TREATMENTS: Toenail Fungus
TREATMENTS FOR YOUR FEET, ANKLES & LOWER LEGS
Many of our patients suffer from similar foot and ankle conditions; however, we treat each case uniquely. By understanding not only your podiatric disease, deformity, or other medical condition, but also your specific lifestyle needs, we can better create a course of treatment or recommend footwear that will help relieve your issues.
The complexity of the workings of your feet and ankles makes this a part of your body that may need significant attention, so we don’t rush you through treatment. At our office, we take the time to provide you with comprehensive foot care education and give you the treatment that you need and deserve.
What is Toenail Fungus?
Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis (medical term), is a common problem that means a person has a fungal infection of the nails. It is a slow-growing infection caused by dermatophytes, which are fungi that infect skin, hair, and nails. Other fungi such as yeast and molds can also cause toenail fungus.
When the tiny organisms take hold, you may experience pain in the toes and an odor from the nail fungus. The nail often becomes darker in color too. Debris may collect beneath the nail plate, white marks frequently appear on the nail plate, and the infection is capable of spreading to other toenails, the skin, or even the fingernails. If left uncared for, the infection can spread and possibly cause issues with walking.
Toenail fungus can affect anyone and often is more common as people age. If someone has diabetes they should seek immediate help from a certified podiatrist as any foot issue can cause severe problems for a diabetic, including amputation.
Some signs of toenail fungus are nails that are distorted in shape, built-up of debris under the nail, thickened and discolored nails, usually yellow and rough and crumbly nails that separate from the nail bed.
Preventing Toenail Fungus
The best defense is a good offense. Be pro-active and take responsibility for your foot care.
- Proper hygiene and regular inspection of the feet and toes are the first lines of defense against fungal nails. Clean and dry feet resist disease. Wash your feet with soap and water, remembering to dry thoroughly.
- Avoid wearing excessively tight hosiery to decrease moisture.
- Wear socks made of synthetic fiber that “wicks” moisture away from your feet faster than cotton or wool socks do.
- Disinfect instruments used to cut nails.
- Disinfect home pedicure tools.
- Don’t apply polish to nails suspected of infection (those that are discolored, for example).
- Clip toenails straight across so that the nail does not extend beyond the tip of the toe. Cut your toenails with properly sanitized nail scissors/clippers
- Footwear – Wear shoes that fit well and are made of materials that breathe. The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends buying shoes with a wide toe box that won’t cramp your toes. Also alternate your shoes. Putting on shoes that are still damp from yesterday’s sweaty workout will only increase your risk of a toenail fungal infection, so invest in a few good pairs and rotate them. Footwear that is breathable is good to circulate air around the feet.
- Use an anti-fungal powder. Sprinkle the powder inside your socks and shoes before each wearing to prevent the growth of fungi spores.
- Avoid going barefoot in public areas. Locker rooms, public pools, showers, and similar areas are loaded with fungi just waiting to get to your toes. You should wear flip-flops, sandals, or shower shoes.
Fort Myers Toenail Fungus Removal
You should see our certified podiatrists at the first sign of nail fungus as nail fungus can be difficult to treat and once an infection begins it can persist indefinitely without medical intervention. Repeat infections are very common so it is imperative that you contact your doctor and schedule route visits accounting to his recommendations to ensure proper care. Some treatment options are oral medications and topical anti-fungal medications. If your nail infection is severe or extremely painful, your doctor may suggest removing the nail.
It is common for toenail fungus to persist indefinitely if left untreated. Before you have issues with your feet, contact a foot specialist, like Dr. Joseph Campbell and Dr. Bradley Habuda who are experienced with toenail fungus treatments. So if you’re looking for the best toenail fungus foot doctor in Fort Myers, contact us today.
*This is only a REQUEST. We will contact you to set your actual appointment.