The medical term for toenail fungus is onychomycosis. This type of fungus typically lives and thrives in warm and moist environments, which often include public swimming pools, locker rooms, and shower room floors. It is considered to be contagious, and appropriate shoes should be worn while in these areas. There may be existing medical conditions that precede the development of toenail fungus. These can include diabetes, a weakened immune system, or a possible skin injury around the nail and surrounding areas. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this condition often include yellow or white streaks on the nail, brittleness of the nail, and some patients may lose the nail. If you notice symptoms of toenail fungus, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.
If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Michael Doughty of Doughty Podiatry, P.A. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
- Warped or oddly shaped nails
- Yellowish nails
- Loose/separated nail
- Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
- Brittle, broken, thickened nail
If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.
In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.
In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Baltimore, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.
Read more about How to Treat Your Toenail Fungus