Nail-softening cream is applied for a duration of two weeks to gently soften the nail, allowing for the removal of the infected portion through scraping. If you’re actively treating toenail fungus, you might be wondering how to know if toenail fungus is dying. Here are some key indicators that can help you gauge the progress of your treatment:
WHAT IS TOENAIL FUNGUS?
Onychomycosis, commonly referred to as toenail fungus or Rocky Mountain foot, is a contagious fungal infection that affects the skin, nail bed, and nail plate.
The condition is caused by various types of fungi, such as dermatophytes, yeasts, and moulds, which thrive in warm and moist environments like sweaty footwear, public showers, and nail salons.
Toenail fungus leads to nail abnormalities like thickening, discoloration, and crumbling. The infected nail may turn yellow, brown, or black and emit an unpleasant odor. In severe cases, the nail may separate from the nail bed at the base, causing discomfort and pain.
Toenail fungus is not only aesthetically unpleasing but also contagious. It can spread from one nail to another and even pass between individuals through direct contact or exposure to fungal spores.
Individuals with compromised immune systems, diabetes, circulation issues, or psoriasis face a higher risk of developing toenail fungus.
Thankfully, there are effective treatment options available for toenail fungus. Both over-the-counter and prescription antifungal creams, ointments, and oral medications can help eradicate the infection.
Tea tree oil is a popular natural remedy for toenail fungus, but it is important to seek medical advice before using any medication or home remedy.
To prevent toenail fungus, practising proper nail hygiene is essential. This includes maintaining clean and dry nails, trimming them straight across, and avoiding tight-fitting shoes and socks.
WHAT DOES IT LOOK?
When dealing with toenail fungus, there are several noticeable changes that may occur in the appearance of your toenails. Here are some common indicators of toenail fungus:
Discoloration: Toenails can exhibit discoloration, appearing white, yellow, brown, or black. The discoloration often begins at the nail tip and gradually spreads toward the base.
Thickening: Toenails tend to thicken, becoming noticeably thicker than usual. They may feel heavier and more difficult to trim.
Texture: Toenails may develop a rough, brittle texture and become prone to crumbling. Ridges or grooves can also appear on the surface.
Toenail fungus can impact one or multiple toenails simultaneously. If left untreated, it can spread to other toenails and potentially affect fingernails as well.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that not all changes in toenail appearance are solely attributed to toenail fungus. Other factors like psoriasis, eczema, or trauma can also contribute to altered toenail appearance.
Therefore, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional if you notice persistent changes in your toenails to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate guidance.
Different Types Of Toenail Fungus?
Mold toenail fungus, caused by a specific mold known as Aspergillus, is another form of toenail fungal infection. However, it is important to note that mold toenail fungus is less prevalent compared to dermatophyte and yeast toenail fungus.
If you suspect that you have toenail fungus, there are several distinctive symptoms you should watch out for. Here are some typical indications of toenail fungus:
Nail Discoloration: The initial sign of toenail fungus often involves a change in nail colour, with nails turning white, yellow, brown, or black.
Thickened Nails: As the fungal infection progresses, the affected nail may become thicker than normal. Trimming the nail or wearing shoes comfortably can become challenging due to the increased thickness.
Pain: In cases of severe infection, toenail fungus can cause discomfort and pain, with sensations ranging from sharp to throbbing.
Nail Texture: Infected nails may exhibit a brittle or crumbly texture. Additionally, ridges or grooves can develop on the nail surface.
Odor: Toenail fungus can result in an unpleasant odor emanating from the affected foot.
Nail Infection History: Individuals with a previous history of nail infections are more susceptible to developing toenail fungus.
Barefoot Walking: The risk of toenail fungus increases when walking barefoot in public spaces like locker rooms, swimming pools, and showers.
Dermatophyte: This is the most common type of fungus responsible for toenail infections.
Bacteria and Molds: These microorganisms can also cause toenail infections.
Preventive Measures: Using antifungal foot powder can serve as a preventive measure against the development of toenail fungus.
Antifungal Medications: In severe cases of toenail fungus, a healthcare professional may prescribe oral or topical antifungal medications for treatment.
Treatment Approaches: Various treatments are available for toenail fungus, including topical creams, oral medications, and laser therapy.
How to know if toenail fungus is dying?
Determining whether toenail fungus is dying can be challenging, but there are signs to look out for. As the condition improves, you may notice a reduction in nail discoloration, improvement in nail texture, and new nail growth. These are positive indicators that the treatment is working. However, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate assessment and guidance on the progress of the treatment.
When to see a Doctor?
- Severe infection with significant pain, discomfort, or difficulty walking.
- Worsening symptoms despite self-care measures and over-the-counter treatments.
- Spreading or recurring infections involving multiple nails.
- Diabetes or compromised immune system.
- Suspected complications like cellulitis or abscess formation.
Q1: How long does it take to treat toenail fungus?
A: Treatment duration can vary, but it typically takes several months to completely treat toenail fungus.
Q2: Are there any home remedies for toenail fungus?
A: Tea tree oil and vinegar soaks are common home remedies, but consult a doctor for proper guidance.
Q3: Can I wear nail polish while treating toenail fungus?
A: It’s generally advised to avoid nail polish during treatment to allow proper monitoring and effectiveness of treatment.