Tag Archives: Fungus

Diagnosing Toenail Fungus

According to the American Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Society, up to 20% of Americans suffer from toenail fungus – also called onychomycosis or tinea unguium. The prevalence of fungi even increases by age, and people over 60 are especially affected.

Once fungi enter the surface of the nail, the following infection frequently causes the nail to become darker and thicker, displays white marks and can develop an odor. Other toes as well as fingernails can be affected quickly. Event walking might become an issue when a painful infection is accompanied by other bacterial or yeast infections. Read more about how to prevent toenail fungus here.

Treating toenail fungus is a tedious process and usually requires medication. Medication needs to be taken for several months as the infected toenails need to grow out. Stopping any treatment too early will negatively impact the healing process.  Unnecessarily prolonging a treatment is never advised due to the exposure of side effects. Side effects of affordable and effective antifungal drugs may include liver damage and other complications. Other drugs may not pose any risk to the liver, but their effectiveness is questionable and their price can be significantly higher.

Having your podiatrist analyze your feet to make a professional diagnosis is key to choosing an appropriate treatment plan, especially as conditions like psoriasis and the following only look like a fungal infection:

  • Green nails can be caused by pseudomonas bacteria and cause a similar odor.
  • Darkish red nails can be caused by hematoma.
  • Yellowish nails can be caused by onycholysis.
  • Other discolorations can be caused by trauma or paronychia.
  • Find more information on conditions mimicking toenail fungus here.

Treatment may additionally be impacted by factors like patients’ general health, age, existing conditions, and insurance coverage. Only a professional can diagnose toenail fungus and choose a treatment plan whose benefits truly outweighs the risk. In some cases, this plan might include minor surgery.  The fact is that an early diagnosis can drastically shorten the time necessary for treatment and consequently can minimize expenditures. Please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Smith and Dr. Buckrop at 309-762-7919 if you have any questions.

You can find additional information here:

Toenail Fungus Prevention

Toenail fungus is a common condition that occurs from the overgrowth of fungi in, on, or under the nail. You can usually detect it from a visible discoloration on the nail, a brittle or thickened part of the nail, or an abnormal odor coming from the infected nail. If you notice any of these signs, you might want to seek a professional for treatment.

Fungi thrive and grow in wet, moist environments such as gyms, swimming pools, showers, or humid weather conditions. However, the growth of fungus is not limited to these circumstances as they can spread in dry conditions as well. Fungal infections affect toenails more commonly than fingernails because your toes are usually confined to your shoes, where they’re in a warm, moist environment. There are ways to actively prevent fungal infections, though:

  • Keep your nails well-trimmed
  • Frequently wash your hands and feet
  • Dry your feet thoroughly after showing, swimming, etc.
  • Wear breathable socks and shoes that minimize moisture
  • Avoid being barefoot in public places
  • Discard old, dirty shoes and socks
  • Use antifungal sprays or powders

Toenail fungus does not go away by itself. If you show any signs of a fungal infection, please see a doctor! Follow the above tips to actively prevent toenail fungus-and avoid the risk of spreading it around further.

For more information on toenail fungus:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nail-fungus/basics/definition/con-20019319

https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/contagious-skin-diseases/nail-fungus

 

Toe fungus: What it is and how to prevent it

Fungus is not solely a summer problem. Toenail fungus thrives in wet or dry conditions. Gyms, saunas, and swimming pools are perfect places for the fungus to spread. It also can spread in dry conditions, like dry floors, linens and person-to-person contact.

The fungus makes your toenails thick and yellow. You may feel pain due to the thickening of the nail.

Prevention is key when thinking about toenail fungus. Remember to:

·         Wash and dry your feet thoroughly

·         Change socks and footwear regularly when your feet perspire

·         Wear breathable materials, such as cotton, mesh and leather

·         Avoid tight, synthetic shoes and socks

·         Always wear shoes – wear flip flops in communal showers

·         Clean bathroom floors, mats and tub surfaces regularly

Toenail fungus won’t go away by itself. Don’t run the risk of spreading it to others; if you notice toenail abnormalities, get it checked out!