Fungal toenail infections are relatively common among adults – many will experience one at some point in their lives. But what if your baby or toddler develop toenail fungus? How can you get rid of the infection safely, without disrupting your toddler’s life too much?
Toddlers can pick up fungus infections in a multitude of ways. These infections are very contagious, and we all know that toddlers like to touch everything within their reach. Many toddler-friendly places are also a breeding ground for fungus. Water play areas, soft play centers, and creches can all play host to fungus if they’re not cleaned properly.
It’s easy for toddlers to pick up these infections, even if their parents take extra precautions. Sometimes these things can’t be helped – and the good news is that fungal nail infections are treatable.
When it comes to treating children, many parents look for natural treatments or gentle over-the-counter remedies. Turning straight to prescription medicine is not always an option for mothers and fathers. Let’s take a look at how to cure a toenail fungal infection in toddlers naturally or OTC medicines.
Table of Contents:
- 1 How to Spot the Signs of Fungal Nail Infections in Toddlers
- 2 Should My Toddler See a Doctor about a Fungal Infection?
- 3 How Long Will My Toddler’s Toenail Fungus Take To Heal?
- 4 Treating Toenail Fungus in Toddlers
- 5 Other Related Articles:
How to Spot the Signs of Fungal Nail Infections in Toddlers
Fungal nail infections – also known as onychomycosis – can happen to anyone, even children. They’re not usually serious, but they can be unpleasant, especially for a little one who just wants to run and play freely.
So how do you know whether your little one is suffering from a fungus infection in their toenail? Keep a lookout for these signs and symptoms:
- Discoloration of their toenails. Instead of a natural pale pink color, they may begin to turn black, yellow or green.
- Thickening or the nail. When trimming your little one’s toenails, pay attention to the nails that seem to have an unusual texture. Here are some of the reasons why people get thicker toenails.
- Brittle or crumbly nails. Toenails are supposed to be strong. If your toddler’s toenails are crumbling and easily broken, there could be fungus involved.
- Pain or discomfort. Early toenail fungus isn’t usually painful, but if the condition is left untreated, it can start to hurt. The pain is particularly noticeable when putting pressure on the affected toe.
If you see any of these symptoms in your toddler, it’s safe to assume that they might have a fungal nail infection. The faster you start treatment, the faster you will help your toddler’s toenails to heal.
Should My Toddler See a Doctor about a Fungal Infection?
In many circumstances involving illnesses or ailments, a parent’s first reaction is to see a doctor. If the child is still young, and you aren’t entirely sure if it’s a fungal nail infection, it might be wise to seek a professional opinion.
However, many parents aren’t keen on the idea of using prescription-strength treatments on their little ones. There are so many natural alternatives out there for treating toenail fungus in toddlers – let’s take a look at some of them.
What Are the Best Natural Antifungal Treatments for Toddlers?
One of the most simple and natural treatments you can use to cure toenail fungus is tea tree oil. With no artificial substances or chemicals, this basic oil can clear up fungal nail infections just as effectively as any prescription. Plus, it’s budget-friendly and easy to find in local pharmacies or online.
Undiluted tea tree oil might be a little strong for your toddler’s skin. In its pure form, the oil can be unsuitable for use on sensitive skin. Dilute it with a carrier oil like olive oil or almond oil, then rub it into the affected area twice daily. You can also choose a tea tree oil foot soak or wash, which can help speed up recovery times and keep the fungus from growing any further.
Listerine is popular for treating toenail fungus. It’s also one of those handy products that you’ll probably have lying around the house. Mix equal parts Listerine (the original color, not the green or blue versions) with warm water in a bowl large enough for your toddler to rest their feet in safely. The hardest part of this treatment could be getting your little one to sit still for a fifteen-minute stretch.
If you don’t have any Listerine lying around, apple cider vinegar is another natural treatment for toenail fungus. With potent antifungal and antiseptic properties, apple cider vinegar can be applied directly to the toenail itself, or you can add it to a foot bath like the Listerine option.
Lastly, coconut oil is a popular antifungal and antiseptic oil which is readily available in many supermarkets and pharmacies. Just gently rub the oil into the affected area twice per day. When it comes to natural treatments like this, you can combine them with each other for maximum effect without worrying about them interfering with treatment.
What Are the Best Over-The-Counter Antifungal Treatments for Toddlers?
If you’re having trouble fighting your toddler’s toenail fungus, try Mr. Magic Toes. This unique formula is perfect for all ages, from small children to the elderly. Recommended by podiatrists, this organic, vegan-friendly, gluten-free product can help reduce nail discoloration and get rid of fungal nail infections over time.
