TOENAIL FUNGAL INFECTIONS
Toenail fungus falls into a category of nail diseases known as onychomycosis. Toenail can have complications that can affect general health adversely. Even a minor discolouration of your nails can lead to a devastating event and a lethal sign of fungal infection. Many people consider this problem a simple cosmological issue. A fungal infection isn’t pretty but hiding it and hoping it goes away on it’s own would lead to the dangerous situation.
Fungus never considers any age limitation or sex demarcation and equally affecting every human being. It isn’t just only unattractive but also causes severe pain sometimes. So if you are constantly fighting against your fungal infection and not able to find the real treatment then just give a read to it.
All your queries and worries regarding toenail fungal infection will instantly clear up from your mind. All the stuff available on the net which makes you more confused about your disease will be solved now. I am 100 % sure that it contains all the necessary information regarding fungal infection of the toenail. Let’s dig into some more detail now.
BACKGROUND OF TOENAIL INFECTION :
Dermatophyte can affect any part of the skin. However, the most common and lethal site is toe nail. The medical term for toenail fungal infection is called onychomycosis or tinea ungunium. Onychomycosis compromises of approximately 50 percent of total nail diseases.
In fact 10% of all adults in Western countries have a fungal infection of the nails. This percentage increases to 20% of adults who are age 60 or older. Toenail fungus is much more common than fingernail infection. Fungal infection normally develops over time. Onychomycosis is one of the most commonly occurring dermatological conditions. Overall the incidence is increasing every single day due to increment in diabetics and many immunosuppressive diseases.
WHAT IS DERMATOPHYTE:
Cutaneous fungi are called dermatophyte that basically infects any part of the skin including scalp and nails. They require keratin for their optimal growth therefore they are known as teratophilia. All Dermatophyte affect in a particular round pattern like ring worm.
Dermatophyte are a common label for a group of three types of fungus that commonly causes skin diseases in animals and humans. The medical disease that are caused by them are athletes foot, ringworm and dermatomycoses. All of them are highly contagious means they spread from person to person even on a simple touch. The most common dermatophytes responsible for toenail infection are Trichophyton rubrum or Trichophyton mentagrophytes.
WHAT OTHER CONDITIONS CAN BE MISTAKEN FOR FUNGAL NAILS:
There are many conditions of the nails that should not be confused with the fungal infection. Some of them are listed below:
- Lines and ridges:
Ridges are longitudinal lines that run upward down throughout the length of the nails. They are the nail abnormality that develops due to ageing, trauma or any injury. This condition causes your nails to become too brittle. In contrast, certain vitamin deficiency causes horizontal ridges. Both of them are commonly confused with the fungal infection.
- Senile nails:
As you ages, your nails become more brittle and soft. They might separate from the nail bed. This condition also confused with the fungal infection. But you might prevent this by avoiding water.
- Whitish or yellowish nails:
Whitish or yellowish nails are basically the air inside the nail causing separation of the nail from the nail bed. You need to trim your nail and clean them regularly. Persistent yellow nails increase the susceptibility of fungal infection.
- Red or black nails:
If you get a trauma or injury under your nails then your nails become red or black. This condition is called hematoma. As your nails grow the normal nail will appear from the bottom and you can cut away the affected part.
Above discussed are all the medical conditions of the nails that commonly mistaken with the fungal infection. After giving a read to it you will be able to differentiate them in a better way. They have their separate treatment but the fungal infection is something different. Let me give you some more information regarding toenail fungal infection.
The two most important risk factor that plays a vital role in the development and progression of fungal infection are diabetes and low immunity.
As you all know diabetes is the mother of all diseases It is not limited to any single organ. Instead, it leaves a harmful impact on every single cell of your body. If you get a minor trauma to your nails it will readily heal if you have controlled blood sugar. But this condition worsens as your blood sugar level reaches above normal. Diabetes actually lowers down the acidity of the infected area leading to fungal overgrowth. Women with type 2 diabetes are more prone to toenail fungal infection. According to a recent research clinical onychomycosis was found in 162 of 321 patients with type 2 diabetes.
If your body has low immunity due to any condition you are more susceptible to any infection. This is not only for fungal infection but any sort of infection including bacterial and viral infection.
Your immunity is like a shield against various disease or like a warrior that save yourself from damage. There are many causes that lower down your immunity like AIDS, chemotherapy and any sort of cancer. In addition, there are some medications that you are using on daily basis actually lowers down your immunity. The most amazing part is you are not even aware about the medicines that cause fungal infections.
WHAT CAUSES THE DEVELOPMENT OF TOENAIL INFECTIONS
- Tight foot wears:
Fungi are nearly every where in our environment. They particularly love dark, warm, moist places like the inside of your shoes. The person who has shoes on their feet for most hours of the day like athletes have more chances of fungal infection. Their sweaty feet are the best breeding zone for fungus. In addition, there are other tight feet wears available in the market.All of them causes a damp environment that favours the growth of fungus.
