You probably serve your country wearing the uniform of one of the branches of the US military. You know you’re taking a risk in this endeavor but you did not know about something that would cause you tremendous pain and discomfort without ever going overseas and facing combat: Toenail fungus!
Toenail fungus is ugly, uncomfortable and painful to deal with under the best of circumstances. It is much worse when you are serving in the army. Unfortunately, soldiers are more prone to this condition than people in civilian life for many reasons.
Read on to learn why soldiers are especially prone to toenail fungus and how you can treat it efficiently and keep it at bay so painful toes don’t interfere with your service.
Reason Soldiers are Prone to Toenail Fungus
One of the main reasons is that soldiers wear combat boots on a daily basis and their dress boots on special occasions. These boots are heavy, close fitting, not very breathable and are worn more hours per day than not. When the soldier rises in the morning, the boots go on and do not come off until shortly before going to bed for the night.
Feet that are enclosed in such footwear for such long periods of time sweat, get warm and remain so for most of each day. This provides a perfect breeding ground for toenail fungus. To complicate matters, when the boots are off, there is not sufficient time for the boots to dry and fungus spores to die off. These conditions make contracting toenail fungus all but certain.
Because of the training required in the military a soldier spends long hours unable to adequately tend to foot hygiene. There is not time at the beginning of the day nor at the end of the day to adequately take care of your feet. There is barely enough time for a quick shower, a few hours sleep, and the training begins again.
During some training exercises, soldiers may be in the field for days at a time without the luxury of being able to remove their boots. Soldiers who had not already contracted toenail fungus will very likely do so during such exercises.
A soldier must be able to wear every bit of wearable military equipment and boots are considered equipment. When a soldier has toenail fungus, wearing either boots or dress shoes is nearly impossible because of the pain. No matter how proud they may be to do so, soldiers cannot perform their duties very well when their feet are in such pain that it is difficult to walk.
Treat Toenail Fungus Simply and Quickly
Toenail fungus causes nails to become thick and yellow, brittle, and with time they smell really bad. This condition is extremely uncomfortable. If you’re in the military and have toenail fungus or want to prevent getting it, you need to know of something simple and quick that you can do to cure it or reduce the chances of toenail fungus becoming a problem.
Of course, you will want to know of the best topical treatment available. One that has no side effects and is highly rated is EmoniNail. It is an over the counter remedy, which is much less expensive and risky than prescription medications. With the little time soldiers have to care for toenail fungus, this remedy is an ideal option.
Taking Steps to Stop Fungus From Growing and Spreading
To avoid getting reinfected, treating the toenail fungus with a topical medication is best accompanied by a method of treating the boots so they dry quicker and the growth and spread of the fungus is kept in check. This can be accomplished with little cost by using the very common kitchen item, baking soda. Put some in your footlocker and each night when you remove your boots, sprinkle the inside with the baking soda. It will absorb moisture, retard the growth of fungus and keep it from spreading.
Check Your Toenails Before You Enlist
if you haven’t enlisted in the military yet, now is the time to make sure you are free of toenail fungus. It may come as a surprise to many people but potential soldiers who show up for the one or two days of medical evaluations at a MEPS in order to enlist in the military find out the hard way that toenail fungus can keep them out of the military.
You may wonder why this would be so. It is really quite simple as has been discussed above, soldiers must be able to wear every piece of equipment and this includes boots. Toenail fungus is one of several conditions that can disqualify a person from serving in the military. This does not mean that you can never enlist in the military. It simply means you need to learn how to prevent toenail fungus from getting started and how to treat it should you end up with a fungal infection.
How to Prevent Toenail Fungus from Disqualifying You from Military Service
Before enlisting is the best time to learn the quickest and easiest methods to maintain good foot hygiene as well as how to prevent and cure fungal infection affecting your toenails. Getting into the habit of caring for your feet easily and quickly when you have little time for it now will save a lot of problems and pain later.
Adding Two Simple Things to Your Normal Routine for Healthy Toenails
Whether you intend to enlist or are already serving in the military, adding a couple of things to your normal routine will help keep your feet, and especially your toenails, healthy. Neither takes much time but will make a big difference in how your feet feel on a daily basis in those heavy, sweaty, hot boots:
The second is to use baking soda in your boots every time you take them off so your boots are less likely to build up fungus that could infect your toenails.
You want to be able to wear your uniform with pride. You don’t want painful toes interfering with your service. When you know which topical treatment to use and how to treat your boots so that fungus cannot grow and spread, serving as a soldier becomes much easier. Soldiers are trained to keep every bit of their equipment in top shape. In a way, you can consider your feet as military equipment, so learning how to keep your feet in top shape will help you be the best soldier you can be. The best topical toenail fungus remedy and the box of baking soda may well become part of your standard equipment.
If you noticed your nails seeming brittle or turning a strange shade of white or yellow, would you feel alarmed? If you’re noticing these symptoms, it’s possible you’re already researching to find out what does toenail fungus look like in the early stages.
Toenail fungus is unpleasant. It causes your nails to look yellow in color. Over time they become brittle and prone to breaking.
The good news is that if you have toenail fungus, you can treat it in the early stages without losing nails or going through surgery and expensive treatments. Learn more about how easy it is to handle it on your own before it escalates.
What Does Toenail Fungus Look Like in the Early Stages? Yellow Nails!
If you’ve never experienced the beginning stages of toenail fungus, it’s hard to know what to look for. If you choose to paint your nails or never look closely at your feet, it’s even harder to figure out.
One of the first symptoms of early-stage toenail fungus is yellow nails. This doesn’t start out as a bright yellow, and if it’s still early in the process, it’s possible you’ll see white spots at first.
Yellow toenails are common, but that doesn’t mean this is the only color they turn. Depending on you and how your body reacts to fungus within the body, your nails could change colors such as brown or green.
Any weird color on your nails deserves to get evaluated to ensure there’s no fungal infection. Take off your nail polish if you wear it, and look closely so you don’t miss anything.
