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Fungal Nails - Treatment Of Fungal Nails

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Fungal Nails- Treatment Of Fungal Nails

 

Fungal toenails are notoriously hard to treat. Topical medications alone are not often effective. Most are unable to penetrate through the nail to completely eradicate the fungus living in the nail bed. The only topical antifugal nail treatment currently approved by the FDA is a medication called Penlac.

 

Oral antifugal medications cannot cure fungal infections, they can help treat them. Antifugal topicals often slow the advancement of the fungus, improve the appearance of the nails, and soften the nails, making them easier to care for.Common over- the - counter antifugal medications include Nony X, Fungi Care, and Mycocide.

 

These medications should be applied twice daily to the far end of the nail while pointing the tooes upward. Applying the medication with the toes pointed upward helps draw the medication under the nail.

 

 

 

Oral antifugal medications are available by prescriptions only. These medications are expensive, and health Insurance Plans often have strict requirements for prescription approval.For most people Medicare does not cover the cost of oral antifugal medication for treating the toenails. other insurers require that a lab confirm the infection, that the condition is causing pain, than more than one nail be infected, or that other conditions, such as Diabetes or circulation disorders, also be present.

 

Those with more serious syptoms or systemic conditions are more vulnerable to secondary bacterial infections caused by severe fungal nails.Treating fungal toenails can be a frustrating experience. There is no quick or easy treatment. Diligently treating the nails twice daily with a topical medication for six to ten months may achieve only mild improvement. Even the most effective treatment-prescription oral medication -requires taking a pill daily for three to four months for a healthy nail to gradually replace the fungal nail.

 

 

In addition to using medications, adressing fungus that lives in the shoes is an important part of minimizing the risk of fungal nails, treating them, and preventing recurrence after treatment. A study conducted at the University of Minnesota found that throwing away old shoes and socks after toenails had improved resulted in less chance of reinfection.

 

While this might be expensive and difficult ( most of us have shoes that are hard to part with), fungus accumulates in shoes over time (and socks to a lesser degree, as socks can be washed), increasing the risk of infection and reinfection.This risk is heightened for people who live in warm climates or who have feet that sweat a lot. Wear clean socks every day. You shouild change your socks several times a day when it is warm and if you have sweaty feet. Air out shoes and expose them to sunlight to minimize the dark, moist conditions in which fungi thrive.

 

 

If you have a fungal infection, you should be especially careful with nail-care instruments to decrease the risk of spreading the fungus to other nails. It is best to use two sets of instruments, especially nail clippers - one for the fungal nails and the other for the healthy nails, and a third set should be used for care of the fingernails.Instruments used to treat fungal nails should be discarded following successful treatment.Fungus thrives in dark moist environments,airing out shoes and opening them up to direct sunlight is a great way to kill the fungus that may be living inside.

 

Reference: Great Feet For Life: Paul Langer : DPM

Fungal Nails

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Fungal Nails

 

Probably the most common complaint regarding the toenails is fungal infection. The same fungus that causes athlete's foot can also cause changes to the toenails. This fungus lives on the skin and is usually kept in check by the immune system.

 

Occasionally, however, it evades our immune system and penetrates the nail.Probably the most common complaint regarding the toenails is fungal infection. The same fungus that causes athlete's foot can also cause changes to the toenails.

 

This fungus lives on the skin and is usually kept in check by the immune system. Occasionally, however, it evades our immune system and penetrates the nail.As the fungus advances under the toenail, it causes the colour of the nail to change, as well as making it grow thicker and more brittle.

 

Most complaints about fungal nails are directed  at the unsightly appearance of the affected nails. But, for some, the toenails can start to hurt  as they become thicker and more brittle.

 

 

 

Fungal infections also produce debris under the nail that looks like dry, flaking skin. In some cases, infected nails loosen from the nail bed.Some nail changes can mimic a fungal infection, which is why a suspected funal infection should be evaluated by a podiatrist or dermatologist.

 

Accurate diagnosis is important to ensure proper treatment. And the only true way a podiatrist can diagnose the presence of fungus with certainty is to order a lab test on a sample of the affected nail.

 

 

Who's at risk for Fungal Nails? 

 

There are some common traits that those with fungal toenail infections often share. It seems that those who often get athlete's foot and those whose feet tend to sweat profusely are more likely to get fungal toenails.

 

Keeping the skin cool and dry and treating athlete's foot aggressively are important  for minimizing toenail problems.Occasionally, fungal nails have a hereditary component. Some people are simply born more susceptible to fungal infections than others.

 

I am often asked if nail fungus is easily spread. The answer is, it depends--on your immune system and other factors. I've seen patients who were married to partners with fungus in all ten toenails  but who did not develop symptoms themselves.

 

And then Iv'e seen whole families affected by fungal nails. If you are prone to fungal infections in your nails, you must be especially diligent about your foot hygiene.

 

Reference: Great Feet For Life: Paul Langer : DPM

Ingrowing Toe Nails  

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Ingrowing Toe Nails

 

When a toenail starts to curve downwards, it can begin to press into the skin, becoming ingrown and causing pain, bleeding and infection. Ingrown nails have several causes, including pressure from shoes, heredity, improper nail trimming, previous injuries, and fungal infections.

