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Fungal Nails 101

Monday, 31 August 2020 00:00

When fungus gets under the toenail, it begins to feed on the keratin that makes up the nail. While an infected nail is easy to treat in the early stages, the infection becomes more and more difficult to manage as it grows. Common risk factors for developing a fungal nail infection may include trauma, poor hygiene, sweating, and walking barefoot in moist environments. Toenails that have been infected by a fungus will become brittle, crumble, and turn yellowish in color. Treatments for infected toenails can include topical medications, oral medications, and laser treatment. If you believe that you are afflicted with a toenail fungus, it is important that you consult with a podiatrist for proper care and treatment.

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 North Bay Ankle & Foot Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • 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

Treatment

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.

Prevention

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.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Petaluma and Sonoma, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Treating Toenail Fungus
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