Why It Just Won’t Go Away: Challenges in Treating Skin & Toenail Fungus

No one likes to be infected with any sort of pathogen, but some types are arguably worse than others. For instance, bacterial infections are often cleared up with a week’s worth of antibiotics. On the other hand, fungal infections can persist for months on end, with or without treatment. Some people suffer with toenail fungus or chronic recurrences of athlete’s foot for years! So why are fungal infections so much harder to eradicate? Andrew Y. Finlay, a professor of dermatology, explained the challenges of treating skin and toenail fungus in a review published in the British Medical Journal.

pathogenic toenail fungus

Pathogenic fungus is often chronic due to the challenges of treating it effectively.
Image Source: Nephron via Wikimedia.org

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Nail Polish For Fungal Nails

Toenail fungus is an unsightly and often chronic condition that can last for years, so many people try to mask the yellow color and crumbling edges of fungal nails with toenail polish as they wait for the nail to clear. Unfortunately, using regular, commercial nail polish can be one reason why your toenail fungus infection isn’t clearing up.

Tanglewood Foot Specialists explains that chemicals in nail polish like toluene and formaldehyde “weakens the toenails and makes them more susceptible to developing a fungus infection.” Furthermore, The Mayo Clinic advises toenail fungus patients to “Give up nail polish and artificial nails” because “this can trap unwanted moisture and worsen the infection.” Instead, experts recommend using one of the natural antifungal toe nail polish brands instead.

antifungal nail polish

Dr.’s Remedy is one of the recommended brands of antifungal nail polish. Image Source: HeartlandFootAndAnkle.com

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Healing at Home: 4 Household Products that May Potentially Kill Athlete’s Foot Fungus

Heat and humidity are on the rise this time of year — and along with that comes an increase in foot fungus. Athlete’s foot is generally treated with over-the-counter antifungal medication, but some people find that the infections come back repeatedly. The People’s Pharmacy claims that there are a number of household products a person can use to kill recurrent athlete’s foot fungus in a pinch. Generally speaking, the household cures for athlete’s foot either “stink, sting or stain.”

athlete's foot fungus

Some people claim a vinegar foot soak can heal the damage done by athlete’s foot fungus.

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Eating for Foot Health: Try Superfoods to Prevent Diabetes Infections

“Food is medicine,” according to wise Greek philosopher Hippocrates. In ancient times, food was all people had to prevent horrible diseases and infections. Today, people with diabetes are often advised to be mindful of what they eat. “Even though we live in a pill-popping, drug-oriented culture, more and more people are starting to realize that food is really our best medicine,” concurs Dr. Stephan Ripich, M.D. He adds, “There is no stage of Type 2 that can’t be helped by making some smart dietary changes.”

The makers of the SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer are interested in learning how to prevent diabetes complications, like diabetes infections of the foot. In addition to killing fungus and bacteria in your footwear using UV light, eating the right superfoods is another natural method of preventing infection.

diabetic infection

There are many superfoods that can help diabetics prevent infections.

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Footcare Trade Secrets: Our 10 Best tips for Treating and Coping with Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus is America’s dirty little secret. It is estimated that 35 million people suffer from it, but only a fraction of those infected actually seek treatment. Many people just hide their feet inside shoes or paint over their nails with polish. These keratin-loving dermatophytes are picked up in hotel showers, foot spas, locker rooms, and swimming pools.

The Problem with Toenail Fungus…

One thing is for certain: you do NOT want to get stuck with this awful condition. Insurance companies consider nail fungus to be a “cosmetic” issue since it doesn’t typically cause pain or disability, so many of the newer treatments like laser removal are not covered. Other treatments like oral pills and topical creams have limited success rates. The fungus is quick to spread from the big toe to the smaller toes, but takes from six months to a year or even longer for a healthy nail to grow in to replace the fungus nail.

toenails afflicted by toenail fungus

Toenail fungus is hard to get rid of, but don’t be disheartened; follow these 10 tips!

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Please Don’t Tell Anyone, Doc: The Embarrassment of Athlete’s Foot

Feet trapped inside shoes tend to be out of sight, out of mind. So it’s no surprise that the idea of discussing these under-appreciated body parts has many patients feeling a little squeamish. No one wants to admit their imperfections, especially when it involves something as icky as foot fungus. Having a fungal foot infection does not mean you are a “dirty” or “unhygienic” person, but a lot of people feel that way. This is our second article in a series about embarrassing foot problems you may not want to discuss with your doctor, let alone anyone else.

athlete's foot

You don’t have to be an athlete to develop athlete’s foot, although it is commonly picked up from locker room floors.
Image Source: Josh Hallett via Wikimedia.org

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Examining Diabetic Foot Facts: Exactly How Serious Is the Condition, and How to Cope?

We often hear that diabetics need to “inspect their feet everyday”… but is it really necessary? How many people with diabetes really suffer from complications like the loss of sensation in their feet, diabetic foot ulcers, gangrene, and life-threatening infections? Aren’t amputations a thing of the past, given the advances in modern science? The makers of a UV shoe sanitizing device have compiled a few pertinent statistics that illustrate just what a serious issue diabetic foot health is.

foot inspection

Daily foot inspections should be part of a diabetic’s everyday life.
Image source: Flickr user Elvert Barnes

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Foot Fungus & Other Skin Maladies: Should You DIY?

People will try just about anything to avoid going to the doctor. It’s natural to wonder, “Is taking so many medications really necessary… or are there cheap fixes that are just as effective?” You’ve probably had a neighbor, a relative, or a coworker share a story about an effective home remedy for acne, skin rashes, bee stings, or even foot fungus. The makers of the SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer have found there are pros and cons to a Do-It-Yourself approach to medicine.

tea tree oil

Home remedies using foods, herbs, and essential oils have been around for centuries.
Image source: Stephanie via Wikimedia.org

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Antifungal Cream: Amazon Consumers’ Top Picks for Treating Foot Fungus

Two names stand out in the world of antifungal foot creams: Lotrimin and Lamisil. Lotramin uses prescription-strength Butenafine to treat athlete’s foot, whereas Lamisil uses prescription-strength terbinafine to treat foot fungus. If you have tried these medications and they did not work for you, there are a few other options that Amazon buyers say have provided favorable results.

antifungal cream

We look at some of the top picks for antifungal creams.
Image Source: Wikimedia.org

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Veterans & Diabetic Foot Ulcers: A Review of Existing Research

More than 25% of veterans have been diagnosed with type II diabetes. That means 1 in 4 people receiving care at Veteran Administration (VA) hospitals are being treated for the disease. According to the U.S. government, service members who were exposed to Agent Orange have an increased risk of developing diabetes. Last year, the Detroit Free Press reported that the number of diabetes cases rose from 135,000 to nearly 323,000 in the past nine years. That’s more than 10% of the military personnel who went to Vietnam.

vietnam veterans agent orange

Diabetes is the most prevalent disease among Vietnam veterans.
Image Source: U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Tristan Miller via Wikimedia.org

In fact, more Vietnam vets are receiving compensation for diabetes than for any other health issue, including post-traumatic stress disorder, hearing loss, or general wounds. The average veteran receives about $3,000 for diabetes care alone. Along with diabetes comes the risk of diabetic foot ulcers, which occur when pressure causes breaks in the skin and those slow-healing wounds become infected.

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