Toenail fungus is a common fungal infection of the nail bed which causes progressive thickening and discoloration of the nail.
Also known as onychomycosis/dermatophytosis, toenail fungus may cause the nail to become brittle and break away from the nail bed. Infection can sometimes be associated with increased tenderness however often the condition is not painful. As the nail becomes increasingly thick it may predispose to ingrowing toenails and pain from pressure in shoes may occur.
What to Expect When You See the Doctor
The doctor may examine your feet including the skin and nails. A nail culture may be recommended to ensure that the cause of the thickened, discolored nails is fungus.
It is believed that fungus on the nail does often reside on the skin and so treatment of the skin is also important. Anti-fungal creams which contain 1% tolnaftate or 1% clotrimazole are recommended. One may use generic or brand name products. Sprays with the same ingredients may be used in shoes. Dilute bleach is recommended to clean surfaces which may come into contact with feet during treatment. Your doctor may recommend oral and/or laser treatments for the toenails pending a positive culture result.
Keep your nails trimmed back. Trimming a minimum of every 6-8 weeks is recommended. Use alcohol to clean all instruments which are used for nail trimming. Formaldehyde free brands or anti-fungal brands of nail polish are recommended. When in public places such as locker rooms, saunas, hot tubs or pools bring a pair of sandals or flip flips to wear. Avoiding letting your feet become wet for prolonged periods of time. If your feet sweat a lot, be sure to change your socks more frequently.
We Can Help!
Are you suffering from toenail fungus? We have years of experience treating this condition and would be happy to help. Contact us or book an appointment today.