If you notice such symptoms and have diabetes or an autoimmune disease, seek treatment right away. Getting proper treatment is a matter of preventing a greater problem from occurring.
Ridges on the Nails Offer Another Sign of Infection
If color isn’t the first thing you notice, that doesn’t mean the nail beds aren’t affected. Most nails develop ridges on them when an early fungal infection sets in.
The ridges often appear as raised lines and look deep, sometimes even jagged. These can appear on your big toe where they’re the most noticeable but pay attention to each nail bed.
Sometimes a vitamin deficiency or other problem causes issues with ridges developing on your toes. If that’s the case and you’re unsure, look at other symptoms.
These include how the nail feels in terms of strength, and if you notice a strange smell coming from your nails. While foot smell can happen to anyone, toenails that have a fungus infection smell bad, sometimes almost like rotten cheese.
If your nails smell like this even after you’ve cleaned your feet, it’s possible there’s an infection brewing.
Seek treatment for your nails so you can put a stop to embarrassing smells and feel confident when you go out. If you catch the toenail fungus early on, this is easy to solve and won’t take as long to clear up.
Injuries to Your Feet Can Encourage Toenail Fungus
Foot injuries happen to anyone. If you’re athletic, work outdoors, serve as a combat soldier, or have a job that requires being on your feet a lot, it’s possible you’re getting foot injuries more often than normal.
Wearing shoes that constrict your feet and feel tight means you’re sweating, trapping in heat, and not having enough room to move. Your feet cannot breathe properly.
If you’re wearing this type of footwear for many hours with an injury, your nail bed can become prone to cracking. This causes the toenail to lift from the bed, creating further problems and opening the door for toenail fungus to seep in.
If you’re noticing pain that’s emerging from your toenail beds, evaluate your feet and see how they look. Take note of the above-mentioned symptoms, such as color, smell, and what the bed itself looks like.
Even if you can’t change the circumstances, you can seek out footwear that’s comfortable and offers you greater protection. Look for ways to avoid further foot injuries, so you aren’t making yourself vulnerable to further toenail infections.
This is the first step in helping your nails recover and preventing further growth that spreads across your feet.
Both Brittle and Thicker Nails Point to Signs of Fungus
If you’re trying to figure out how to tell if you have toenail fungus, and you don’t see obvious signs in relation to color, ridges or smell, check the texture of your nail. This is an obvious sign that something’s wrong, and it gets worse when left untreated.
Brittle nails can start by peeling from the sides, or even get caught on something and snag. Over time, the nail becomes even weaker and can sometimes get ripped off.
In contrast, some people develop thicker nails. If you’ve had brittle nails that started getting thicker and you’re noticing a change in color and other symptoms, seek help right away,
Contrary to popular belief, these nails aren’t healthy and put you at risk of having an advanced case of toenail fungus that’s hard to get rid of. Folks who let their toenail fungus progress find it hard to wear shoes or anything that puts pressure on this part of their feet.
Take notice of weak or overly thick nails once you discover changes. Other causes exist that lead to brittle or thick nails, so it’s important you find the right solution for your issue.
If you tried to learn what does toenail fungus look like in the early stages, you now know there’s a variety of symptoms associated with the disease. If you find these affect you, start treatment today, to prevent the problem from spreading to others in your family or getting worse.
Did you take off your shoes and discover a black toenail? Once you’re over the bad surprise of finding it, it’s important to determine the cause to apply the best possible treatment. Is it black toenail fungus? Was your toe injured? Could it be related to cancer or diabetes?
Most often a black toenail is caused by an injury or a fungal infection. Sometimes a home treatment solves the problem. Sometimes you should visit a doctor. What’s the right thing to do?
Keep reading to learn how to identify, prevent, and treat black toenails in the most appropriate way.
What Causes Black Toenails?
It’s important to figure out why your toenail color changed so you get the right treatment. Let’s examine the most common reasons a toenail goes dark.
In some cases, you’ll know exactly what happened to your toe. If you stub your toe or drop something heavy on it, it will bruise. The toenail turns black when an injury causes bleeding under the nail.
Your injury may include intense pain and swelling. Your toenail gets sore as blood collects and causes pressure. If your toe isn’t broken, and the nail is intact, the toe should heal on its own.
Expect the toenail to fall off. It can take up to 6 months for it to regrow.
Repetitive toenail trauma occurs when you wear footwear that doesn’t fit right. Running in ill-fitting shoes is a common cause, called Runner’s Toe. If you find a black toenail after your workout, your shoes are too tight or too loose.
The toenail is damaged as it makes repeated hard contact with the front of your shoe. The constant hitting causes blood blisters to form underneath the toenail. You can avoid repetitive toenail trauma with properly fitted shoes.
The trauma ranges from mild to severe. Mild trauma is discoloration underneath the nail with little to no pain. If your trauma is mild, leave it alone. The black toenail will grow out.
Severe trauma is large bloody blisters under your nail. The blisters make your toenail partially or wholly detached from the nail plate. A partial detachment hurts more than a completely detached nail.
If your nail is completely detached it takes 3 months to a year for a new nail to grow in.
Black Toenail Fungus
Another common reason for a black toenail is a fungal infection. Feet are prone to the fungal infections because fungi love dark, damp environments. It’s easy to catch a fungal infection in a locker room or swimming pool.
Infections like Athlete’s Foot can spread to your toenails. The result is toenails in various shades from yellow to black. You may also spot a chalky white substance on your nail bed.
The severity of the black toenail fungus infection varies. Most cases are treated with topical medications like EmoniNail which is one of the most efficient topical treatments today.
Some extreme infections may need prescription medication (read about side effects below) or surgical removal as a last resort when nothing else could help.
Fungal infections are the main reason toenails get thick and brittle. A thick, black toenail can be painful if it presses on your toe.
If you don’t treat toenail fungus it can spread throughout your feet, or to other areas of your body. A severe infection can cause permanent damage so don’t take it lightly.
