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Posts for tag: Fungal Infection

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
May 15, 2019
Category: Pedicures

As the temperatures finally begin to rise in our part of New Jersey, we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care know that many of our patients can’t wait to get out their open-toed shoes and summer sandals. And, what better way to prepare your feet for these styles than with a pretty pedicure? We also are aware, however, that there is some hesitation about salon pedicures because of the risk of fungal and bacterial infections. If you don’t have a regular salon that you trust and who you know observes proper sanitizing procedures, we offer these steps for a do-it-yourself pedicure that will yield relaxing and attractive results.

  • Start by soaking your feet in warm, soapy water for about 10 minutes to soften skin and clean toenails.
  • Next, gently rub skin with a pumice stone to get rid of dead skin and calluses. If you have deep calluses or corns that need attention, contact us for assistance.
  • Push back cuticles with an orange stick or Hindu stone. Carefully trim only to the nail margin.
  • Cut toenails straight across and not too short (to help prevent ingrown nails).
  • Smooth the edges with an emery board.
  • Apply cream or moisturizing lotion to the skin around your nails and then to your whole foot. Massage it into your feet, rubbing the ball of the foot and heel, as well as the fore and midfoot. Reflexologists believe that a good foot massage can positively impact other parts of your body as well, plus it feels great!
  • Use nail polish remover to remove excess lotion on the toenails. This will allow the polish to adhere better.
  • Apply a base coat, then two coats of nail color and finish with a top coat.
  • Voila! Beautiful nails with no risk of fungal infections.

Doing an at-home pedicure is also a great opportunity to examine your entire foot and your toenails. If you notice any unusual growths, lumps, swelling or bruising, schedule an appointment our Edison, Monroe, or Monmouth Junction office (732-662-3050) to get your symptoms evaluated by our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah.

Fungal nails are a plague that you can't get rid of.  They can cause your nails to become yellow, brown, and/or black and have you thinking twice before you hit the beach with sandals when it finally warms up.  I would like to tell you about my approach to a fungal nail infection.

When a patient walks into the podiatry office with a high suspicion of fungal infection, the first thing to do is take a biopsy.  This generally involves cutting away some nail pieces to send to the pathologist.  The pathologist will inspect the nail tissue for signs of infection and use a special stain to visualize the fungal organisms.  After the biopsy I will trim the nail and clean it up and send the patient home to return in about a week.

If, and when the pathology report comes back positive for fungus, it’s time to consider treatment options. Let's assume we have a relatively healthy patient that wants to be able to wear sandals.  There are basically two options that I present the patient with.  If only one nail is infected (most commonly the big toe) then I present the patient with the option to remove the nail completely.  This is a simple 5-10 minute procedure that requires anesthesia of the toe and some sterile instrumentation to remove the entire nail.  The patient will be put on an oral antifungal agent to ensure no fungus survives and the nail will grow back clean and normal.  This treatment is aggressive but offers the greatest chance of full nail recovery.

The second option is to leave the infected nail intact and try to treat the infection with lasers, creams, or oral antifungal agents.  Lasers and topical creams can work to kill the organism within the nail but should be stacked with an oral antifungal agent that works to kill the fungal organisms on a systemic level.  This option can also result in a clean and normal looking nail in some cases.  If the fungal infection has been present for years or even decades then a full recovery is very difficult or impossible to achieve. 

Oral antifungal agents such as terbinafine have been the gold standard treatment for fungal nails and every treatment regimen should include this medication.  Even with this medication, there are some nails that will never return to normal.  If you have nails that have recently started to change color or become brittle and oddly shaped then you may have a fungal infection and you have the best chance for recovery if you treat it immediately.  Remember, your local podiatrist sees patients with fungal infections on a daily basis. 

If you have any questions about your shoe gear, feet, or nails, make an appointment with your local podiatrist at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care located in Edison and Monroe NJ today.

By Varun Gujral