If you are constantly troubled by an itchy, smelly, and crumbling or ingrown toenail, chances are that you are suffering from a toenail fungal infection that needs special attention as soon as possible.
Now, the question is, what exactly is a toenail fungal infection, and why should it be a matter of concern for you?
Toenail infection is one of the most common conditions people face around the world. In fact, around 14% of North Americans are currently having a hard time dealing with a fungal infection that has ruined their toenail(s). Medically speaking, the condition is termed as onychomycosis and is popularly known as “athlete’s foot.”
Now, you might be thinking that you’ve never been to the gym or played sports in your life and still facing such an infection. Then let us clear that up for you. Having a toenail fungal infection isn’t subjected to athletes or gym enthusiasts. The condition affects your nails when germs or fungi enter your nail bed, and your immunity is too weak to fight it, resulting in a discolored, itchy, cracked, and crumbled toenail.
According to dermatologists, these fungal spores are in the air and start growing after landing on receptive surfaces such as your toenails. They are predatory species as they feed off the patient’s nail tissues by burrowing deep down into the skin and settling under the nail. And as the fungal debris starts accumulating, the nail starts thickening and lifts off the nail bed. And once the nail gets separated from the bed, it won’t get attached, and the nail won’t grow where it should. That’s undoubtedly not a pretty sight!
You’ll be surprised to know that the germs and fungus that are the root cause of such a severe infection thrive in moist and warm climates and lurk around public showers, pools, locker rooms, saunas, salons, and other shared and communal spaces. The scariest thing is that if your immunity is compromised or you suffer from medical conditions such as diabetes, then you have to be extra careful and get that infected toe checked as soon as possible. Otherwise, you might end up with some bigger skin conditions such as cellulitis or foot ulcers. Nobody wants that. Right?
Therefore, if you are looking for ways to get rid of that nasty toenail fungal infection, then you’ve come to the right place. And without further ado, let’s get down to how to cure your infected toenail.
Protect your nails to prevent the condition altogether.
If you are trying to get rid of the infection or want to avoid getting one, there are some precautionary measures you can take. First of all, fungus and germs thrive in unclean and unhygienic areas, so make sure that your nails are trimmed, cleaned, and buffed so that the infection doesn’t spread to other nails. Also, don’t forget to wash your hands with antibacterial soap after touching the affected nail and before touching the unaffected ones.
Additionally, here are some tips that can help you keep the infection in control to safeguard other nails.
- Use antifungal foot powder on a daily basis
- Avoid wearing tight shoes
- Wear comfortable socks that wick away perspiration
- Always wear sandals or flip-flops before entering public shower rooms or pools to avoid contact with the infection.
Try some home remedies.
According to the experts, if you have mild toenail fungus, there’s a huge chance that few home remedies can help you keep it under control. This is because such type of foot infection usually starts as a mild rash and can be controlled using the tips mentioned below.
- Apply Tea tree oil that is known for its antibacterial and antiseptic properties on the affected nail twice a day using a cotton swab.
- You can also take supplements made up of olive leaves to boost the immune system. Since ancient times, olive leaf extract has been called a natural antibiotic because of its medicinal properties.
- Add essential nutrients to your diet, including iron, vitamin D, and protein, to stimulate the healing process and strengthen the immune system.
Also, the most important thing you need to know is that in some cases, fungal infections in toenails are unwanted gifts borne by ingrown nails. These nails grow into the flesh of the toe. According to podiatrists, if you want to minimize the risk of the pain, try soaking your toe in hot water and adding antibiotic soap or Epsom salts to the water, and if the condition starts getting worse, run to get it checked by the specialists.
Don’t hesitate to seek medical attention.
A recent study shows that people who wait until the last minute to seek medical attention for their infected foot are vulnerable to chronic foot problems such as foot ulcers and many others.
Therefore, the home remedies mentioned above can help keep the infection in check, but it is not smart to delay seeking medical attention from professionals. And if you are a diabetic patient or one with a weak immune system, then it is advisable to consult medical specialists as soon as possible.
If the pain in your foot or toenail starts to hinder your daily activities, you know it’s high time to seek help from a certified podiatrist who offers foot surgery and specializes in ailments of foot and ankle. Also, if you notice a red streak running up your shin or leg, that means your infection is spreading, which can get worse with time. Your podiatrist will fix you up with some quick treatments to ease your pain and walk comfortably.
And if the infection is due to your ingrown nails, then certain medication will be placed on the nail bed to prevent the spread of the infection and prevent the overgrowth of the problematic nail parts.
To sum it all up!
Nails and feet are the most neglected part of the body. People don’t pay attention to them until they start showing signs of discomfort. So, please don’t do that. Take good care of your feet and nails as it will help you take many steps in your life, literally. Get your ingrown or infected toenails checked ASAP because walking with comfort should always be on your priority list.