Toenail fungus can be unsightly, but it is a common infection that impacts the nail. Roughly 14% of the population is affected by the condition at any given time. Mild cases may cause too many unwanted symptoms. However, severe cases can come with unwanted symptoms and require treatment. Consider the following symptoms of toenail fungus and the treatment options available to address the issue.
Symptoms of Toenail Fungus
Nail fungus can impact both your fingernails and toenails. However, it most commonly impacts toenails. Below are some of the common symptoms of toenail fungus.
- Discolored nails (usually yellow or white)
- Thickened nails
- Nails that are brittle or crumbly
- Misshapen nails
- Nails that are smelly
- Separation between the nail and the nail bed
Risk Factors for Toenail Fungus
There are a number of factors that can increase your risk for toenail fungus. Consider the following risk factors and be proactive about reducing your risk where it’s possible.
- Age: Nail fungus is more common among older adults.
- Sweaty Feet: If you have sweaty feet, it can increase your risk for toenail fungus. This is especially true if you wear shoes that make your feet sweat even more.
- Barefoot: Walking barefoot is risky for a variety of reasons. Doing so places you at a higher risk for toenail fungus so avoid walking barefoot, especially in damp public areas. Swimming pools, gyms, and shower rooms should only be visited with protective footwear.
- Certain Skin Conditions: People who have skin conditions that impact their nails are at a higher risk for toenail fungus.
- Diabetes Diagnosis: If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, have a weakened immune system, or blood flow issues, you are at a higher risk for toenail fungus.
- Cuts Or Nail Injury: Minor cuts on your feet can easily get infected when they come in contact with harmful bacteria. This can also increase your risk for toenail fungus as it can easily get into the wound.
Toenail Fungus Treatment
If you are concerned you may have toenail fungus, it’s important to contact a podiatrist in Beverly Hills. Once a podiatrist has properly diagnosed the condition, they can curate a treatment plan just for you. Depending on the security of your toenail fungus, there are a number of potential treatment options. Treating toenail fungus in Los Angeles is often a multi-pronged approach.
Oftentimes the most effective treatment option is prescription antifungal medication. Medication and adjusting your daily routine can be helpful in addressing the condition. Some daily routine modifications include wearing protective footwear that is breathable, keeping your feet dry, and regularly changing your socks. The way you care for your nails is also a necessary part of treatment as you should disinfect all of your pedicure tools and avoid nail polish.
Nail Fungus Prevention
Once you have been diagnosed and properly treated, it’s important to take steps to prevent your nail fungus from coming back. Your podiatrist will provide you with helpful tips to ensure your nails stay in good shape. Consider the following prevention measures to incorporate into your daily routine.
- Avoid fake nails and nail polish
- Choose breathable shoes and wear absorbent socks
- Regularly change your socks, especially if your feet have gotten wet or you are sweaty
- Avoid wearing old shoes and regularly rotate the shoes you do wear
- Keep you hands and feet clean and dry
- Keep your nails trimmed and disinfect all of your manicure and pedicure tools after every use
- Avoid going barefoot, especially in public places
- Treat athlete’s foot right away if you get it
- Avoiding sharing your shoes or any products or tools you use on your nails or toes