Infected Toenail

Infected Toenail

In nearly all cases, infected toenail is developed due to lack of toenail hygiene and routine nail care. Understanding the symptoms and getting them addressed by a qualified physician will help prevent complications and recurrent infections.
HolisticZine Staff
While dealing with the routine care of nails, an ingrown toenail or onychocryptosis is commonly faced by all people. It refers to growing of skin over the nails or in other words, partly penetration of the toenails in the skin. Ingrown toenail may cause pressure on the sides of the nail and result in redness, swelling, inflammation, and painful toe. This nail distress should not be avoided at any cost, as it can become a breeding ground for nail fungus. In most cases, infections by fungus is the predominant cause.

Symptoms

Apart from ingrown nail condition, an infected toe symptoms can be triggered due to poor nail hygiene, sharing of footwear, and other health complications. Referred to as onychomycosis, it is the most frequently reported nail problem, which requires addressing by a physician. In comparison to fingernails, toenails are at a higher risk of developing fungal infections.

Both ingrown and the usual toenail fungus infections start in the tips of the nails. Some of the early symptoms that signify the infection are thickening and discoloration of the toenail. It may turn soft, brittle, and irregular in texture. At times, there may be development of yellowish patches under the nail, which are accumulated keratin debris. In severe cases, there may be complete loss of the nail.

Treatment

Though, an infected toenail is not a very serious condition, it should be treated as early as possible. People who have underlying health conditions such a weakened immune system or diabetes should seek immediate medical help, as it can lead to various complications. If left untreated, it covers other areas, thus affecting the whole nail. Also, there are chances of infecting the adjacent toenails, in case, proper care is not taken at the right time.

For infected toe treatment, you can find myriads of topical products in the market. Hence, it is really difficult to choose an effectual product for combating the infection. The main objective for treatment is to stop the infection, reduce the symptoms, and promote healthy nail growth. After confirmation, the physician may prescribe antifungal medicines along with nail caring tips for faster healing.

Remedies

In mild cases of infection or identification in the early stages, home remedies are effective for treating the symptoms and preventing further spread of the infection. Hence, prior to taking medical help, you can also try infected toe remedies to treat the condition, some of which are discussed below:
  • Vinegar - Vinegar has shown to be one of the most effective remedies for infected toenails. Mix equal quantities of vinegar and water, and soak the infected toe in the solution.
  • Tea Tree Oil - Applying tea tree oil over the affected nail 2-3 times daily will help cure infections. Use a cotton ball to apply concentrated tea tree oil over the affected area.
  • Listerine Mouthwash - Use a cotton ball to swab the infected toenail with Listerine mouthwash. Doing so will help cure the infection quickly.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide - Hydrogen peroxide is another effective treatment for toenail fungal infection. Soak your feet in a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution, containing equal amounts of 3% hydrogen peroxide and water.
  • Alcohol - Being a disinfecting agent, alcohol is used for treating an infected nail. Use alcohol to rub the affected area twice daily, and you will notice quick healing of the affected area.
  • Lime Juice - Lime juice is acidic in nature, and hence helpful for the treatment of toenail infection. Dip a cotton ball in fresh lime juice, and rub the affected area for about 20 minutes in order to promote quick healing.
  • Turmeric Paste - Turmeric, having antiseptic properties, helps in curing the fungal infection occurred in the toenail. Prepare a paste of turmeric powder and clean water, and apply it over the affected area twice daily.
In addition to therapeutic treatment and home remedies, proper nail care regime should be practiced for better results. One should avoid going barefoot in public places in order to prevent the risk of toenail infection. Also, make sure you keep the nails clean and dry all the time. With routine pedicure and proper nail hygiene, you can prevent further outbreaks of toenail infections.