Posts for tag: 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:
- Wash your feet with soap and water daily, and dry them with a clean towel.
- Clip your toenails straight across with a clean clippers.
- Wear clean socks daily.
- Change your gym shoes after a workout. In fact, alternate pairs if possible, letting your footwear dry out between wearings.
- Wear flip-flops or shower sandals in the locker room and poolside, too.
Find out the best approach for getting rid of a fungal infection within a toenail.
Noticing that one of your toenails has started to get thick, brittle and yellow? If so, then chances are pretty good that a fungal infection is to blame. If you are dealing with this issue our Ocala, FL, podiatrist, Dr. Robert Linn, Jr., is here to tell you the many treatment options available to you.
Most of the time, many of our healthy patients who aren’t dealing with diabetes will try and treat their fungal toenail infection all on their own. There is nothing wrong with that. After all, there are quite a few topical antifungal treatments that you can purchase over the counter from your local pharmacist that might work for you.
However, topical antifungals aren’t often the most effective approach since the fungus is often within and under the nail, areas that this topical cream or ointment won’t be able to penetrate. You will take this medication for several weeks but won’t notice if the treatment was successful until several months later when the nail grows in healthy and clear.
Did you know that there is a nail polish that could actually help you get rid of your toenail fungus? The nail polish is applied to the infected nail and left on for several days before being removed and reapplied. This polish may be used for several months and even up to one year and it can be a great way to prevent future infections in those who are prone to toenail fungal infections.
Oral Antifungal Medication
This is the most common treatment option that our Ocala foot doctor may recommend to you if you are dealing with toenail fungus. Since the medication is taken by mouth it is more effective and kills the infection more efficiently than topical antifungals will. Again, just like with topical medication, you won’t notice results until the nail has grown back.
If you are interested in finding out more about treatments that could finally eliminate that pesky fungal infection then it’s time you called Foot & Ankle Center of Ocala. Let our expert podiatry team help you get beautiful, clear toenails again.
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
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.