How To Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus
How To Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus
A dermatologist, explains the methods one should use to eradicate toenail fungus.
I am a GP specializing in dermatology and I work in the NHS. I am here today to talk to you about fungal toenails and how to treat them. They are often spread from foot or hand fungal infections.
But, they can occur just on its own. They often affect the big toe or the little toe and they can affect more than one nail. The incidence increases with age and is also associated with other nail problems such as psoriasis.
They can present as whitish, yellowish, opaque streaks on part of the nail. Or, they can present with the nail becoming thicker or crumbly. Sometimes, you get some sort of cheesy looking crumbly stuff on the side of the nail.
Now, as they get thickened, the top of the nail can peel off. You can get little pits in a nail. You can get little yellow spots in the half moon of the nail.
Sometime, things that can look very similar to a nail fungus are aging (what we call hyper-trophic or thickened nails) or psoriasis nails. Also, thickened nails because of medication such as rathazine. To be better at diagnosing a nail fungus, you need to soak the nail / toes in water to make it soft.
And, take off the top of the nail with a bit of the cheesy, crumbly stuff as well. So, you probably need to go to a GP initially and get the various forms and containers to put the sample in and the GP can send it off to the lab. It takes about between two to five days for the results to come back.
However, even if the results are negative, that doesn't mean to say that it is not a nail infection. This is worth pursuing before treatment if you can. On the other hand, if it shows a fungal infection, I'll go into treatment in a minute.
But, if it doesn't get better with treatment, it might mean that you have two different things going on at once. So, if you're an older person, if you've got a bit of trauma to the nails, if you've got psoriasis, then the nail may not go back to its original state because of the other underlying changes. Treatment involves either an anti-fungal tablet or an anti-fungal nail lacquer.
So, if there's less than 80 percent of the nail affected and just one or two nails affected, then it might respond to the nail lacquer. You put the nail lacquer on once a day. The nail lacquer usually takes between six and twelve months to have any effect.
So, if that does not have any effect, then you may want to use an anti-fungal tablet. Even so, you probably need to use it for about four to six months maximum. And, you need to wait for the top third of the nail to be affected by the treatment.
This is how you know that it is working. When the top third is normal, then you can stop the treatment. If you are using it for several months, your GP will probably get you to do a liver function test because rarely treatment can react with the liver.
This is why, unless we really have to, we try not to use tablets. For example, if the patient is quite elderly they're not tolerating the tablets very well. If they're pregnant, then we try not to use the tablets because very rarely the side effects can be quite harmful.
So, I hope that this has been helpful in treating fungal nail infections; thank you for listening. .