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killing toenails fungus

How to Kill Toenail Fungus | Tips For Effective Self-treatment & Prevention

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Also known as onychomycosis, toenail fungus is a disease caused by a group of fungi known as dermatophytes. The group of fungi lives on the skin and on keratin, which can be found in the nails and the hair as well. We will outline some steps below that will reveal to you how to kill toenail fungus fast.

As soon as the fungus gets under the nail and starts to grow, a couple of effects start to show. The pin first becomes so damaged that it loses its color, becomes brown, yellow or white. It might eventually thicken, become much harder, become brittle and in most cases, this leads to the nail completely falling off.

The American Podiatrist Association has revealed that it is straightforward for a patient to pick up a toenail fungal infection from places such as swimming pools, locker rooms, or showers. Most fungi can survive in warm, humid and damp conditions.

toenail fungus prevention

In addition to this, people who have weaknesses in their immune system or some other underlying health condition (such as immune-deficiency diseases, circulatory issues diabetes and others) have particular vulnerabilities to toenail fungus as well.Toenail fungus can be particularly difficult to cure, and it takes time to heal too.

Usually, toenail fungus treatment lasts for weeks and in some cases, months. However, if you want to know how to get rid of toenail fungus, we’ll be looking at some strategies below.

Now, one thing you should know is that if your toenail fungus condition is not severe, then you might not need any toenail fungus treatment. What you need are toenail fungus medication and self-help treatment if you find that the fungal infection is getting painful and your nails have become thickened. Still, even if the toenail fungus treatment is successful, some people could still find the disease coming back.

Symptoms

To check for toenail fungal infections, you might want to keep an eye out for the following forms of symptoms:

  1. Thickened nails

  2. Discoloration (usually from whitish to yellow-brown)

  3. Your nails become distorted and disfigured

  4. They become brittle and ragged

  5. In most cases, people with this condition have their nails emitting a foul smell

  6. Dark color also develops, which is caused by the debris formed under the nails surface

The nail fungus might affect fingernails in some cases, but a vast majority of cases have to do with the toenails.

When you should consider calling a doctor

when you should consider calling a doctor

Usually, people go about treatment with some toenail fungus treatment over the counter.

There is also some toenail fungus treatment at home that you can try (which we’ll also outline later) and which are quite useful.

However, if all of your self-care tips don’t work and you realize that the nail has become even more discolored or deformed, then it is recommended that you get your doctor on the phone.

Also, if you have diabetes and you feel that you’ve developed a toenail fungal infection, then you should see your doctor.

Various organisms can cause a fungal infection. Of course, the dermatophyte is the typical class of fungi.

Keep in mind that regardless of your age, you can develop a fungal infection. Still, these infections are more common in older adults. As the nail gets older, it becomes dry and brittle. As the nail crack, it becomes easier for fungi to get in.

Other factors, including a weakened immune system and the reduced circulation of blood to the nails, can also contribute to this.

In some cases, toenail fungus begins as athlete’s foot, and it spreads from a nail to another. However, it is sporadic to get infected by someone else.

Risk factors

Some common factors can increase your risk of getting nail fungus. These include:

  1. Increased sweating

  2. Getting older (due to more years of exposure to fungi, a  reduced circulation of blood to the toenails and nails growing slower)

  3. People with a history of athlete’s foot are also susceptible to toenail fungus

  4. Walking without footwear in damp communal areas like bathrooms, gyms and swimming pools

  5. Having a weak immune system, issues with circulation and diabetes

  6. Having psoriasis or any other skin or nail infection or injury

 

Toenail Fungus Additional Complications

toenail fungus additional complications

When you have a severe case of toenail fungus, it becomes excruciating, and there is a probability of it causing some permanent damage to your nails.

Also, it has the likelihood to lead to some other serious infections that can go way beyond your feet (especially for people with suppressed immune systems due to conditions like diabetes)

People with diabetes usually have reduced blood circulation and lower supply of nerves in their feet. These people have a much higher risk of bacterial skin infections, and this means that any little injury in their feet is more likely to lead to something much more severe.

So, people who have diabetes and who are seeing symptoms of toenail fungus outlined above are advised to see their doctor

Toenail Fungus Prevention

With the following habits, you might in some help in preventing the growth of fungal infections in your toenails, as well as athlete’s foot (as it is a significant cause of toenail fungus)

  1. Ensure that you wash your hands and feet regularly. Whenever you touch an infected nail belonging to someone else, wash your hands.

  2. Trim your nails straight across and use a file to trim the edges correctly. You can also file down areas that have become thicker. After using our clippers, get them disinfected.

  3. Change your socks more regularly and make sure that they are sweat-absorbent

  4. Make sure that your footwear has a breathable material lining.

  5. Your older shoes should be discarded or treated with disinfectants and antifungal products

  6. Whenever you’re in communal spaces, make sure to put on footwear

  7. If you go to a nail salon, see to it that they sterilize their manicure tools before you use them

  8. Artificial nail and nail polish might not be the best for you as well

How to Kill Toenail Fungus Fast

tablet pills

It can be very tough for you to treat fungal infections. However, feel free to speak with your doctor concerning self-care strategies and some over the counter medicine that can help you.

Usually, the treatment of toenail fungus depends mainly on the severity of your condition and the kind of fungus that causes it.

