Archive for the ‘Nail Fungus Remedies’ Category
The Places Toenail Fungus Like To Hide
Permanently ridding yourself of a nail fungus infection once it has taken hold can be a very difficult job. The fungus grows slowly but strongly and by the time you see the initial symptoms, a great deal of damage has already occurred. The fungus likes to work its way underneath the nail so that it uses the nail as a shield to keep it warm and moist, its favorite growing environment. It also makes it easier for the infection to reoccur after what seems like successful treatment because the fungus can lie dormant underneath the nail, then start growing again once the treatment ceases.
How Does a Nail Fungus Grow?
A fungus is a parasitic growth that prefers darkness to sunlight, as it has no chlorophyll. It does have roots and spreads via spores. Much like its cousin the mushroom, the body of the fungus looks like an umbrella. The spores spread and grow in dark, damp places. The most common cause of toenail fungus is wearing shoes as they hold in the moisture of sweat and keep the toenails in the dark. Also, most people wear the same pair of moisture absorbing shoes over and over again without allowing them to dry and air properly. Your body gives off both moisture and heat, providing the fungus with the perfect living environment.
Besides Shoes, Where Else Do Fungus Hide?
Exercise mats, such as yoga mats are ideal breeding grounds for the spores that cause nail fungus. Although the mat is made of rubber, which you would think is impenetrable, it soaks up the heat and moisture while you exercise. Then after your workout, you roll it up and stick it away until next time, providing the perfect growing environment for the fungus to attack your feet.
Flip-Flops that people wear into public showers are another good breeding ground for fungus, especially because most people don’t allow them to dry thoroughly before using them again. Ironically, the very item you use to protect your feet becomes the transmitter for the fungus you are trying to avoid.
Remedies To Treat Nail Fungus
There are many ointments and nail fungus solutions available over the counter or on the Internet to clear up nail fungus infections.
Most people try these, or home remedies before resorting to taking an oral antifungal medication to clear up the fungal nail infection as there are risky side effects associated with these treatments.
Mixing Tea Tree Oil and mineral oil as a toe soak is a home remedy solution. The mineral oil works to soften both the nail and surrounding skin, the Tea Tree Oil is a natural antifungal and antiseptic. Combined, these can be a powerful treatment for your nail fungus problem. This, and all nail fungus treatments, will take a while to show results and to cure the problem permanently, so you have to be patient and practice these remedies regularly so the full healing process can take place.
How Can I Permanently Cure My Toenail Fungus?
Doctors tend to shy away from the word “cure” when referring to toenail fungus because it is not an easy thing to do. We have become a very busy society that believes popping a pill will take care of everything. Unfortunately that is not the case with toenail fungus. Onychomycosis, the medical term for toenail fungus is hard to cure because the treatment regimen is very long and can be quite involved. Most kinds of fungus are able to lie dormant for a long period so people will go through treatment and get positive results, only to find that the infection returns. Curing toenail fungus permanently is a possibility, it just take work and patience.
Several factors must be taken into account when examining your chances of curing toenail fungus. First is how far along your toenail fungal infection is. If you can catch it early, you stand a better chance of eliminating it entirely. As a fungal infection progresses, it goes from the skin surrounding the toenail into and under the toenail, where it becomes much harder to eradicate. Second is your own level of commitment. Treating toenail fungus is much more involved than just taking a pill. The idea is to create a hostile environment for the fungus so that they die off. This may involve washing your feet several times a day with a special soap and then donning clean socks each time. Yes, this is a lot of work (and extra laundry) but if you wish to control and end the toenail fungal infection, you will need to follow all of your doctor’s instructions as well as educate yourself on how to avoid recurrence.
The most unfortunate part about curing toenail fungus is that the statistics are so out of whack on actual success because so many people get frustrated part way through their cure and give up, or they miss a day or two and get pushed back by two weeks. This negates the outcome of the studies that have been done, or at least makes the conclusion “unknown”. If you are going to treat your toenail fungus, you need to address all of the problems and be willing to put in the time and effort it will take to achieve a successful result.
Oral prescription medication
If you and your doctor decide that the oral prescription medication is the way to go, ask about helping the process along by using a natural topical antifungal like Tea Tree Oil as part of your healing regimen. Giving your body help from both the inside and the outside can work in your favor. The goal behind combining your efforts is to permanently eradicate the fungi living off of you. This combination of efforts will take effort on your part in maintaining a healthy for you/not healthy for the fungus environment.
