Are you experiencing signs of toenail fungus? This condition is very common and has an unwieldy name—onychomycosis. There are actually several different species of fungi that cause the toenail infection, but the primary culprit is the same fungus that causes athlete’s foot.
The signs and symptoms of toenail fungus
Discoloration and yellowing of the nail bed are pretty obvious signs, but the very first indication that the fungi have entered your nail bed is a tiny white or yellow spot that appears under the tip. As the fungus gains a foothold (ha!), your nail will usually become quite thick and more brittle and pieces may flake off. Sometimes the nail will actually fall off, which is ideal for treatment purposes, so at least see your podiatrist now if you have waited until this stage. Laser therapy and antifungal meds can eliminate the nail fungus quickly.
Preventing toenail fungus
You can help prevent toenail fungus by doing the following:
- Wear well fitting, breathable shoes—Fungi thrive in moist, warm, and wet environments like your shoes. Wearing shoes that don’t crowd your toes and that help to wick away moisture along with your socks is an excellent strategy for preventing fungi growth.
- Protect your feet—Always pay attention to the environment that your feet inhabit. Wear shower shoes in public pool areas and locker rooms, and clean and disinfect your feet on a regular basis.
If you notice any of the signs of a toenail fungus infection, see your podiatrist right away. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists uses advanced technologies and years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including sports injuries, joint pain, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide high quality podiatric care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown, PA. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.