 

And sometimes there is no identifiable cause of ingrown nails other than abnormal growth.Thin, or bendable, toenails are prone to curving inward and becoming ingrown (as are fungal nails). In fact, thin toenails can sometimes fold in at the corners so severly that they take on a tubular shape. It is possible to make curving nails and ingrown curving nails worse by continually picking at them or cutting them too short.

 

(This is true for any ingrown nail) Bendable nails are best evaluated by a podiatrist for the most helpful course of treatment.To prevent ingrown toenails, allow the nail edge to grow out instead of cutting the corner. If this method fails to prevent or heal the ingrown toenail, seek the opinion of a podiatrist. For persistent or recurrent ingrown nails, minor surgery may be recommended.

 

Surgery For  Ingrowing Toenails

 

Persistent ingrown nails that cause frequent pain or infections may need to be treated with a simple and relatively painless nail procedure performed by a podiatrist on an outpatient basis. Some people mistakenly believe that ingown toenails have to be completely removed.This is usually not the case.

 

Often, an ingrown nail edge can be removed under local anesthetic and the base of the nail treated so that the edge does not form again as the nail grows out. Patients walk out of the office with a light dressing on the toe and are usually able to go about their normal activities with minimal discomfort.Bathroom surgery is never recommended for ingrown toenails - or any other ailment, for that matter.

 

 

Fearing painful nail surgery, some people will resort to self-surgery, using razors, knives, scissors to dig out painful nails. But an office-based procedure is less painful, significantly reduces the risk of infection and injury, and is much more effective, often providing permanent relief.Patients have come to my clinic after suffering for years with a painful toenail. They were afraid to have the toe looked at because they thought the only treatment was some barbaric and painful surgical procedure.

 

The truth is, it is rare that a nail has to be completely removed. Often just the edge of the nail needs to be removed in a simple procedure with little discomfort.Most people say this discomfort is less than what they were already tolerating from the nail, and if they had known it was so easy, they would have come in much earlier.

 

Reference: Great Feet For Life: Paul langer : DPM

Ingrowing Toe Nails - 2 - painful Bleeding 

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Ingrowing Toe Nails - 2- painful Bleeding 

 

The inflammation and pressure from an ingrown nail border can, occasionally, cause a red, painful area that bleeds easily next to te nail.  Called a pyogenic granuloma, it is essentially a capillary bed that has enlarged and raised above the skin. 

 

The inflammation and pressure from an ingrown nail border can, occasionally, cause a red, painful area that bleeds easily next to the nail.  

  • Called a pyogenic granuloma, it is essentially a capillary bed that has enlarged and raised above the skin. In addition to the pain and bleeding it causes, a pyogenic granuloma can also invite infection. It should be treated in a clinical setting as soon as possible.

If you cannot see a doctor right away, keep the area bandaged until you can.

 

Ingrown Nails and Bacterial Infection

 

Ingrown toenails can cause infection because they cut into the skin and allow bacteria to invade the tissue around the nail. The infection causes redness, swelling, and sometimes pustular drainage and bleeding.

 

 

Minor infections can be treated by soaking the foot with the affected toe in warm, soapy water for ten to twenty minutes, followed by applying a topical antibiotic ointment or iodiene and then bandaging the site.

  • It is best to see a doctor if the signs of infection have not resolved after one or two days. He or she will clean the site,check for and remove sharp edges or broken nail fragments embedded in the flesh, and possibly prescribe an oral antibiotic. 

Questionable Ingrown Nail Treatments

There is simply no magical topical medication that can heal and corret an ingrown nail. Over-the-counter topical medicationms may temporarily decrease pain, but they do nothing to address the underlying nail condition.

 

 

  • Popular wisdom has suggested that tucking cotton under the edge-of an ingrown nail or cutting a V-notch into the end of the nail will fix problem ingrown nails. There may be some benefit, but these techniques do not work well, especially as a permanent solution.

Current Recommendations:

  • A Bridging kit can be used to alter the curveture of the nail, this stops the nail from cutting into the underlying tissue.: R A Rose Louisy BSc. 
  • Reference: Great Feet For Life: Paul Langer : DPM

Loose Nails

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Loose Nails

 

Loose nails are a cause for concern because they can catch and tear away from the nail bed. Most often caused by trauma, they can also result from fungal infection, poor circulation oe nutrition, or hypothyroidism. It is best to trim a loose nail as short as is comfortably possible. The shorter nail maybe less attractive , but it will also be less vulnerable to injury.

 

 

Protecting the loose nail with an adhesive bandage or piece of tape is also a good idea. After the loose nail has been trimmed away or falls off on its own, you may want to treat the nail bed with a topical antifugal daily until the new nail has advanced to the end of the toe.

 

 

This can take up to ten months.Treating the nail with an antifugal will help to avoid some of the nail changes that can occur after a nail has loosened or fallen off.

 

Reference: Great Feet For Life: Paul Langer : DPM

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