Fungal nail infections can also be referred to as “onychomycosis” or even “tinea unguium”! The microscopic fungi that cause these infections thrive in the warm, wet conditions found in most shoes. The same fungi that cause athlete’s foot problems also cause fungal toenail infections, so it can be quite easy for such an infection to spread from your foot to your toenails.
Since the condition isn’t generally very painful, many people don’t even realize that they have a toenail infection until the symptoms become more pronounced over time. These symptoms include altered shape, brittleness, thickness, off-color, and smelliness — an oozing fungal nail infection can produce quite a distinctive smell that may be cringe-worthy!
If your infection has gotten this bad, you may wish to enlist the services of your podiatrist to ensure the best treatment. For difficult cases, this may involve laser therapy or surgical removal of the nail to get at and treat the underlying fungal infection.
You can avoid this by taking some simple steps to prevent nail fungus from getting started in the first place. These steps include:
Proper toenail cutting technique—Always carefully cut your toenails straight across. A major cause of toenail fungus infections is an ingrown toenail that digs into your skin, allowing the fungi an opening.
Cleanliness—Fungi need warm, wet conditions to grow. Washing your feet one or more times a day with a mild soap will help keep nail fungi from proliferating. Antifungal topical ointments or sprays can be used after washing.
Foot protection—Whenever using public areas such as swimming pools, locker rooms, and showers, always protect your feet by wearing shower shoes or sandals to minimize contact with microbial invaders.
If you are experiencing a difficult fungal nail infection, we highly recommend that you consult our board certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!