What Is a Fungal Nail Infection?
A fungal nail infection is a common infection of the toenails. They can cause pain and difficulty walking, as well as redness and swelling around the nail. Treatment consists of antibiotics ointment and a bandage.
What Are the Causes of Nail Infection
There are a few causes of nail infection which include the use of dirty nails, improper hygiene, wearing old or worn shoes that don’t fit well, and not properly drying your hands after washing them.
What Are the Symptoms of Toenail Infections?
Toenail infections are fairly common, and can be caused by either bacteria or fungus. The symptoms of toenail infection depend on the type of infection. Generally, toenail infections cause yellow or brown discoloration of the nail, thick nails, and nail bed separation. If you have diabetes, it is important to see a doctor as soon as symptoms appear, as a toenail infection can cause complications. Toenail infections can be treated with antibiotics or a topical cream.
The symptoms of a toenail infection can include any of the following:
- pain in the toe or foot
- redness and inflammation around the nail
- discharge from the affected area
- a foul odor coming from the infection
- fever, if the infection is severe
If you think you may have a toenail infection, it’s important to see your doctor or podiatrist right away. They will be able to diagnose the infection and recommend the best course of treatment.
Different Types of Toenail Infections
There are several different types of toenail infections, each with its own set of symptoms and treatment options. The most common type of infection is called onychomycosis, which is caused by a fungus. This type of infection can cause the toenail to become thick, yellow, or brittle. Treatment options for onychomycosis include antifungal medications, laser therapy, and surgery.
Other types of toenail infections include bacterial infections, which can cause the toenail to become red and swollen, and viral infections, which can cause the toenail to become discolored. Treatment options for bacterial and viral infections include antibiotics and antiviral medications, respectively.
To prevent toenail infections, it is important to keep the feet clean and dry, and to avoid walking barefoot in public places.
How Can You Treat Toenail Infections?
Toenail infections can be treated in a number of ways. Soaking your feet in warm water with Epsom salt can help to reduce the pain and swelling associated with the infection.
You can also apply an antibiotic ointment to the affected area to help kill the bacteria that is causing the infection. It is important to keep the area clean and dry, so wearing sensible footwear and bandaging the affected area can help to prevent further infection.
If the pain is too much to handle, over-the-counter pain medication can be taken to help relieve some of the discomfort.
Things You Can Try at Home
To treat a toenail infection at home, you should soak your feet in warm water to reduce swelling and relieve pain. You can also apply a cotton ball or waxed dental floss to the edge of the ingrown toenail to help the nail grow.
Additionally, you should apply an antibiotic cream to the toenail and avoid wearing tight shoes. If the pain is too unbearable, you can take pain relievers. However, if the infection does not go away after a few days, you should see a doctor.
Home Remedies For Toenail Infections You Can Find in Your Pantry
Toenail infections are a common problem, but they can be difficult to treat. While there are many over-the-counter and prescription medications available, home remedies can often be just as effective.
There are a few different home remedies that can be used to treat toenail infections.
One popular remedy is vinegar. Vinegar has antifungal properties and can help to kill the fungus that is causing your toenail infection. You can soak your feet in a vinegar solution for about 20 minutes each day. You can also add vinegar to your bathwater and soak your feet for about 30 minutes.
To make a vinegar solution, mix one part vinegar with two parts water. You can use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
Sunflower oil is a popular home remedy for toenail infections. The oil has antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties that can help treat the infection. To use sunflower oil, soak a cotton ball in the oil and apply it to the affected area. Leave it on for 30 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water. Repeat this process twice daily until the infection clears.
Tee Tree Oil
If you’re looking for a natural way to treat your toenail infection, look no further than your pantry! Tee tree oil is an essential oil with antifungal and antibacterial properties that can be used to treat a number of conditions, including toenail infections. To use tee tree oil for your infection, simply apply a few drops of the oil to the affected area several times a day. You can also add a few drops of tee tree oil to a warm foot bath and soak your feet for 20 minutes.
How Can You Prevent Toenail Infections?
Toenail and fingernail infections are most commonly caused by bacteria, but can also be caused by fungi. These infections can lead to serious health problems if not treated properly. To prevent toenail and fingernail infections, follow these tips:
- Children should avoid biting or pulling off nails, sucking their fingers or toes, and trimming their nails too closely.
- Proper hand-washing is key to preventing toenail infections. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after coming into contact with any potentially contaminated surfaces.
- If your child gets wet or sweaty, dry them off as soon as possible. Wet or damp environments are ideal for the growth of bacteria and fungi.
- If your child has diabetes, well-controlled blood sugar levels will help to prevent infections. Diabetic patients are at an increased risk for developing fungal infections due to the presence of sugars in their blood which act as a food source for the fungi.
Outlook / Prognosis
What Can I Expect If I Have a Toenail Fungus?
The possible outcomes of toenail fungus include the nail turning white or yellow, the edges of the nail crumbling, and pain. The fungus can also spread to others through contact with moist surfaces or with someone who has the fungus. Treatment for toenail fungus can be difficult, and the fungus may return after treatment has been successful. Follow-up care is important to ensure patient safety.
How Can You Care for Yourself at Home?
