Causes of Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a common and bothersome condition that affects millions of people worldwide. This fungal infection occurs when microscopic fungi, such as dermatophytes or yeast, penetrate the nail bed through small cuts or openings. The warm and damp environment inside closed-toe shoes provides an ideal breeding ground for the fungi to thrive. The infection often starts with a white or yellow spot under the nail and gradually spreads, causing the nail to become discolored, thickened, and brittle. Individuals with compromised immune systems, or who have diabetes or poor circulation are generally at a higher risk. Additionally, frequent exposure to moist environments, wearing tight-fitting shoes, or walking barefoot in public places may also increase the likelihood of developing toenail fungus. Early detection and proper treatment are essential in preventing the spread of the infection and can help restore healthy toenails. Toenail fungus can be treated by a podiatrist, and it is suggested that you contact this type of doctor for relief options that are correct for you.
If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists of InStride Family Foot Care. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
- Warped or oddly shaped nails
- Yellowish nails
- Loose/separated nail
- Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
- Brittle, broken, thickened nail
If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.
In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.
In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Concord, Charlotte, and Salisbury, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.