Toenail fungus is an infection that enters the body through cracks in the nails or cuts in the skin, causing your toenail to change color or thicken. During treatment, your healthcare provider will likely extract a small sample underneath your nail for further examination. Inspecting the cells under a microscope can confirm the diagnosis. If the initial toenail fungus Bakersfield test is negative, a scraping can be sent to verify if the fungus develops out in a culture. This also assists your clinician in identifying the type of fungus.
Causes of toenail fungus
A type of mold known as dermatophyte causes toenail fungus (tinea unguium). Dermatophytes are fungi microorganisms (too small to see with your naked eye). They feed off keratin (makes nails hard), a protein found in your fingernails and toenails. Additionally, dermatophytes cause 90% of toenail fungal infections, but other fungi can also infect your toenails.
The most effective treatment for toenail fungus
Your symptoms and situation will determine the ideal toenail fungus therapy for you. Before prescribing a treatment plan, your healthcare practitioner will examine a variety of factors and then create a treatment plan just for you. Overall, oral antifungal medicines may have the most therapeutic potential. Also, combining oral and topical antifungal medications may make therapy more effective. Here are some medications used to address toenail fungus;
- Oral antifungal medication
You can take a prescribed oral antifungal medicine to manage the fungus, such as terbinafine, itraconazole, or fluconazole. You’ll have to take the medication every day (or longer) for several months. Your clinician may use blood examinations to check for possible medication adverse effects. These medications can impact your liver and interact with other drugs, so oral antifungals aren’t for everyone.
- Topical medications
You can apply a topical medicine directly to your nail regularly as it gradually kills the fungus. Topical treatments work best when combined with oral medications.
- Laser therapies
Your healthcare professional will direct a high-tech laser beam and special lights at the toenail to address the fungus. Lasers are allowed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a “temporary increase of clear nail” in nail fungus; however, they are not a cure. Also, laser therapy has a lower cure rate than oral and topical medications. Furthermore, lasers are not normally used as first-line treatments for nail fungus.
Is it possible to use nail polish if you have toenail fungus?
You might be tempted to use nail paint to conceal a discolored toe; however, if you’re using a topical antifungal, you shouldn’t apply polish. In any circumstance, your healthcare practitioner may advise you not to wear it.
Nail polish absorbs moisture from the nailbed (the tissue below your toenail). Wearing nail paint may aggravate a fungal illness since fungi flourish in damp settings. Your nail, however, continues to grow with or without polish.
Toenail fungus is a common disorder that can be challenging to treat. Toenail fungus is normally not painful, but it might make you feel self-conscious about the appearance of your foot. If it affects you, speak with your doctor about your treatment choices. Call Diabetic Foot and Wound Center to schedule your meeting today to determine which toenail fungus treatments are right for you.