Tight foot wear plays a major role in developing the infection and all the athletes are more susceptible to toenail fungal infection than any other individual. Sometimes the material from which shoes are prepared also propagate fungal growth. Rubber box shoes are the most common cause of fungal infection of the toenails.
- Repeated minor trauma:
If you are habitual of wearing high heels or any painful shoes than you are at the greatest risk of toenail infection These high heels will cause repetitive trauma to your nails. And ultimately your nails will become weaker and more susceptible to fungal infection. In addition many people like soccer players, runners and dancers have the greatest exposure to repetitive trauma.
- Swimming pools:
According to many medical researches swimming pool is the most popular source of toenail infection. As Swimming pool provides the best environment for fungal growth. If you have recently visit to local Swimming pool and now noticing any changes in your nail, consult immediately to the doctor before its too late.
Chlorine is usually added in the pool water. They claims that chlorine kills all the microorganism. But reality is that it kills bacteria, virus and parasites only . The real culprit of toenail infection is left behind that is fungus.
- Showers at gym:
Public showers are yet another source of fungal infection. As toe nail fungus is highly contagious it can easily transmissible from person to person. Therefore if someone got fungal infection in your gym and take same shower then you can easily develop infection. So try to avoid public shower as it is the major source of transmission.
- Wearing artificial nails:
If your nails can’t get enough oxygen from the environment then you are at the highest risk of developing dreadful fungal infection. Artificial nail wearing for the longer duration will ultimately lead to yellow brittle nails.
- Skin injury around the nail:
Not only localized trauma to the nail but also injury to the near by skin will result you the same. Skin injury causes swelling of the tissue results in damage to the nails Therefore nails are more prone to toenail fungal infection in this way.
- Moist toes:
Moist damp area is highly favorable place for fungal growth. You will have 100 percent chances of fungal infection if you work in a moist area. Try to soak your feet thoroughly after every bath.
- Poor circulation of blood:
Blood of the human being contains all the essential element that kill fungal growth. Due to any reason if your blood circulation lower down fungus will grow rapidly there. Blood circulation lower down in many disease out of them diabetes is the most common. In addition if you are constantly bed ridden patient and your feet is getting very low amount of blood then you are more likely to develop fungal infection.
- Older person:
As you ages your immunity becomes weaker day by day exposing you to many illness. Fungal infection is slightly more common in older people. The main reason is that their nails are very much weak and brittle causing fungal infection to grow promptly.
World wide the most dreadful skin infection psoriasis has a wide impact on human health. This condition not only affect nails but many other organs are also involved. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes red scaly patches on skin. If you have developed psoriasis of skin you may also develop psoriasis of nails.
HOW DO YOU GET TOENAIL INFECTION?
Toenail fungal infection is the most horror night mare one could imagine. There are different types of toenail infection according to the site of invasion. Whenever you provide the moist warm and hot environment to your nail they rapidly grow.
After growing on the surface of your nail they readily invades the nail bed. Finally they penetrates into the blood stream. After that they are ready to attack any vital organ and causing life threatening diseases. Infection of longer duration may cause brain fogging and your memory start diminishing. If fungus approaches to your heart you will get unwarned heart attack. In addition many joint issues will created after toenail infection. In short every single cell of your body will damage to its maximum possible limit.
COMMON SIGNS THAT YOU HAVE DEVELOPED FUNGAL INFECTION:
Fungal infection can infect any part of your nail. Some common presentation are discussed here:
- You may develop scaling under your nails and your nails are ready to detach at any time. Scaling can be visible through naked eyes.
- There might be Yellow or white streaks on your nail giving false picture of any other nail disease.
- A crumbled corner or tip of the nail is the most important signs one could develop
- You may have flaking white patches on your nails that look like pit over the surface of nails.
- Yellow spot at the base of the nail may show beginning of the infection.
- Loss of nail may develop over time.
- Intense pain and discomfort may be the first symptom of toenail infection.
- Nails become fragile and splitting or cracking can easily be seen in many cases.
- Accumulation of dirt and debris under the surface of the nails.
- Bad odor is constantly coming from the infected nails.
- Thickened, distorted and yellowish brown discoloration are the common signs of fungal infection.
Medical treatment of fungal infection include oral and topical anti-fungal. Oral treatment may take 9 to 12 months to be effective in a real way. This longer duration may cause you to fade up and stop the treatment. Anti fungal medicines also damages liver and causes hepatitis. Commonly prescribed oral anti fungal are:
Griseofulvin comes by the brand name as Gris-peg. This drug is the most important anti fungal medicine. But unfortunately it is not very much effective against toenail infection. There is a huge list of side effect if used for a longer duration of period.
