4 Best Practices On How To Cure Nail Fungus￼
Causes of toenail fungus
Fungal nail infections are usually caused by fungi called dermatophytes that infect the skin beneath the nail; yeast is another common culprit. Toenails are especially vulnerable to infection when your bare feet contact damp surfaces such as showers, swimming pools and locker rooms. If you have athlete’s foot, the infection can spread to the nails.
Wearing closed shoes such as athletic shoes for extended periods also can contribute to infection if your shoes and/or socks are damp from perspiration or heat. Moreover, if your shoes fit snugly enough to put pressure on your toes, they can damage the nail bed, making it more susceptible to infection.
People with chronic diseases, such as diabetes or circulatory problems, also may be more prone to toenail infections.
Symptoms of toenail fungus
Toenail fungus symptoms can develop slowly over time and may go unnoticed at first. Symptoms can include:
- Yellowish discoloration at the top of the nail
- Darkening or clouding of nails
- White spots on nails
- Nail thickening
- Distorted nail shape
- Brittle or crumbling nails
- A lack of shine
- Pain in the tips of toes
- Foul odor
- Nail separates from the nail bed
“If your symptoms are severe or cause pain, or your toenail turns brown or black, it’s best to make an appointment with your primary care doctor or podiatrist instead of trying to treat it yourself,” says Stacie Ly, MD, an internal medicine physician at Scripps Coastal Medical Center Carlsbad.
Fungal nail infections can be difficult to treat. Talk with your doctor if self-care strategies and over-the-counter (nonprescription) products haven’t helped. Treatment depends on the severity of your condition and the type of fungus causing it. It can take months to see results. And even if your nail condition improves, repeat infections are common.
Your doctor may prescribe antifungal drugs that you take orally or apply to the nail. In some situations, it helps to combine oral and topical antifungal therapies.
- Oral antifungal drugs.
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- These drugs are often the first choice because they clear the infection more quickly than do topical drugs. These drugs help a new nail grow free of infection, slowly replacing the infected part. You typically take this type of drug for six to 12 weeks. But you won’t see the end result of treatment until the nail grows back completely. It may take four months or longer to eliminate an infection. Treatment success rates with these drugs appear to be lower in adults over age 65.
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- Medicated nail polish. Your doctor may prescribe an antifungal nail polish called ciclopirox (Penlac). You paint it on your infected nails and surrounding skin once a day. After seven days, you wipe the piled-on layers clean with alcohol and begin fresh applications. You may need to use this type of nail polish daily for almost a year.
- Medicated nail cream. Your doctor may prescribe an antifungal cream, which you rub into your infected nails after soaking. These creams may work better if you first thin the nails. This helps the medication get through the hard nail surface to the underlying fungus.
- Natural remedies. Japanese Toenail Fungus Code is a program that offers an entirely natural remedy for toenail fungus. It shows unconventional methods to manage toenail fungus without the use of drugs, pills, creams or even lasers.
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