What Is A Toenail Fungal Infection?
You spent a wonderful weekend at the beach and you wore your water shoes all day long. A few days later as you put on your socks, you notice a yellowish discoloration to one of your toenails. You didn’t know that wearing wet shoes all day long created the perfect environment for you to develop a toenail fungal infection.
Toenail fungal infection develop in warm, continuously moist environments. Here are some signs that you may have a toenail fungal infection.
Toenail discoloration. Toenail discoloration can present as white spots or yellow, brown, or green discoloration.
Toenail thickening. Your toenails will begin to thicken as the fungal infection gets worse.
Nail lifts up off the toe. This is a sign that the infection has worsened.
Thinning toenails. In some cases, rather than thickening, some toenails may become thinner.
You can use over-the-counter medicines or you can seek treatment with your personal physician or dermatologist to treat a fungal infection. A physician will perform a test to determine if you have a fungal infection on your toenail, and will prescribe a topical or oral medication.
If you choose to use an over-the-counter treatment, It’s important to know what to look for, The medication you choose should contain one of the following active ingredients.
Sunflower seed oil. Sunflower seed oil comes from the sunflower plant. It contains vitamins E, D, A, unsaturated fats, and lecithin. Sunflower seed oil very effectively sinks into the toenail surface and penetrates the nail bed, which is the main location of the fungal infection.
Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca oil, is a natural ingredient that is taken from the Melaleuca alternifolia, a plant that is native to Australia. Research studies have shown that it is as effective as clotrimazole (brand name Lotrimin) in treating toenail fungus. Tea tree oil is also commonly used to promote healthy skin and nails. It is also a disinfectant. It can be used along with undecylenic acid to penetrate the nail bed.
Undecylinic acid, a naturally occurring fungicide, is made from castor oil. It is used to treat fungal infections, Candida albicans, and other skin disorders. Use a 10% solution of undecylenic acid to treat your toenail fungal infection.
If the over-the-counter medications you use prove to be ineffective, then seek treatment from a doctor to prevent spread of the infection to other nails, other parts of your body, and to other people.
If you are diabetic or have a weakened immune system, you should get your toenail infection treated right away. Diabetics are particularly susceptible to developing non-healing sores that can lead to more serious health issues.
Serious complications can arise when you don’t treat your fungal infection early. You can develop foot pain. The fungus can spread to other nails and to other people, and you can develop cellulitis.
Toenail fungus infections that are caught and treated early have the best outcome. Once your toenail infection heals, you will be able to grow a healthy nail again.