A black toenail that appears without trauma or fungal infection could be melanoma. Melanoma is a skin cancer. It begins as a dark line that stretches the length of the toenail. Slowly, it becomes wider. The toenail may crack.
If a dark spot is from a blood blister, as the nail grows the spot will move and gradually disappear. If you have a line or spot that stays put for weeks you should have it examined by a doctor.
Other Medical Conditions
If you suffer from a medical condition like anemia or diabetes, it can also cause black toenails. Discoloration related to a health condition must first treat the underlying causes.
How to Prevent Black Toenails
Let’s look at ways to prevent black toenails. We’ll cover those caused by fungal infections, injury, and repeated trauma.
Prevent Fungal Infection
Follow these steps to prevent fungal infection on your feet and toenails. If you do get an infection, use these tips for faster healing.
Keep Feet Clean and Dry
Wear Flip Flops or Waterproof Sandals in Locker Rooms and Pool Areas
Change Shoes and Socks Often
Clip Toenails Straight Across
Use Foot Powder
Good foot hygiene is the best way to keep your toenails fungus free.
Stop Repetitive Toenail Injury
If you have black toenails because of repetitive trauma, these suggestions can help.
Wear Athletic Shoes with Extra Space for Your Toes
Alternate the Icepack On and Off in 10 Minute Intervals
Keep Your Foot Elevated to Prevent Blood Pooling
If swelling and blisters are unbearable, a doctor can drain the blood to relieve the pressure.
Treatment for Black Toenail Fungus
The best scenario is to catch a fungal infection early. Then, you can treat it at home with over-the-counter topical treatments. These are easy to use and don’t require a prescription. The best ones are available online.
Severe black toenail fungus cases may require a prescription. While oral prescription medications are effective, they are expensive and have worrisome side effects like diarrheas, upset stomach, and potential liver damage. These side effects might be scary since even cases of death were reported. That’s why people affected by black toenail fungus prefer to avoid prescription drugs and look for other solutions.
Laser treatment is another option. It’s very expensive. A one-time treatment can cost $1,000. Additional treatments are $500 each. The cost often isn’t covered by medical insurance and there is no guarantee that the nail fungus won’t recur.
Do a Google search and you’ll find lots of home remedies like chlorine bleach, beer, vinegar, Vicks Vaporub, tea tree oil and more. These remedies aren’t proper treatments for toenail fungus because they rarely obtain definite results and they are difficult to apply daily over a long period of time.
Most people opt for over-the-counter topical treatments because their ingredients are blended in therapeutic dosage for maximum effect, they have no side effects, and they are easy to use. As mentioned above Emoninail is the leading topical treatment currently on the market.
Get Informed About Toenail Fungus Treatments
We are proud to empower consumers affected by nail fungus. We do this by providing the latest information and recommendations on fungus treatments.
Do you have peeling, split, or cracked nails? Do they break easily?
An easy rule of thumb to remember is that if your fingernails are splitting, but you don’t have cracked toenails, an external factor is more likely the cause. If you’re having trouble with both, internal issues are probably involved as well.
Keep reading to understand what causes fingernails to crack. Along your reading you will receive many tips to have natural, beautiful fingernails and how to keep them healthy.
Fingernails age right along with every other part of your body. Age-related changes include the nail matrix thinning, slower growth, and brittleness.
Your nails also lose their natural oils as you age, mainly from dehydration. Hormone fluctuations during menopause impact the water levels in our bodies. Make sure you’re getting enough water to prevent dehydration, it is a common cause of peeling nails.
While we can’t stop our bodies from aging, we can give them support through the process. Proper nutrition and moisturizing will help tremendously.
2. Harsh Chemicals
Chemical ingredients are one of the leading external causes of cracked fingernails. Some typical products that are harmful to your nails when used frequently are nail polish, polish removers, hand sanitizers, and glue adhesives.
Nail polish contains many harmful chemicals that damage and dries out your nails. Nail polish removers that contain acetone are even worse.
The level of damage related to nail polish may vary from brand to brand too. You may notice using a particular color causes your nails to peel more than another.
Hand sanitizers contain a significant amount of alcohol, which we all know is a drying agent. Strong soaps and cleaning products will also do the same.
Another big cause of nail damage is artificial nails. Many people wear acrylic or gel nails. The longer you wear them, the more damage you’ll do to your natural nails. Think about giving your nails a break every few months to avoid infections and severe damage.
3. Frequent Exposure to Water
Having your hands in water too often can cause weak and cracked nails also. Wear gloves if you have a job or task, such as washing dishes, that requires you to have your hands in water a lot.
Applying moisturizer immediately after getting your hands out of water is an effective way to help your nails along. This regimen includes after washing your hands or taking a shower.
To find a good moisturizer you may look for proven hand and foot care brands like Neutrogena and O’Keeffee’s. They offer concentrated creams that repair extremely dry skin and by the same occasion take good care of your nails.
Your peeling and cracked nails may be a sign of an underlying health problem. Have you noticed body weakness, unexplained weight gain, or joint pain? These are all symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Having a combination of these symptoms could mean thyroid problems. In this is your case we advise to see your doctor and make sure your symptoms are not due to medical issues.
Getting enough of the trace minerals iodine and selenium will help this condition. Also avoid eating foods that increase inflammation such as sugar, highly processed foods, and nutrient stripped white flour.
5. Nutritional Deficiencies
There are several nutritional deficiencies can make your nails weak. Magnesese and iron deficiency are especially frequent. 20% of women, 3% of men, and 50% of pregnant women don’t have enough iron in their bodies.
Besides eating right, biotin, or vitamin B7, supplements are effective at treating brittle nails. You can buy a food supplement formula that contains biotin, or you can eat foods like almonds, eggs, onions, and tomatoes that include biotin.
Collagen is terrific for strengthening not only your fingernails but hair and teeth too. After all, collagen protein is what builds them. Adding collagen powder to your cup of coffee each morning will make your nails stronger and stop the cracking and peeling.
