The summer months are the time when many people expose their toes to the world, walking barefoot on the beach and at the pool. But all of this barefoot walking can unfortunately increase your risk of developing a fungal infection of the toenails. Toenail fungus usually presents as thickening and discoloration of the toenails. It is highly contagious, and can spread from an infected surface or person to you. To minimize your risk of contracting this difficult-to-treat infection, it is suggested that you wear shoes when frequenting public areas, especially if those areas are warm, humid, and moist - think public pools, showers, and locker rooms. You should also avoid sharing personal items, such as shoes, socks, and towels, with other people. Toenail fungus infections can affect anyone, but are generally more common in older individuals and those with nail injuries, weakened immune systems, or diabetes. If you are suffering from toenail fungus, a podiatrist can help you treat this condition.
If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists of New Tampa Foot & Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.
In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.
In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Wesley Chapel, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.