We may not like to think about toenail fungus or the effects it can have on our feet very often, and it’s certainly not something people tend to talk about in everyday conversation. But the fact is, more people deal with this condition than you may realize, because it is so easy to contract, and no one is immune to it.
Of course, practicing good hygiene, especially on your feet, is important for everyone, and will always reduce risk factors when it comes to contracting any bacterial or fungal infection. Unfortunately, even the cleanest of people can get nail fungus. It can spread quickly, and the severity of it varies case by case, but toenail fungus will usually first appear as either a small white or yellowish dot on the toenail. The spreading will continue, and it will only get worse.
If left untreated, toenail fungus can become quite painful, as well as unsightly. It can lead to dry, hardened, and brittle nails that can crack and chip away. In severe cases, the entire toenail can fall off, which not only can be painful but can lead to additional infections.
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What Causes Toenail Fungus?
Toenail fungus can be brought up by any number of things, but at its very basis, it is caused by trapped moisture underneath the toenail. When that moisture gets ‘stuck,’ it becomes the perfect environment for bacteria to grow, and grow, turning quickly into an unsightly, annoying, and possibly painful fungus that can spread to the other toes. Again, practicing good hygiene can help to keep fungus at bay, but sometimes, situations come up that make it nearly impossible to avoid.
Things like wearing socks without proper ventilation, wearing shoes that are too tight, or walking barefoot in a public place are all instances in which toenail fungus can occur. Sometimes, this type of fungus is directly correlated to athlete’s foot, since many athletes tend to wear tight socks and shoes and perspire within them.
You may have seen advertisements for athlete’s foot on television, online, etc. This is because that type of issue, including toenail fungus, can be somewhat debilitating – not just for athletes, but for everyone. It’s important not to let toenail fungus take control over your life, which can easily happen if you let it spread, and continue to get more and more painful.
Treatment Options for Toenail Fungus
There are many different ways to treat toenail fungus. Some people go into a more natural and holistic route, using things like tea tree oil for treating toenail fungus. There are also more ‘advanced’ solutions, including laser therapy, which can be done at a doctor’s office, or even at home nowadays, thanks to ever-increasing technology, such as the Ncure nail fungus laser. However, this type of laser treatment can be extremely expensive, and because it is considered a cosmetic procedure, it isn’t usually covered by most insurance agencies.
Another option is to seek actual medical attention. A dermatologist is who you’ll likely want to see if your toenail fungus has become a problem. They specialize in the treatment of the skin, and fungi surrounding it.
A dermatologist can give you more peace of mind when it comes to dealing with toenail fungus, because they can pinpoint the exact problem, and are usually able to give you the best solution. Many doctors will recommend an oral solution by taking a pill to clear up the fungus. However, this doesn’t always work well for some people, as that type of medication can interact with other medications.
Will Antifungal Cream Cure Toenail Fungus?
Whether it’s an over-the-counter application or a prescribed cream you receive from the doctor, many people turn to antifungal creams for curing toenail fungus. While there are other similar topical solutions, like sprays, and powders, they typically aren’t considered as effective because they don’t penetrate the affected area well enough.
With the best antifungal cream, you can be sure you’re using ingredients specifically targeted to cure the issue – something you don’t necessarily get from a more natural substance like tea tree oil, or a pill that could affect other areas of the body.
Another great reason to use antifungal cream? You can see exactly where it’s going. When you use similar sprays or powders, they tend to just go ‘everywhere,’ and may not get to the root source of the problem as well as cream can. With cream, you use it where you need it the most; on top of the nails, between the toes, and as far underneath the nails as you can get for it to go to work, and cure toenail fungus as quickly as possible. Making sure to get underneath and in between every area is important because it is in those areas that moisture tends to live, providing a continuous perfect environment for more fungus to grow.
Side Effects of Antifungal Cream
Because it is a topical solution, there are very few risks of having any internal issues when you use the best antifungal cream. It’s not likely to make you ill or cause any long-term issues. In fact, it’s one of the safest forms of treatment you could consider when it comes to getting rid of toenail fungus. However, some people do experience certain side effects, and it’s important to be aware of them before you try it for yourself. Some of these side effects include:
- A light rash or redness of the skin.
- Skin inflammation or irritation.
- Small blisters.
- A tingling sensation.
If you use a cream and experience any of these side effects, feel free to call your dermatologist at any point. While most of the side effects aren’t necessarily common, everyone reacts to things differently, and because the cream will be touching your skin, it’s important to take your skin’s sensitivity into consideration. If you feel you might be more prone to conditions like these, you can discuss it with your doctor ahead of time.
Leaving Toenail Fungus Untreated
As stated above, in a few small cases, toenail fungus ‘may’ clear up on its own, but it’s doubtful. Even if you do have a small case, it’s a good idea to start some treatment to get rid of it. Left untreated, toenail fungus spreads quickly and becomes dangerous – not just to your feet, but to other parts of the body.
A fungus is a living, breathing thing, and that means it can grow and move. If you don’t treat, and eliminate toenail fungus, it can affect things like your hands, or even the groin. In a few cases, toenail fungus has even been fatal. While those statistics are rare, they are out there, and serve as yet another reason why it’s so important not to take toenail fungus lightly, and get it treated as quickly as possible.
The best ways to protect yourself from toenail fungus include, very simply, taking proper care of your feet. Given the causes for toenail fungus listed above, essentially doing the ‘opposite’ can help to ensure your feet and toes stay healthy and happy. Be sure to wear the best antifungal socks, wear flip flops or shoes in public areas like a pool, or gym, and even at home. It’s never a good idea to wear another family member’s shoes. They might seem safe, but you never know if they’ve been following the proper foot precautions to prevent fungus. Remove fungus with the StinkBOSS device.
If you do contract toenail fungus, the best thing you can do is try to control it before it spreads. Leaving it alone to spread to other toes or even other parts of your body, can be extremely dangerous. Many people consider toenail fungus to be more of a cosmetic issue than a medical issue, but that’s simply not true, and it can become painful enough for you to realize that very quickly.
As you can see, there are plenty of treatment options when it comes to getting rid of toenail fungus, and it’s a matter of preference when it comes to which one you’ll be most comfortable with, and which one will work best for you. If you’re worried about toenail fungus or are currently dealing with it, a good place to start is by using the best over-the-counter antifungal cream.
That can get you started almost immediately on the path back toward healthier feet. Plus, because nail fungus has a nasty habit of recurring, having cream on hand can help you to be prepared at an earlier stage if it ever does return. Taking active steps against toenail fungus, with an OTC antifungal cream, can work wonders for the health of your feet, and toes.