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Posts for tag: Toenail Fungus
Do you think you have a toenail fungal infection? Find out why you shouldn’t just ignore it.
A toenail fungus can certainly be ugly to look at, causing your toenail to turn yellow and brittle. Of course, a fungal infection does more than just affect the physical appearance of your toenail, so it’s important that if you are experiencing symptoms of a toenail fungus that you visit one of our Torrance, CA podiatrists, Dr. Eric Feit or Dr. Alona Kashanian.
If you ignore a toenail fungal infection then you could end up dealing with any of these potential health problems:
Foot pain: A nail that has a fungus can become malformed. The nail may also thicken, which can cause pain. You may no longer be able to comfortably walk around in shoes without experiencing discomfort. If you do notice this problem it’s time you visited our Torrance, CA, foot doctors for care.
The spread of infection: A fungal infection won’t always just remain concentrated in the nail of your feet. Sometimes it can even spread to the skin around your foot. This can cause a nasty little condition known as athlete’s foot, which causes skin to become red, cracked, itchy and irritated. How does this infection spread? Fungus loves dark, warm environments, so if you wear shoes and socks all day you could be creating a perfect environment for the infection to spread.
A systemic infection: If you are someone who has been diagnosed with diabetes or other health problems that affect your immune system, then it’s particularly important that you seek immediate treatment for a toenail infection. By not doing so, you leave yourself open to severe health complications like cellulitis, a serious skin infection that will require antibiotics.
Nail loss: One common issue for those with toenail fungal infections is that sometimes the nail will separate from the nail bed. If this happens, the loose part of the nail will need to be removed by a medical professional. In some cases, the whole nail may actually be removed if it isn’t responding to any standard treatments.
Don’t let a fungal infection affect your foot health. The experts at Precision Foot and Ankle Centers in Torrance, CA are here to help. Don’t hesitate to give us a call today!
Preventing & Eliminating Fungal Toenails
Also known as onychomycosis, toenail fungus can be painful, irritating and embarrassing. When there is trauma to the nail, the nail bed is lifted allowing fungus to penetrate and invade the nail bed. Without treatment, the fungus can grow and spread in dark, warm, moist environments, such as socks and shoes.
Common signs and symptoms of toenail fungus include:
- Discoloring or yellowing of the nail
- Thickening or crumbling of the nail
- Swelling around the nail
- Disfigured nails
- Streaks or spots down the side of the nail
- Foul-smelling debris under the nail
- Pain and discomfort
- Complete nail loss
Prevention is key
Fungal infections can affect the fingernails as well as the toenails, but toenail fungus is more difficult to treat because toenails grow more slowly. Because removal of the fungus is challenging, prevention plays an important role in treatment.
- Keep nails neatly trimmed
- Practice good foot hygiene, including daily washing with soap and water; drying feet and toes carefully; and changing shoes regularly
- Always wear shoes in public areas, such as showers, locker rooms and pools
- Wear comfortable shoes that aren't too tight
- Avoid nail polish which can seal in fungus
Treatment of toenail fungus
If you do develop toenail fungus, especially if the infection becomes painful, visit Precision Foot and Ankle Centers. People with a chronic illness like diabetes should always see a podiatrist if they notice changes in their nails as it may be an indication of more serious problems.
To eliminate the fungus, a podiatrist may remove as much of the infected nail as possible by trimming, filing or dissolving it. Oral or topical antifungal medications may also be prescribed to treat the infection. Only for severe, chronic infections will surgical removal of the nail be recommended. Our Torrance office can help diagnose the cause of your toenail problems and make the best recommendation for treatment.