Getting Rid of Nail Fungus for GoodDanielle Pierre
If you’re dealing with nail fungus, rest assured that you are not alone. It can be quite a common condition that many people struggle with. You will likely notice symptoms of nail fungus yourself, but it can also be diagnosed by a dermatologist, which will examine your nails and nearby skin. It’s important to check the skin because the fungus can spread. You may already have a skin infection caused by fungus, like athlete’s foot. In order to get rid of the infection, you will need to treat all infected areas. Keep reading to learn more about foot and nail fungus and how to treat it. You can do yourself a solid by trying out SteriShoe, a podiatrist-recommended UV shoe sanitizing insert that works by using its UV light to kill bacteria and germs that cause foot infections, shoe odor, and more. Learn more by touring our site and by shopping our products.
How Can You Diagnose It?
When you have a toenail fungus, the nail tends to be thickened, discolored — yellow, brown, or dark white — and is crumbly. It is not always painful but may get painful as the nail gets thick and is pushed down into the skin. If you are unsure, a doctor or dermatologist can also examine your nails. They may collect some nail clippings or scrape some debris from under your nail and send the sample to a lab to identify the type of fungus causing the infection. Other conditions, like psoriasis, can mimic fungal infection of the nail. Microorganisms such as yeast and bacteria can infect nails. Knowing the cause of your infection can help in determining the best course of treatment.
What Causes Fungus?
Fungi love dark, damp places, so your feet are especially vulnerable to fungal infection. Toenail fungus is a fungal infection in the toenail. It happens when the fungus — anything from mold to yeast to other types of fungus — gets in the nail bed from a cut or break in the nail, or from repetitive trauma to the nail, and penetrates the nail itself. The nail continues to grow with the fungus, and once a nail plate is infected with fungus, it will never not be infected, and you must wait to see how it grows out and whether the new nail growing behind it is healthy. It is important to note that the new nail rarely grows in healthy without some type of treatment.
Treating the Initial Infection
If you have dealt with toenail fungus before then you know how frustrating it can be when previous treatments fail. Toenail fungi have built-in advantages that make them tough to eradicate. There are two reasons for this: one, they have all the keratin they need, so they will never run out of “food;” two, the nail itself provides a great shield against topical medications; and three, relatively slow circulation in the toes reduces the effectiveness of oral medications. Toenail fungus needs to be attacked from several different angles, under the guidance of a foot specialist of course, before the toenail fungus meets its fate.
It is likely that, if you have gone to a doctor, you will be prescribed a temporary regimen of prescription-strength oral antifungal pills. Oral medications are the most effective, but they may not be for everyone because they can occasionally trigger side effects. In addition to oral antifungals, you may also be prescribed strong topical antifungals that you can apply directly to the nail and the surrounding skin. The nail itself does make a frustrating obstacle to topical treatments, they can and do work given enough time, especially when paired with oral medications.
If you want to try to treat your toenail fungus with things you have in your house, you are in luck! These home remedies could provide you with some relief, but results are not guaranteed. Before trying these remedies, prepare your nails for treatment by trimming and filing them once a week. Clipping toenails relieves pressure on the nails and helps antifungal solutions penetrate the nail.
- Hydrogen peroxide – Hydrogen peroxide can kill fungus that grows on toenails, and you can directly wipe the solutions on your infected toes or toenails with a clean cloth or cotton swab.
- Apple cider vinegar – This common household remedy is an antifungal that can be mixed with water to create a foot soak.
- Clean socks and shoes – Both socks and athletic shoes can be washed in hot water to get rid of the growth of yeasts and fungi that may be growing on the fabric. Some shoes can be machine tried, and others can be dried in the sun.
- Essential oils – Essential oils are gaining popularity in homeopathic treatments to heal a variety of common ailments. Many essential oils have antibacterial and antifungal properties. Tea tree oil, jasmine oil, lavender oil, and eucalyptus are just a few of those essential oils.
Keep Fungal Toenails from Coming Back
The frustrating thing about toenail infections is that the same factors that led you to develop the initial infection can be the same thing that can cause the second, third, or fourth infection. To keep the infection from coming back is to keep playing defense, practicing smart preventative care on an ongoing basis. Here are some things you can do to prevent fungal infections from coming back:
- Wash your feet every day with soap and water. Don’t ignore them when you take a shower!
- Use antifungal sprays or powders, both on your feet and inside of your shoes.
- Change out of damp shoes or socks as soon as possible.
- Treat any fungal skin infection you develop immediately.
- Avoid going barefoot in public or shared spaces, especially those that are typically dark or humid.
- Don’t share nail and skin care tools with anyone else, and clean them thoroughly between uses.
One of the best ways to prevent toenail and foot infections is to ensure that your shoes are a safe place for your feet to live! You can do that by trying SteriShoe, a podiatrist-recommended UV shoe sanitizer insert. It is clinically proven to kill up to 99.9% of the germs in shoes that cause foot and shoe odor, toenail fungus, athlete’s foot, and foot infections. Using it is easy, just slip the insert into your shoes and let the UV light do the rest! Stop putting your feet in fungus-filled shoes and start disinfecting and deodorizing your shoes today.