Infected Toenail

Top Five Causes And Treatments For An Infected Toenail

Overall, human beings can handle catastrophes pretty well. It’s the little annoyances, like an infected toenail, that send us off the rails. Perhaps this is a sign of people’s reluctance to baby themselves, to care for little aches and pains.  By the time we get to these little pains, they’ve been gnawing at us for days or week.

You know the saying, the straw that broke the camel’s back?  It wasn’t a ton of bricks that broke his back, just a tiny straw.

Likewise, we can withstand major crisis, diseases, accidents and natural disastrous. We go into rescue mode, for others and ourselves.

That tiny splinter, paper cut, or infected toenail, can be the final straw.  We get to the point were we just have to stop what we are doing and care for ourselves. It is comforting to know that little things can be cured – we can alleviate the pain.

That said, here are some facts about an infected toenail, so you can give it the needed attention.

Firstly, do some self-diagnosis as to whether it is a fungal infection, or bacterial.  If it is red, swollen, and the pain is like a stinging, itching and irritation, that is bacterial. If the toe is discolored and the texture has changed, i.e. nail becomes thick, brittle, or very thin, that is fungus.

Top Five Causes of an infected toenail:

  1. Stubbing a toe, breaking the skin which allows bacteria to enter, later causing infection
  2. Cutting nails too short or other manicuring activities that cause external injury
  3. Wearing shoes that don’t fit, which causes the skin to tear, leading to infection
  4. An ingrown toenail.
  5. In the case of fungal infections; a) continually moist environment of our feet in shoes and sox, or b) bacteria in the gym or hot tub or other shared facilities.

Here we offer the top five, most simple and inexpensive things you can do, that actually work.

Top five treatments for an infected toenail:

  1. Keep infected area clean by frequent washing and wrapping in a bandage.  Put the bandage on just tightly enough to stay in place. A tight bandage will increase pain.
  2. If it is bacterial, use a topical such as generic Neosporin to fight the infection.  Apply it religiously every morning and night until your toe heals. Cover with a band aide after each application.  If it comes back, start the Neosporin application again and it will clear up.
  3. For fungal infections: Use an antifungal cream.  These are available at the pharmacy or grocery store.  The ingredient in these may be terbinafine or something like it (brand name: Lamisel), so save money and get the generic.
  4. If self-treatment is not effective, your doctor can prescribe a pill or stronger cream for either the fungal or bacterial problem.
  5. Naturopathic remedies:  Vinegar and lemon juice rubbed into the nail (if it is fungal), soaking in warm water with crushed juniper berries, rubbing tea tree oil into affected toe morning and night.

Don’t let the minor things that annoy you go untreated -- they might be the very things that are in the back of your mind, ruining your day, and stressing you out unnecessarily.