What is toenail fungus?
It is a common fungal infection of your toenail. It usually occurs when you have a crack in the nail. Its common symptom includes a white, brown, or yellow discoloration of one or more of your toenails. It may spread and cause the nails to thicken or crack. It is also known as onychomycosis or Tinea unguium. There are also other conditions that make your nails look deformed or decolored, but it doesn’t always nail fungus.
How does toenail fungus look like?
Common signs of a fungal nail infection include:
- a distorted nail that may lift off from the nail bed
- an odour coming from the infected nail
- a brittle or thickened nail
Common causes of toenail fungus:
Most common cause of toenail fungus include poor hygiene or some general crack which is not taken care of. It is also contagious so you can also get infected by someone who has infected nails. In fact, it is also transmitted from one nail to others.
How to diagnose toenail fungus:
Sometimes there are other infections which mimic fungal infection. So, whoever has symptoms of toenail fungus issue should go and see the doctor so that the doctor can tell that which type of fungi is causing the issue. A clipped nail or the debris accumulated under the nail will be used by the doctor to test and confirm the problem.
Toenail fungus occurrence rate:
In fact, up to 10% of all adults in Western countries have 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 fungus.
Remedies to Treat Toenail Fungus:
Olive leaf Extract:
An active substance in olive leaf extract is oleuropein. It is thought to have antifungal, antimicrobial, and immune-boosting abilities. It can be applied directly to the nails and can be ingested in capsule form. Intake of water should be increased during this treatment.
It is an ointment which is designed for cough suppression, but because of its active ingredients, camphor and eucalyptus oil, it helps in treatment of toenail fungus.
Snakeroot extract is an antifungal made from plants in the sunflower family. It is very effective against toenail fungus as the prescription antifungal medicine ciclopirox.
Tea tree Oil:
Tea tree oil, also called melaleuca, is an essential oil with antifungal and antiseptic abilities. For the treatment apply tea tree oil twice or thrice a day on nails with a swab.
Oregano oil contains Thymol and which has antifungal and antibacterial properties. So, oregano oil can be applied to the affected nail (with fungus) twice daily with a cotton swab. Some people use oregano oil and tea tree oil together. It causes irritation sometimes as its potent.
Other than these listerin, vinegar, garlic, ozonized oils and balancing your diet also helps in the treatment of toenail fungus.
Best treatment for Toenail fungus:
Oral antifungal drugs are the best remedy for toenail fungus. The options include terbinafine (Lamisil) and itraconazole (Sporanox). These drugs help a new nail to grow free of infection, slowly replacing the infected part. You typically take this type of drug for six to 12 weeks. The result of treatment until the nail grows back completely.
How to prevent toenail fungus?
Staying clean and avoiding keeping your feet from staying damp or wet can prevent toenail fungus. Keeping your feet clean and trimming nails properly also helps in this matter. Other ways to prevent fungal infections of the nails include:
- washing your hands after touching infected nails
- drying your feet well after showering, especially between your toes
- getting manicures or pedicures from trustworthy salons
- avoiding being barefoot in public places
- reducing your use of artificial nails and nail polish