By Dr. Kenneth Meisler
December 15, 2015
Category: Foot Care
A fungal infection in one of your toenails can be both uncomfortable and unsightly. To fix the problem, there are both topical and oral treatments that can be used. If you are suffering from a fungal toenail, see your podiatrist as soon as possible.
Fungal toenails tend to affect older men most frequently. As you get older, there is a diminished flow of blood to your toes and a longer period of exposure to fungi. Here are a few more of the most common factors that can increase your chances of getting a fungal toenail:
- Walking barefoot in wet public areas. Walking without shoes in swimming pools, showers or gyms can increase your chances of a fungal infection.
- Sweating heavily. If your feet are constantly sweaty, fungus will be more likely to survive and thrive near your toes in your shoe.
- Diabetes. Diabetes restricts the flow of blood to the extremities. Because of this, your immune system will be less prepared to fight off the fungal infection.
- Poor shoes. If you wear shoes that do not ventilate or effectively absorb perspiration well, fungus will be able to thrive near your feet.
Options To Treat Fungal Toenails
There are over the counter creams and ointments available, but they are generally not as effective as prescribed medications from your podiatrist. When you see your podiatrist, depending on the severity of the infection, they will usually prescribe either an oral medication or a topical cream.
Oral medications are generally taken for 6 to 12 weeks. They work by helping a new nail to grow without any infection, and because of this, the infection resolves somewhat slowly. It will take roughly four months for the nail to truly heal. Your podiatrist may also prescribe a topical medication that you will apply directly to your toenail.
In the most extreme cases, your podiatrist may perform surgery to remove your nail. If this happens, your nail will grow back very slowly, possibly taking up to a year to fully grow back.
To learn more about how to treat your fungal toenail or to schedule an appointment, contact your podiatrist today!