Fungal Toenails: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How?
Who can be affected by fungal toenails?
The fungus can infect anyone with toenails. Those with weak immune systems are less likely to be able to fight it off.
What is it?
Fungal toenails, or Onychomycosis, is a fungal infection that is caused by the same fungus tinea that results in athlete’s foot, jock itch, and ringworm. It can cause toenails to become thick, hard, yellow or gray, and brittle. They are contagious and can be unsightly.
When are you most likely to be affected?
Fungal toenails can arise when the fungus enters the skin and nails through cuts, scrapes, and/or when people have weakened immune systems. Any wounds should be treated promptly to prevent fungal, viral, and bacterial infections. Those who are sick, have poor circulation, have diabetes, or have skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis are more at risk of being affected by fungal toenails and athlete’s foot.
Where did you get it?
The tinea fungus grows in dark, damp, and warm places, such as in shoes, locker room floors, communal showers, and shared towels or toenail clippers.
Why is it important to treat?
Not only do they affect your toenail health, making them more prone to breaking, they are also embarrassing and unsightly. Additionally, you can spread them to family or other members of your gym if you fail to keep up hygienic practices, such as wearing protective footwear in communal areas and not sharing towels.
How do you treat it?
Depending on how long you’ve had the condition and how severe it is, treatment options include:
- Over-the-counter antifungal topical medications
- Prescribed antifungal topical medications
- Prescribed oral medications (which can have side effects such as abdominal pain and diarrhea, as well as liver or heart damage).
- Antifungal nail polish
Hyperblue Laser therapy at our office (several painless treatments with no recovery period)
Are you sick of battling with fungal toenails? Come see our podiatrist, Dr. Jonathan M. Kletz for prompt treatment. Make an appointment today at any of our Abrams (Dallas), Athens, and Gun Barrell City, TX offices so that we can help you regain your nail health!