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Posts for tag: toenail fungus

By Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates
May 28, 2020
Category: Foot Care
Tags: toenail fungus  
Onychomycosis is the technical term for toenail fungus. It’s when fungus gets under the nail and causes an infection. You’ll notice that the nail changes color and starts emitting an odor. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the other toes and even the fingers. The best thing to do is to schedule an appointment with your local podiatrist. 
What Causes Toenail Fungus?
Your feet are vulnerable to fungi and bacteria due to their location on the body. This is especially true if you go barefoot in damp areas like locker rooms, showers, and swimming pools. Your feet come in direct contact with these pathogens. An injury to the nail bed also opens your body up to infection. Even the smallest cut provides an opening for bacteria. Other possible risk factors include pre-existing medical conditions like immune-deficiency, diabetes, circulatory problems, and other chronic illnesses. 
Podiatry Treatment for Toenail Fungus
Schedule an appointment with your podiatrist right away when you notice differences in the appearance of your toenail. This includes any thickening, discoloration, or deformity. Your podiatrist will first need to make a diagnosis before treatment starts. This is done through a simple lab test. 
The first line of treatment includes oral and topical antifungal. Topical antifungal medication or cream is applied directly to the nail. Oral antifungal is taken just like regular medication. These are also more effective. You will take the oral antifungal for approximately three months.
For severe cases, patients require surgery. That’s why it’s so important to seek treatment from your foot doctor right away. They can help you before it gets to this point. Otherwise, your podiatrist performs a temporary removal of the nail. This gives your doctor space to evenly apply the topical antifungal.  
Toenails that don’t respond to any treatment need permanent nail removal. This eliminates the fungal infection while getting rid of the damaged nail.
At-Home Solutions for Toenail Fungus
There are a few things you can do at home to help treat your toenail fungus. A strict cleaning regime can relieve mild infections. Patients have found success in filing off the white marks and then applying over-the-counter antifungal agents. These do not stop infections from coming back, which is why we encourage patients to seek treatment from a medical professional.
By Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates
November 27, 2019
Category: Podiatry
Tags: toenail fungus  

Toenail fungus is a common problem that can be rather challenging to get rid of. While toenail fungus can happen to anyone it most often occurs in older adults. If you are noticing that one of your toenails has thickened, become brittle and turned yellow then chances are good that you are dealing with a toenail fungus.

What causes a fungal infection in the toenail?

A toenail fungal infection, known as onychomycosis, is the result of a fungal known as a dermatophyte. While less common, molds and yeasts can also infect the toenails. The reason older adults are more prone to fungal nail infections is because nails dry out as we age, which leads to cracks within the nail. These cracks make it easier for a fungal infection to get inside the nail.

Fungal is all around us. They are more often found in warm, dark, and damp places such as communal locker rooms and showers, gyms, and local swimming pools. It’s also possible to get a toenail fungus from a nail salon so it’s important to know the hygiene and sterilization practices of your local nail salon to make sure that you aren’t at risk for developing a fungal infection.

Treating Toenail Fungus

The good news it that healthy individuals may be able to tackle their toenail fungus on their own with over-the-counter medication. If you don’t have a weak immune system, diabetes or circulation problems then you may choose to try at-home treatments first before turning to a doctor. Those with circulation disorders or diabetes should see their podiatrist right away for treatment if they notice symptoms of a fungal infection. Not seeking treatment could greatly increase a person’s risk for bacterial infections and other potentially serious complications.

There are many over-the-counter products available to treat fungal infections. You will want to find a treatment that is geared specifically to treating fungal infections of the nail. Talk with your local pharmacist to find out the best treatment option. Over-the-counter antifungal medications often come in the form of a cream, ointment or nail polish that you will need to apply regularly for several weeks. If these medications don’t work then it’s time to talk with your foot doctor.

A foot doctor offers a variety of effective strategies for getting rid of toenail fungal infections. The most common treatment option is an oral antifungal medication that works systemically to kill the fungus. This medication is taken for several weeks but you won’t actually see results until the nail grows out clear, which can take up to four months or longer.

Other treatment options include:

  • Medicated nail polish
  • Laser fungal treatment
  • Nail removal surgery (in rare cases)

If you are dealing with a pesky nail fungus then turn to your podiatrist to discover the best strategies for getting rid of this infection as quickly as possible.

By Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates
February 18, 2016
Category: Foot Health
Tags: toenail fungus  

Find out how to tackle your toenail fungus problems and say goodbye to unsightly toenails.

Toenail fungus can be downright annoying and embarrassing. Find out what could be to blame for your infection and when to turn to our toenail fungusteam of Boise podiatrists for care.

The Causes of Toenail Fungus

Most nail fungal infections are caused by a dermatophyte. However, yeasts or molds can also be to blame. While some fungi are beneficial others can cause infections. Fungi like to live in warm environments like showers and can easily get into the skin through the smallest of cuts (even ones you can’t see). If your toenails are exposed to moist, warm environments they are more susceptible to developing a toenail fungus.

Here are some of the risk factors for developing a nail fungus:

  • Age
  • Working in environments that are conducive to fungal growth
  • Heavily perspiring
  • Not wearing protective footwear in communal areas like gyms and locker rooms
  • Having diabetes or a weakened immune system
  • Living with someone who has a toenail fungal infection

As with any health issues, prevention is key. If you are at a higher risk of developing a toenail fungus talk to your Boise foot doctor about the best ways to prevent a fungal infection from happening to you.

What Can Be Done

There are many over-the-counter medications that are usually the best line of defense. This is usually the first thing you should try. Sometimes simple at-home care and non-prescription medications are enough to kill a simple fungal infection. But if you find that these treatments aren’t doing the trick then it’s time to come in for treatment. Also, if you have diabetes, circulation problems or a weakened immune system it’s important that you visit us right away for treatment if you develop symptoms of a toenail fungal infection.

The most common way we treat toenail fungal infections is with medications. This can come in the form of an oral antifungal, which will need to be taken for several weeks. The purpose of these medications is to promote healthy nail growth that is free of infection.

Medicated nail polish or a cream may also be prescribed for the nail. If these medications still don’t offer relief then you may want to consider laser therapy or even surgery to remove the infected nail.

Don’t let a toenail fungus affect your foot health. Turn to Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates in Boise for all of your foot care needs.