Are you embarrassed because of the appearance of your toenails? Do they look ragged or thickened, discolored or dull? If so you may have toenail fungus.
Fungal nail is a common problem and is very contagious. It’s caused by a microscopic organism that loves dark, warm, moist environments like the insides of shoes. Since it’s contagious, it’s easy to pick up at public locker rooms, pools and gyms.
Toenail fungus and Athlete’s foot are both types of foot fungus. Nail fungus, however, is much harder to treat. When the infection is on the nail plate, or the hard part of the nail, it spreads easily to the skin and then on to the other toenails.
Fungal Nails Require Professional Treatment
You may receive temporary relief from over-the-counter products that address the symptoms of toenail fungus. Unfortunately, the infection often recurs. If you have persistent toenail fungus, it’s time to call an expert. Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM, board certified podiatrist has the right experience to treat fungal nail. After a thorough examination we will recommend treatments including:
- Application of anti-fungal nail lotion or cream. Apply to the infected nail after soaking the foot.
- Oral prescription medications to promote new nail growth that is free of infection.
- Removing part or all of the infected skin and nail.
A word of caution: if you have diabetes, it’s especially important to get medical help quickly for fungal nails. Any damage to the skin of the foot or infections like fungal nail can lead to ulcers and further damage that can increase the chance of amputation.
You Can Prevent Fungal Toenails with Good Foot Hygiene
Preventing toenail fungus is really common-sense:
- Wash feet daily with soapy water and dry thoroughly, especially between the toes.
- Keep feet dry by wearing clean socks and changing socks and shoes when damp or wet.
- Wear shoes made of breathable material to keep feet aired – leather is a better choice than most synthetics.
- When visiting public areas like pools and locker rooms, wear flip-flops or shower shoes.
- Don’t share shoes or socks.
- Use clean instruments when trimming your toenails.
Call Us for Fungal Nail Relief
Fungal nail won’t resolve itself on its own and may spread to other areas. Call Dr. Alexopoulos at 773-561-8100 or request an appointment at our Chicago office via the website. Treat fungal nail properly to stop this unsightly condition and prevent its recurrence.