What Are the Treatments for Foot Fungus?
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What Are the Treatments for Foot Fungus?

Posted By suncoastpodiatry suncoastpodiatry     Sep 21    

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Warmer months are just around the corner; are you feeling shy about wearing strappy sandals to the beach with those unsightly thick nails? The thick, crumbled and yellowish part of the toenails is actually foot fungus that can trigger embarrassment whenever you wear open-toe footwear. To say goodbye to the ugly nails, you need to visit a foot and nail clinic nearby.

 

There is no need to feel embarrassed about your situation. Foot fungus is common and can be treated effectively by podiatrists. Keep reading to know what  foot fungus is and what  your options are to get rid of those toenails  you are not proud of.

 

What is foot fungus?

To put it simply, foot fungus is the fungal infection of the toenail. The medical term for the infection is called Onychomycosis (O-nih-koh-my-koh-sis). It is a common condition, but should not be left ignored. Foot fungus is more than a cosmetic problem. When left untreated, the infection can spread to the surrounding areas causing difficulties while walking and wearing shoes.

 

What are the different types of foot fungus?

There are four different types of foot fungus diagnosed.

  1. Distal or lateral onychomycosis: A fungus named dermatophyte is the underlying cause of distal onychomycosis. It starts spreading from the edge of the nail and moves towards the centre. Most cases diagnosed at a foot fungus clinicare related to this infection. The fungus starts in the nail bed and can get in the fingernails and the toenails.
  2. Superficial onychomycosis: Ever noticed a white spot on the nail surface that ultimately caused the nail to crumble? It could be superficial onychomycosis, a type of foot fungus which is rare and only affects the nail surface.  
  3. Proximal onychomycosis: It occurs at the nailbed and progresses with the nail growth. This type of infection appears as white spots.
  4. Candidal onychomycosis: When nails are affected due to an injury or infection, there might be candidal onychomycosis which simply means swelling and inflammation results in the nail coming off.

 

What causes foot fungus?

 

Fungal organisms like dermatophytes along with yeasts and moulds can cause foot fungus. People of all ages can get the infection. However, with ageing brittleness of nails becomes more common. Thus, older people are more likely to develop cracks in the brittle nails allowing fungi to enter and create a mess. Maintaining hygiene and trimming the nails on a regular basis is a good idea to stay protected against the fungus.  There are certain risk factors that lead people to search for trusted fungal nail treatment nearby. The microorganisms are most likely to get into your nails if:

  • You sweat a lot
  • You walk barefoot in damp areas
  • You have skin or nail injury
  • Your immune system is weak
  • You are older or have diabetes

 

How do you know if you have foot fungus?

Only severe cases of foot fungus are painful. However, you should not leave it ignored for a long time because it may spread to other toenails as well. So make sure you know the signs to spot the seriousness of the problem. Book an appointment at a foot fungus clinic if you experience:

  • Thickening nails
  • Discoloration (yellowish-brown)
  • Brittle or crumbled nails
  • Slightly foul smell
  • Pain while wearing shoes or walking

 

What are the treatments available for foot fungus?

 As discussed above, severe cases of toenail fungus are painful and when left untreated can cause permanent damage to the nails. So it’s better to get it treated right away and protect the neighbouring toenails.

  • Oral prescriptions: Most cases of fungal nails can be treated with antifungal pills. Your doctor may prescribe you a course for two to three months to kills the fungus entirely.
  • Topical solutions: At times, doctors prescribe topical solutions in combination to the oral antifungals. These  need to be rubbed on the nail surface. The topical creams are only effective in mild cases.
  • Surgery: When pills and ointments don’t work, you may consider choosing ingrown toenail surgery. The treatment is a surgical procedure to remove affected areas. It can include partial avulsion or removal ofthe entire nail depending on the condition.
  • Laser treatment: Earlier it was assumed that surgery is the last resort  to be considered when all else fails. However, there are newer and innovative treatments available such as laser fungal nail treatment that can be tried as an effective alternative to surgical ingrown toenail treatment. There are two types of laser treatments available, thermal and cold laser. As the name suggests, the thermal laser is hot therefore highly uncomfortable; whereas, cold laser is the most popular, effective and painless procedure to cure foot fungus.

 

How to prevent foot fungus?

Toenail fungus is a stubborn kind of infection that doesn’t go away easily and is likely to occur again. So it’s better to follow prevention practices, such as frequent washing with soap, wearing moisture wicking socks, using antifungal powder, and avoid using shared towels to pass the infection around the family members.

 

Bottom line

Toenail fungus can cause severe and permanent damage to the nails. Therefore, it is recommended to visit a foot doctor as soon as you spot the signs of infection. Mild cases can be treated immediately, whereas moderate to severe cases may take more than six months to one year to grow back completely healthy nails. Stop feeling embarrassed about your situation and seek professional consultation, the earlier the better. If interested, book a consultation at Suncoast Podiatry, which is the top-rated clinic for fungal nail treatment and sore feet treatment on the Sunshine Coast.

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