Also known as onychomycosis, fungal infection of the toenail is among the most common foot complaints. Fungus can easily spread further into the toenail, causing discoloration and crumbling edges in the nail. Although, in many cases, it is mostly a cosmetic concern, if an infection occurs, treatment is necessary. Fortunately, there are various medications that can be used to treat toenail fungus.
Toenail Fungus CausesToenail fungus occurs when toes have been subject to fungi. This is not uncommon, due to toenails often being confined to shoes, which are often dark and moist. This environment can promote fungus growth. Furthermore, because toes have reduced blood circulation while in shoes, the body has more of a difficulty detecting and elimination a fungal infection.
Toenail Fungus Symptoms
Symptoms include unsightly thick toenails with a yellow color and foul smell. Usually the problem is seen as cosmetic and can go for years without causing pain. However, if ignored, the infection can spread to other toenails or even the fingernails. People with chronic diseases such as diabetes, circulatory problems and immune-deficiency conditions are more prone to the development of toenail fungus.
Toenail Fungus Prevention
Proper hygiene such as keeping the feet clean and dry can prevent this embarrassing ailment. Fungus usually develops and grows in a warm, dark and humid environment. Washing the feet with soap and water and thoroughly drying afterward is one of the first lines of defense against developing toenail fungus. Other methods of prevention include wearing well-fitting shoes that are breathable. Clipping the toenails straight across so they do not extend past the tip of the toe can help prevent toenail fungus. Disinfect home pedicure tools including toenail clippers or scissors and don’t apply polish to nails suspected of fungal infection. Pay special attention to keeping the feet protected in typical breeding grounds for fungi, which include swimming pools, public showers and locker rooms.
Toenail Fungus Treatment
Depending on the nature and severity of the infection, treatments can vary. Over the counter liquid antifungal medications may prove effective in treating toenail fungus. Topical or oral medication may be prescribed, as well. Removal of the fungal toenail can effectively treat the condition.
Do you suffer from toenail fungus or other foot problems? Help is at hand, please contact West Medical at (855) 690-0565, and our helpful medical staff will answer any questions you may have.
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