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.
Discover the most effective way to get rid of stubborn toenail fungus.
That yellow unsightly toenail isn’t just unpleasant to look at; it might even be brittle and uncomfortable. Wearing sandals or open-toed shoes is out of the question because you feel like everyone will be looking at your thick, yellow fungal toe. Dr. Edward Orman, at Honeygo Podiatry servicing the Baltimore Metro area, is here to help. Find out the best way to tackle your toenail fungus.
More often than not, people decide it’s best to tackle their toenail fungus from the comfort and convenience of their own home before turning to a foot doctor. Healthy individuals may certainly choose to do this; however, those with diabetes who think they might have a fungal infection need to seek a doctor right away for treatment.
While there are tons of home remedies out there, your best bet is to go to your local pharmacy and pick up an over-the-counter anti-fungal medication. Purchase a product that is designated for nails and follow the directions exactly. You may have to use the medication for up to 48 weeks to see results. Of course, creams and lotions can’t always get to the entire fungus, so you may find that this option doesn’t work well for you.
Visiting a Podiatrist
If you’ve been trying an over-the-counter anti-fungal for several weeks and haven’t noticed a change then it’s time to give us a call. The medications you can get from us are stronger and more effective. In some cases, we will prescribe an oral medication.
Another option may be laser treatment. The laser is able to safely penetrate deep under the nail to heat up and kill the fungus hiding underneath. Most infections are effectively treated in just one session. With oral, topical or laser treatment you may have to wait up to a year after treatment for a new, clear nail to grow.
Honeygo Podiatry in Perry Hall and Fallston, MD, and serving the Baltimore area, is dedicated to providing patients of all ages with comprehensive and compassionate podiatry. Whether you want to talk to us about your toenail fungus treatment options or you have questions about the other services we offer, don’t hesitate to call us today!
Toenail fungus affects nearly 20 percent of the population and is one of the most common foot conditions that is treated by your podiatrist. Characterized by thick, disfigured, yellow nails, this recurring disorder can cause the nail to grow fragile, brittle and loose, and, in some cases, to crumble away. In the most severe cases, infected nails may even cause pain or difficulty walking.
Fungi thrive in warm, moist environments and can spread from person to person. Like athlete’s foot, you can contract a fungal nail infection from simply walking barefoot in public showers or pools or by sharing nail clippers or shoes. Fungal infections can also infect fingernails, but toenails are more difficult to treat as toenails typically grow more slowly. By following simple preventive measures from your podiatrist, you can take the next step to healthy, attractive feet.
How to Prevent Pesky Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is common, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be easily prevented. By following these simple guidelines from your podiatrist, you can take the next step toward healthy feet:
- Wear shower shoes at public pools and locker rooms.
- Never share nail clippers or files.
- Wear dry shoes that allow air to circulate around your feet.
- Avoid injury to your nail, such as cutting it too short.
- Inspect your feet and toes regularly.
- Trim your toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenail infections.
- Wear open-toed shoes if weather permits.
- Avoid wearing nail polish and disinfect pedicure tools.
- Wear clean, dry cotton socks that provide breathing room and whisk away moisture.
And if you are unable to avoid the development of toenail fungus, a trip to your podiatrist will do the trick. Your podiatrist will work with you to determine the best treatment plan for eliminating your toenail fungus, while also offering helpful advice for ways to prevent the development of this pesky infection.
- Walking barefoot in wet public areas. Walking without shoes in swimming pools, showers or gyms can increase your chances of a fungal infection.
- Sweating heavily. If your feet are constantly sweaty, fungus will be more likely to survive and thrive near your toes in your shoe.
- Diabetes. Diabetes restricts the flow of blood to the extremities. Because of this, your immune system will be less prepared to fight off the fungal infection.
- Poor shoes. If you wear shoes that do not ventilate or effectively absorb perspiration well, fungus will be able to thrive near your feet.
Options To Treat Fungal Toenails
Preventing & Eliminating Fungal Toenails
Also known as onychomycosis, toenail fungus can be painful, irritating and embarrassing. When there is trauma to the nail, the nail bed is lifted allowing fungus to penetrate and invade the nail bed. Without treatment, the fungus can grow and spread 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 nail polish which can seal in fungus
Treatment of toenail fungus
If you do develop toenail fungus, especially if the infection becomes painful, visit Dr. Orman. People with a chronic illness like diabetes should always see a podiatrist if they notice changes in their nails as it may be an indication of more serious problems.
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. Only for severe, chronic infections will surgical removal of the nail be recommended. Our Perry Hall office can help diagnose the cause of your toenail problems and make the best recommendation for treatment.