Getting Rid of Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is a very common condition that is usually painless and generally harmless, but it can cause unsightly sights and smells, and lead to the formation of brittle, discolored toenails. Older folks, and people who perspire heavily are more prone to developing toenail fungus. It occurs more frequently in men than in women, and you can pick up the infection just from walking barefoot in public areas such as pools, gyms, showers, and locker rooms.
Toenail fungus treatment and prevention
Depending upon the type and severity of the infection, a variety of treatments and preventative measures are available and may include:
- Antifungal medicines—Topical ointments containing antifungal agents. While these can sometimes be effective, there is always the possibility of the infection recurring. An oral antifungal medicine can also be prescribed to attack the infection internally.
- Debridement—Prior to the application of antifungal liquids, the diseased nail and brittle debris can be removed to provide better access to the infection.
- Complete nail removal—In severe cases, the nail may need to be surgically removed to provide the best outcome. After removal and infection treatment, a new nail will grow in to replace the deformed nail.
- Simple precautions to prevent nail infection—Wear shower shoes in public facilities, and keep your feet clean and dry. Don’t clip your toenails too short to avoid an ingrown toenail which can create an opening for toenail fungus to get under your nail and cause the infection.
For recurring toenail fungal infections, see your foot care professional for the best care. At Fit Feet for Life, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies and years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including heel pain, sports injuries, toe deformities, nail fungus, and plantar warts. Bonnie Sanchez, DPM, and Gregory Cook, DPM, provide high quality foot and ankle care to patients in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area at our five offices conveniently located in Sun City Center, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and our two Tampa locations. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.