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Best Toenail Fungus Treatment

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Best Toenail Fungus Treatment

How to Treat Nail Fungus?

How to treat nail fungus – and how silver can help?

What do you think of when you hear the word fungus? That fuzzy white stuff growing on the leftovers you forgot about in the fridge? The mushroom-like things popping up in the yard after a rainy spell? Whatever pops into your mind, it probably isn’t smelly yellow-ish toenails.

There are an estimated 5.1 million fungal species in existence on Earth.[1] And they take on some very different appearances.

Fungi play a role in both food and toxins, healing and illness. The rare edible fungus known as a truffle, is a delicacy that can cost anywhere from $250 to $4,000 a pound… unless there’s a shortage, in which case we can 10x that.[2] Yet, pick the wrong mushroom from among the wild varieties, and you could be in for a lengthy hospital stay… or worse.[3]

Some species take the form of yeast and are found in fluffy baked breads and fermented beverages. Another species of fungi, Penicillium, is famous for its life-saving antibiotic properties.

And then there’s nail fungus, officially known as onychomycosis… a fungal infection under and/or around the nails, especially toenails.

Toenail fungus is ugly. It thickens, distorts, and discolors the nails. It can be painful, and it can stink.

Alkaline structured silver is a safe and effective natural ally for fighting nail fungus.

What is Toenail Fungus?

Toenail fungus is an infection caused by one of several species of fungus. The three main types that are found invading the toenails are described below.

The most common culprits are dermatophytes. Dermatophytes are a group of fungi that infect tissues containing keratin… skin, hair, and nails. This is the same type of fungus that usually causes athlete’s foot. It infects the skin around the nail bed, often working its way under the nail. The nail may thicken, turn yellow or white, and may break apart separating from the skin underneath. Dead skin and broken nail fragments often collect under the nails. It can be uncomfortable and even painful, especially when shoes apply pressure to thickened and/or damaged nails.

Nail fungus can also appear as superficial white spots on the nail that spread across and cover it with a chalky, powder-like layer. Because it stays on the top surface of the nail, it is easier to treat than other forms.

Another type of nail fungus is caused by a form of yeast, or Candida. It is more likely to be seen in finger rather than toenails and can also discolor and deform the nail, getting under and around the nails. Candida infections in the nails can be sore and inflamed, showing more obvious signs of infection.[4]

Who is at Risk of Developing Toenail Fungus?

Anyone can serve as a host to a toenail fungus. But some conditions put certain people at a higher risk than others. Among these are:

  • Diabetes – the hyperglycemia, reduced immune function, and poor circulation associated with diabetes all play a role in increasing the risk of fungal infections in diabetics. Candida albicans, which can be a culprit in toenail fungus, is especially prevalent in diabetic.[5]
  • Circulation problems – older people or anyone who has reduced circulation is at a greater risk.
  • Weak immune system – people with immune systems that have been weakened by other illnesses or conditions have an increased risk of fungal infections.
  • Skin condition – conditions like psoriasis or injuries on or around the nails can create the right environment for fungal growth.
  • Sweaty feet/damp shoes and socks – people whose feet stay moist from sweat for long periods of time are also providing the perfect environment for fungi to thrive.
  • Locker rooms and/or pools – going barefoot can provide great health benefits… just as long as it is not in an area where other people, who may be carrying fungus, are doing the same thing. [6]
  • Adult men – men get more toenail infections than women[7]… although admittedly, this is more of a statistic than a risk factor and could simply owe to the fact that men wear shoes or sweat more.

Not all the factors above are within your control, but others certainly are. With some care and diligence, everyone, even people in higher risk groups can give themselves an advantage.

How to Tell if You Have a Toenail Fungal Infection

What kind of clues should you look for if you suspect a toenail fungus? Here are some things that might indicate a fungal infection:

  • Discolored nails – white spots, or yellow, brown, or green-looking nails can indicate fungal infection. This could be within the nail or the color may be coming from under the nail.
  • Misshapen nails – nail fungus can cause the surface of nails to become distorted.
  • Thickened nails – infected nails may become thicker leading to pain or discomfort when wearing shoes.
  • Brittle nails – nails may break easily and seem to be dry and brittle. Edges may be jagged.
  • Nails detach from nail bed – fungus and debris, which may look like dry skin, can build-up under the nails and cause them to lift up or detach from the skin under the nails.
  • Slight odor – an unusual odor may indicate a fungal infection.[8]

The only to know for sure if you have a toenail fungus is to see a doctor. They’ll take a sample of nail clippings or debris from under the nails and send it off to a lab to determine if it is fungal and the exact type of infection.

Diabetics should always talk to their doctor, as an infection can have very serious health implications.

Prevention is Key with Toenail Fungus

Prevention is always preferable to having to treat a condition once it has set in. Toenail fungus is much easier to prevent than it is to get rid of. That’s because the nail itself shields the place where the fungus is residing… it can prevent the solution from reaching it.

  • Keep them dry. The first step in preventing toenail fungus is to wear clean, dry shoes and reduce the amount of time that your feet stay in moist socks. Changing damp socks regularly, wearing shoes made of natural, breathable materials, and alternating shoes so they can have a day to dry out between each wearing will also help.
  • Wear footwear in public places. As important as it is to allow the feet to breathe, it’s equally vital to keep them off the bare floor when you’re in the locker room, public pool, or other facility. A pair of waterproof or rubber sandals will serve the purpose well.
  • Follow proper hygiene practices. When you trim toenails, go straight across and use a file to smooth the edges. Any nails that have thickened can be filed down as well. Use some moisturizer to help keep them from drying out. And if you go to a nail salon, ask what their protocol is for sanitizing tools.
  • Let them breathe. If you paint your nails, it’s also important to give them a breather every now and then… nail polish and artificial nails (although unlikely on toenails but fingernails can get fungal infections, too) don’t allow for any air circulation so moisture gets trapped underneath.

