Life it seems, is all about hoping for the best and planning for the worst. This can apply to everything from a future career to long-term health, what type of insurance you decide, and where you go on vacation. More often than not, as the largest population of Americans move into retirement, health and wellbeing become central points in planning.
Living a healthy lifestyle and being physically fit can be a noble goal that many Americans will struggle to reach. With over 60% of American adults overweight, finding the right ways to be healthy and struggling with sickness are two problems that many of us are facing or will soon face. The best way to approach these problems is to learn as much as we can and to make an informed decision regarding them.
While not a matter of life and death, a medical problem that more than 20% of seniors and 10% of the general public deal with is toenail fungus. Making the daily routines painful and representing a cause of concern and worry, toenail fungus treatments is central to curing this problem before it can get any worse. While many of us hope that something will go away if we ignore it long enough, toenail fungus will only get worse with time until it is treated. With all of this in mind, let’s take a moment to explore the various treatment options available to you as well as the different types of toenail fungus out there. We will show you how to get rid of toenail fungus. Before we begin, however, lets take a look at fungus and how this unique problem requires a unique medical solution.
Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis is a result of an infection in the toenails and surrounding skin. Unlike the majority of other conditions that can occur in your feet, as well as the rest of your body, onychomycosis is caused by fungus in the air. From the same kingdom designation that brings you beer, bread, and mushrooms, there are thousands of different types of yeast and fungus out there. While some provide a symbiotic role with plants, other forms of fungus help to break down waste material or control insect populations. Only a couple actively work against people as seen with toenail fungus.
The cause of toenail fungus is in the air all around us. While it rarely interferes with our lives directly, a weakened immune system as well as constant exposure to the conditions where the fungus can thrive increases our risk. Having onychomycosis starts off as no problem at all. Over time however, it will get increasingly worse, leading to discoloration, destruction of the nail, and pain. If and when you develop toenail fungus, considering a treatment plan should be done as soon as possible.
Toenail Fungus has 4 primary fungal types and causes that we will get into later. In addition, the intensity of your fungal infection will determine what works and what does not, as well as, how long you will have to treat the area. Let’s take a moment to examine over the counter and do it yourself solutions, prescribed medications from a doctor or orthopedic, and finally surgical options. Again, the intensity of the treatment will depend on how long and intense the onychomycosis is.
1. Over the Counter And Do It Yourself
First, you can slow the progress of the fungus down by removing all wet and moist conditions from your feet. When you take a shower, soap your feet and dry them the moment you are out. When taking a bath, let your toes hang out from the water keeping them dry. Be sure to replace whatever is covering your feet every day and thoroughly wash and dry your cloths before wearing them again. In addition, keep activities that can lead to sweaty feet down and wear socks and shoes that allow your feet to breath and that whisks away the moisture quickly.
Once you have identified a toenail that has a fungal infection, then there are some minor ways you can proactively treat it. Cut off any parts of the nail that may be infected and keep your toenails relatively short to stop future potential growth. File off any white dots as these are normally indicative of an external and surface level fungal infection. Also, there are many anti-fungal remedies that you can buy over the counter from most drug stores. It should be noted that these are very weak and may show only gradual results over an extended period of time. If the fungal infection in your toenails is a secondary result from something like a weakened immune system, then your results will be even less pronounced. Either way, consider over the counter and do it yourself treatments as a way to stop additional damage more than reversing what damage has been done.
2. Prescribed Medication
Regardless of what stage of the infection you are currently in, seeing a trained doctor or podiatrist capable of issuing a prescription will provide the greatest amount of help. They will be able to accurately diagnose what the problem is as well as the most direct and efficient form of treatment. In addition, the prescriptions you can get are normally stronger then what you can buy over the counter, resulting in quicker results.
There are several prescription types that are in pill form. These allow you to take a pill daily, providing an easy way to cure onychomycosis without much effort on your part. These mostly work when the infection is not that strong and you have a relatively healthy immune system. If your infection is particularly severe or the physician believes that this is the best way to approach treatment, then you may be given a topical solution that you can be applied directly to the nails. The physician will give you instructions on what to do, why it works, and how long you should do it. For more stubborn cases, a combination of oral and topical uses may be used to aggressively treat and reverse fungal nail growth. As always, be sure to fully inform your physician about everything relating to the problem as a little detail may go a long way to creating a better and more direct diagnosis.
Surgery is most often reserved for those who have had no luck with alternative means. When oral and topical solutions do not work or in conditions where the immune system is compromised enough to not be able to keep fungal growth in check, then surgery may be advisable. In addition, if you are experiencing a great deal of pain, then surgery may be used to eliminate the cause of the pain saving you the experience of slower cures.
Surgery regarding onychomycosis is very minimal. It will involve toenail removal. Done carefully and by a trained physician, you will feel a minimal amount of pain during the process. In addition, it can dramatically reduce what pain you are feeling now. As always, surgery should only be considered as a last option and with the advice of your physician.
Directed Cures Towards Specific Cases Of Onychomycosis
There are four primary causes of onychomycosis with three of them being primarily the result of fungus. When finding the best toenail fungus treatment, identifying the kind of fungus you have will make treatment easier, especially if you are in the early stages of dealing with your onychomycosis.
1. Distal Subungual Onychomycosis, Or DSO
Along with being the primary cause of onychomycosis, the vast majority of people who have onychomycosis have DSO to thank. DSO can last a lifetime and is particularly challenging to treat. While DIY treatments can provide some measure of success, it all comes down to how healthy your body is and how big the infection is. As DSO can cause pain and discomfort over time, the majority of people will find treatments success when going to their doctor, with a few either requiring surgery or finding success on their own.
2. White Superficial Onychomycosis, Or WSO
WSO is the second most common fungus that causes onychomycosis. Unlike DSO, it only effects the top layer of your toenail. The benefit of this is that you will have several treatment options open to you. This includes some who have had success with DIY and over the counter remedies. As a result, WSO is among the easiest and most direct forms of onychomycosis that can be treated.
3. Candida Onychomycosis
Candida Onychomycosis is a form of yeast infection that targets the skin under our nails and the nails themselves. It is among the most painful forms of onychomycosis out there and can frequently lead to surgery as an option. Candida Onychomycosis should be treated as soon as possible and is usually effective when going to a doctor for a subscription.
4. Proximal Subungual Onychomycosis Or PSO
PSO is most often seen in people with HIV. With the risk of skin infections and a compromised immune system, PSO should only be treated through the assistance of an experienced physician.