The biggest barrier to a cure for toenail fungus for most people is the amount of time and work that go into treatment of this disease. Washing your feet and applying medication 2-3 times a day as well as doing extra laundry to make sure your socks are clean and finding shoes that allow your feet to breath will become stressful. You must remember that missing one day of treatment will undo the last four you worked so hard on as it only takes the fungus one day to re-establish themselves. If you can stick to the program, with the help of your doctor, you can permanently end your toenail fungus problem.
A Quick Overview of
Toenail Fungus Treatment Options
Toenail fungus is one of the most common and contractible diseases, as well as one of the most difficult to cure. The first thing you have to do is determine the cause of the infection. Is it fungal, bacterial, something else? And which kind of nail fungus is it? Is it Dermatophyte or yeast? Once your doctor has identified the source of the infection you can determine the course of treatment. Many people choose the home remedy path and find it very effective. Please note, if your nail fungus infection has reached the point where there is pain and/or drainage (oozing pus) you are well past the point where home remedies of any kind will work. If this is the case, you will need to find a standard medical solution to your problem.
Home remedies really are effective, especially in treating toenail fungus. Many people consider alternative medicine to be “hippy dippy” or “out there” but something to consider is that only a couple hundred years ago, “alternative medicine” was the only medicine available. Many of the home remedies currently recommended are sometimes more effective than their standard medicine counterparts.
Some of these methods might sound a bit off-the-wall, but the science behind them is quite sound. Many of the natural fungicides recommended and available on the market are faster acting than some oral prescriptions. Soaking your feet in vinegar may sound gross, not to mention smelly, but vinegar has been used for centuries as a powerful disinfectant. Again, these are remedies to be tried in the early stages of nail fungus infection. Once the toenail fungus has caused the nail to separate from the nail bed, immersing your feet in vinegar or Listerine will be very painful, very quickly.
The modern medical community has created its own solutions to the problem of toenail fungus by producing various pharmaceutical products to treat the infection. If you have caught the infection early on, it is most likely that your doctor will prescribe a clear coat medicated nail polish. If the infection isn’t cleared up by this product, the next stage is to try an oral antifungal medication. This is a step that should only be taken while under the care of a medical professional as some of these products carry the risk of serious side effects and internal organ damage. You will have to check in with your doctor regularly if you choose this option, which does make it very expensive. You will also need to let your doctor know all medications, supplements and herbal remedies you are taking as this will reduce the possibility of a negative drug reaction during the course of your treatment.
The best cure for toenail fungus infection is prevention and/or early detection. Most people don’t notice a toenail fungus infection until it has progressed fairly far along as this is not something that causes significant discomfort and as it is not a regularly exposed area, people aren’t that concerned about it. The sooner you act to kill the invading toenail fungus, the easier it will be to make their extermination permanent.
Some Useful Information When Looking
for Nail Fungus Treatments
Nail fungus, known medically as Onychomycosis, is not an easy condition to treat. Primarily cosmetic in nature, it most commonly affects the toenails.
People who are at risk for contracting nail fungus are:
- Older people,
- People with diabetes
- People who have had trauma to their nails
- People with hyperhydrosis
- People who suffer from peripheral vascular disease
- People who have athlete’s foot
- People with an immunodeficiency
- People who practice poor hygine
- People who spend a lot of time in the water
There are a number of different species of fungus that can infect the nail. It is also common to find several different fungal infections at one time. The visible symptoms of nail fungus are a thick, discolored and distorted looking nail.
Curing nail fungus has historically been problematic. Modern medicine has found several new options for curing nail fungus. Visiting your health care provider to determine what kind of infection you have and confirming that it is in fact a nail fungus, instead of some other nail infection, is paramount to a successful treatment regimen. Discovery of this is fairly simple. Your doctor can take scrapings and/or clippings of the infected nail to examine under a microscope, and if necessary, send to a lab for culture.
Once you know what you are dealing with, your nail fungus treatment can begin. A common treatment option is an oral prescription antifungal medication. Two older, and therefore proven and well documented, medications are griseofulvin and fluconazole. Unfortunately these medications aren’t effective on all forms of nail fungus and for the fluconazole, the treatment can last up to 9 months.
Two new comparatively to the market prescription medications that have proven effective against nail fungus are terbinafine and itaconazole. These have both proven to be more effective than their older cousins, fluconazole and griseofulvin.
Terbinafine is taken daily over the course of three months. It is reported to be well tolerated with no negative drug interactions with other medications or significant side effects.
Itaconazole runs in a weekly cycle of three weeks on and three weeks off over the course of 3-5 months. People who take a protease inhibitor should not take itaconazole.
