NAIL FUNGUS: DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
How Dermatologists Diagnose Nail Fungus
Checking a patient for nail fungus, a dermatologist would need to check the nails and the surrounding skin. It is necessary to also check the skin for any spread of the fungus. You might have had a skin infection as a result of fungus such as athlete’s foot.
To cure this infection, you will be required to treat all infected areas.
Before your dermatologist carries out the diagnosis, he/she will take several samples like getting a little debris from the bottom of a nail, scraping off a bit of skin, or trimming off some part of your nail. At the laboratory, these samples are examined under a microscope to discover what is causing the issue.
How Dermatologists Treat Nail Fungus Infection
Treatment usually starts with your infected nail(s) being trimmed by your dermatologist — cutting back every nail infected nail to the area where it connects to your toe or finger. Debris found under your nail might also be scraped away — this helps in getting rid of some particular fungus.
To curb the infection, most individuals would require one or more of the following treatments:-
Medicine That Is Applied In The Nail:
If your infection is mild, it might be treated by the medicine you put on your nails. This treatment assists in keeping new fungus out, allowing the nails to grow. Fingernails would naturally grow out in four to six months. It takes longer for toenails, usually twelve to eighteen months.
Probably the hardest aspect of the treatment is your remembering to make use of the medicine as often as prescribed. You may be required to apply it several times daily. You apply some, once in a week. For you to get the perfect result, you must use the medicines as prescribed.
The United States FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) has approved the following medicines for the treatment of nail fungus:-
- Tavaborole (ta-va-bore-ul)
- Ciclopirox (sic-low-pie-rocks)
- Amorolfine (ae-moe-roll-fean)
- Efinaconazole (eh-fine-ah-con-ah-zole)
In general, there are mild side effects of using these medicines, like swelling and redness, an ingrown toenail, a burning or stinging sensation anytime you apply these medicines. None of the side effects mentioned makes patients opt out of the treatment in clinical trials.
The Medicine You Consume:
If you require more aggressive treatment, your dermatologist might prescribe some antifungal pills for you. The cure rate of these pills is higher when compared to medicines applied to your nails.
Antifungal pills also act faster compared to other medicines you apply to nails. Continuous use of antifungal pills for two months can treat any infection beneath the fingernails. Typically, treatment for three months cures a fungal infection on the toenails.
Nevertheless, antifungal pills may have side effects. Your dermatologist will watch you closely. You may require monthly blood tests to check for issues.
The following systemic (works in the entire body) medicines have been approved by the Food and Drugs Administration to treat nail fungus:
- Terbinafine (ter-bin-ah-fine)
- Griseofulvin (griz-e-oh-full-vin).
- Fluconazole (flu-con-ah-zole)
- Itraconazole (it-rah-con-ah-zole)
It is sometimes hard to totally clear nail fungus. According to research, applying medicine to the affected nails alongside taking antifungal pills is more effective compared to using either treatment.
In severe cases of infection where other types of treatment listed above didn’t work, removing the nail(s) can be recommended by your doctor to cure the infection. One of the following techniques will be used by your dermatologist to remove the nail:
- Surgical nail removal
- Non-surgical nail removal, which is the application of a chemical to the affected nail(s)
Your dermatologist can apply both forms of removal in a clinic or a medical facility.
With either of the procedures, the affected nail can grow again. Nevertheless, if the infection refuses to abate, your dermatologist may use other treatment that will cause the nail not to grow back.
Effective And Safe Treatments Are Being Searched For By Researchers:
While there’re several options for treatment, none of them is ideal. There is a low cure rate for medicines applied on fingernails, while antifungal pills have side effects and wound care is required for nail removal.
There is on-going research for better and new methods of treating nail fungus. One treatment which seems promising is, using light treatments and lasers to get rid of nail fungus. While showing promise, more research is needed to ensure effective and safe treatment can be provided.
Other potential treatments such as nail lacquers, gels, and patches are also being looked at by researchers.
What Is The Outcome Of An Individual Who Is Infected With Nail Fungus?
When being treated, several individuals can cure nail fungus. After the infection has been gotten rid of, your nail(s) will likely look unhealthy till the infected nail fully grows. It takes about four to six months for a fingernail to grow, and twelve to eighteen months for toenails.
To clear the fungus, it is necessary to:
- Take (or apply) the medicine for the prescribed timeframe
- Make use of the exact prescribed treatment
- Go for every follow-up appointments with your dermatologist
This infection can be stubborn. No matter how severe is the infection, it is possible to clear it off. However, to expect a healthy-looking nail will be unrealistic; but you should expect the nail to look better and feel more comfortable.
Even with clearing, the nail fungus can come back. You will see steps to take in reducing risk in tips: twelve ways you can prevent any other nail infection.
If you need an effective diagnosis and adequate treatment for your nail fungus, click here to get in touch with Clear Skin London to get started now!