By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
February 21, 2016
Tags: fungal toenails  

At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care patients frequently come to us with fungal toenail infections. This common condition is caused most frequently by a dermatophyte fungus, but can be also be brought on by yeasts and molds. Our experienced podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah can diagnose a fungal infection by examining your toenails. Infected nails will be discolored and appear thick and brittle. They are usually crumbling and may have ragged edges. They are often dull and in some cases, what looks like black dirt will be visible under the nail.

Although a variety of antifungal medications exist, fungal toenail infections can be difficult to get rid of. Even after successful treatment, they will often reoccur. The best treatment for this unattractive condition is prevention. Follow these 7 steps for greatly reducing your chance of getting fungal toenail infection:

  1. Practice good foot hygiene: wash feet daily and dry completely. Apply antifungal powder or spray to your feet before putting on socks.
  2. Since the fungus that causes the toenail infection is spread by direct contact, do not share socks, shoes, nail clippers or anything else that touches someone else’s feet.
  3. Fungi thrive in warm, moist places. Never go barefoot in public places that are damp, such as community pools, gym locker rooms and showers, changing areas.
  4. Wear absorbent cotton socks and if your feet sweat profusely, change your socks often.
  5. If you have had a fungal infection, spray the insides of your shoes with an antifungal spray before wearing again.
  6. If you get professional pedicures, be sure your nail salon follows the proper sanitizing procedures for tools and foot baths. Consider bringing your own clippers and other nail tools and sanitizing yourself after each visit.
  7. Keep toenails trimmed short and straight across. Avoid picking at the skin around your nails as they may open up tiny cuts that will allow fungi to penetrate the skin.

If you believe you have a fungal toenail infection, make an appointment at our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office sooner rather than later. If you don’t treat fungal nail infections, they can spread to the rest of your feet and also to other body parts. Contact us today by calling: 732-662-3050.