We don’t often pay much attention to our feet until they hurt or a problem develops, then it is often too late and we are left with having to treat a problem that may have been completely preventable. A fungus infection unfortunately is one of these types of conditions that can be prevented if you take proper care in certain environments. Like an enemy covered in camouflage and lurking in the bushes that you can’t see, fungus is just waiting to wage war against vulnerable feet. Fungal toenails can be unsightly and uncomfortable, but we can help you treat it and prevent it.
Waging War Against Fungus
The fungus that causes a nail infection is usually found in places that are warm and damp such as public saunas, showers, locker rooms and pool areas. Unfortunately, your shoes, being a warm, sweaty place, are also a prime breeding ground once the fungus has taken root on your feet.
If you have a small space between the nail and the nail bed, an injury to your nail, or a history of athlete’s foot, you are at risk for fungal toenails. Having excessively sweaty feet can also increase your vulnerability for this condition. Once the fungus invades and starts to grow under the nail, it causes discoloration, thick and brittle nails, and in some cases even a foul smell. It typically does not cause any pain, which makes it a problem that is commonly ignored. It can progress over time however, infecting other nails and cause further damage, so it is important to treat it as soon as you notice symptoms developing.
Fighting Back with Fungal Toenail Treatment
The sooner you can get on the defense the better when dealing with nail fungus. A nail infection can be difficult to eliminate but with the proper treatment provided by Lawrence Kales, DPM, your nails can look healthy once again. To start, we may take a sample of the keratin off the top of your nail to confirm that your symptoms are due to fungus. Once it is diagnosed, we will develop a fungal toenail treatment plan based on the severity of your condition. In most cases treatment begins with topical and oral medications. Anti-fungal ointments and lotions can help eliminate the infection on the surface of the nail, and sprays and powders can be applied to your footwear to prevent re-infection. Oral medications can reach the infection in the tissue underneath the nail, but there can be some side effects and it may take a long time.
Laser therapy is a third treatment option that uses an intense light to target the fungus without damaging the nail or surrounding tissue. Once the fungus is eradicated, a new healthy nail can begin to grow. This procedure is painless and can be done right here in our office. The amount of treatments required will depend on the severity of your condition.
We Are Here To Help
When it comes to dealing with a foot problem—you are not alone. If you have embarrassing, discolored fungal toenails, allow us to treat the problem right and get your feet back to looking and feeling great once again. If you see a small spot on your nail, it could be the start of a fungal infection and we can stop it before it starts. We can also share some great preventative steps to take so you never have to deal with it again. Contact Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle in Hudson, FL at (727) 868-2128 or in Spring Hill, FL at (352) 683-5799 for an appointment today.