For those who do not wish to take an oral prescription, there are alternatives.
A topical medication is now available for curing nail fungus. Your doctor can prescribe using a nail polish containing 8% ciclopirox solution. You paint this on your nail, as you would a regular nail polish, and the adjacent skin every day for 12 months. This treatment is not as effective as oral prescription medication and the course of treatment is lengthy.
As you consider how to treat your onychomycosis, please keep in mind that no matter what medication you choose and however long the treatment cycle is, the nail has to grow out completely clear before the fungus is considered gone. It can take some people more than a year to replace a disfigured toenail.
There are some folks who opt for surgery. This is a more drastic treatment for nail fungus and should be considered a later option as it can be both painful and possibly disfiguring. If other options are unavailable to you because other medications are either ineffective or inappropriate, this can be a good solution to your nail fungus problem.
Alternative medicine treatments are another possible solution. Tea Tree Oil has been shown in some studies to cure nail fungus. The Mayo Clinic has one published report if you are interested in reading up on this treatment.
There are many home remedies that have been suggested by individuals who have had success with them. Most of these are not considered to be viable treatments by the medical community, but that does not mean they cannot prove effective. Home remedies include:
- A 20-30 minute foot soak in vinegar, lemon juice, Listerine, or a solution of bleach
- Nutritional supplements such as acidophilus
- Applying baking soda, garlic, olive oil or Vick’s VapoRub to the infected nail
Modern medicine has created many successful options when it comes to curing nail fungus. Consulting your health care provider and doing some research yourself are two positive steps in the right direction. Armed with the correct information, you and your health care provider can create an effective plan to solve your nail fungus problem.
Easily Applied Home Nail Fungus Remedies
Having unattractive toenails is embarrassing and even humiliating. There are many ways to solve this incredibly common problem.
How Does My Nail Become Infected?
Toenails come into contact with microorganisms that get onto the skin, the nail sheath and underneath the nail to the nail bed. Any and all of these places can easily become a hotbed (literally) for infection. Once you have contracted a fungal infection, it can be very difficult to cure.
As these microorganisms are fungal spores, they thrive in places that have no light and high humidity. This makes the feet very susceptible to infection because we are all accustomed to wearing shoes. Especially because many people wear the same pair of shoes day in and day out, not allowing time for them to dry and air between wearings.
Trimming your toenails too close to the skin can cause accidental cuts, providing another entry point for these fungal spores.
Shoes that fit to tightly can also be a cause of toenail fungus infection as they leave no room for your feet to breath and they can cause the breakdown of the nail where they rub, leaving an opening for the fungus to invade.
Standard Symptoms of Nail Fungus Infection
Here are some very simple ways to recognize a toenail fungus infection:
- A discoloration of the toenail, white to yellow
- The nail becomes thick and disfigured
- A stinging pain from under and around the nail
- Brown or black spots developing on the nail
- Parts of the nail crumble or flake off
- A foul odor coming from the nail
- Oozing pus from around the nail
- Toenail falling off entirely
Recommended Home Remedies for Fungal Nail Infection
The faster you catch a fungal nail infection, the easier it is to get rid of it. The early stages can be treated with any of the remedies listed below:
- ClearFungus – This is the leading natural remedy for curing toenail fungus. This is considered more of a natural product anti-fungal treatment than a home remedy as it is specially formulated to kill toenail fungus and promote new nail growth.
- Vicks VapoRub – Although no one quite understands why, Vicks VapoRub seems to prove very effective at stopping the growth of fungal infection. It does not kill the fungus but does inhibit growth, which can encourage healthy nail growth until the infection has been trimmed entirely away. No studies have been done on this but many people swear by it.
- Hydrogen Peroxide, Listerine and Rubbing Alcohol – Combined or separately, all of these chemicals have been shown to have some effect on nail fungus as they all posses antiseptic properties. Soak your toenails in your choice of these solutions (again, combined or separately) for twenty minutes, two times a day.
- Tea Tree Oil – This is a powerful essential oil that contains antiseptic and antifungal components. Wash and thoroughly dry the foot, then rub the affected nail(s) and surrounding skin with Tea Tree Oil twice a day.
- Vinegar – Soaking your toes in a solution of equal parts vinegar and water in a large tub or bowl for 20-30 minutes, then washing and thoroughly drying your feet until the infection has cleared.
These remedies are good for stopping the infection early on. If you follow these instructions closely and stick to the regular process, you should be able to clear up your infection by yourself. If your symptoms are bad to begin with, or if they worsen, seeking the help of a medical professional will become necessary.