Dealing with a toenail fungal infection can be both difficult and unpleasant. When fungi attacks the nails, it can leave them yellowed, thick, split, and damaged. It can also leave you ditching your favorite pair of flip flops, or even hiding your feet in embarrassment when around other people. But aesthetics aside, nail fungus can have other, potential, effects that are even more concerning. Eventually, it’s possible for walking to become painful, or for the infection to spread. At which point, removing the nail might be necessary.
Unfortunately, this common condition doesn’t go way on its own. Instead, its capacity to get worse, and to impact your health, reveals that treatment, and preventative measures, are the keys to stopping a toenail infection from worsening.
The Fight Against Fungus
While you may have picked up the fungus from something as simple strolling around the pool barefoot, it’s not so simple to treat or eliminate it. This is one reason why early detection and treatment always remains the preferred route. That being said, steps towards getting rid of the infection can go in several directions.
You can’t deny that over the counter creams and topical applications offer convenience. Yes, it’s pretty natural to like the idea of purchasing a solution at your nearby drugstore. However, many of these products lack that ability to provide effective treatment is less reliable because many don’t penetrate deep enough to fully eradicate the fungus. The same can be said for plenty of home remedies. Seeking treatment from a professional foot doctor is often the best way to go and fight the good fight against fungus. A podiatrist will evaluate your condition and then based on the severity of the infection, go over your options.
Sometimes, a topical medication is a part of the plan. In other cases, these treatment methods may be recommended:
- The removal of thicker portions of the nail to provide pain relief (Debridement)
- Getting rid of the fungus using laser treatments
- Oral medications
Preventive Steps For Fungus-Free Feet
Even if you’ve kicked a fungal infection through treatment, it can come back. In order to keep it from returning and keep your feet healthy, here are several important steps to follow:
- Keep your feet clean: Wash them regularly with soap and water, then dry them thoroughly
- Keep your nails trimmed and make sure that toenail clippers, and grooming tools, are sanitized before using them.
- Wear clean shoes that are made of breathable materials
- Make sure to change your socks if they are dirty or damp
- Put on shower shoes in public areas, like a gym locker room or pool shower area.
Discovering Your Treatment Options
Toenail fungus may seem like a relatively small issue, but its capacity to get in between you, your lifestyle, and your foot health, is greater than you may realize. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we use our experience and knowledge to help patients with all kinds of foot-related problems, from the big to the seemingly small.
If you are dealing with nail fungus or another foot issue, please call us at 562-420-9800, today, or request an appointment at our Long Beach office. This is the first step to determining which course of treatment is right for you and what we can do to help you achieve happier, healthier feet.