Fungal infections can disrupt your normal, peaceful life. All it takes is a tiny break in the skin for fungus to enter, and if it takes up camp under your toenail, well you’ve got a fight on your hands! Toenail fungus is stubborn and can easily spread, so treating it at the first signs of trouble is essential to winning the battle against it. Knowing the symptoms is key to catching it early, so arm yourself with this valuable information to claim victory over the fungi that has found you!
Tell-Tale Signs of Fungal Toenails: Spotting the Enemy!
The first thing you may notice is a white or yellowish spot on your toenail. This discoloration can take over and the nail can eventually become twisted and distorted as it thickens. A fungal nail can also be crumbly, brittle, and even emit an odor. Debris can begin collecting beneath it as the infection may cause the nail to be lifted from its bed. Also referred to as onychomycosis, toenail fungus is not only unattractive, it can be downright uncomfortable, too. Don’t wait until you have difficulty wearing shoes or walking before you take a stand!
Where Fungus Frequents: Invasion Alert!
Toenail fungus hides in warm, moist environments — places like the inside of your own shoes! That’s why you should always rotate the shoes you wear so they have time to dry out. Opt for a pair made from breathable materials, change socks if they become damp, and keep feet clean and dry. Never shun footwear completely, though, as going barefoot in public places is an invitation for trouble. Gym locker rooms and showers, saunas and pool sides are all favorite hangouts of fungi, so beware! Always wear shower shoes when you visit such places to protect your feet from an all-out fungal attack. Don’t share towels, socks, or nail clippers, either, since fungi likes to find new friends!
How to Counter Attack When Fungi Strikes
If toenail fungus does indeed take hold, there are topical treatments that you can find over-the-counter, but these typically don’t yield much success. We can provide you with prescription strength medication, both oral and topical, to achieve better results. In severe cases, we can perform surgical procedures to partially — or completely – remove the damaged nail, making way for a new, healthy one to grow in and replace it.
In the meantime, protect yourself by using anti-fungal powders or sprays to treat your feet as well as the inside of your shoes. Keep nails trimmed even with the tips of your toes, and if you decide to get a pedicure, pay a pre-visit or ask questions to ensure the spa practices proper sanitation. Finally, don’t be afraid to call in the troupes at Associates in Podiatry for help! You can reach our Princeton, NJ office by dialing (609) 924-8333. Or, contact our Roselle Park location by calling (908) 687-5757. We will help you fight off that fungal infection and protect you from getting any more!