Toenail Fungus Specialists
Fungal infection of the nail, or onychomycosis, is often ignored because the infection can be present for years without causing any pain. The disease is characterized by a progressive change in a toenail's thickness and color, which is often ugly and embarrassing.
In reality, the condition is an infection of the nail caused by fungi. When the tiny organisms take hold, the nail often becomes darker in color and foul smelling. 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 ignored, the infection can spread and possibly impair one's ability to work or even walk. Onychomycosis can also be accompanied by a secondary bacterial or yeast infection in or about the nail plate.
People who suffer from chronic diseases, such as diabetes, circulatory problems, or immune-deficiency conditions, are especially prone to fungal nails. Other contributing factors may be a history of athlete's foot and excessive perspiration.
- 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.
- Shower shoes should be worn when possible in public areas.
- Shoes, socks, or hosiery should be changed at least once daily.
- Wear shoes that fit well and are made of materials that breathe.
- Don't apply polish to nails suspected of infection—those that are red, discolored, or swollen, for example.
Treatment of Fungal Toenails
A podiatrist can detect a fungal infection early, determine the cause, and form a suitable treatment plan, which may include prescribing topical or oral medication, and debridement (removal of diseased nail matter and debris) of an infected nail.
Trying to solve the infection without the qualified help of a Podiatrist can lead to more problems. With new technical advances in combination with simple preventive measures, the treatment of this lightly regarded health problems can often be successful.
Tips to help prevent recurrence of Nail Fungus
- Use topical medication periodically as maintenance, such as every other day every other week.This will limit the growth of the normal fungi and minimize fungal reservoir.
- Discard Old Shoes.Removes external fungal source.
- Alternate days wearing different pairs of shoes. Allows shoes to dry, reducing fungal environment.
- Wash feet regularly (daily).Decreases fungal presence on feet.
- Make an appointment at the first sign of a change in the toenail. Decreases the progression of the fungus infection and allows for quicker healing time with less spread and destruction of the toenails.
For additional information on fungal toenails please call Dr. Neal Houslanger and Dr. Matthew Kassnove at 631-654-3838.