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Walking barefoot at the gym may be putting you at risk for unsightly fungal nails. At InStride Family Foot Care, with offices in Albemarle, Concord, Matthews, Wake Forest, and Monroe, Gastonia, and two clinics in Charlotte, North Carolina, the skilled podiatry team understands how yellowed, infected toenails can affect your self-esteem. Comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for fungal nails, including topical medications, are available to clear the infection and prevent it from spreading to other areas of your body. If you notice changes in your nail color or thickness, schedule an evaluation online or by calling the InStride Family Foot Care office nearest you.
Fungal nails develop when you come into contact with bacteria that enters your body through small cracks in the skin of your feet.
In many cases, you pick up a fungal infection if you don’t wear shoes in public bathrooms, gyms, or pools. You may also be at greater risk for fungal infections when your footwear doesn’t promote good ventilation and your feet are often hot and sweaty.
Toenails that have a fungal infection become discolored, often appearing yellow. The affected nail also becomes thicker and appears ragged or distorted.
As the fungal infection in the nail becomes more advanced, it can cause severe pain and make walking difficult. The infection can also spread to other parts of your body if left untreated.
The podiatric team at InStride Family Foot Care offers comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for fungal nails in-office to prevent long-term complications and ease pain. You should schedule an appointment as soon as you notice changes in the color or thickness of your nail. The podiatrists perform a foot exam and test the fungus to determine its type.
The team can clear the fungus with topical, over-the-counter antifungal creams and ointments.
If topical medicines aren’t enough to treat the active infection, you may also need to take oral antifungal medications and use a special medicated nail polish to rid yourself of the fungus.
In some cases, your provider may need to remove part or all of the affected toenail to relieve pressure on the toe causing pain. They can also trim your nails to a shorter length to make treatment more effective.
In addition to treating active fungal infections, your InStride Family Foot Care provider can recommend lifestyle changes that reduce your risk for future infections. This may include suggestions for ventilated footwear to prevent moisture buildup when wearing closed-toe shoes.
If you’re prone to sweaty feet, your InStride Family Foot Care recommends changing your socks one or more times a day and using over-the-counter powders and other products to absorb moisture. You also need to avoid going barefoot, especially in public places.
If you have thick or discolored toenails, don’t delay a diagnostic evaluation for fungal nails. You can schedule a consultation at InStride Family Foot Care online or by calling the office nearest you.