Caring for your feet becomes even more vital as summer approaches. Toenail fungus grows slowly over a long period of time and may not start presenting symptoms until its advanced stages. However, catching toenail fungus early allows your doctor to treat it early. Find out more about toenail fungus and its treatments with Dr. Daniel Roche, a podiatrist at Roche Podiatry Group in Edison and Woodbridge, NJ.
Here are some FAQs about toenail fungus
What is toenail fungus?
Toenail fungus, onychomycosis, is caused by bacteria and fungi. It is a slow-growing infection with annoying and unsightly symptoms. Symptoms include:
- Yellow or white toenails
- Thickening or crumbling of your nail
- Yellow discoloration of the nail
- Misshapen nails
- Nails which separate from the nail bed
How do people get toenail fungus?
Damp areas such as public gyms, shower stalls or swimming pools usually harbor bacteria and fungi. The other issue is that it's contagious.
Other ways to get toenail fungus is,
- Wearing tight-fitting shoes or tight hosiery causing trauma to feet, making it easy for bacteria to enter.
- Athletes using showers without proper footwear, like flip flops, and being injured make it easier for bacteria to enter.
- Dry feet have a higher risk for developing toenail fungus.
- Diabetics, who have a higher risk of contracting a toenail fungus because of a compromised immune system.
How do you properly care for feet?
Preventing toenail fungus is as easy as preventing contact with the fungus itself. It often grows in damp, dark areas and is passed from person to person by direct contact. Always wear shower shoes in places like public pools or locker rooms. Be sure to always keep your feet clean and dry and never share socks or towels. Those with diabetes, who sweat heavily, have conditions which cause reduced blood flow or having a minor skin condition can increase your chances of toenail fungus.
Treating Toenail Fungus
Treating toenail fungus will usually begin with over-the-counter antifungal lacquers or ointments. If over-the-counter treatments fail to provide results, prescription-strength versions may prove more effective. Partial or full toenail removal may become necessary in severe situations.
For more information on toenail fungus and its treatment, please contact your podiatrist Dr. Roche at Roche Podiatry Group in Edison and Woodbridge, NJ, today!