Terbinafine can easily obtained from the medical shop by the name of lamisil. This medicine is FDA approved and have 70 – 90 % effectiveness against toenail infection. It should be used for 250 mg once a day for six to twelve weeks. However it should be used with high precautions if you have liver disease.
It is available in the market as sporanox. Itraconazole is the treatment of choice if you get fungal infection by candida yeast. It is usually prescribed one week per month for approximate 2 -3 months. There is interaction with other drugs reported like certain antibiotics.
Commonly known as diflucan . Dosage is 450 mg once a week for 7-9 months. It stays in the blood for longer period therefore required once a week. This drug is not FDA approved. There are many side effect of this drug. It should be used with high precautions if you have impaired liver or kidney functions.
All topical treatment are traditionally less effective than oral anti fungal. As the nails are very hard core therefore it is quite difficult for the drug to penetrate through the nails to the site of infection. Some commonly used topical anti fungal are:
Trade name is kerydin one of the famous topical anti fungal medication that is widely used for the treatment of fungal infection. This drug causes the cell death of fungus and ultimately its removal outside the body. Side effect is reported in less than 5 % of population which is mostly irritation and rashes.
Ciclopirox is a synthetic anti fungal agent for topical treatment of superficial infection. It comes by the name of penlac Better result of this medicine can be observed by proper nail trimming and cleaning of the local area. It can be applied simply like a polish over nail surface once daily for approximate one year. It has a success rate of about 70%.
Efinaconazole is a triazole anti fungal comes with the brand name of jublia. It has been using against local fungal infection for many years. Dose is once daily application for 48 weeks. The most common side effect is ingrown toenails and site dermatitis.
Beside medical and topical treatment your doctor may prescribed you following treatment:
- Photodynamic therapy:
It is also known as laser therapy. It consist of light having particular wavelength to be strike over your nails. This laser therapy kills all the fungi inside the nail and stops their replication. Unlikely some people are allergic to laser radiation and may develop side effects.
This is the electrical current method. In this method your doctor first apply topical anti fungal then apply little current for its better absorption.
- Nail lacquer:
Nail lacquer is especially used for protection of nails by providing a thick coating to your nails. It basically changes the environment which is inappropriate for fungal growth.
. The most hilarious option for fungal infection is surgery. It provides you temporary relief and frequent relapses occur.
Although there are many medications for the treatment of fungal infection but some people still perform simple home remedies for its cure. Some of them are discussed below:
- Baking soda and borax:
Baking soda is a base and therefore providing the best medium to stop fungus growth. It is not a fungicide that is not killing the fungus but actually fungistatic means stop it’s growth. Along with combination of borax it provides the best remedy against toenail infection. Mix the two component in water and apply this paste twice daily for at least two weeks. You will be shocked to see the amazing result.
- Coconut oil:
Simple coconut oil has a great benefits in killing the toenail infection. The most important ingredient of coconut oil is Caprylic acid that damages the outer coat of fungus. This coating provide natural resistance to fungus from external damage. Before applying coconut oil first perform the patch test to know that if you are allergic to it.
- Tea tree oil:
Tea tree oil is being used from many years to treat fungal infection. It is actually fungicidal and disinfectant that kills fungus at the fastest rate. To apply this oil you need to clean the area first then rubbing alcohol over it. Don’t forget to add a little amount of oil with it for better result. Repeat the procedure daily until the new part of the nail arrives.
- Orange oil:
Orange essential oil is a natural anti fungal. It provides the best result when use with any oil. Orange oil may be too strong for some people. Some may report allergic to citrus element inside it. So it’s better to perform patch test before applying to the nails. Soak a cotton ball in orange oil and after cleaning the area apply over the nails twice daily for optimum result.
- Olive leaf extract:
Another appealing choice for toenail fungal fighter is olive leaf extract. It has anti bacterial anti viral and anti fungal property. Olive is basically a powerful detoxifier so you may develop some discomfort after first application.
- Corn meal:
According to many researches corn meal is widely used to remove black spot under the nail very effectively. In a container that become fitted to your feet full it with corn meal. Then put your feet daily and see the magical result within few days.
- Oregano oil:
The most popular herb that has anti fungal property is oregano oil. Pure oregano is rich in a compound called thymol which is effective against every kind of fungus. Put oregano oil directly over the nail surface then wash it out after few minutes.
- Vicks vapo rub:
Vicks has many advantages as a topical agent. It contains many anti fungal agents like camphor. Vicks is the best known over the counter medicine used for the treatment of toenail fungal infections. For best result apply daily using a cotton ball with light hand.