Since our nails grow slowly, keep taking biotin or collagen for at least three months while you wait for your nails to grow out.
A final note about nutrition and nail health; you need to have a healthy gut that can absorb these nutrients for them work on healing your nails.
A great way to have a healthy dose of vitamins, digestive enzymes, minerals, and antioxidants in a natural way is drinking a superfood drink every day. It will help you have a healthy gut flora with all the nutrients you need for an overall good health. Obviously it will have a positive impact on cracked toenails as well.
6. Nail Fungus
Cracking nails that turn yellow are commonly caused by a fungal infection. This condition indicates an advanced stage of the fungal spread under the nail. Unfortunately cracked nails combined with nail fungus become more difficult to treat. They spread easily affecting more than one nail so you should take it seriously.
Nail fungus is more common in older people but can affects people of all ages. You can prevent it by keeping proper foot and hand care. Moisturizing your hands and feet regularly, not wearing polish or getting artificial nails, and using sanitized clippers can help on this matter.
But if your nails are infected by a fungus, the sooner you start an effective treatment the better. Which treatment? This is a long story that goes far beyond this article.
Out of balance hormones can make the nails dry, porous, and brittle. Estrogen, thyroid hormones, growth hormones, insulin, and testosterone all play a role. Menopause is a big player in hormonal imbalance and dry nails.
If you think you’re suffering from a hormonal imbalance, the first step is finding out which ones. Use your symptoms as a guide.
Final Thoughts on Cracked Nails
Soft, peeling, and cracked nails might be signs of a serious health issue that goes far beyond aesthetic concerns. They are frequently caused by a mix of external factors like exposure to chemicals and internal factors like nutritional deficiencies and hormonal imbalances.
When cracked nails turn yellow they indicate most of the time a fungal infection that should be treated as early as possible to avoid the fungus to spread to other nails.
Remember, fingernails grow less than 1/4 inch a month, so be patient with them as they heal and grow. Don’t give up!
For cracked nails affected by a fungal infection read our in-depth review of treatments at your disposal. Since nail fungus just get worse with time we recommend to start a treatment as early as possible to get rid of the fungal infection as fast as possible.
Have any more tips for growing beautiful nails? Please share them in the comments.
Everyone looks forward to summer when they can finally put away their winter clothes and slip into their flip flops and lightweight shirts. However, if you have thick yellow toenails, the thought of walking around in flip flops might seem a little daunting.
Yellow toenails that are thick and slowly turn brown is quite common and affects up to 14% of the population in the US and up to 20% in Europe and Asia. But most people don’t proactively seek a cure for this condition until it becomes so extreme it can be quite painful to wear shoes and walk.
Worse than it, the large majority isn’t aware that thick yellow toenails can impact their overall health in a scary manner!
Let’s take a look at the symptoms, causes and health implications of yellow toenails to decide if you need to worry. Then we will review the different treatment options available with a recommendation for the ones that can lead to a definite cure safely and efficiently.
Read on to gain expertise on those thick yellow toenails and how to treat them.
Thick Yellow Toenail Symptoms
Thick yellow nails are caused by a fungus that gets under, around, or on top of the nail. Like any other fungus or bacteria, it takes time to grow, so one might not notice a problem until the growth is well under way.
Some earlier signs of fungus growth might be a slight scaling beneath the nail which has been named subungual hyperkeratosis, after which white or yellowish streaks appear on top of the nail which are called lateral onychomycosis; if infection is starting at the corners or edges of the nail, then you might experience a crumbling and it is called distal onychomycosis which is the most common type of nail fungus.
These will eventually grow into something more sinister and will possibly result in the loss of the infected nail. As the fungus grows over time the infected nail will become more visually unappealing.
Thickening of the nail and yellow discoloration which will turn brown if left untreated is just the start of the growth cycle. Eventually the sufferer may experience a moist sticky substance around and under the nail which is often referred to as toe jam. Sounds pretty grim, but it can get worse, leading to foul smells akin to rotting meat.
What is the Cause of Thick Yellow Toenails?
There is no single cause of this condition, but a multitude of lifestyles or activities that can lead to the development of a fungal growth on the toenails.
Our feet are exposed to contamination whenever we get them out in public. Using public swimming pools, gym showers, having a pedicure or stubbing your toe are all common activities that can lead to a nail infection.
It only takes a few seconds of contact to get under the nail or through a cracked nail or stubbed toe. By the time symptoms become visible it is unlikely you will remember when this could have happened.
Some people are more susceptible to thick yellow nails than others. As we get older, our circulation slows down as we generally become less active; a reduced blood supply leads to thicker nails and generally becomes noticeable in people over 50.
People with medical conditions that might affect blood flow are also susceptible to thick toenails. Conditions such as diabetes or a weakened immune system can be particularly vulnerable.
Having that said, healthy athletes wearing closed shoes that create sweaty feet for long periods can also be exposed to the growth of infectious fungus. The same fungus that causes jock itch and athletes’ foot can also be the cause of a toenail fungal growth. The warm moist atmosphere in shoes is the perfect place for the growth of fungus to be exacerbated.
Another cause to pay attention to is for people who wear false nails and have regular manicure treatments. They should ask the nail specialist how often his equipment is sterilized and avoid sharing nail files or toe clippers
Health Implications of Thick Yellow Toenails
The majority of the time, people will just wear shoes and leave the infection untreated. This might be okay for a while and not have any effects on your health in the short term if you are healthy and young.
But people with a weaker immune system (possibly from drugs to treat other diseases), are more susceptible to yellow toenails. Studies have shown that about one in 24 cases have seen the infection move to other parts of the body. It is normally limited to the feet but has been reported to spread to the back, hands and legs, especially in older patients even if they are not on any medication.
Nail fungus itself can cause cracks in the skin and nail which are an invitation for other types of bacteria to route their way into the body. This can be a serious problem for people suffering from more concerning health problems such as diabetes, diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage caused by diabetes) and more. It has even been blamed for amputations in diabetic patients.