The treatment comes with a handy brush and should be applied directly to the affected nails twice per day. Once in the morning and once in the evening works best. The treatment clears away keratin build-up under the nails, which can starve the fungus and cause it to die off slowly.
Dr. Paul’s Piggy Paste is another great product for treating toenail fungus in little ones. It’s safe, easy-to-apply and comes in a topical gel form. A pea-sized amount needs to be applied to the toenail base once per day, and the area should then be covered with a bandage. Treatment should be continued for twelve weeks or longer – it can take months to see results with any antifungal treatment.
With no harsh chemicals or alcohols, this treatment is ideal for toddlers’ toes, and each tube comes with a handy three-month supply.
You could also try FDA-approved Funginix. This product contains twice as many key ingredients as many other popular nail fungus products, and if you purchase from Amazon, it’s backed by their 100% money-back guarantee. With ingredients like camphor, tea tree oil, and undecylenic acid, which penetrate to the nail bed to kill off fungus and halt the infection in its tracks.
This easy-to-use product is brushed onto the nail like nail polish – so if you have little girls, you can pretend to pamper them while treating their infection. The natural ingredients mean that it’s suitable for youngsters, and you can combine it with other treatments like coconut oil and Listerine.
How Long Will My Toddler’s Toenail Fungus Take To Heal?
It’s important to remember that toenail fungus cannot be cured overnight. Fungal infections can take weeks or months to set in properly, and once they’re embedded, they can be stubborn – especially if they get under the toenail. It’s very important that you act as soon as you realize your toddler has a fungal infection. The quicker you start treatment, the sooner you will see results.
With diligent, regular treatment and careful hygiene, you will be able to treat your toddler’s fungus infection. However, it will take weeks to see the first signs of results, and even longer if you are to get rid of the fungal infection completely.
That said, there are things you can do to make the process easier, as well as keeping the infection from spread to other members of the household:
- Never let your child share socks or shoes with a friend or sibling. You should also try to keep the socks of the child with the infection separate from the socks of other children. Try keeping them in a separate drawer or box until you’re confident the infection has gone.
- Invest in a good pair of antifungal socks for the little one. These will help wick away sweat and prevent the feet from getting too moist while they recover.
- Allocate one or two towels to your toddler, and make sure no one else in the house uses them until the infection has been cured.
- Put antifungal spray or powder in your toddler’s shoes after they’ve been worn. This is especially important if they wear the same pair of school shoes each day.
- Allow your toddler to run around the house barefoot for a few hours each day. This gives the feet and toes a chance to breathe.
- Shoe sanitizers are also a great idea to keep footwear clean and bacteria-free.
- Clip your toddler’s toenails regularly with stainless steel clippers. Longer toenails can harbor fungus and make it harder to treat the infection. Sanitize the clippers after each use with rubbing alcohol, to prevent the fungus from spreading.
What To Do If The Infection Is Not Healing
If you’ve diligently treated the infection for a number of months and still see no improvement, you should see a doctor or podiatrist. They will be able to prescribe a more powerful treatment which should help to speed up the recovery process.
There’s also the prospect of laser treatment to get rid of toenail fungus. The process is painless and won’t cause any side-effects to your toddler, but it’s only used in the most serious cases.
Treating Toenail Fungus in Toddlers
Sometimes, no matter how many precautions you take as a parent, your child will pick up an infection or illness. Fungal nail infections are very common in places that toddlers frequent, from swimming pools to soft play centers. If your child gets a fungal nail infection, don’t beat yourself up about it – they’re a fact of life for many people, and are eminently treatable.
Treating a fungal toenail infection is tough in adults – but in toddlers, it can be even harder. From getting them to sit still long enough to bathe their feet, to ensuring their toes are kept clean and dry throughout the day, parents can have a tough time trying to treat fungal infections in little ones.
We know that many parents are not satisfied with the idea of prescription-strength medications for their little ones. But there are so many natural solutions which can treat fungus, that only the most serious infections will need medicated products. Using combinations of well-known ingredients like coconut oil, tea tree oil, and Listerine, you can treat your toddler’s toenail fungus from the comfort of your own home.
The good news is that using these trusted solutions and treatments can mean an end to fungal infections in a matter of months. With careful and regular application of the treatments, as well as good general foot hygiene in all members of the family, you can say goodbye to toenail fungus, and your toddler can continue to run, crawl, play and live freely.