The Five Medication Can Kills Toenail Fungus.
In this post we will discuss about the fungal infection of the Nails k/a Tinea Unguium or Onychomycosis.
Toenails or fingernails both can be affected, but it is more common for toenails to be affected. We will talk about the fungi that cause this infection, how you get infected and how you can prevent such infections. And in the end, we will discuss about how to treat Tinea Unguium.
Onychomycosis or Tinea Unguium is very common, and it is estimated that about 7-10% of adults suffer from these infections. Although these infections are generally harmless and do not cause any serious problems but they can cause a decrease in quality of life and self confidence as these can distort the nails giving them a very ugly appearance. Fungal nail infections can cause the nails to become discoloured, thick, and more likely to crack and break.
That is why it is important to treat them at an early stage because if not treated in the early stages it becomes very difficult to treat as the topical drugs that are used for the treatment of normal fungal infections of the skin cannot penetrate the nail. Special types of medicines are used for advanced onychomycosis which we will discuss later in this post.
Now lets talk about the fungi that cause these fungal infections of the nails and you get infected.
These fungal nail infections occur from the overgrowth of fungi in, under, or on the nail.
Fungi thrive in warm, moist environments, so this type of environment can cause them to naturally overpopulate. The same fungi that cause jock itch, athlete’s foot, and ringworm can cause nail infections. These belong to a group of fungi k/a the dermatophytes.
Trichophyton rubrum is the most common dermatophyte involved in onychomycosis. Other dermatophytes that may be involved are T. interdigitale, Epidermophyton, T. violaceum, and Microsporum.
Fungi that are already present in or on your body can cause these nail infections. If you come in contact with someone else who has a fungal infection, you may contracted it as well. You can also get these infections if you walk barefooted excessively or come in contact with soil or water often.
You’re more likely to develop a fungal nail infection if you: have diabetes or aged above 65 have a disease that causes poor circulation swim in a public swimming pool have a nail injury have a skin injury around the nail have moist fingers or toes for an extended time have a weakened immune system wear closed-toe shoes, such as tennis shoes or boots
Now lets talk about how onychomycosis presents and what symptoms you can develop.
A fungal infection of the nail may affect part of the nail, the entire nail, or several nails.
Common signs of a fungal nail infection include: a distorted nail that may lift off from the nail bed an odour coming from the infected nail a brittle or thickened nail Nail fungal infections usually begin as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As the fungal infection goes deeper, nail fungus may cause your nail to discolour, thicken and crumble at the edge.
It can affect several nails. If you visit a dermatologist, they can confirm the diagnosis by performing a few simple tests. Nail clippings or scrapings are taken and are observed under the microscope. If fungi are detected then the diagnosis can be confirmed. Also, a culture can be done for detecting the fungi.
Now let’s look at how to treat these fungal infections of the nails.
The mainstay of the treatment are antifungal drugs either taken orally or applied directly on the nails. The treatment of fungal infections of the nail usually take a couple of months or maybe even up to an year because it is very hard for these antifungal drugs to penetrate the nail plate.
These include drugs like itraconazole, efinaconazole, terbinafine, ciclopirox olamine and amorolfine.
If you only have a superficial or mild infection of the nails which looks something like this you can only apply the topical drugs like antifungal creams, lotions or lacquers and skip oral antifungal medicines.
Nail paints containing ciclopirox olamine and amorolfine are most commonly used as the first line of treatment. Ciclopirox comes as a solution to apply to nails and the skin immediately surrounding the nails. It is usually applied once a day usually around bedtime.
Ciclopirox topical solution will work best if you trim your nails regularly during your treatment. You should remove all loose nail or nail material using a nail clipper or nail file before you begin treatment and every week during your treatment. Only apply ciclopirox topical solution to your nails and the skin under and around your nails. Be careful not to get the solution on any other areas of the skin or parts of your body, especially in or near your eyes, nose and mouth.
The most important point to remember during this treatment is to continue using this nail paint for at least 6 months to 1 year to have a complete cure and prevent recurrences.
Amorolfine nail paint is also used in a similar way and duration. Studies have shown that ciclopirox olamine is more effective than amorolfine but the results can vary depending upon the patient.
Efinaconazole, a new antifungal drug is an emerging therapy for the topical treatment of onychomycosis. It comes in a 10% solution form that can penetrate easily through the nail plate and even through nail polish. For a complete cure 8-12 months of daily application of this solution is recommended.
So, these were some effective topical drugs for fungal infections of nails.
Now, if you have an extensive involvement of nails or if your nails look something like this, you need to take oral antifungal medicines. Oral therapies have high cure rates for onychomycosis.
The most commonly used oral drugs for treatment of onychomycosis is griseofulvin, terbinafine, itraconazole and ketoconazole.
Terbinafine in the dosage of 250mg is taken daily for 8 weeks for fingernail fungus and for 12 weeks for toenail fungus.
Itraconazole is considered to be the most effective oral antifungal for treatment of Nail fungal infections. The dosage of itraconazole is 200 mg once daily taken continuously for 6-12 weeks.
Itraconazole is also prescribed in “pulse doses”. Pulse treatment consists of 200 mg taken two times in a day for 1 week per month and this is continued for 2 or 3 months for fingernails and 3-4 months for toe-nails.
Please note that I cannot prescribe these oral antifungal drugs over a post because they can also cause side effects so it is always advised that you consult a dermatologist or a physician if you want to start these medications.
Side effects include Headache, diarrhoea, skin rash or elevated liver enzymes which are important to monitor. Fungal infections of the nail are also associated with the fungal infection of feet aka tinea pedis and fungal infection that occurs between the toe’s k/a athlete’s foot. I am going to make separate videos about these topics so make sure to subscribe to our channel so that you get notified.
So, friends this was all about the fungal infections of the nails. I hope you find the post helpful. Make sure to share this post with your friends, family or anyone you know who is having this condition.
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