Now this is starting to sound a little more troublesome than just being unsightly!
These are quite extreme examples but you can never be too careful. If you are ever in doubt about your overall health and fungal infections you should definitely consult your doctor.
The good news is that thick yellow toenails can be treated in a number of ways, some more effective than others which we will go through ahead.
The process of getting rid of thick yellow toenail fungus
1. Inspect your toenails to see if you can spot any of the symptoms mentioned in earlier.
2. If you spot any irregularity the first measure should to keep your feet dry and away from hot moist conditions as much as possible.
3. Try to cure toenail fungus with natural remedies free of side effects, preferably over-the-counter topical solutions that blend natural ingredients in therapeutic dosage for maximum strength and are more prone to lead to a definite cure. In most cases an efficient OTC treatment is all you need to get rid of yellow nail fungus.
4. If the fungus does not regress, consider the laser option (expensive treatment) or consult your doctor for a prescription drug (be aware of possible side effects).
5. Continue your treatment until the infection has completely disappeared.
Treatments Available For Thick Yellow Toenails
Once you have realized there is a problem with your toenails the first step is to take away the environment that fungus likes to thrive. As previously mentioned, moist, warm, enclosed areas are perfect for the growth of fungus. Keep your feet as dry as possible and out in the open as often as possible.
Most importantly, apply a treatment that can cure this condition once and for all. So, let’s now have a look at popular treatment options that you can try to treat the condition yourself.
Home Remedies Might Improve Your Condition But Rarely Solve The Problem
The first thing to start doing is grooming your toenails regularly. Keeping the nail short and well-manicured will limit the risk of fungus growing under the nail. If you find it difficult to groom the nails then you could apply creams to soften the nail first. Suggestions to soften the nails are applying urea cream before you go to bed and wearing a tube sock or bandage until the cream has soaked into the nails.
Snakeroot (Aristolochia Serpentaria) has become a popular home-based treatment because of its botanic origin and none pharmaceutical makeup. It goes by a number of names such as snakeweed, sangree root and pelican flower. It was reported by some patients affected by thick yellow toenails to decrease the symptom when it is smeared on the infected toe in extract form over a period of months. It should be noted that this plant has toxic qualities so make sure to avoid taking it orally at all costs.
Another popular home remedy for treating toenail fungus is the application of Vicks Vaporub, not for colds this time. The camphor, eucalyptus, cedar leaf, nutmeg, turpentine, petrolatum, menthol oils and thymol have antifungal qualities that can halt and even regress the growth of fungus. Make sure you start with a clean dry nail and apply the Vicks Vaporub on, around and even under the nail and liberally as possible. Try and repeat this process daily as long as needed (3 to 12 months) until the symptoms have cleared up. Unfortunately, over the course of months this treatment becomes costly and rarely leads to permanent results.
Whilst we are on the subject of natural treatment, let’s also take a look at Tea Tree Oil. This oil has been used for many years in the treatment of many fungal infections such as acne, athletes foot and toenail fungi. It has also proven to be effective against ringworm, scabies and lice. Although Tea Tree Oil can be effective in the fight against thick yellow toenails, it can take 6 months or more to see any results. It can also cause allergic reactions on skin for some people. In case you decide to try it, it’s preferable to use 100% Tee Tree Oil, as any diluted product has not shown any results in past tests. Apply oil to the infected area twice daily for at least 6 months (or more) to see results.
Effective Over-The-Counter Treatments
If none of the above home remedies has the desired effect or if you prefer a better tested way to cure toenail fungus symptoms and cause, you should consider an over-the-counter solution.
The best options to choose from are EmoniNail, Funginix, and Zetaclear. All of these treatments are effective in getting rid of thick yellow toenails caused by fungus.
EmoniNail actually contains anti-fungal agents such as Undecylenic acid (FDA recognized to fight fungus), tea tree oil and other ingredients blended in therapeutic dosage to kill the fungus from your thick toenails without skin irritation. EmoniNail is simple to use and should be applied to clean well-groomed nails twice daily. There are no known side effects, so it is considered safe to use, and it offers unique personal follow-up through a mobile app to enable best possible results. We consider EmoniNail to be currently the best over-the-counter treatment for toenail fungus on the market. Read more about EmoniNail.
Funginix has been specifically designed to attack nail fungus. Ingredients such as camphor, undecylenic acid, and other anti-fungal agents are at concentrated levels to get right to the root of the fungus. Application is recommended first thing in the morning before putting on socks and last thing at night before going to bed. Care should be taken to work the application into and under the nail and the cuticle.
Zetaclear contains Undecylenic Acid with Clove Oil, Lemongrass Oil, Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E Oil and more. Application of this product is recommended three times a day in the same way as the previous two products. Apply the solution liberally to the affected area, working it into the nail surrounding skin and under the nail where possible.
Last Resort Treatment Options
Once you opt for oral toenail fungus medication, and stray from over-the-counter treatments, there always seems to be concerning side effects. However, in some circumstances, if you have tried everything with no result, there might not be a choice other than to seek a cure from your doctor.
The type of treatment that you will be offered for your thick toenails will be anti-fungal tablets that you will have to take for a period of 6 to 12 months. These prescriptions include drugs such as Lamisil (terbinafine), Diflucan (fluconazole), or Sporanox (itroconazole). All of them come with side effects that range from migraines, nausea and diarrhea to heart failure and liver damage. The FDA reported that in some extreme cases the damages caused by Lamisil led to death of patients!
Another treatment offered might be in the form of laser treatment that targets the fungus and slowly burns away the infection over a number of sessions. This might sound as a quick and easy way of solving the problem but it is very costly (thousands of dollars not covered by health insurance), not always efficient, and painful as reported by patients that tried this option.
In that context, it becomes easy to understand why most people affected by yellow toenails prefer to avoid oral drugs and laser treatment, and look at over-the-counter treatments as a safe, cheap, and effective method to get rid of yellow toenail fungus.
