The toenails can become disfigured if they are infected by toenail fungus. The medical term for toenail fungus is onychomycosis, which can be quite unsightly. It is caused by a fungus that lives in warm and moist environments, including public swimming pools, shower room floors, and locker rooms. The fungus can enter the body through small cracks in the skin, and it feeds on keratin that is found on the hard surface of the toenails. Additional factors like poor foot hygiene or wearing socks that are too tight can contribute to the development of toenail fungus. Also, existing medical conditions, such as diabetes and poor circulation, may lead to toenail fungus. Toenail fungus symptoms include hard, brittle toenails that often turn white or yellow. In severe cases, the nail may separate from the nail bed, which may require medical attention. If you experience any symptoms of fungal infection on your toenails, it is suggested that you contact a podiatrist who specializes in diagnosing and treating this condition.
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 Gabe Rodriguez, DPM of Sioux Falls Foot Specialist. Our doctor 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 office located in Sioux Falls, SD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.