Fungal nail infections can occur on your toenails due to small cuts in the skin that surrounds your nail. Fungus can also get in through the opening that sits between the nail and the nail bed. Very often, the fungus (yeasts, molds, etc.) is similar to the type that cause Athlete’s foot. Our Chicago podiatrist, Dr. Robert L. Potempa, can help with fungal nail treatment, the exact method varying based on various factors. What is most important is that you should not ignore a fungal nail infection. Getting attention for it is necessary to ensure that it doesn’t worsen.
Fungi flourish in warm and moist environments. They are easily transmittable between people. Many times, fungus can be contracted through a public shower or pool when you walk barefoot in them. Towels and other items that touch the feet of an infected person could also be the cause of transmission. Initially, you are likely to notice that your toenail has turned yellow white, has grown thicker, or has split and possibly separated from the skin. If you experience any of those signs, you should call us and schedule an appointment with our Chicago podiatrist. You might find it difficult to wear shoes due to pain cause by the a fungal nail infection. Even walking or standing might become uncomfortable. Left unaddressed, the infection could affect neighboring toenails and skin. It can eventually lead to permanent damage to the nail or the area around it. Don’t just wait for it go away. It does not get better on its own. This is a concern that needs treatment.
Fungal nails are usually more challenging than Athlete’s foot, so our Chicago podiatrist might prescribe a topical or oral anti fungal medication. If this proves insufficient to clear things up, permanent nail removal might be required, but this is a last resort. Once the infection has been eradicated, you should engage in a strategy to prevent a re-occurrence. Wash and dry your feet completely before bed. Apply over-the-counter anti fungal cream to the whole foot. Do this every night, leading to eventual tapering off. It is vital to keep your feet dry, whenever possible. After bathing, apply powder to your feet to ensure that they stay dry.