Do You Have a Fungal Toenail?
You look down one day and notice that you have a nail that seems yellowish and discolored compared to the rest of your toenails. Over time, the nail becomes thick and then the edges start to crumble. These are signs of a toenail infected with a fungus. At Pasco-Hernando Podiatry, fungal toenails are a condition that we treat frequently.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Even if they are not causing you any pain, it’s important to get changes in toenails checked by our podiatrist, Dr. Lawrence J. Kales. The foot doctor will examine your toenails and feet and rule out other conditions such as athlete’s foot or poor circulation. The podiatrist may also take a culture from your nail to determine the specific fungus causing the infection.
Once a diagnosis of fungal nail has been confirmed, the podiatrist will decide on the best treatment for you. Knowing the exact type of fungus will allow the foot doctor to prescribe an anti-fungal medication to eliminate the fungus. The medication may be oral or topical. We also offer laser therapy—the newest way to eliminate infection and restore the appearance of your toenail.
Fungal toenails, like other fungal infections, are highly contagious and spread by direct contact. You can lower your risk of getting a fungal toenail by observing the following precautions:
Always wear shower shoes or flip-flops in public places where others walk barefoot and especially in environments that tend to be warm and moist like gym showers and communal pools. These are areas where fungi flourish.
At the nail salon, bring your own clippers, cuticle trimmers and emery boards. Be sure that the salon you choose uses proper sanitizing methods for foot baths and that employees wash their hands after every client.
Don’t share shoes, socks, towels, soap or other items that touch someone else’s feet.
Rotate your footwear; avoiding wearing the same pair of shoes multiple days in a row.
Keep feet dry. Change your socks as soon as you notice they are damp.