Explaining Nail Fungus: Fingers vs. Toes, Causes, Treatments, and More
At first glance, skin and nail conditions might not seem to be as concerning as some of the other foot and ankle problems we resolve for patients here at Wilks Advanced Foot Care. There usually isn’t intense pain and the risk of surgical intervention is quite low.
But looking at the bigger picture, a nasty fungal toenail infection can certainly take away your interest in favorite activities and lower your quality of life. And, though the thought of fungus growing on your body might make your skin crawl, this condition is actually more common than you might think.
This is partially due to the fact that toenails are a great “home” for the fungi that cause these infections to thrive. The warm, dark, and moist environment that shoes provide coupled with the unlimited supply of keratin found in nails are just what the fungi need to grow and spread.
In fact, even fingernails are not exempt from the risk of becoming infected. Whenever nails (be it those on your hands or on your feet) come into contact with contaminated surfaces, the possibility of an infection is very real. People who go to nail salons regularly, or whose hands are often wet, are especially at risk, for example.
That said, feet are be more exposed to the risk factors. Not to mention that it’s easier to overlook the fact that toenails look a bit funky than it is to ignore the fact that fingernails are looking rough – after all, hiding your feet under socks and shoes is much easier than, say, wearing gloves everywhere you go. These are some significant reasons why fungal toenails are much more common than fungal fingernails.
The good news, however, is you can count on us to help you steer clear from this condition, and get rid of it for good if you ever develop this embarrassing problem.
And your first step should be getting to know fungus and what they are all about …
Understanding How Toenail Fungus Develops
In short, toenails fungus can easily be picked up in public pools, gyms, locker rooms and other public areas that are damp or wet. What’s more, this fungal infection can be spread from person to person, especially between family members who share towels, linens, and walk barefoot in the same common areas.
This condition can often begin as athlete’s foot, and can gradually spread through a tiny crack in the nail or begin under the nail fold and spread from there. An infection can also spread from one toe to another, or to other parts of the body, too.
Though anyone can develop this problem, there are a variety of risk factors that increase the risk. These include:
- Failing to dry feet thoroughly, including between toes.
- Living with family members or roommates who have nail fungus.
- Having a skin condition (like psoriasis) or a minor nail or skin injury.
- Walking barefoot in public swimming pools, gym locker rooms, and showering areas.
- Wearing socks or shoes that do not provide enough ventilation.
- Working in moist or humid environments where your shoes and socks may become damp or wet.
- Living with diabetes, or a weakened immune system.
- Having abnormal pH levels of your ski
Treating and Preventing Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is certainly treatable, but it is always better to head off a condition early instead of having to deal with it later.
With this in mind, there are steps that you can take to help avoid it:
- Avoid going barefoot in gym locker rooms, shower areas, and public pools by wearing shower shoes or sandals.
- Change your socks during the day if your feet sweat a lot.
- Do not share socks, shoes, and towels, especially with a friend or family member who has a fungal infection.
- Wash your feet thoroughly every day and dry them anytime they get wet.
If preventative measures haven’t been enough, or you already developed a fungal infection before learning how to prevent it, then it is time to come in to our office for treatment. We are well-equipped to eradicate the fungus and restore your nails to their natural, healthy condition with the use of topical medications and advanced treatments, like CMP.
Our CMP treatment is virtually painless, highly effective, and only takes about 30 minutes to complete. (Want to know more about this revolutionary process? Click here to download our FREE eBook, and find out everything you need to know!)
There are other treatment methods we can explore if this does not sound like something you would like to pursue. But the bottom line is, if you have developed toenail fungus, the time to do something about it is now. So don’t delay getting the help you need today!
Getting Rid of Toenail Fungus Doesn’t Have to Be Hard!
Now that you know what to look for, be sure to contact our office as soon as you recognize the signs of toenail fungus. The condition is most easily treated in its early stages, and we don’t want you to suffer from the embarrassment of unsightly, discolored nails.
Give our Roseburg office a call at (541) 673-0742 today for more information or to schedule an appointment with us. You can also take advantage of our online request form to have a member of our staff reach out to you.