The fungi that cause toenail infections can completely penetrate the bed of the nail and can become difficult to remove without rigorous treatment. Since fungal nails are often very brittle, they can have sharp edges that cut your feet and toes, allowing bacteria and fungi to enter the body and cause an infection. Patients with diabetes need to be particularly wary of fungal nail infections since seemingly minor scrapes and cuts can rapidly progress to infected ulcers that could lead to toe amputation. Our new Nail Laser Center provides cutting-edge laser treatment for fungal toenails.
Preventing Toenail Fungus
Daily foot and nail care should be part of a regular routine for diabetic patients.
Some of the steps you should be including in your daily foot care regimen include the following:
- Keep your feet clean and dry—Wash your feet daily, particularly between the toes where fungi can grow unnoticed. Completely dry your feet before wearing breathable socks and footwear.
- Inspect your feet and nails regularly—Inspect your feet for cuts, blisters, and bruising. It may be helpful to use a mirror to inspect the bottom of your feet. Your toenails should be pink and smooth. Discolored and rough-looking nails may have a fungal infection.
- Protect your feet—Wear shoes and socks that are comfortable but that provide ample support. Specially made shoes are available to treat a variety of foot and ankle problems. When using gyms, locker rooms, and pool areas, always wear sandals or shower shoes to avoid coming into contact with fungi and bacteria.
- Nail trimming—Always trim straight across to avoid ingrown toenails. Be sure not to cut your nails too short. Don’t share your foot care tools with others, and always sterilize them after each use.
If you notice any changes in the color or texture of your toenails, it is important to bring it to the attention of your foot specialist as soon as possible to avoid the spread of the infection. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies and years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems. Common issues include 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 foot and ankle care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.