The forecast is calling for 4 days in a row over 100 degrees this week, which means it's officially sandal season! Are your toenails ready? I'm not just talking about a home pedicure during quarantine, but I'm talking about fungal nails in particular, which are no fun during sandal season. Let's go through the facts about toenail fungus:
Who does it affect? Nail fungus is actually quite a common problem. Anyone can have it! But those with diabetes, circulatory issues, or immune-deficiencies are more at risk of developing fungal nails.
What is it? Toenail fungus is an infection of the nail and its symptoms include darkening and thickening of the nail, increased smell, white streaks across the nail, and debris under the nail plate. Because fungal nails tend to be thick, they are difficult to cut and can become painful when wearing shoes. Most often, fungal nails are not painful and as a result they can be easy to ignore.
Where is it found? The nail fungus is an infection that sits under the top layer of the toenail.
When can you get it? Nails are especially vulnerable to fungal infections when exposed to damp, moist areas such as sweaty shoes, walking bareboot around swimming pools, locker rooms, saunas, etc
Why is it important to treat? When toenail fungus is left untreated, it can spread to other toenails, skin, and even your fingers. Additionally, the earlier you seek treatment, the better the likelihood of being able to clear up your nails. So, as your local podiatrist, I encourage you not to leave your fungal nails untreated!
How: To stop fungal nails, try home remedies first, such as establishing a regular routine of cleaning your feet, drying well between your toes, and changing shoes frequently. Over-the-counter topical treatments can be used as well.
If you've tried that, and your fungal nails aren't improving, stop by the office for some more advanced treatment options including a topical antifungal treatment, debridement to remove the infected portions of the nail, oral medications, or even surgical treatment. The earlier you seek treatment for your fungal nails, the better your chances for improving your nail condition.
If you are interested in learning more about how to clear up your nails, visit our patient education section on fungal nails or make an Appointment Request today. Let's get your toes ready for sandal season!