Fighting Fungus This Fall
There’s a fungus among us, but you CAN reduce your risk of a fungal nail infection!
The fall season is upon us. Before you trade in your sandals for socks and shoes or run out to grab any of the pumpkin-spice options now available, know this:
Toenail fungus is a year-round problem!
Now, just because “barefoot weather” is coming to an end, it doesn’t mean you can stop protecting your feet. In fact, fungi thrives in warm and damp environments- like the inside of a rain-soaked shoe or the floors of gym locker rooms.
Taking these steps will reduce the risk fall fungi find your feet:
- Change sweaty or damp socks as often as necessary
- Alternate shoes to allow ample time for your footwear to dry out
- Don’t pack those sandals away for good (continue to wear them, or shower shoes at the gym)
- Keep up with good hygiene – wash feet every day and dry thoroughly; trim nails straight across and even with tips of your toes
- Make sure pedicure tools are sterilized
- Don’t borrow towels, socks, or shoes from others
- Treat feet and footwear with an anti-fungal product when necessary
Sure, you might be tucking your feet into socks and shoes soon, but beware of the “out of sight, out of mind” trap! You still need to watch your toenails for signs of discoloration, distortion, and thickness.
Remember, the earlier you spot symptoms, the faster your podiatrist can provide treatment to restore your nails back to health.
Watch for Signs of Toenail Fungus Trouble
Speaking of spotting symptoms…
Here are fungal toenail signs and symptoms you should be on the lookout for:
- Yellow streaks or white spots
- Thick, brittle, and misshapen nails
- Loss of natural luster
- Debris building under nail or nail lifting from bed
- Painful wearing shoes
- Foul odor
These symptoms will NOT go away if left unaddressed
Fungal Nail Treatments to the Rescue!
Over-the-counter options don’t work, but your podiatrist has some powerful answers to this problem. Treatment plans can be created based on a combination of prescription topical and oral medications.
The topical medications utilize as “outside-in” approach and attack fungus residing in the surface. This isn’t terribly effective on its own because, obviously, the nail exists. Most topical medications are unable to penetrate that protective barrier.
Oral medications take an “inside-out” approach. These medications are absorbed into the bloodstream and carried down to the toes. Once there, it works to kill off fungal spores. Unfortunately, these oral medications sometimes come with unwanted side effects.
Whereas a one-two punch of oral and topical medications was formerly the gold standard of nail treatment, your podiatrist has new advanced options- laser therapy- and ClearNails.
If you’ve spotted signs of a fungal nail infection, call your podiatrist for professional treatment today so you can have clear, healthy nails again in the quickest possible time!More on Laser for Toenail Fungus