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Fungal nail infections can be dangerous if left untreated. The fungus from the nail can enter your bloodstream and cause you to become very ill. There are several folk remedies about treating nail fungus, including using vitamin C. Treating a fungal infection is not easy, but with the help of your physician, you can rid yourself of the infection and may even be able to save your nail.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
There are various types of fungi that can enter your nail bed or fingernail, which can cause severe infections of your nails. Yeast, molds and another fungi known as dermatophyitesk or tinea unguium can lead to nasty fungal infections of your nails. These can occur in your fingernails or toenails. Sometimes a fungal nail infection can be a secondary infection. If you develop athlete’s foot, the fungus can spread to your toenails, causing a fungal nail infection, which would be secondary to the original infection.
- There are various types of fungi that can enter your nail bed or fingernail, which can cause severe infections of your nails.
What to Eat for Healthy Toenails
To treat a fungal infection, you must use an anti-fungal medication. Your health care provider may elect to use a topical anti-fungal cream or ointment or an oral anti-fungal medication. If you have a severe fungal nail infection, you may need to take a topical and an oral anti-fungal medication together for the most effective treatment, according to DermNet NZ 2. Laser treatment, used in New Zealand and elsewhere, is used in cases of resistance to anti-fungal medications. As of 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved the use of laser therapy for fungal infections.
- To treat a fungal infection, you must use an anti-fungal medication.
- If you have a severe fungal nail infection, you may need to take a topical and an oral anti-fungal medication together for the most effective treatment, according to DermNet NZ 2.
Vitamin C is not an effective treatment for nail fungus. Vitamin C may treat other conditions such as scurvy, a vitamin C deficiency. Scurvy is typically characterized by anemia, general weakness, gingivitis and skin hemorrhages, according to DermNet NZ 2. Scurvy generally doesn’t occur until your diet has lacked vitamin C for a prolonged period of time. Scurvy is rare in the United States, but when it is present, it tends to affect the elderly.
- Vitamin C is not an effective treatment for nail fungus.
- Scurvy is rare in the United States, but when it is present, it tends to affect the elderly.
Supplements for Nail Fungus
You may experience symptoms of a vitamin C deficiency that could prompt you to ask your physician to test your vitamin C level. You may also experience a decreased wound-healing rate as vitamin C helps repair injured skin tissue.
What to Eat for Healthy Toenails
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- DermNet NZ: Fungal Nail Infections, Onychomycosis including tinea unguium; 2003
- DermNet NZ: Scurvy; 2005
- MedlinePlus: Vitamin C; Feb. 2011
- Queller JN, Bhatia N. The Dermatologist's Approach to Onychomycosis. J Fungi (Basel). 2015;1(2):173-184. doi:10.3390/jof1020173
- Blutfield MS, Lohre JM, Pawich DA, Vlahovic TC. The Immunologic Response to Trichophyton Rubrum in Lower Extremity Fungal Infections. J Fungi (Basel). 2015;1(2):130–137. doi:10.3390/jof1020130
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- Gupta AK, Shear NH. A risk-benefit assessment of the newer oral antifungal agents used to treat onychomycosis. Drug Saf. 2000;22(1):33-52. doi:10.2165/00002018-200022010-00004
- Krishnan-natesan S. Terbinafine: a pharmacological and clinical review. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2009;10(16):2723-33. doi:10.1517/14656560903307462
- Lestner J, Hope WW. Itraconazole: an update on pharmacology and clinical use for treatment of invasive and allergic fungal infections. Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol. 2013;9(7):911-26. doi:10.1517/17425255.2013.794785
- Govindarajan A, Aboeed A. Fluconazole. In: StatPearls [Internet]. 2019 Jan-.
- Thomas J, Jacobson GA, Narkowicz CK, Peterson GM, Burnet H, Sharpe C. Toenail onychomycosis: an important global disease burden. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2010 Oct;35(5):497-519.
- Westerberg DP, Voyack MJ. Onychomycosis: Current Trends in Diagnosis and Treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2013 Dec 1;88(11):762-70.
Derek Buckner has been writing professionally since 2005, specializing in diet, nutrition and general health. He has been published in "Today's Dietitian," "Food Essentials" and "Eating Well Magazine," among others. Buckner is a registered dietitian and holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition and food science from Drexel University.