The medical term that is known as onychomycosis is commonly referred to as toenail fungus. It can happen to any part of the toenail, and the frequency of this occurrence may increase with age. A common symptom associated with this type of fungus that may occur is a white or yellow discoloration of the nail. Another system that may arise is the nail becoming thick or brittle, and possibly crumbling. In severe cases, the entire nail may disintegrate, and can look unsightly. This condition is caused by a fungus that lives and thrives in warm and moist environments. These places can consist of public swimming pools, shower room floors, and locker rooms. It is considered to be contagious, so it is beneficial to wear appropriate shoes while in these areas. There are several treatment techniques that may be available, so it is strongly suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can determine the best option for you.
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 The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
- Warped or oddly shaped nails
- Yellowish nails
- Loose/separated nail
- Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
- Brittle, broken, thickened nail
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 one of our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.