Stomp Out Fungi: Toenail fungus can be an unsightly condition that leads to discomfort and embarrassment. People that suffer from an infection may no longer feel comfortable in the gym or around the pool due to the discoloration that accompanies the growth.
In advanced cases, individuals may not be able to wear the same type of footwear to which they have grown accustomed. Nail fungus can be notoriously difficult to treat, and repeat infections are extremely common.
Diagnosing the problem early allows individuals to treat the fungus more effectively without the use of expensive prescription medication:
- Discoloration in the nails is not always necessarily due to fungus. However, discoloration of the nail accompanied by a growing thickness of the nail itself is a good indication that some unwanted growth is occurring. The discoloration typically causes the nail to take on a dark shade of yellow that blends into brown around the edge of the infected nail.
- As the condition worsens, the nail will dry out and multiple layers of dead tissue will accumulate beneath the nail surface. Fungi that is left untreated can cause serious damage to the nail.
- It can lead to a complete loss of the toenail and cause the infection to spread to the other toes.
Despite the rather frightening symptoms, toenail fungus is quite common. It is most likely to occur on the big toe, and it is a distinctly different condition than athletes foot.
The fungi that is the source of the outbreak can live under the nail for months before any signs of its presence manifest.
The infection can be treated in its early stages fairly easily. In most cases, home remedies can clear things right up.
Applying tea tree oil to the infected area is among the most effective of the home remedies. Ointments available over-the-counter also have a good track record for treating minor cases of toenail fungus.
For cases which are more serious, professional medical treatment is necessary to kill the fungus. Doctors have several methods at their disposal to prescribe to patients. The treatment they select will depend on the severity of the infection and the existence of other conditions that may interact adversely with the medication. Below are the most commonly prescribed medicines:
- Oral medications: the most effective of these have proven to be either terbinafine or itraconazole.
- Anti-fungal lacquers: this is a nail polish applied once a day. The active ingredient is ciclopirox.
- Laser Surgery: this option removes the nail itself so that a new one can grow in its place. Surgery is reserved for extreme cases.
- Photodynamic Therapy: this treatment uses light to irradiate the nail after being treated with an acid solution. This treatment is not always available, though highly effective.
Doctors find it necessary to have a variety of approaches for treatment because of complicating factors. Some medications can cause skin rashes or they may not be effective on resistant fungi. Diabetes and other pre-existing conditions can also limit the number of options that are available for patients.
However, in a lot of cases most toenail fungus can be treated by all natural, but extra-strength nail fungus treatments…