BEST SUPPLEMENT AVAILABLE IN MARKET:
There are many supplements and topical cream available in the market for fungal remedy. All of them works if they used in a proper way and every product has it’s own features. Here I am going to tell you about top 5 most frequently used product for fungal infection :
- Zane Hellas fungus stop:
Zane Hellas fungus stop has a positive number of positive points that favors against fungal growth. It is an all in one fungus solution available in the market. This product is based on wild oregano oil and has a highly effective nail repairing mechanism.
- Kerasal fungal nail renewal treatment:
Kerasal nail normalizes thickened nails, reduces nail discoloration, softens and rehydrate brittle nails. It is a fantastic low-cost easily available treatment in the market frequently used for killing the fungus. They promise for the provision of visible result in just 2 weeks . Kerasal make your nails healthy and strong as much as possible.
- Cherioll nail repair cream:
Cherioll nail repair cream is the best known herbal cream available in the market. It is number one Chinese natural treatment available for fungal remedy. There is no reported side effects or any local pain after applying. Your symptoms will vanish away in as little as 15 days after regular usage.
- Tea tree oil by purely north west:
Tea tree oil by purely north west is the best natural blend of tea tree ,oregano, peppermint and four additional essential oils. In combination they provide the smoothening and comforting feeling over your deadly looking nails. This is the anti fungal foot and body wash that can be used daily for best result.
- Fungus Hack by Nutrition Hacks:
Unlike other medicines the usage of Nutrition Hack Fungus Hackis very easy, this supplement is to be taken orally twice per day with a simple glass of water. In other cases, dermatological medicines have a cream like a solution for treatment or some tropical remedies which neglects a fact that it is so difficult to rub the medication directly onto the infected skin, which is also widespread just because of touching the specific area.
The most powerful and single best combination of anti fungal extract comes by the name of funginix. The formulations of funginix is based on all FDA approved ingredients that are fungal fighter. It comes with easy to use packing and boost with a highest successful rate as compared to other product available in the market.
PREVENTION OF ONYCOMYCOSIS:
Prevention is the key for fungal infection. Following preventive measures can help you from a great disaster:
- Keep your feet dry:
Moulds and fungus love to grow in a moist environment. Therefore make a habit of soaking your nails and between the toes right after the shower. Let your feet dry maximum as possible. You should also wash your toenails regularly with anti bacterial soap to stop the growth of fungus.
- Keep your toenails properly trimmed:
Cut your nails straight across to prevent ingrown toenail. Trimmed short nails frequently inhibit the accumulation of debris under the nails. Thus stopping the growth of fungus. Short nails also minimizes the chances of nail injury. Don’t pick at your nails or skin next to them.
- Change your shoes and socks often:
After every exercise make a habit of changing the old smelly socks and shoes. Throw out the old socks as it is the best habitat for growth of fungus. This habit will surely help you to fight against toenail fungal infection.
- Select breathable footwear:
Breathable foot wear provide maximum oxygen which doesn’t let fungus to grow. As you all know warm and moist environment favors the fungal growth. So avoid tight foot wear for regular use.
- Wear appropriate shoes:
Such type of shoes should be wear that never touches your nails. Loose shoes with frequent airy foot wear are the real enemy of fungus. In addition alternate your shoes regularly so that they can air out before you wear them again.
- Usage of anti fungal sprays and ointments:
Sprinkle out the fungal spray inside the shoes or socks will make you dry all the time. It inhibits the accumulation of sweat between your toes thus stopping the growth of fungus. This preventive measure is especially important during hot climate and before going out for exercise.
- Avoidance of going barefoot In public facilities:
Avoid maximally in going public facilities like public showers and public Swimming pools. Even when taking a shower in public place it’s compulsory to wear shower shoes as the deadly fungus may be on the floor. Toenail fungal infection is highly contagious and easily transmissible by using public Showers.
- Never share someone’s shoes or nail clippers :
If you are going to nail salon for a pedicure always look for a sterile instruments. If the bathing system or any nail clippers is not washed thoroughly simply move on to other salon before it’s too late.
- Prop the nail with Intense care:
This is a good technique if you are facing the problem of ingrown toenail. Pro-ping up the nail with a cotton ball may reduces the pressure over the skin and also remove debris from inside. But be sure not to use any metallic instrument for this purpose as it is may be the source of fungal infection. All this method is done under intense care and proper guidance.
- Don’t dig the corner of the nails:
Be sure while cutting the nails not dig too deep from the corner. It may cause any ulcer which leads to toenail fungal infection.
- Proper treatment of athletes foot:
If you are an athlete and noticing the same symptoms of athletes foot it’s your uttermost job to consult the dermatologist as soon as possible. You should also regularly check your toes and nails if you are a diabetic patient and keep them neat and clean.