Do’s and Don’ts to Fight Thick Yellow Toenails
Keep your feet clean and dry
Wear a clean pair of socks daily
Wear socks or shower shoes in public wash areas
Throw away old shoes that you don’t wear
Treat any infections as soon as you notice them.
Share socks, towels, nail files, nail clippers or scissors
Wear shoes that get hot and sweaty
Wear other people’s socks or shoes.
Thickening of the nail and yellow discoloration are clear symptoms of toenail fungus. Thick yellow toenails can easily be contracted by anyone in a multitude of circumstances but are more common among people over 50, people with a weak immune system, and athletes sweating heavily in closed shoes.
Yellow toenails aren’t only ugly and smell bad, but can also spread to other nails and to other parts of the body. Cracks in the nail caused by the fungus is an invitation for other bacteria to penetrate the body and are a serious problem for people suffering from other health problems such as diabetes. In some cases, yellow toenail fungus has even been blamed for amputations in diabetic patients.
Treatments available for thick yellow toenails include home remedies that can decrease symptoms but rarely address the root cause of the problem, oral prescription drugs that come with a heavy load of scary side effects, trendy laser treatments that are very expensive and not always efficient, and over-the-counter treatments that offer blends of natural ingredients in therapeutic dosage.
Using over the counter (OTC) topical solutions has proven very successful in treating thick yellow toenails and should be a serious consideration for anyone suffering from them.
People of all ages can be affected by split nails and split toenails and the reasons may vary, although the overwhelming cause for the condition is stubborn nail fungus. Nail fungus is incredibly easy to get but unfortunately very difficult to treat successfully. When fungus invades the nails along with all the other possible causes for split nails, embarrassing and unhealthy fingernails and toenails are the result.
So what can we do to combat this rather common but annoying problem and enjoy nicer looking nails?
What Causes Split Nails?
The most common split nail causes include nail fungal infections, overexposure to water or moisture, nails that are too dry, exposure to harsh chemicals, repeatedly polishing the nails, and in some cases, a vitamin deficiency or malnutrition. Even ordinary bathing, swimming, and washing the dishes can all wreak havoc on split nails especially when the hands and feet are not taken care of properly afterward.
Fingernails grow rather slowly as it is and a split nail never has the chance to grow to the usual two to three millimeters a month due to the breaking, cracking, flaking, and peeling that occurs from fungus or damage to the nail bed. It can take six months or more to re-grow an entire nail from the cuticle to the tip so it’s important to treat your affected nails before symptoms worsen.
Effective Split Nail Repair
Effective split nail repair always begins with treating the primary cause for the splitting, cracking, and breakage. There are a few prescription medications as well as over-the-counter treatments for treating a split toenail caused by fungus although the former may cause serious side effects while the latter does little to address the cause of the problem.
Antifungal foot powders, creams, ointments, and sprays are widely available and they may help stop symptoms from worsening and help to control the spread of the fungal infection for some people although treatment is time consuming and can become rather costly.
For repairing split toenails infected with fungus many are opting for home remedies to avoid harmful side effects such as soaking the feet or hands in ordinary vinegar, which is known to have antiseptic qualities. Others swear by using beer, Listerine mouthwash, or the all natural tea tree oil, which is both an antimicrobial and an antifungal agent.
You will also want to take active steps to keep your splitting or breaking nails from becoming worse. Switch to a milder soap that contains moisturizer and make sure your split nails are kept neat and trim, regularly filed, and also kept free of rough edges to avoid snags or cutting into your shoes. If a split toenail gets caught on your socks, clothing, or even the carpeting you run the risk of painfully losing the entire nail.
Although split nails are indeed bothersome they aren’t impossible to fix provided you realize treatment takes time and you must be consistent in your efforts to cure the problem. For some people, a combination of methods works best but make sure you are administering the correct type of treatment based on an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your splitting nails for the most favorable results.
Toenail fungus is probably one of the most dreaded infections, because even though it is not life threatening, it can be very unsightly and treatment tends to take an extended period of time. Of course, people affected by toenail fungus don’t want to wait so long. They want to know how to get rid of toenail fungus fast. Is it possible?
Read on to discover the necessary steps and the best options you have to get rid of toenail fungus as fast as possible.
Do you have a toenail fungus? If you have noticed any of the following, there is a good chance you have contracted a fungal infection of the toenail:
Yellowing – often begins as a single spot and spreads
There are, of course, some issues that can mimic nail fungus, such as nail psoriasis, which has many similar symptoms. If you suffer from psoriasis of the skin you should know it can affect your nails as well, though it more commonly affects fingernails than toenails.
So, what is the first step of how to get rid of toenail fungus fast? It starts with a proper diagnosis! If you are unsure, a visit to your podiatrist should clear up any doubts you may have. They will, of course, suggest several medical treatments, and you may want to check into one or several of them. However, if you are not quite ready to jump into the prescription treatment pool just yet, there are several methods to consider that range from home remedies to over the counter options. Let’s take a look at a few different options.
How to Get Rid of Toenail Fungus with Home Remedies
While some may scoff at the good old home remedy, there is something to be said for the tried and true treatments handed down from our grandparents. Toenail fungus, like many other issues, is not a new problem and it stands to reason there were workable solutions before over the counter medications were available. So, let’s look first at how to get rid of toenail fungus with home remedies. This list is far from being complete but the chosen remedies illustrate well this approach.
Baking Soda and Borax– Both of these ingredients have been available from local retailers for a generation or better. They are used in a variety of home recipes including a treatment for toenail fungus. Mix equal parts of these powders with just enough water to create a paste, soak your feet to soften the nail and then apply baking powder borax paste to toenails.
Peroxide – Good for cleaning a multitude of scrapes and mishaps, hydrogen peroxide is also a great home remedy treatment for nail fungus. Toenail fungus is anaerobic, which means it is not overly fond of oxygen, making peroxide a natural treatment option. Simply soak your nails twice per day in a 3% solution for at least two weeks. You can also brush the solution directly on your nail, full strength if you prefer.
