Fungal nail infections, or onychomycosis, affect a significant portion of the population, particularly the toenails. Characterized by discoloration, thickening, and sometimes detachment of the nail from its bed, these infections stem from fungi that invade through tiny breaks in the nail or surrounding skin. Anyone can contract this type of infection, but they are especially common in individuals with certain health conditions, such as diabetes, which predispose them to recurrence. Diagnosis should be professionally confirmed, and while treatments, mainly oral antifungal medications, are available, they can be lengthy and sometimes ineffective, with infections taking months to resolve. Notably, even after successful treatment, fungal nail infections can recur, particularly in people with chronic medical conditions that compromise the immune system or circulation. To manage and prevent recurrence, especially if you are at higher risk for these infections, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for comprehensive treatment and continual monitoring of this condition.
If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Ian Klein, D.P.M of Florida. Dr. Klein can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
- Warped or oddly shaped nails
- Yellowish nails
- Loose/separated nail
- Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
- Brittle, broken, thickened nail
If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.
In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.
In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Saint Petersburg, FL. . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.