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.
Don’t let yellow unsightly nails be the end all be all to your foot health.
It’s amazing how many people can develop a toenail fungal infection. With fungus being everywhere it’s not a surprise that this could happen to anyone. If your nails have grown thicker, yellow and brittle then you too could have fallen victim to a pesky nail fungus. From the office of our Crestview and Fort Walton Beach, FL, podiatrist, Dr. Cosimo Ricciardi, find out what a laser treatment can do to treat your infection.
First and foremost, there are other conditions that can look similar to a fungal infection so it’s important that our Crestview and Fort Walton Beach foot doctor takes a look at your feet before proceeding with this treatment. Of course, those with weakened immune systems or diabetes should always seek medical care right away, as this infection could cause serious health complications.
Keeping your nails trimmed is a good way to get rid of some of the fungi in the nails. Remember that you don’t want to trim your nails too short or at a curve, as this can also increase your risk of an ingrown toenail.
While some patients may see results with prescription or over-the-counter creams, this isn’t always the most effective method since it’s nearly impossible for the topical cream to get through the hard layers of nail to kill the fungus. Other treatment options include an oral antifungal medication.
If you’ve tried all these options and you are still left battling a fungal infection then laser therapy might be the ideal treatment. Unlike topical medications, this laser can painlessly penetrate through the nail and kill the fungi underneath without damaging or affecting the healthy skin or nail around it.
This is an amazingly effective solution for killing stubborn and chronic fungal infections of the nails. You may need several treatments for it to take effect. There are no negative side effects as opposed to other treatment options, and there is no downtime after treatment. Laser treatment stimulates the growth of a healthy nail.
A toenail fungus doesn’t have to ruin the appearance and health of your feet. Turn to Emerald Coast Podiatry in Crestview and Fort Walton Beach, FL, for the expert care you need to get beautiful feet that you can’t wait to show off this summer.