Monday, June 11, 2012

Quick Facts about Unsightly Yellow Toenails

Toenail Fungal Infection Quick Reference Guide

Over the past few years, I’ve done extensive research on toenail fungal infection.  A few of my family members (including myself) have been plagued by this condition for many years.  I made it my mission to find out all I could about the condition and how to effectively treat it.

I’ve uncovered a multitude of facts about toenail fungal infection and have put together this article to share these facts with others who may be suffering from this unsightly “thick yellow toenail” problem.

·        Toenail fungal infection (medical term – Onychomycosis)  is a common problem.  Over 35 million Americans suffer from this condition.

·        Fungal infection of the toenail is caused by an organism known as a dermatophyte, which is a type of fungus – this type of organism also causes athlete’s foot, jock itch, and ringworm.

·        The dermatophyte lives and grows under the toenail in the nail bed.
·        Symptoms of toenail fungus can include one or more of the following:

               -white spots on the nail in its earliest form
               -discoloration;  green, brown, or yellow toenails
               -brittle or crumbling toenails
               -thickened toenail
               -unpleasant odor
               -dull or rough appearance of the toenail
               -separation of the toenail from the nail bed

·        Dermatophytes thrive in moist, warm and dark environments – such as inside of shoes and socks.

·        It is very difficult to cure this condition once the fungus finds its way under the nail.
·        Wearing acrylic nails or nail polish to hide the problem just makes it worse – the toenail can’t breathe.

·        Topical over-the-counter creams or liquids are usually ineffective treatments for this condition except in very mild cases.

·        Oral medications are available by prescription for treating toenail fungal infection, but they are only effective in about 50% of all cases, and they can cause harmful side effects.

·        In severe, long-term cases of toenail fungus the nail may have to be surgically removed or there may be permanent damage to the toenail.

·        It can take from 4 to 12 months for a new toenail to grow in completely.  Patience and commitment is required to get rid of toenail fungal infection.

·        Even after successful treatment of this problem, recurrence of the infection is often the case.  You must take active prevention measures against re-infection.

·        By far, the best remedies for toenail fungus are natural remedies.

Get rid of those unsightly, embarrassing thick yellow toenails once and for all, and keep your toenails looking great! 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Toenail Fungal Infection Prevention

Prevention of Toenail Fungal Infection and Re-Infection

Toenail fungal infection is a common problem.  As many as 35 million Americans suffer from this condition.  Symptoms include spotted, thickened, and/or yellow toenails, brittleness or crumbling of the toenail, dulled or rough surface of the toenail, nail separating from the nail bed, and foul odor.

These toenail infections are caused by a fungal organism called a dermatophyte.  These organisms thrive in warm, moist and dark environments.  Shower/locker room floors, gyms, and pool areas are some of the places likely to be harboring this fungus.  Since the inside of shoes is warm and dark and sometimes moist from perspiration, the fungus is in the perfect environment to live and grow.

Once the fungus gets onto the foot, it can get under the toenail and into the nail bed (where it lives) through invisible cracks in the skin around the nail.  Once the fungus takes up residence under your toenail, it is extremely difficult to remedy.

Even after successful treatment of toenail fungal infection, it is very easy to become re-infected unless you take active measures to prevent this from happening.  I’ve done extensive research into this condition over the past few years, and have put this list of preventative measures together for the benefit of all who may be interested in this subject:

· -    Keep toenails trimmed short and cut them straight across – file down thicker areas.

· -     Keep feet as dry and clean as possible – take off shoes whenever you can.

· -      Wash feet daily and dry (THOROUGHLY) – use antifungal soap.

· -      Wear socks designed to wick moisture away from skin.

· -      Change hosiery or socks often – at least daily, more often if your feet sweat.

· -      Do not wear sneakers for everyday shoes, they don’t allow the foot to breathe.

· -       Wear shoes that fit well and switch shoes often.

· -       NEVER wear someone else’s shoes!

· -      Give toenails as much air as possible.

· -       Sunlight may help kill the dermatophyte organism, since it thrives in the dark.

· -       Don’t polish toenails or wear acrylic nails to hide them – nails can’t breathe through these.

· -      Picking at skin around toenail can cause small cracks in skin and the organism can get under nail through these cracks.

· -       Don’t go barefoot in any public places such as pools or locker rooms.

· -      Make sure not to share nail files or clippers.

· -      Clean all foot instruments in alcohol after using.

· -      Use anti-fungal foot powders or spray inside shoes to get rid of fungus that may be living in shoes.

· -       Be sure to ALWAYS wash hands thoroughly after touching an infected nail.

If you follow these simple tips with a diligence and commitment, you can prevent toenail fungal infection and/or re-infection.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Getting Rid of Fungal Toenail Infection

Getting Rid of Toenail Fungal Infection

Thick discolored toenails can be a real embarrassment!  Believe me, I know from firsthand experience.  I suffered from thick, crumbling and yellow toenails for many years. I found out that I was suffering from toenail fungal infection.  I just assumed that I could purchase an over-the-counter remedy for toenail fungus and after a few weeks the problem would be gone.  Boy, was I wrong.  I had NO idea how difficult it would be to resolve this problem.

The symptoms of fungal toenail infection include one or more of the following:  Thick, discolored, or crumbling toenails, also possible itching under the nail.  Often these symptoms are accompanied by an unpleasant odor.

The organism that causes this type of infection is a fungus known as a dermatophyte.   Dermatophytes thrive in moist, warm and/or dark places.  They can easily be spread from person to person by skin to skin contact, by sharing socks and/or shoes, or by walking barefoot in places such as pool areas and locker room showers.

Once these organisms get on your feet, it can take up residence under the toenail (in the nail bed) and begins to multiply.  Dermatophytes use the keratin in the nail for food.  The above symptoms are actually the infected person’s immune response to the waste products the dermatophyte is producing.
One of the reasons this type of infection is so difficult to treat successfully is because most people’s feet spend a great deal of time inside socks and shoes. The inside of shoes is the perfect environment for these organisms to thrive – it’s warm and dark and often moist from perspiration.

When I finally found out why I had those ugly, thick toenails, I naturally set about trying to cure the infection.  I tried every over-the-counter remedy I could find with absolutely no success.  I asked my doctor about prescription remedies, but he discouraged these oral medications because of the high incidence of harmful side effects.  It took over 15 years to find a remedy for fungal toenail infection that really worked.

Once you decide to tackle your toenail infection, you should be able to see some improvement in 2 – 3 weeks if your chosen remedy is working.  How quickly you will see results depend on the severity of the infection.  Patience and commitment is a must when working to clear up a toenail infection.  It can take up to 12 months for a new nail to grow in completely.

An important thing to be aware of when you are treating a fungal toenail infection is that it is VERY easy to re-infect the nail with the fungus.  The most important thing you can do to prevent re-infection is to keep your feet as clean and dry as possible at all times.  Sunlight also helps to kill the fungus since it thrives in darkness.

With diligence, good hygiene, and a good natural remedy you can finally rid yourself of that toenail fungal infection!