Toenail fungus is common, but not all infections clear up easily. Scott Norris, DPM, and Camille Christensen, DPM, of C&S Foot and Ankle in McKees Rock, Pennsylvania, offer treatment for persistent or severe toenail fungus, helping you achieve healthy, clear nails as quickly as possible. Book your visit today online or by phone to get started.
Toenail fungus, also known as tinea unguium, is a common form of fungal infection, most commonly caused by a dermatophyte called tricophyton rubrum. While this fungus can also infect your fingernails, toenails are more susceptible. Athlete’s foot is a type of foot fungus that develops when tinea unguium infects the skin on your foot.
The fungi that cause a toenail infection usually enter through a crack or a cut in your toe. Once that fungus gets into the space between your nail bed and toenail, it rapidly multiplies. The fungus feeds on the keratin in your nails, slowly breaking them down.
The primary symptom of toenail fungus is thickened toenails that appear yellow or white in color. Your nails might also take on a crumbling appearance, and they can eventually begin to separate from the nail bed.
If you notice these changes, schedule a visit at C&S Foot and Ankle. All it takes is a quick diagnostic work-up to determine if you have toenail fungus.
There are several treatments for toenail fungus. Your podiatrist helps you choose the best treatment path depending on your infection and overall health.
Topical treatments seek to eliminate the infection externally. Some prescription medications go on in the form of a toenail polish, while others come as nail creams. You usually need to use a file to roughen the surface of the toenails, helping the medication penetrate more deeply.
Oral antifungal medications are an option that attacks the infection from within. It takes time to see results, and there’s a risk of side effects. Your podiatrist monitors your condition to ensure the infection is clearing up without causing harm.
You can prevent additional toenail fungus infections by embracing a few new habits. Begin by always wearing shower shoes when walking in shared areas like gym locker rooms, showers, and pool decks.
If you experience toenail fungus, treat all of your footwear to prevent reinfection. Wear shoes that fit properly and aren’t too tight or too loose. You should also take care when trimming your toenails to prevent breaking the skin, which allows fungi and bacteria to enter your body.
Trim your toenails after a shower or bath when they are softer and easier to cut. Trim straight across, and use a file to smooth sharp corners.
If you develop signs of a toenail fungus, book a visit at C&S Foot and Ankle online or by phone to begin treatment.