While it is usually painless and generally harmless, a toenail fungal infection becomes a more likely occurrence as you get older and as your immune defenses weaken. The terrible odor and brittle nails that often accompany this condition as it progresses are often the major reasons that people seek treatment. You can contract a microbial infection like toenail fungus in public areas such as gyms, pool areas, showers, and locker rooms, so always protect your feet with shower shoes or at least sandals.
Tips for toenail fungus treatment and prevention
Depending on the severity of your fungal toenail infection, various treatments are available.
- Antifungal medications—Creams, ointments, and powders containing antifungal agents can fight the fungi on the outside, while oral medications can go to work on the inside.
- Debriding of the toenail—To help make the application of antifungals more effective, the broken and brittle nails can be sanded down to allow deeper penetration into the nail.
- Nail removal may be required—If the infection is quite advanced, the nail may fall off on its own or it will need to be surgically removed. Once the nail is removed the infection can be attacked directly and a new nail will eventually grow.
- How to avoid toenail infections—As mentioned before, always wear shower shoes or sandals in public facilities, and strive to keep your feet clean and dry on a daily basis. Avoid cutting your toenails too short to help prevent an ingrown toenail and to help keep the fungus from getting under your toenails.
If you are experiencing fungal toenail problems, see your foot doctor to receive the proper diagnosis and treatment. Call Syracuse Podiatry located in East Syracuse, New York. Podiatrists Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, Dr. Payel Ghosh and their staff will help you diagnose and treat your foot or ankle condition. Call 315-446-3668 or contact us online today.