Tuesday, 06 July 2021 00:00

Am I at Risk for Toenail Fungus?

Onychomycosis is a contagious fungal infection of the toenails. Infected nails may appear discolored, thickened, brittle, and crumbly. Onychomycosis often affects the big and little toenails, but can affect any nail. Certain people are more at risk of contracting a fungal toenail infection than others. Since the fungus responsible for toenail infections thrives in warm and moist environments, those who live in hot, humid climates, sweat excessively, wear shoes and socks with poor ventilation, experience prolonged exposure to water, or frequent areas like public swimming pools and locker rooms, are more likely to incur an infection. People who are older or have underlying health conditions, such as diabetes or psoriasis, are also at an increased risk. Having certain pre-existing foot problems, including athlete’s foot, a fungal skin infection of the feet, or a previous toenail injury can also make you more susceptible to a fungal nail infection. If you suspect that you may have onychomycosis, please seek the care of a podiatrist.

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 Ernest Levi, DPM of Grand Central Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • 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

Treatment

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.

Prevention

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 New York, NY . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about How to Treat Your Toenail Fungus

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