Toenail fungus is a fungal infection that attacks the toenails. Health professionals refer to it as an "onychomycosis." The infection commonly makes toenails thick and yellow, sometimes with white streaks and spots. Many people consider onychomycosis a rare condition, but they are wrong. Toenail fungus affects an estimated 14% of North Americans. One out of every ten people you interact with likely has a fungal nail infection.
You should know that the risk of developing this condition increases as you age. If you already have a fungal nail infection, curing it might seem impossible. Don't give up just yet. Keep reading to learn more about a cure for toenail fungus, including the symptoms and causes of this condition.
What Are the Symptoms of Toenail Fungus?
Although fungal nail infections are often not serious, you may experience pain, and your self-esteem can take a hit due to the less-than-desirable appearance of your nails. Some of the most prevalent symptoms of toenail fungus include:
Your toenails might start changing color to white, black, green, or yellow in some areas. As the fungal infection advances, a larger area of your toenail will change color.
This fungal infection often causes the toenails to grow abnormally thick. The abnormally thick toenails might derail your self-confidence and make you uneasy about wearing open shoes again.
Infected toenails will develop a cloudy hue within and around the nail, which makes it impossible to see the blood and flesh underneath as you usually would for a healthy toenail.
The cracks on the infected toenail, along with its abnormal thickness, irritate the surrounding skin tissue, leading to redness and inflammation around the toenail.
You should book a podiatrist appointment for examination the moment you notice any of these symptoms. Who is a podiatrist? Also known as a chiropodist, this medical practitioner specializes in treating foot ailments and infections.
What Causes Toenail Fungus?
Many online sources have misleading information about the causes of fungal nail infections, thereby breeding a lot of misconceptions. Some people even believe the infection results from poor hygiene, which isn't true.
The primary cause of toenail fungus is a variety of naturally-occurring fungi in the environment. These fungi often penetrate the nail through the cracks on the nail surface or cuts in the surrounding skin, causing an infection.
Keep in mind that toenail fungus is notoriously contagious. The fungi can easily spread from person to person, and anyone can develop the ailment. You are at a higher risk of developing the infection if you habitually walk barefoot in public pools or showers.
Moreover, you can easily contract the ailment by sharing personal items like nail clippers, socks, and towels with an infected person. If you live with an infected person, ask them to seek treatment sooner to minimize the chances of transmission.
How to Get Rid of Toenail Fungus?
Before treating your fungal nail infection, you need to see a chiropodist for diagnosis. Fungal infections are not the only cause of nail problems. For example, nail psoriasis may appear similar to fungus. In order to eradicate your toe infection, you will have to identify the cause. The chiropodist might collect nail clippings from the affected toe, examine them under a microscope, or subject them to laboratory testing. Some of the actions that your podiatrist might recommend for how to get rid of toenail fungus include the following:
Medicine Applied to the Nail
For mild infections, ointment medicines like Ciclopirox can help prevent the fungi from affecting the new nail as it grows. Treatment often lasts between 12 and 18 months. Note that this topical can cause skin irritations in some people.
Medicine You Take
Antifungal pills like Fluconazole helps fight severe infections as they have a higher success rate than ointments. This remedy for toenail fungus often works within three months. Note that this medication can cause severe side effects to the liver, heart, adrenal glands, and digestive system.
The chiropodist can combine oral antifungal pills and ointments to treat an infection that has proven difficult to eliminate with just one of the treatment options.
If the nail infection is too severe and the podiatrist suspects conventional treatment won't work, they can recommend nail removal to allow a new, less-infected nail to grow.
Some chiropodists use laser treatment to combat fungal nail infections. However, there needs to be more research on laser treatment as the results can vary across patients.
If your physician prescribes oral antifungal medication, ointments for the nail, or a combination of the two, make sure you strictly adhere to your prescription guidelines. Whether these treatments cure you depends on how faithfully you stick to them. The doctor might also ask you to return mid-treatment to assess whether the treatment works; make sure you go, as this would be an excellent chance for them to adjust your treatment as necessary.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is Toenail Fungus Painful?
So, is toenail fungus painful? It can be if left untreated. In most cases, fungal nail infections are never painful in their early stages. For this reason, many people don't see the need to visit a chiropodist for an examination when they notice that their toenails could have a problem. As a result, the infection advances causing the toenails to grow abnormally and cracks begin to appear on the nail surface.
The irregular growth of infected nails as the ailment advances causes stress to the surrounding tissue, leading to an immune response, which results in swelling, redness, and discomfort. When the cracks on the nail surface reach the surrounding flesh, it also becomes sore and tender.. Does toenail fungus hurt? You will likely experience discomfort wearing fitting closed shoes.
What to Use for Toenail Fungus?
Are you unsure about what to do with toenail fungus? Don't fret. There is a variety of treatments to address this ailment. If you opt for the conventional treatment option, the podiatrist will likely prescribe oral medication, ointment medication, or a combination of the two. They might also recommend laser treatment to fight the infection. However, laser treatment doesn't always provide positive results, and more studies are needed to establish its efficacy.
As a natural health enthusiast, you might have some confusion about what to use for toenail fungus. You can also go the natural therapy way, like the one by PureHealth Research. The big advantage of such scientifically-proven natural ingredients is that you combat the fungi infection without taking drugs that can have some nasty side effects.
How Do You Get Toenail Fungus?
The fungi that cause toenail infections are ever present in the environment around you. They usually infect the toenails through a crack on the nail surface or an open wound on the tissue surrounding the nail. Additionally, fungal nail infections are highly contagious. The ailment can be easily transferred from one person to another by sharing personal effects like nail cutters, towels, and socks. In fact, these fungi can survive up to 6 months on clothes and towels, even after being laundered. So, do not share your personal effects.
