Are you unhappy with the appearance of your toenails? At Benenati Foot & Ankle Care Centers, we know unsightly toenails caused by fungal infections are something our Macomb County patients are often more interested in dealing with in the summer months when toes are on display in summer footwear. The source of toenail fungus is an organism known as onychomycosis. Did you know that this is also the same fungus that causes athlete’s foot and jock itch? When the fungus lodges under or in your toenail you will see the following changes to your toenail:
- Turning a yellowish-brownish color
- Thickening of the nail
- Brittleness and crumbling at nail edges
- Separation of the toenail from the nail bed (may be painful)
While not necessarily medically serious if you are normally in good health, toenail fungus is unattractive and can be difficult to treat. Your best bet is to avoid contracting this infection. Below are six tips to help you:
- Always wear flip-flops or shower shoes in public places like the gym, community swimming pool, nail salon, or at the beach.
- Don’t let your feet sit in damps socks. Warmth and moisture are two elements that accelerate the growth of fungus. Keep feet dry! If you tend to sweat excessively, carry an extra pair of socks and change them as soon as you notice your feet feel moist.
- Apply an antifungal or talcum powder to your feet each morning. This will further aid in keeping feet dry.
- Don’t share nail clippers, cuticle cutters, shoes, towels, soap or any other items that may have come in contact with another person’s feet.
- Treat athlete’s foot or fungal infections on other parts of your body in a timely manner. They can spread to the toenails where they are much harder to eradicate.
- Take extra precautions if you have a child who has athlete’s foot or another fungal infection. Don’t let them share a bed with anyone and be sure to thoroughly disinfect the shower or tub after he or she bathes.
If you believe you have toenail fungus, contact our Macomb (586) 416-3668, St. Clair Shores (586) 779-6140 or Warren (586) 756-3338 office for an appointment. Our podiatrists, Dr. Anthony Benenati, Dr. Neil Shaw or Dr. Philip M. Watkins will decide if a topical, oral or laser therapy treatment will be most effective for you.