In some cases, you might have to wait for a few months before you see any meaningful results, even when you apply the best nail fungus treatment.

Also, as stated earlier, even if your condition does get better, there is always the risk of reinfections.

Medications

Your doctor might prescribe the following antifungal drugs that will be taken orally or applied to the nails. Some conditions might require the amalgamation of topical and oral antifungal drugs as well.

Oral antifungal medicine

Oral antifungal medicine

These toenail fungus medicines are usually the first choice because they help to clear the infection at a quicker pace. Some of the most popular options are itraconazole (Sporanox) and terbinafine (Lamisil).

The drugs are capable of helping a new nail grow without an accompanying infection, and they are especially suitable for producing new nails after an infected one falls off.

Usually, you might have to take these drugs for a period of 2 to 3 months. However, you will most likely not see the end of your treatment until the nails completely grow back. Eliminating an infection might even take longer.

Oral antifungal drugs might also cause some side effects, with the common ones being skin rash. You might need to conduct occasional blood tests to check how the drugs are affecting you as well.

Medicated nail polish

You might also get a prescription for an antifungal nail polish. All you have to do is paint it on your infected nails as well as the patch of skin surrounding the pin once a day. After a week, you wipe off the layers with alcohol, and you begin anew.  This type of treatment can be used for up to six months and in some cases, a year.

Medicated creams

medicated creams

Toenail fungus cream can also be prescribed by your doctor, which you rub into your infected nails after soaking them in clean water. Keep in mind that the effectiveness of these creams is enhanced when you trim the toenails.

This way, the medication can get through the hard layers of the nail and reach the fungus much faster.

For better results, consider antifungal creams reviewed  here.

To thin the nails, you can put some lotion containing urea. Your doctor can also get this done with a file.

Surgery

In some rare cases, doctor shave also been known to suggest the temporary removal of the nail to perform a direct application of the antifungal drug to the infection under the nail.

Some fungal infections have become so intense that medicines don’t work on them. If these infections are plaguing patients, doctors might suggest the permanent removal of the nail.

You learn about other efficient toenail fungus treatment at https://healthytop10s.com/best-toenail-fungus-treatments/.

Toenail fungus treatment at home

Just as it is with distal subungual onychomycosis home treatment, a lot of fungal infections have treatment options that you can easily make and use at home.

Snakeroot extract

Snakeroot extract is an antifungal product that comes from sunflower plants. The remedy is one of the most effective homemade treatments for toenail fungus, according to a 2008 study.

Tea tree oil

tea tree oil

Tea tree oil for toenail fungus is also excellent. Also known as melaleuca, tea tree oil as antiseptic and antifungal abilities.

To make use of it, paint tea tree oil onto the affected area twice every day with a little cotton swab.

Oregano oil

Oregano oil has thymol, and thymol comes with antibacterial and antifungal properties.

To treat toenail fungus, apply oregano oil to the affected nail twice every day with a cotton swab.

Some people also use this with tea tree oil. Both products are potent, but keep in mind that their combination might cause some allergic reaction.

Camphor

Camphor for toenail fungus is a form of treatment that works due to the antifungal properties contained in camphor. Using Vicks VapoRub, which contains camphor and menthol, is effective in treating toenail fungus. To use Vicks VapoRub, apply it to the affected nails twice a day.

Various camphor toenail fungus treatments exist, but Vicks VapoRub is by far the most popular.

Olive leaf extract

Oleuropein is an active substance in olive leaf extract that has antimicrobial, antifungal, and immune system-boosting components.

Olive leaf salve can be directly applied to nail fungus, and you can ingest it in the form of a capsule as well.

Taking one to three olive leaf capsules with your meals twice every day is much more effective than olive leaf salve when dealing with toenail fungus. Also, make sure to take a lot of water during this treatment.

Essential ozonized oils

Essential oils for toenail fungus also work effectively. These oils, such as sunflower oil and olive oil, are usually filled with ozone gas.

This form of ozone exposure, especially in low concentrations and for a short time, can go on to inactivate a lot of organisms, including bacteria, yeast, and fungi.

Apply the oils to the affected area twice every day.

Bleach

As for how to get rid of toenail fungus with bleach, keep in mind that while bleach works, you’ll need to apply it for several minutes and do so for several days. You can use bleach in two ways- in paste form and as a soak.

Apple cider vinegar

To use apple cider vinegar for toenail fungus, soak the affected area in a solution of the vinegar and water for 20 minutes every day.

Vaseline and petroleum jelly

Does Vaseline help toenail fungus? It does. Vaseline petroleum jelly cuts off the supply of oxygen to the fungus, thereby suffocating it. Using Vaseline on toenails is also a non-toxic option, which adds to the effects of Vaseline for toe fungus.

To use Vaseline for toenail fungus, directly apply it to the affected area regularly.

About the Author Lindsey

I developed a love for the outdoors, particularly enjoying gloomy days spent in the forests. Almost every Sunday, my dad would drive my mom, myself, and my older sister to go hiking for family time and escaping the "city" life. Because of this, you'll find me writing a lot about various health topics. Whenever I get the opportunity I also love to write about make-up, skin, and hair! I've been obsessed with it ever since middle school so be sure to check out these topics that I write about as well.

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