An infected person should take measures as soon as possible to prevent the fungi from spreading to other household members. Let's assume you are not sharing personal effects — how do you get toenail fungus? You can also pick up the fungi by walking barefoot in public areas like gyms, showers, saunas, and swimming pools.
How to Naturally Get Rid of Toenail Fungus?
A quick online search for "how to naturally get rid of toenail fungus" will likely reveal numerous supposed natural remedies. Popular natural remedies include Listerine mouthwash, tea tree oil, oregano oil, snakeroot extracts, and ozonized oils. While most of these natural remedies might work to slow down the advancement of the infection, they aren't enough to provide work on their own.
For a natural approach to interrupting the life cycle of the microorganisms responsible for fungal nail infections and encouraging the growth of healthy new nails, it’s best to choose scientifically validated botanicals such as those provided by PureHealth Research.The strategic formula delivers bioactive compounds that work in synergy as a potent and effective solution for nail fungus.
How Long Does It Take To Alleviate Toenail Fungus?
How long it takes to remedy your toenail fungus depends on the severity of your condition and your chosen treatment. If you use unproven natural remedies, your nail infection might seem to get better, then return stronger and never resolve., However, with consistent use of the proven ingredients in Fungus Eliminator by PureHealth Research, you could start feeling reduced tenderness and discomfort within a couple of weeks and see positive progress in healthy nail growth in within 2-3 months or less. The fungi could reactivate until the affected nail completely grows out and is replaced with new healthy nails, so consistent use is vital to remove all the spores from your body. It takes about 18 months to grow a new big toenail.
Oral pills can alleviate your infection in about three months if you opt for conventional treatment. Ointments applied to the nail of mild cases may help the infection in 12 to 18 months, but since they cannot penetrate into the nailbed where fungi take root are unlikely to resolve severe cases. How long does it take to remedy toenail fungus if your nail is removed? This last resort would take a few weeks to heal the wound and about 18 months to grow a new toenail and would still entail fungus therapy.
What Happens if You Leave Toenail Fungus Untreated?
No matter how minor your fungal nail infection might appear, you should never ignore it.. Remember that the longer you wait to start therapy, the more challenging and longer it will take to resolve.. In the advanced stages, the fungi cause your nails to be highly malformed and cracked, causing severe discomfort.. At such a stage, wearing closed shoes or walking could become difficult.
At any stage, the fungi can infect other nails or the skin, known as athlete's foot. Fungus Eliminator helps alleviate fungal invasions of the nails and skin. The sooner you address the problem, the faster you’ll feel better.
Do Fungal Toenails Ever Go Away?
Many people wrongly believe that fungal nail infections never go away because they have seen someone try various remedies for ages without success or through their own experience. So, do fungal toenails ever go away? Firstly, you should know that nail infections are completely eradicable using scientifically proven treatments like oral medications, ointments, and reputable natural therapies.
It’s absolutely necessary to remain consistent and follow the recommended guidelines of your chosen method until completion. That’s because starting and stopping a therapy mid-way allows the fungi to develop stronger defenses, making it more challenging to fight them when you resume your therapy.
Remember, fungi can root deep into your nail bed where topicals can’t reach and they can enter your bloodstream and grow anywhere in your body. That’s why an oral supplement like Fungus Eliminator is so effective. It works throughout your entire system without harsh side effects, giving the fungi nowhere to hide.
Should I Cut Off My Toenail Fungus?
Maintaining proper nail hygiene is critical to avoid contaminating other nails or parts of your body. Therefore, trim and wash your toenails regularly as they grow and use alcohol to disinfect your tools.. When the fungal damage to the nail is extreme, disfiguring, and affecting your ability to walk, , it is important to see a chiropodist for examination and get advice on your best course of action. You may consider yourself a DIY surgeon for minor injuries thinking, "Should I cut off my toenail fungus myself?" Don't attempt to cut off your nails yourself, no matter how easy it looks. You risk providing easier access for fungi to enter your bloodstream and contracting other more severe infections or damaging your toe.
Will My Toenail Fungus Grow Back if I Pull It Off?
It is wiser to have a professional remove your nail in a sterile environment. The fungi that have infected your toe not only live in the toenail but also in the nailbed. If the fungi haven’t colonized in other areas, removing the toenail may get rid of some fungi and better expose the nailbed to ointment treatment, making it more effective. However, if your nail is in such a severe state you’re considering removing it, it’s likely the fungi have migrated. Your nail can take up to 18 months to fully grow back. But without oral, systemic therapy, residual spores might reactivate.
"So, will my toenail fungus grow back if I pull it off?" While the nail might grow back with some signs of fungal infection, after the nail bed has healed from removing your toenail, it might improve your comfort level and give topicals easier access. . On the other hand, even after your fungus problem resolves, you might still contract another nail infection. If you do, take action immediately before the fungus can colonize and strengthen.
Why You Shouldn't Ignore Toenail Fungus?
Ignoring your toenail fungus will hurt not only your body but also your lifestyle and your wallet. Nail fungus is easier to remedy when it is still in its early stages. If you ignore your nail fungus, be prepared for a lengthy process, which can last up to 18 months. Additionally, the longer you ignore your fungal nail infection, the more damage you will do to your toenails and overall health. Your nails will look unattractive, and you will always feel uneasy around people without covering them up. More importantly, you risk it spreading to your loved ones and that the fungus will migrate, contaminate other nails, skin areas, or even invade your organs, causing havoc to your health.
Moreover, the longer you ignore your fungal nail infection, the more money it will cost you to remedy it. Suppose you were wondering whether there was any financial incentive for why you shouldn't ignore toenail fungus. There it is.
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