Vicks VapoRub – Where would our grandparents have been without the aid of vapor rub? In addition to helping you fight a chest cold, Vicks rub has been shown very effective against multiple strains of fungus, including the one that causes nail infections. Apply liberally to your nails, coating them right up to the cuticle and even under the nail where possible. Do this twice per day.
Trim and Grind- if you want to improve the effectiveness of any toenail fungus treatment, it is a good idea to keep them trimmed and filed. An emery board and a good pair of clippers are all the tools you need to thin out your nail and allow better access for any topical application.
One complaint when it comes to home remedies is that they often take an extended period of time to clear up the infection. So, while these are popular options commonly mentioned on the Internet, many people prefer a quicker solution to the question of how to get rid of toenail fungus fast.
Home remedies are definitely NOT a fast way to get rid of toenail fungus. They are probably the most time-consuming treatment option. Moreover, people rarely achieve a definite cure with such remedies. Nail fungus sufferers may see temporary improvement but the root of the problem is not usually addressed.
How to Get Rid of Toenail Fungus Fast with OTC Treatments
You will find multiple options for over the counter medications that deal with toenail fungus. Here we will take a look at a few of the top names in the game to give you an idea of what is available as well as what you can expect from these various OTC products.
Emoninail is designed to penetrate the nail bed where the fungi lives thanks to a very effective and simple to use topical solution. One thing customers truly love about this product is their unique follow-up through a mobile app to help users get the best results as fast as possible. Another thing that customers appreciate very much is their money back guarantee. No results in 60 days? Full Refund! This product is backed by outstanding customer care and an impressive track record. Read more about Emoninail.
Zeta Clear – This over the counter product offers a proven toenail fungus treatment. The company utilizes a powerful formulation that includes the FDA-recognized Undecylenic Acid along with other ingredients blended in therapeutic dosage. On its website, you can read that clinical studies have shown Zeta Clear to be up to 6 times more effective than similar OTC products! No wonder that for tens of thousands of people over the world ZetaClear has been the proper answer to the question how to get rid of toenail fungus as fast as possible. Read more about Zetaclear.
Funginix offers a combination of essential oils and anti-fungal agents that come together to create a powerful topical application for fighting toenail fungus. All it takes is twice daily applications, ensuring good coverage of the nail, cuticle and under the nail as far as possible. It is all you need to clear up this infection. Read more about Funginix.
These OTC treatments offer some of the safest and fastest ways to get rid of toenail fungus.
Understanding Nail Infections to Get Rid of Toenail Fungus
Any one of these treatment options can offer relief for toenail fungus, but in order to effectively treat and then prevent re-infection, it is important to understand how nail infections work. Knowledge is power, and, in this case, it gives you the tools to answer the question, how to get rid of toenail fungus fast!
Approximately 12% of the adult population suffers with a nail fungus to some degree. This problem can affect both old and young but is more common in older adults and particularly those with a compromised immune system.
You should understand you have both good and bad bacteria in and even on your body at all times. Inside the body, the good bacteria work to keep bad bacteria in check, but when the scales get tipped in the other direction, it can leave you vulnerable to all sorts of infections, including toenail fungus.
Of course, imbalances in your system is only one of the many ways you could acquire a toenail fungus. Here are just a few more culprits:
Tight, dirty footwear
Contact- nail salon (pedicure), pool, gym or sauna that are contaminated.
Poor circulation – arterial disease or diabetes are common causes
Contaminated nail utensils (clippers, file etc.…)
Tips to Speed Your Cure and to Prevent Reoccurrence
One way to assure you have figured out how to get rid of toenail fungus for good is having a preventative mindset. Do you go to the pool on a regular basis? What kind of foot wear do you have for the pool? Here are a few more ideas to consider:
Treating Shoes – One area many people overlook in the treatment plan is their shoes. Fungi love dark, damp places, which means the interior of the common shoe is like a 5-star hotel! Reduce the temptation to set up residence by cleaning your footwear consistently while you are undergoing treatment. You can purchase commercial sprays or simply create your own with household vinegar.
Replacing Shoes – It could be time to replace your practically threadbare sneakers. They may be the most comfortable pair of shoes you have ever owned but they probably house a host of fungi. Choose well fitted shoes that breathe.
Socks – Consider spritzing your socks with a vinegar solution before tossing them in the laundry, particularly if laundry day is 24 or more hours away.
Foot Care – Pay special attention to your feet, keep them dry, toenails clipped, clean and filed. We can take our feet for granted sometimes, so take a few extra minutes after your shower or before bed to take care of them. Be especially mindful if you have an injured toenail as this is a prime way for fungus to enter.
Health – How is your overall health? Are you getting enough vitamins and minerals in your diet? Do you utilize a good probiotic? Keeping your body healthy helps promote a strong immune system, which means your body will be better prepared to fight off the next fungal invasion.
Communal areas – If you utilize a public shower, sauna or pool, you should be careful to use appropriate footwear. A good pair of easy to clean sandals can be just the ticket to a fungus free life!
Final Thoughts on How to Get Rid of Toenail Fungus Fast
How to get rid of toenail fungus fast is not an easy question to answer, as there are quite a few variables to consider such as your health and commitment to a treatment plan.
That being said, if you are diligent with an effective treatment and take steps to eradicate the source of fungus in your life while protecting your feet from any potential re-infection, you will be miles ahead of most people.
Most importantly you should take action to finally get rid of toenail fungus in as much time as needed. The more you wait the worse it will be because toenail fungus are contagious and become more and more difficult to eradicate over time.
So how to get rid of toenail fungus fast?… As fast as possible?
Get started as soon as you can with one of the effective treatment options mentioned above and persist until your nails are clear and healthy again.
Cracked nails and cracked toenails that are dry, flaking, crumbling or discolored can be quite embarrassing, frustrating, and even painful at times. But even if you are prone to the annoying condition that may be caused by several different culprits there are still some things you can do to reverse and minimize the noticeable damage to your dry cracked nails.
