Toenail fungus is a common problem, especially for the elderly. While you may not have severe symptoms, it is important that nail fungus be treated by experts, like those at The Foot Doctors of Santa Cruz County. If left untreated, fungal infections could have lasting effects on your overall health. For treatment, book online or call for an appointment at their office in Watsonville or Santa Cruz, California.
Nail Fungus Q & A
What is toenail fungus?
Toenail fungus is a fungal infection that grows and thrives inside and around the nails of the feet. This condition can affect one or more nails at a time and worsens over time if not treated.
Toenail fungus often begins as a fungal infection in the skin, commonly known as athlete’s foot. The fungus often starts under the nail fold at the end of the nail. Over time, it grows underneath the nail and causes yellow or brownish discoloration, as well as other symptoms.
This is a fairly common issue, especially for seniors and those with chronic health conditions like diabetes and poor circulation. Excessive sweating and a history of athlete’s foot can increase your risk for toenail fungus.
What are the symptoms of toenail fungus?
Because toenail fungus is not necessarily painful, it often goes undiagnosed or untreated. If you have these symptoms related to one or more toenails, you should have an expert evaluation by your podiatrist:
Left untreated, a fungal infection may spread to other nails or to the skin. It may also cause secondary problems, like yeast or bacterial infections.
What is the treatment for toenail fungus?
After a thorough physical exam, your podiatrist suggests a combination of treatments to ensure a complete cure and prevent recurrence.
These treatments may include:
- Antifungal liquid soaps
- Topical medications
- Oral medications
A procedure called a nail debridement, where your podiatrist removes the infected part of the nail and the surrounding diseased tissues may be needed. In severe cases, surgical treatment could be used to remove the entire infected nail that does not respond to treatment.
What can be done to prevent toenail fungus?
To prevent toenail fungus, you can practice healthy foot and nail care. Inspect your nails and feet often for symptoms of a fungal infection, and use clean instruments for cutting and shaping nails.
Wear dry, clean socks, and use a quality talc-based powder in shoes, especially if you have excessively sweaty feet. Avoid wearing socks made of cotton or wool, as they tend to hold moisture, which encourages the growth of fungus.
Finally, if you think you may have a fungal infection, see your podiatrist at The Foot Doctors of Santa Cruz County for expert diagnosis and a cure.
For treatment of your toenail fungus, call or book an appointment online today.