Being one of the most widespread skin and nail infections, toenail fungus causes unpleasant consequences and makes your feet look not well-treated. If you notice that your toenails start cracking and turning yellow, it is time to search for a cure for toenail fungus. What are the peculiarities of the disease and how to treat it? This article covers all the aspects.
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What is toenail fungus?
This is an infection caused by fungus. It gets into human body through the cracks in nails and skin wounds, being transmitted by the contact with objects mostly. Since toes are often warm and slightly humid, it creates perfect conditions for fungus development, which is why it affects feet. Toenail problems start with color changing (usually nails turn yellow), after which nails get thicker. It may also hurt.
Interesting to note that different kinds of fungi may affect various part of a nail. If you don’t perform any nail fungus treatment, it may spread over, infecting other toenails, skin and even fingernails.
The symptoms of the disease are quite easy to differentiate: first, you see yellow nails. Sometimes it may appear as a white dot under the nail that grows bigger. Then the nails get thicker and easy to break. Toenails may also acquire a strange shape. Spreading under the nail, fungus may eve break it apart from the bed (onycholysis). The infection may also affect the skin, making it dry and red.
If the areas between toenails and foot skin are damaged, this phenomenon is called athlete’s foot (tinea pedis).
Other toe fungus symptoms may include dull surface without shine, and a dark color caused by debris collection under the nail.
If toenail discoloration or, vice versa, yellowing, is the only thing that reveals, probably, no treatment is required. But if you experience pains and infection outbreaks repeat, it is time to visit a doctor and start using some medication.
What causes toenail fungus?
Toenail infections are caused by dermatophyte fungus and some other yeasts and molds. What causes toenail fungus? You don’t have to contact with ill people – the organism is spread by tiny spores in the air and water. Fungus has the following characteristics:
- It prefers warm and moist environments like in bathroom and swimming pool. So if you visit public swimming pools, wear slippers to avoid direct contact with the floor.
- They are so small that can invade your body via skin cuts and even the small separations between nail bed and the nail.
- If your feet sweat a lot, and you wear shoes blocking natural ventilation of the skin and nails, warm and humid conditions are perfect for fungus development.
Mainly, what causes nail fungus is low-quality shoes made of artificial materials, and visiting of public places where fungus left from other people is concentrated (swimming pool, hospitals, even airport check-in).
The disease affects men more than women, especially older ones. It is caused by weakened immune system and reduced skin protection. Besides, people with diabetes and athlete’s foot or smokers are also prone to getting the infection. People with toenail or feet cuts and damages spending a lot of time in the water can get fungal nail infection. If someone in your family has caught toenail fungus up, you’re also at risk. Take care!
Types of toenail fungus
Dermatologists differentiate four major kinds of infection
- Distal subungual onychomycosis is the most widespread kind. Nails then yellow or white, crack and may be broken up by the infection from the bed. Nails may thicken and collect a debris that makes it inconvenient when wearing shoes.
- White superficial onychomycosis is also one of the most commonly observed types of foot fungus. It affects the upper layer of a nail, first forming white dots and then white chalky powder. The nail doesn’t crack and break, though. It is easy to cure.
- Candida onychomycosis, also called as yeast infection, is the disease that spoils both nails and nail folds (the skin around them). It affect mostly fingernails, but may be spread to toenails, as well. A more problematic disease, because it may affect all nails and once and cause pains. It may cause toenail discoloration, or make it yellow, greenish, or brown. Plus, nails become thicker and the skin around them may show the signs of infection (swelling, reddening, etc).
- Proximal subungual onychomycosis is transmitted by dermatophytes infection. As a rule, people with HIV are prone to it. In this case, toe fungus symptoms are slightly different: skin around the nails thickens and separates from the nail (sometimes it may simply detach from the skin). The skin at the base turns white, while the nails get opaque. Sometimes infects the skin, too.
Ways to get rid of toenail fungus
If you have noticed the signs of the disease, you can try healing yourself by some natural and over-the-counter toenail fungus medicine. But if it doesn’t help, visit the doctor. He will examine your toenails, define its type and prescribe something more serious and effective.
Most likely, you will be prescribed some Oral antifungal drugs. They will help to suppress the infection and promote growing of a healthy nail, gradually replacing the infected part. As a rule patients have to take this foot fungus cure from 6 to 12 weeks until they see a noticeable improvement, and a completely healthy nail grows up, with infected part completely eliminated. Sometimes it takes four or even more months to stop the infection totally.
In some cases, you may be recommended to use antifungal nail polish with ciclopirox. It is applied on the infected nail and surrounding skin once a day, with the layers wiped away with alcohol once a week. Sometimes this type of treatment tales a year of daily applications! An alternative is an antifungal cream. Getting through the hard nail to the underlying surfaces, it kills the infection. Of course, the best toenail fungus treatment must combine oral and topical remedies.
If these foot fungus remedies are not enough to eliminate the infection, or it is in a very bad condition, people have to resolve the problem with more drastic measures. Nail removal is appointed in the cases of severe infection and strong pains. As a rule, it may take up to an year for a new nail to grow up completely. Usually this type of nail fungus treatment is combined with ciclopirox application.
Laser and light-based therapies have appeared recently, and more studies are required to evaluate their effectiveness. But people having gone through these procedures claim they experienced a considerable improvement, especially, when they were combined with traditional medications.
Of course, it is far easier to prevent toenail fungus infection than to cure it. To avoid being contaminated, follow these recommendations:
- Take care of your toe skin and nails. Wash them with soap and water, don’t forget to trim them in time, making nails a bit shorter than toe ends. Keep all utensils clean, too: wipe clippers and files wit rubbing alcohol. And don’t cover nails up with nail polish, because it keeps the infection under the nail, not letting nails “breathe”.
- Wear socks made of natural materials and change them regularly, especially, when they get wet.
- Choose footwear smartly. Select the shoes of appropriate sizes and made of leather, canvas or mesh. Don’t forget to wear shower shoes in public places: swimming pool, locker rooms in gyms, beach.
- Check your toes from time to time. If you see nails change color, get thicker than usual and changing shape to odd one, this is the reason to start worrying. The sooner you see toe fungus symptoms, the sooner you may start handling the infection and eliminate it.
The best treatment of toenail fungus
If you have an infection that doesn’t bother you too much, you can take the curing at your hands. There are lots of medicals on the market, but which one will be suitable for you?
Being available and easy to use, cream is the most popular toe fungus remedy. Most of them can be purchased without doctor’s prescription and help against all types of fungus.
ZetaClear is the best treatment for toenail fungus, because it has dual action. The set of two products is very easy to use. First, you apply the blend at the nails and skin around them. Second, you spray the product under the tongue to boost infection killing. A super-powerful formula eliminates fungus in several weeks.
Order ZetaClear at the official site and enjoy healthy, sleek toenails.