Items filtered by date: October 2014
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
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 Ian Klein, D.P.M, F.A.C.F.A.O. 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 Saint Petersburg office can help diagnose the cause of your toenail problems and make the best recommendation for treatment.