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Posts for tag: Toenail Fungus

By Karen E Anderson, DPM
November 02, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Toenail Fungus  

Treating toenail fungus

Toenail fungus--it's one of the most common podiatric problems children, teens, and adults have. Causing thickened, yellow, brittle nails, onychomycosis (the medical name for toenail fungus) spreads easily and can be stubborn to treat. If you see one or more of your toenails changing shape, color, and texture, see your foot doctor right away. They have the expertise and treatments to give you ten clear toenails once again.

How toenail fungus starts

The micro-organism thrives in dark, moist environments--sweaty socks and sneakers being prime candidates. Additionally, shared towels, nail clippers, shower room floors, and pool decks breed toenail and Athlete's Foot fungus. In fact, if you suffer periodic outbreaks of itchy, uncomfortable Athlete's Foot, you're more prone to onychomycosis, says the American Academy of Dermatology.

Conquering toenail fungus

Your foot doctor sees scores of patients with toenail fungus. Visual inspection is the main diagnostic tool, and for mild cases of onychomycosis, the podiatrist may recommend creams or ointments applied topically. Oral medications are an option as well.

Additionally, modern podiatry offers innovative laser treatments which kill the micro-organism right where it lives. Painless and very effective, laser treatments are applied to all ten toenails to prevent re-infection.

Unfortunately, toenail fungal infections can become quite severe and spread to the nail bed. When infection is severe, the podiatrist may advise complete removal of the toenail to prevent further problems.

Prevention is best

Of course, if you can avoid toenail fungus, your feet and nails will look and feel their best, and you won't be embarrassed to wear open-toed shoes or sandals in the warm weather. However, some people are more prone to this common infection--diabetics, those with poor peripheral circulation and individuals who are immunosuppressed.

Regardless, your podiatrist recommends these preventive measures for healthy, fungus-free nails:

  1. Wash your feet with soap and water daily, and dry them with a clean towel.
  2. Clip your toenails straight across with a clean clippers.
  3. Wear clean socks daily.
  4. Change your gym shoes after a workout. In fact, alternate pairs if possible, letting your footwear dry out between wearings.
  5. Wear flip-flops or shower sandals in the locker room and poolside, too.
Look after those feet and nails
 
They're the only ones you have. For ongoing care of your feet and ankles, see your foot doctor each year for a routine examination. He or she will get to know you and your podiatric health needs well so you stay active and feel great.
By Karen E Anderson, DPM
October 09, 2017
Category: Foot Health
Tags: Toenail Fungus  

Also known as onychomycosis, toenail fungus can be painful, irritating and embarrassing. When you experience trauma to your nail, the nail bed is lifted, allowing fungus to invade. Without treatment, this fungus can grow and spread, particularly in dark, warm, moist environments, such as socks and shoes.

Common signs and symptoms of toenail fungus include:

  • Discoloring or yellowing of the nail
  • Thickening or crumbling of the nail
  • Swelling around the nail
  • Disfigured nails
  • Streaks or spots down the side of the nail
  • Foul-smelling debris under the nail
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Complete nail loss

Prevention is Key

Fungal infections can affect the fingernails as well as the toenails, but toenail fungus is more difficult to treat because toenails grow more slowly. Because removal of the fungus is challenging, prevention plays an important role in treatment.

  • Keep nails neatly trimmed.
  • Practice good foot hygiene, including daily washing with soap and water, drying feet and toes, carefully, and changing shoes regularly.
  • Always wear shoes in public areas, such as showers, locker rooms and pools.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that aren't too tight.
  • Avoid wearing nail polish for long periods, as it prevents the nail from breathing and can seal in fungus.

Treatment of Toenail Fungus

If you do develop toenail fungus, especially if the infection has become painful, visit our office. People with a chronic illness like diabetes should always see a podiatrist if they notice any changes in their nails, as it may be an indication of a more serious issue.

To eliminate the fungus, a podiatrist may remove as much of the infected nail as possible by trimming, filing or dissolving it. Oral or topical antifungal medications may also be prescribed to treat the infection. Laser treatment options are also sometimes available.

It’s only for severe, chronic infections that surgical removal of the nail might be recommended. Our office can help diagnose the cause of your toenail troubles, and make the best recommendation for treatment.