Not so long ago, toenail fungus did some pretty nasty damage to my right toenail. I wasn’t in pain or anything, just really embarrassed. It was summer and I couldn’t wear sandals because my toenail had not only morphed into an odd shape, it was yellow and brittle. After a few days, it started to lift and looked like it was about to fall off. This caused a bit of panic!
If you’re in a similar situation and wondering how to cure toenail fungus, read on!
What are the symptoms of toenail fungus infections?
An infected toenail is usually a yellowish color and is thick and brittle. Sometimes, the nail may seperate itself from the nail bed. The fancy term for this is “onycholysis. You may also discover lesions on your body that are call dermatophtids. These don’t contain any fungi and may cause itchiness or rashes.
How To Cure Toenail Fungus
First, allow me to state the obvious. Discuss this problem with your doctor or healthcare provider. Sometimes, in an effort to deal with our discomfort, it’s easy to grab any old product or solution from the first snakeoil guy that comes along. The following guidelines will help you make an informed decision.
If you want to kill toenail fungus, treatment can be broken down into these broad categories:
1. anti-fungal medications that you take orally
2. topical ointments
3. altenative therapies
Oral Medications For Toenail Fungus
Oral medications that your doctor may prescribe, include the following:
• Fluconazole (Diflucan)
• Terbinafine (Lamisil)
• Itraconazole (Sporanox)
Anti-Fungal Ointments And Creams
Anti-fungal ointments and creams can be purchased over-the-counter at your local pharmacy, department store or on the Internet. Some popular topical ointments and creams include:
• anti-fungal nail polish like ciclopirox
• anti-fungal lacquer
Alternative medicines used to treat nail fungal infections include:
• Australian tea tree oil
• grapefruit seed extract
It is important to not that these treatments have not be scientifically validated.
What causes nail fungus infections?
This sounds completely creepy, but infections are cause by microscopic organisms scientists call “fungui”. They don’t need any sunlight to thrive. Certain varieties of molds and yeasts can also cause toenail fungus. Tiny cuts in your skin also pose a threat by allowing pathogens (i.e. viruses) to enter your body.
How To Prevent Toenail Fungus Infections
As that old adage states: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. An important fact to keep in mind is that fungis thrives in dark and moist areas.
- Wear shoes and socks that let your feet breath
- Keeping your nails clean, short and dry
- Wear flip-flops or sandals when you’re in a public area like swimming pools
- Don’t share your socks or shoes
- Use a popular anti-fungal spray or powder like Funginix
- Don’t pick at or bite your nails
- Make sure that your favourite salon properly sterilizes their manicure and pedicure tools
- Stopping using nail polish and fake nails
- Wear latex gloves when washing the dishes or performing a similar activity
- Dry your feet and hands thoroughly after bathing (don’t just let them air dry)
Finally, in order to prevent a re-occurrence of toenail fungus, stick to the tips I shared above. Keep you feet dry and clean. Wear sandals or shoes that properly allow your feet breath.