Posts for tag: Toenail Fungus
Treating toenail fungus
Toenail fungus--it's one of the most common podiatric problems children, teens, and adults have. Causing thickened, yellow, brittle nails, onychomycosis (the medical name for toenail fungus) spreads easily and can be stubborn to treat. If you see one or more of your toenails changing shape, color, and texture, see your foot doctor right away. They have the expertise and treatments to give you ten clear toenails once again.
How toenail fungus starts
The micro-organism thrives in dark, moist environments--sweaty socks and sneakers being prime candidates. Additionally, shared towels, nail clippers, shower room floors, and pool decks breed toenail and Athlete's Foot fungus. In fact, if you suffer periodic outbreaks of itchy, uncomfortable Athlete's Foot, you're more prone to onychomycosis, says the American Academy of Dermatology.
Conquering toenail fungus
Your foot doctor sees scores of patients with toenail fungus. Visual inspection is the main diagnostic tool, and for mild cases of onychomycosis, the podiatrist may recommend creams or ointments applied topically. Oral medications are an option as well.
Additionally, modern podiatry offers innovative laser treatments which kill the micro-organism right where it lives. Painless and very effective, laser treatments are applied to all ten toenails to prevent re-infection.
Unfortunately, toenail fungal infections can become quite severe and spread to the nail bed. When infection is severe, the podiatrist may advise complete removal of the toenail to prevent further problems.
Prevention is best
Of course, if you can avoid toenail fungus, your feet and nails will look and feel their best, and you won't be embarrassed to wear open-toed shoes or sandals in the warm weather. However, some people are more prone to this common infection--diabetics, those with poor peripheral circulation and individuals who are immunosuppressed.
Regardless, your podiatrist recommends these preventive measures for healthy, fungus-free nails:
- Wash your feet with soap and water daily, and dry them with a clean towel.
- Clip your toenails straight across with a clean clippers.
- Wear clean socks daily.
- Change your gym shoes after a workout. In fact, alternate pairs if possible, letting your footwear dry out between wearings.
- Wear flip-flops or shower sandals in the locker room and poolside, too.
As the weather heats up, you may begin pulling your summer clothing and sandals out from the back of your closet. However, after keeping your feet in socks and slippers all winter, you may notice that your toenails look a little “funky”. Luckily, your podiatrist can help. Toenail fungus is a common and treatable condition which affects many people everywhere. Learn more about toenail fungus with help from your podiatrists at Family Foot and Ankle Center with offices in Fairfax, Reston, McLean, and Ashburn, VA.
What causes toenail fungus?
Fungi love moist, warm environments and do not need light in order to grow. This makes your toes and feet, routinely tucked inside socks and shoes, the perfect breeding ground for fungi. The fungi enter the skin through tiny cuts or scrapes and through tiny separations between the nail bed and toenail. Those who are often in warm, moist environments like gym locker rooms and public pools are more at-risk for toenail fungus. Additionally, males, those with decreased blood flow, and individuals who are of older age are at-risk for toenail fungus.
Identifying Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus has some tell-tale symptoms. It begins as a white or yellow dot on the toenail and presents more symptoms over time. They include:
- a thickened nail
- a yellowed nail
- a nail with crumbling edges
- a nail with a dull or matte finish instead of shine
- distorted shape
- separation of the nail and nail bed
How can lasers treat toenail fungus?
There are many over-the-counter remedies for toenail fungus. However, these remedies work over long periods of time with continued use. If over-the-counter medications do not yield results, it may be time to see your podiatrist. FDA-Approved laser treatment for toenail fungus, available at Family Foot and Ankle Care, has proven effective and has no known side effects. The laser generates heat. The pigments in the affected toenail absorb the heat, which kills the fungal cells.
For more information on laser treatments for toenail fungus, please contact your podiatrist at Family Foot and Ankle Center. Call your local office or visit www.familyfootandankle.com to schedule your appointment today!
Fairfax, VA - (703) 273-9818
Reston, VA - (703) 723-2719
McLean, VA - (703) 556-8637
Ashburn, VA - (703) 723-9267
Preventing Toenail Fungus for Healthy, Attractive Summer Feet
How to Prevent Pesky Toenail Fungus
- Wear shower shoes at public pools and locker rooms
- Never share nail clippers or files
- Wear dry shoes that allow air to circulate around your feet
- Avoid injury to your nail, such as cutting it too short
- Inspect your feet and toes regularly
- Trim your toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenail infections
- Wear open-toed shoes if weather permits
- Avoid wearing nail polish and disinfect pedicure tools
- Wear clean, dry cotton socks that provide breathing room and whisk away moisture
- Walking barefoot in wet public areas. Walking without shoes in swimming pools, showers or gyms can increase your chances of a fungal infection.
- Sweating heavily. If your feet are constantly sweaty, fungus will be more likely to survive and thrive near your toes in your shoe.
- Diabetes. Diabetes restricts the flow of blood to the extremities. Because of this, your immune system will be less prepared to fight off the fungal infection.
- Poor shoes. If you wear shoes that do not ventilate or effectively absorb perspiration well, fungus will be able to thrive near your feet.
Options To Treat Fungal Toenails
Toenail fungus is an embarrassing problem that can cause foot pain and lead to the loss of a nail over time if it’s not properly treated. Learn more about this foot issue and how you can get the most technologically advanced help available from the Reston laser toenail fungus treatment office of Dr. Richard S. Mendelsohn, D.P.M., F.A.C.F.A.S.
What Is Toenail Fungus?
Toenail fungus is a growth that begins beneath the tip of your nail. Its official name is “onychomycosis” or “tinea unguium.” The fungus, if not eliminated before it has a chance to get stronger, will eventually find its way deeper and deeper into the nail bed until it has completely taken over. In a worst case scenario, the nail gets thick, dark or yellow and becomes painful when you wear closed-toed shoes. Sometimes the fungus will begin to spread to all of the toes and Reston laser toenail fungus treatment is the best way to stop it in its tracks.
How Can Fungus on the Toes Be Prevented?
Nail fungus thrives in warm, wet environments like public swimming pools in the summertime and hot tubs. To prevent the growth of fungus on your toenails, follow these simple tips:
- avoid keeping your feet in moisture for long periods of time, such as a wet pair of socks
- wash your feet thoroughly with clean water after leaving a pool or beach
- avoid walking outside barefoot (especially when there’s moisture on the ground)
- wear flip flops when you shower in a public gym or dorm bathroom
- inspect your toenails carefully for cuts, separations and hangnails where fungus can easily find a way into the nail bed (this needs to be thoroughly cleaned and treated)
If you already have symptoms of a toenail fungus, you can take steps to reverse it by applying an anti-fungal product, but in severe cases you need professional help from a podiatrist.
Toenail Fungus Treatment
If your toenail fungus problem has gone beyond prevention steps, schedule an appointment with Reston laser toenail fungus treatment Dr. Richard S. Mendelsohn today. He will evaluate your problem and consult you about the latest and most effective treatment for this common problem. His office can be reached at (703) 273-9818 or by visiting http://www.familyfootandankle.com to make an appointment request online.