting with excruciating pain, yellow discoloration of the nails, and brittle and crumbly nails requires immediate treatment. You can see your general practitioner or specialist immediately if you feel the situation needs medical intervention.
Your doctor may recommend the following treatment options:
1. Antifungal drugs including tablets and at times injectables
Most fungal medications are taken orally once or twice daily for several months depending on the severity of the infection and your response to medication. In very severe infections that have spread from the nails to the skin and soft tissues surrounding the nail, your doctor may recommend the use of injectable antifungal medicines. Examples include itraconazole and terbinafine. These medications have several side effects with the commonest being itching, headache, loss of appetite and taste, diarrhea and skin rash.
2. Nail Softening Kits
In this case, your doctor may recommend a paste to soften the infected parts of your nails before removing them with a scraping device. This will deprive the fungi of their food leading to death by starvation. It can be used together with topical antifungals. Treatment kits contain a 40% urea paste, plasters and a scraping device.
3. Antifungal Nail Paints
Alternatively, the doctor may recommend special paints that are applied directly to the affected nail over a number of months. The paint is formulated with topical antifungal to kill the infective organism or to halt their progress in medication.
4. Laser Treatment
In extremely severe toenail fungus, the doctor may recommend complete removal of the infected nail. Laser treatment in which high-energy laser is used to destroy the fungus or yeast follows this. This process may be done several times during the cause of infection and it is recommended for stubborn toenail fungus. Unfortunately, the process can only be performed privates and this can be very costly.
How Can You Prevent Toenail Fungus?
The best way to ward off fungal overgrowth on your toenails and skin is to keep your feet hygienic and dry at all times. Here are some of the best practices:
- Use clean water and soap to wash your feet, including in between your toes, and dry well
- Trim your toenails as straight as possible across to keep them shorter than the end of your toes
- Always use clean tools for cleaning and trimming your toenails. If possible, disinfect them by either boiling or treating them with a chemical disinfectant.
- Wash files and clippers with soap and clean water then wipe them with rubbing alcohol-based disinfectant.
- Do not cover your discolored nails with polish although the temptation is too much. Fungi cannot survive in well-aerated environment that is full of light.
- Replace old footwear that you think could e contaminated with fungi. Cleaning and reusing them might not be enough.
- Try wearing well-fitting shoes manufactured with natural materials such as leather. Use clean socks made of pure cotton. These will enable your feet to breathe.
- Avoid sharing socks and towel with other people and wash your towels as frequently possible.
- Do not work around with unprotected feet on public showers, pools, gyms and locker room. Always take advantage of the available shower shoes if you have to use such public facilities.
- Treat any signs of athlete’s feet as soon as you can to prevent it from spreading to nails.
Something to note is that equipment used in nails salons more often than note are sources of toenail fungus. In case you are a regular nail salon visitor, ensure all the equipment used is properly disinfected or sterilized between uses.
Are There Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus?
As you might have learned from the preceding discussion, current medical interventions may be effective in certain circumstances. The problem is that such medications can cause serious side effects. Other methods such as laser treatment can be extremely expensive. The question is whether home remedies exist to help with toenail fungus treatment. The answer is yes! The internet is full with information on how to achieve this including the following interventions:
- Use of vinegar- it is thought vinegar contains powerful natural ingredients capable of killing fungus and soothing the infected toenail.
- Application of various oils such as essential oils, coconut oil, tea tree oil as well as cedar leaf oil to the nails: it is believe that such oils also contain a number of active ingredients effective against fungus.
- Some people also use household bleach and hydrogen peroxide to kill the fungi. However, these products can cause irritation and burning sensation.
- Other home remedies may include garlic, lemon juice, oregano, orange juice, Listerine mouthwash and baking soda.
While these home remedies have been used, their efficacy is in question. There is nothing to quantify or prove their efficacy and people who have used them say their effects, if any, are too slow.
Toenail infection is very real and if left untreated can have terrible complications. I believe you now have enough information to self-diagnose and take appropriate steps to see your toenails and feet get back to how the were before being infected. I highly recommend Fungus Key Pro. The program offers you the cheapest and most effective way to deal with toenail fungus once and for all. Try Fungus Key Pro today and you will stand a good chance of regaining your beautiful feet in no time. Remember, Fungus Key Pro a digital product meaning you will get access the instant you make the purchase. You can visit the product's official website for more details.