Getting Rid of Toenail Fungus
Your toes are small but they are mighty—they perform a crucial role in movement and balance, and withstand a great amount of stress and impact, let alone endure being squished into all kinds of footwear. They are also often hidden, tucked away in socks and shoes, making it harder to notice a problem such as toenail fungus at the onset. A fungal toenail infection can become a source of embarrassment, as nails change color and shape and possibly emit a foul odor. It doesn’t take much for an infection such as this to take hold, but with the right intervention and treatments you can keep your feet and toenails feeling and looking healthy.
What Has Happened to My Toenails?
Nail fungus, technically called onychomycosis can happen to anyone. Getting an infection does not necessarily mean that you have poor foot hygiene—the fungus that causes it can be picked up in many different environments. These organisms thrive in places that are warm, dark and moist, such as public saunas, showers and pools. Repeatedly wearing socks and shoes that do not allow your feet to breathe also can cause a buildup of moisture, which can encourage fungus to grow quickly if picked up.
These microscopic organisms can enter through the tiniest of separations between your toes and nail. Once a fungus starts to grow, it usually begins as a small white or yellow spot under your nail. Without treatment, it will worsen over time and cause the nail to become thickened, discolored, and brittle, sometimes letting off an unpleasant smell. They can become not only unsightly but also painful, and the infection can be serious if you have a condition such as diabetes that can cause poor circulation.
Patience for Treating Toenail Fungus
You have the best chance of nipping this toenail problem in the bud if you visit Capital District Podiatry at the first sign of symptoms. A fungal infection will not simply go away on its own—you need to attack it with the right treatment. It can be a stubborn and resistant infection, even more so when it has progressed to an advanced stage.
We have several treatment options to get your nails back to health, but it may take some patience and diligent effort along the way. Treatments include over-the-counter antifungal creams, the Cutera Nail Laser treatment, prescription ointments, and oral antifungal medications. In severe cases, surgery may be considered to remove the infected nail.
Preventing the Problem
When it comes to prevention, always wear flip flops or shower shoes in the environments listed above. Keep your feet as dry as possible during the day to thwart the fungus that causes the infection. If you have excessively sweaty feet, make sure to wear moisture wicking socks and change them if necessary throughout the day. Alternate your shoes as well, so each one has a chance to dry out between uses. You can use antifungal powder in your shoes to head off trouble as well.
You do not have to resign to living with ugly nails from toenail fungus. We can provide expert care and treatment no matter how severe your problem, and restore your toenail health once and for all. Contact Dr. Tejas Pandya in Troy, NY, for treatment today by calling (518) 273-0053, or use our appointment request option online.