The organisms that cause toenail fungus can also cause the itchy, sometimes painful fungal infection known as athlete’s foot. When the feet are stuck in warm, moist shoes all day, the conditions are perfect for the fungus to spread from the nails to the surrounding skin of the foot.

Likewise, since it’s already right there on the feet, sometimes athlete’s foot spreads to the nails resulting in toenail fungus.

Nail Toenail Fungus with Silver

Toenail fungus can be a real pain to get rid of using traditional over-the-counter treatments. And oral prescription antifungal meds are known to have dangerous liver and heart-related side effects.

Fortunately, silver can destroy the fungi that cause toenail fungus (and athlete’s foot).

Some toenail fungus is superficial, remaining on the surface of the nails. But most of the time it’s under them… with the nails forming a barrier that makes it much harder to get the silver in contact with the fungus.

Helping the silver get under the nails is crucial. You’ll want to first trim the nails and clean out as much of the fungus from under them as possible. Be careful not to break the skin, which could allow a secondary infection to enter the body.

Then do what you can to get through the nails. Filing the nail surface to thin it out will help to make it more penetrable by the silver solution.

Silver Gel

In order to get the silver under the nails and in direct contact with fungus, you’ll next want to soak your toes in structured silver solution for 30 minutes every other day. Soaking gives the silver time to work its way under the nails to where the fungus is. It takes only six minutes of contact with silver solution for the silver to destroy fungus, but the toenail and dead skin will still be in the way, so repeated soaking is necessary.

Using structured silver gel is another option. The key is to get it under the nails. Using silver gel allows it to be in contact with the affected area for a longer period of time working its way through the layers of dead skin and debris. A very effective way of getting the gel to remain in place and to get it under the nails is to use finger cots on the toes. A finger cot is like glove or a condom that fits over one finger. (They’re used by people who work in commercial kitchens when they have a finger wound.) By putting silver gel inside the finger cot and then stretching it over the toe, you help to force the gel under the nail and keep it in place for longer.

Clean and Sanitize to Prevent Reinfection

Often people have a hard time keeping the fungus away. They may get rid of it only to have it reappear soon afterward.

Be sure to clean and sanitize any and all tools used to trim and clean the nails and nail beds. Clean with soap and water and then sanitize with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, 30 percent bleach and water solution, or a barber or hospital grade disinfectant. With most of these the sanitizer should remain in contact with the tools for at least three minutes before allowing them to dry. And of course, wash and dry your hands.

Remember that shoes, socks, towels, and hard surfaces can harbor the fungus. Be diligent about cleanliness and keeping the feet dry.

Silver liquid can be sprayed in shoes or on surfaces to kill any lingering fungus.

Over the Counter and Prescription Antifungals

There are a number of over-the-counter antifungal treatments available. They contain different active ingredients such as fluconazole, terbinafine hydrochloride, or clotrimazole, and some will be more effective than others. However, none will work if they don’t reach the source if the infection… the fungus.

This is why oral drugs are prescribed for nail fungus. Oral medications include griseofulvin, itraconazole, and terbinafine, and they tend to be more effective than over-the-counter topical products because topicals don’t reach the source of the problem.

It’s important to note that these prescription medications can pose the risk of some serious side effects… and they still are not 100 percent effective.

Alkaline structured silver is a safe, natural alternative to oral medications. Silver is also more effective than many of the topical antifungal medications available in the drug stores. In fact, studies have shown structured silver to be more effective than fluconazole in destroying fungal infections.[9]

It Takes Time to Clear Up Fungus

Treatment of toenail fungus requires patience. Over-the-counter topical treatments will need to be continued until the nail is grown out, which can take up to 18 months for toenails. And again, if the product doesn’t reach the infection, it is useless.

When using liquid structured silver, the act of soaking in the solution helps it to penetrate and seep through cracks in the nails and skin to reach the fungus. Soaking should still be continued until signs of improvement are visible. Remember the solution has to get through the nail, so do what you can to help it along.

To get your hands on some alkaline structured silver and to learn more about how pH-balanced structured silver can help nail toenail fungus visit our website or give us a call at 1-866-660-9868 now!

Reference

[1] Blackwell, Meredith. (2011). The Fungi: 1, 2, 3 … 5.1 million species?. American journal of botany. 98. 426-38. 10.3732/ajb.1000298.
[2] CNBC, 2 Pounds of truffles sold for $85,000 – here’s the real reason they’re so expensive
[3] Poison Control, National Capital Poison Center, Wild Mushroom Warning
[4] University of Michigan, Michigan Medicine, Types of Fungal Nail Infection
[5] Casqueiro, J., Casqueiro, J., & Alves, C. (2012). Infections in patients with diabetes mellitus: A review of pathogenesis. Indian journal of endocrinology and metabolism, 16 Suppl 1(Suppl1), S27–S36. doi:10.4103/2230-8210.94253
[6] Mayo Clinic, Nail Fungus Symptoms and Causes
[7] Healthline, Fungal Nail Infection
[8] Mayo Clinic, Nail Fungus Symptoms and Causes
[9] Kim KJ1, Sung WS, Moon SK, Choi JS, Kim JG, Lee DG, J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2008 Aug;18(8):1482-4, Antifungal effect of silver nanoparticles on dermatophytes

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