Toenail problems can be caused by a variety of factors, but proper hygiene is key to reducing the risk. Handle chemicals carefully, don’t clean under your nails too often or aggressively, and resist the urge to bite or tear hangnails. Give yourself a home manicure safely by pushing back cuticles and using nail clippers. To prevent toenail fungus, don’t share towels, dry yourself thoroughly after bathing, wear thongs in communal bathing areas, and make sure your shoes fit well and have plenty of room for air circulation.
Antifungal tablets are the most effective form of treatment for fungal infections. The tablets work by killing the fungus that is causing the infection. Side effects can include headaches, itching, loss of taste, feeling sick and diarrhoea. You cannot take antifungal tablets if you are pregnant or have certain conditions (liver damage being one example).
Antifungal Nail Paint
Nail paint is an easy-to-use antifungal medication that can prevent re-infection. It can take a long time for the medication to work, but it is less likely to cause side effects than tablets. A treatment kit containing plasters, urea paste and scraping device is available from pharmacies.
- If tablets are ineffective, try nail paint instead: Nail paint is less effective than tablets, but it doesn’t usually cause side effects.
- It can take a long time for antifungal medication to work: Treatment with nail paint may be more convenient for some people as it involves softening and removing infected parts of the nail rather than taking antifungal tablets over a period of time.
- There is a treatment kit available from pharmacies: A treatment kit containing plasters, urea paste and scraping device is available from pharmacies so you don’t have to search for individual items separately.
- Antifungal nail paint is easy to use: wash the area and dry it thoroughly, apply paste carefully to infected nails, cover with plaster and leave for 24 hours.
- Antifungal nail paint can prevent re-infection: remove softened parts of the nail after applying paste each day for 2-3 weeks, ask your pharmacist for antifungal nail paint once no more infected part of the nails can be removed.
Results of Treatment
Overall, people who took oral antifungal medication reported fewer onychomycosis-related problems after 9 months. The new preparation of ciclopirox hydrolacquer had a significant difference in complete cure rates after 12 weeks. A high proportion of people achieved negative culture and microscopy results with the new and traditional ciclopirox preparations. However, a smaller proportion of people had completely normal looking nails after 1 year of treatment.
Removing the Nail
If you have an infection or pain in your toenail, you may need to have the nail removed completely. This process is called debridement. Your doctor will numb your toe and then use a tool to gently lift the nail off of the nail bed. The nail will appear white when it is removed.
It can take a year or more for the nail to grow back completely. The most common cause of problems during nail removal is overzealous cleaning. You should be careful not to remove nails with hardening chemicals or with psoriasis or tinea, as this can be very dangerous.
Laser treatment is a possible option for fungal nail infections that are particularly stubborn. Early research suggests laser treatment may be helpful in treating fungal nail infections, but there’s currently not enough evidence to recommend it as a routine treatment.
If you want to try laser treatment, you’ll have to pay for it privately because it’s not available on the NHS. Be aware that the treatments may need to be repeated several times and can get expensive very quickly.
- Laser treatment is a possible option for fungal nail infections that are particularly stubborn.
- Early research suggests laser treatment may be helpful in treating fungal nail infections, but there’s currently not enough evidence to recommend it as a routine treatment.
- If you want to try laser treatment, you’ll have to pay for it privately because it’s not available on the NHS.
- Be aware that the treatments may need to be repeated several times and can get expensive very quickly.
Exams and Tests
There are a few different types of exams and tests that can be used to diagnose a toenail infection. One common method is to look at the nail itself for signs of an infection, such as discoloration, thickening, or debris under the nail. A doctor may also take a sample of the affected nail to test for the presence of fungus or other organisms. Imaging tests, such as X-rays or MRI, may also be used to rule out other causes of nail changes, such as bone tumors.
Toenail infections, also called onychomycosis, are caused by fungi that invade and grow in the nail. The most common type of fungus is Trichophyton rubrum. Toenail infections can be difficult to treat and often recur.
Alternative oral antifungal treatments, such as ketoconazole, may increase cure rates in people with fungal toenail infections. The evidence is insufficient to say for certain whether alternative oral antifungal treatments increase cure rates.
Living With Nail Problems
Can I Wear Nail Polish If I Have Toenail Fungus?
Do not use nail polish to treat fungal infections – it will only make the infection worse. If you do suspect a fungal infection, see a healthcare provider for a diagnosis. Over-the-counter treatments may not work and may even be harmful.
Wear socks that wick away sweat and use foot powder to fight fungus. Avoid shoes with tight seams or those that press on your nails. Keep feet cool and dry by wearing sandals or flip-flops in the shower.
When Should I See My Healthcare Provider?
If you have diabetes, it is important to see a healthcare provider regularly. This is because diabetes can cause problems with your feet, and it is important to find any problems early. You should also see a podiatrist for regular checkups. If you have any known foot problems, like an ingrown toenail, you may need to see a healthcare provider more often. If you experience signs of infection, such as red streaks or pus, seek medical attention immediately.
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider?
A visit to your doctor for a toenail infection can be pretty embarrassing. After all, it’s not exactly the most glamorous topic of conversation. But don’t worry—you’re not alone. Toenail infections are actually pretty common, and they can happen to anyone.
Here are a few questions you might be wondering about toenail infections:
- What are the symptoms of my condition?
- What can I do to ease my symptoms?
- Is there anything I should avoid while I am experiencing my condition?
- What is the outlook for my condition?