Common Causes of Dry Cracked Toenails
Dry cracked nails that are brittle, split, and peeling or breaking are often caused by a common fungus. Yellow cracked toenails are a classic sign that a fungal infection has advanced beyond the first of the three stages of stubborn nail fungus and the condition will now be a bit more difficult to cure.
A cracked toenail can often break off completely causing pain and discomfort and treatment should be administered as soon as possible to avoid further damage to the toe or its broken nail.
Dry, brittle, crumbling, or cracked nails are also ironically caused by too much exposure to water which breaks down the multiple layers of keratin that hold the nail together. Using abrasive or harsh chemicals as well as wearing nail polish continually can also cause nails to crack, peel, or break.
Vitamin deficiency is also a common cause for cracked toenails. Vitamin A deficiency can make nail dry and fragile. Vitamin B deficiency can cause your nails to be dry, dark and curved. Vitamin C deficiency slows down nail growth.
Cracked Toenail Treatment Options
Cracked toenail treatments should be based upon the main cause for the cracking, crumbling, or brittleness.
If the main cause is vitamins deficiency it’s recommended to check your vitamins level and to eat food rich in vitamins A, B and C. For faster results it is advised to take a dietary vitamin supplement for at least three months. You might decide later on to make it a daily routine to keep an optimal vitamin level.
A smart daily routine to provide your body with all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and digestive enzymes needed for a strong immune system is superfood drinks. It will not only help your cracked toenails get healthier quickly but also vitalize your body to have more energy in a natural and convenient way.
The best superfood drink on the market is Mega-Nutrition Organic Superfood. You don’t need to waste hours buying and cooking these superfoods. This superfood drink is easy and fast to prepare any time you want. Most importantly it is a fantastic investment in your overall health.
In many cases combining daily multivitamins with a nail strengthening treatment is all you need to get healthy nails within a couple of months.
But if the cause is a fungal infection under the nail you’ll need an effective toenail fungus treatment, and the sooner the better.
Most over-the-counter products for treating cracked toenails caused by fungus offer limited success rates and can become rather costly simply due to the length of time it takes before any results are seen. Some exceptions do exist but in most cases, these remedies aren’t powerful enough to treat the actual cause of the problem and instead, tend to mask symptoms leading one to believe the fungal infection has been cured.
Prescription medications for nail fungal infections taken internally are designed to treat the cause of the fungus but they too offer questionable success rates along with some serious physical side effects including liver or kidney damage. Because of this, home remedies for treating dry, yellowed, or cracked nails are becoming more and more popular.
Get into the habit of applying moisturizer to the hands and feet at least once per day, although twice a day, once after showering and again before bedtime, tends to bring about the best results. Naturally not all moisturizers are created equally so you will have to read labels to find those with the most effective ingredients.
Look for moisturizers containing collagen and keratin, which are proteins that will help strengthen the nails, and humectants, which help to trap moisture within the nail preventing it from drying out and cracking. Humectants include alpha hydroxy acid, glycerin, lactic acid, and propylene glycol. Lanolin or mineral oils are also ideal for helping to prevent dryness in the finger or toenails.
Although living with cracked nails and toenails can be annoying and even painful at times, learning more about possible nail fungus treatment options and starting treatment right away are the best ways to begin reversing the damage that has been done to your nails.
Brittle nails that frequently break, crack, peel, or split are bothersome, unsightly and can sometimes lead to pain and discomfort in both the hands and feet, not to mention make it nearly impossible to have nice, healthy looking nails. So what are the primary causes of nails that become dry and brittle and what are some of the very best brittle nails treatment options to reverse these unpleasant effects?
What Causes Brittle Nails?
The precise causes of brittle nails that flake, peel, become cracked or break easily may vary from one person to the next. Although for most people, brittle nails are often the result of a fungal infection or perhaps simply the normal aging process, but there are also a few health conditions that may cause nails and toenails to become dry, brittle, and cracked.
Diseases of the thyroid gland and vitamin deficiencies are some internal causes of dry brittle nails but chances are, if your toenails are strong, healthy, and free from blemishes while your fingernails are dry and brittle, the cause is usually an external one such as excessive exposure to moisture or chemicals, which often leads to weak brittle nails.
Some brands of nail polish also contain chemicals that can cause the nails to weaken, become brittle, and eventually begin to break and crack.
But, on the other hand, if you have brittle toenails and your fingernails are healthy and unaffected, or if you notice discolorations on the toenails you most likely have a fungal infection that will quickly spread if left untreated.
Brittle Nails Treatment Options
The best brittle nails treatment is one that addresses the original cause of the outward symptoms, which in this case are flaking, weakened nails that become cracked and broken.
Treatment for a brittle toenail that is caused by fungus will usually involve taking either internal medication or using topical treatments applied directly to the affected nails. However, prescription drugs can cause serious side effects and over-the-counter treatments are often ineffective at treating the root of the problem and merely mask the symptoms.
If you are looking for a natural alternative to modern medicine when it comes to treating your weak brittle nails, anecdotal reports of great success using home remedies with ingredients such as simple vinegar, beer, Vicks Vaporub, or even Listerine mouthwash are rather prevalent online. Tea tree oil applied to toenails infected with fungus is another remedy that many rely upon in order to avoid the risk of frightening side effects.
All of these home treatments for toenail fungus must be done regularly while taking steps to avoid allowing the infection to spread.
You can also make a few simple dietary changes to strengthen and improve the quality of your nails. Foods rich with proteins, vitamin C, and a selection of healthy fats along with fruits and vegetables are among the very best choices.
If you are affected by brittle nails, administering treatment as soon as possible is in your absolute best interest to avoid further problems as a dry brittle nail will only worsen over time. Nail fungus tends to spread rapidly and often without much warning so exploring all of your treatment options while taking proactive measures are your best chances for a complete cure.