Many people who have toenail fungus are self-conscious about their feet. It is an unsightly foot condition and can cause patients to avoid wearing shoes that have an open toe. The medical term for this ailment is onychomycosis, and it is a fungal infection of the toenail. There are symptoms that gradually develop and can become quite obvious. These can include yellowed and thickened toenails, and in severe cases, the nail may fall off. The big toe is generally the first toe to be affected, and may spread to the other toes if treatment is not received. The fungus that causes this condition lives in warm environments and can enter the body through small cuts in the skin on the feet. People who have diabetes, a weakened immune system, or poor blood circulation may be prone to getting toenail fungus, and it is important to seek prompt medical attention when the first symptoms appear on the nail. If you are afflicted with this condition, it is suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can prescribe the necessary medication for the removal of this fungus.
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 one of our podiatrists of Total Podiatry. Our doctors 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.