We are often asked about the cause of toe nail fungus. The fungal organisms that are the causes of nail fungus are present almost everywhere. Once they get under the nail bed they can be difficult to cure. Anything that damages a nail can make it easier for the fungus to move in. Examples include an injury to the nail such as getting a finger stuck in a door, or tight shoes that pinch the toes.
A weakened immune system can also make it easier for a fungal infection to start. Many medical professionals believe that having a strong immune system is essential for preventing fungus infections.
You need to be very careful when trimming nails. Do not cut them too short, as this can result in small openings that allow fungus to get under the nail. (This is a common cause of toe nail fungus). Nail Biting can also contribute to this condition. Nail biting can leave the nail without its natural protection against infections.
The fungi that are causes of nail fungus are present in many public areas such as pools and locker rooms. Be sure to wear slippers or some sort of barrier on your feet in such settings.
Always keep your feet as dry as possible, and change socks frequently. This is especially true if you have a job that causes your hands or feet to be damp for extended periods. Damp feet are a major cause of toe nail fungus.
Fingernail polish can also contribute to nail fungus, since it does not allow the nail to breathe. Most people will not develop a fungal nail infection simply from wearing fingernail polish. However if an infection is present, it may be wise to stop using such products.
These are the common causes of nail fungus. Now that we have gone over the cause of toe nail fungus, we will go over what the fungus actually is.
Nail fungus (also called onychomycosis) is made up of very small organisms that can infect fingernails and toenails. These organisms are called dermatophytes. Fungi are parasitic plant organisms, such as molds and mildew. These parasitic organisms lack chlorophyll and therefore do not require sunlight for growth. Nail fungus is very common. More than 35 million people in the US have it under their nails.
Once the nail fungus moves in under the nail, it is difficult to reach and stop. The nail provides a safe place for the fungus and protects it while it grows. This is why basic prevention is so important.
Now that we have gone over the cause of toe nail fungus, and what it is, we will go over prevention and treatment.
By following common sense precautions, including proper hygiene and regular inspection of the feet and toes, the chances of the problem occurring can be sharply reduced, or halted.
Tips to avoid nail fungus:
-Wash your feet regularly with soap and water.
-Remember to dry your feet thoroughly after washing.
-Properly fitted shoes are essential; an astonishing number of people wear shoes that don't fit right, and cause serious foot problems. A shoe with a firm sole and soft upper is best for daily activities.
-Shower shoes should be worn when possible, in public areas.
-Shoes, socks, or hosiery should be changed daily.
-Toenails should be clipped straight across so that the nail does not extend beyond the tip of the toe. Improper clipping is a common cause of toe nail fungus.
-Use a quality foot powder -- talcum, not cornstarch -- in conjunction with shoes that fit well and are made of materials that breathe.
-Avoid wearing excessively tight hosiery, which promotes moisture. Tight hosiery is a common cause of toe nail fungus.
-Wear socks made of synthetic fiber, which tend to "wick" away moisture faster than cotton or wool socks, especially for sports activity.
-Disinfect home pedicure tools and don't apply polish to nails suspected of infection. Signs of an infection include toes that are red, discolored, or swollen.
Now that we have gone over the cause of toe nail fungus and how to prevent it, we will go over treatment.
One of the biggest mistakes we see in nail fungus treatment is trying a home remedy. Many patients spend months trying treatments like vinegar, bleach, rubbing alcohol and even Listerine. Unfortunately, except in rare cases, these home remedies don’t work. (Bleach is also very dangerous to use on your nails or skin) And while you are wasting time trying them, your fungus can actually worsen.
Some patients have asked if prescription medications are safe. Unfortunately all of the currently available prescription medicines can have extremely serious side effects. Some of them have even caused death. Here is a description of them:
Sporanox capsules and Lamisil tablets are the two most popular prescription medications. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public health advisory in May 2001 concerning Sporanox (itraconazole) capsules and Lamisil (terbinafine hydrochloride) tablets for the treatment of nail fungus. The FDA concluded that there is strong evidence of congestive heart failure and hepatic adverse events with the administration of these therapies. Hepatic toxicity includes liver failure and death. Given the possible risks associated with both drugs, you need to look at better and safer alternatives.
Griseofulvin must be taken for 6-12 months, and is taken orally. Every 3 months blood work needs to be done because this medicine has risks associated with bone marrow and liver damage. The most common side effects include nausea/vomiting, headaches, increased sunburn potential and diarrhea.
Penlac is a topical antifungal therapy. Penlac is not very effective, and after the medication is stopped it is very common for the fungus to return. Common side effects include: redness around nails, nail shape change, irritation, ingrown toenail and discoloration.
Given the dangerous side effects associated with these prescription medicines, most medical professionals believe they are unwise to use. Luckily there are effective and safe alternatives.
There is a safe nail fungus treatment that is extremely effective. It involves using certain key natural ingredients. These natural ingredients work extremely well, and have no dangerous side effects.
There are many fungus treatments available that contain one or two of the key necessary ingredients needed to successfully eliminate nail fungus. There is only one treatment available that contains them all. That treatment is Zetaclear. Some of the key ingredients in Zetaclear include Tea tree oil, Jojoba oil, Lavender oil and Clove oil, all of which have well-known anti-fungal and soothing properties.
You can follow this link to Zetaclear to learn more, and see how it can help you.
We have seen even the worst cases of nail fungus eliminated. You just need to start your nail fungus treatment immediately, and use the right safe natural ingredients.
If you have any questions about the cause of toe nail fungus, or any treatment for nail fungus, please contact us.
Remember when it comes to the cause of toe nail fungus, prevention is the best treatment.