As the weather gets warmer, many people will find themselves in sandals, flip flops, and open-toed shoes. The last thing we want is yellow and ugly looking toenails. Nail fungus is not a pleasant thing to look at.
While it’s not pretty, it’s a very common condition. It can start out fairly mild, with small yellow and white spots under the tips of your toenails. This may not bother some people enough to do anything about it. And yet if it’s not properly treated, the infection can go deeper into the nails and cause them to harden, discolor even more, and then crumble and possibly break apart. The nails can also get distorted in shape and have a bad smell.
Dr. Ryan Golub, DPM, of Arizona Foot Health in Phoenix deals with many issues affecting feet. If you have athlete’s foot, or if the problem is persistent and keeps coming back, Dr. Golub and his team can help you.
Causes of toenail fungus and ways to prevent it
Some things can lead to a higher chance of developing toenail fungus. For example, as we age our nails can become more dry and brittle, and if they crack, that is where fungi can enter. Other factors can include:
- Reduced blood flow to your feet
- Sweaty feet
- Athlete’s foot
- Walking barefoot in communal spaces
Considering the factors above, washing your hands and feet regularly can help. You can also use a moisturizer on your feet, and if you have athlete's foot, make sure you treat it with cream, powder, or spray. You can also use antifungal powders or sprays in your socks and shoes.
Grooming is important, too. Keep your toenails trimmed and make sure you wash the clippers and file after you’re through. And if you go for foot massages or pedicures, make sure the place is clean and that they don’t use the same tools on each client.
Wear sweat-absorbing socks whenever you can and always have an extra pair with you to change into if your feet feel moist. And wear shower shoes when you’re in public facilities, such as pools, locker rooms, or bathrooms.
Treat your toenail fungus
If you have toenail fungus, it’s best to treat it sooner than later. First, this will prevent you from spreading it to others. Second, it can actually save your nail and make it more likely that a new, healthy toenail can grow back.
When you visit the office, the nail can be trimmed and cleaned by the doctor or staff, and there is a variety of topical treatments available. They might include Amorolfine®, Ciclopirox®, Efinaconazole®, or Tavaborole®. And if your condition is more serious, you may be prescribed antifungal pills.
If you have toenail fungus or want to learn more about how to prevent it, book an appointment online or over the phone with Arizona Foot Health today.