For a lot of us, winter season is more of a blessing than anything else. Whenever the snow starts to fall, then we are finally able to easily hide our embarrassing fungal toenails from the world. Bring on the thick socks and heavy boots – we will make sure this ugly condition doesn’t see the light of day, right?
Here, at Wilks Advanced Foot Care, we understand toenail fungus can be embarrassing, but what if we told you that by concealing this issue you are actually creating an environment in which fungi can thrive and even spread?
The bottom line is that ignoring the symptoms of toenail fungus is a terrible plan! And, this problem doesn’t go away on its own. In fact, if you choose to neglect this condition, chances are that it will only get worse. This is especially true when it comes to toenail fungus as our feet are routinely stuffed into socks and shoes – the perfect combination for fungi to grow.
With that said, it is no wonder why toenail fungus is such a common condition afflicting 1 in every 6 Americans, today.
So, even though, the health and happiness of your feet may not necessarily be on the top of your daily to-do list, we are here to tell you that it should be! And, the good news is that we can help you kick this ugly problem to the curb.
Keep reading to find out more about what may be causing your toenails to develop fungus and how we can help you treat and prevent this pesky condition.
How Can You Recognize Toenail Fungus?
Toenail fungus is essentially caused by microscopic organisms which feed on keratin – the protein found in our nails and hair. This condition typically starts as a fairly small, white or yellowish spot underneath the tip of the nail and if untreated, the nail can begin to change color, thicken or crumble.
Here are some things to keep in mind when checking your toenails for fungi:
- Changes in the texture/shape of the nail. Look for any changes in the overall shape of the nail, as well as, any crumbling and brittleness, or if the nail has become thicker.
- Changes in the color of the nail. Look for any white spots, or brown or yellow streaks.
- Look for any signs of foul odors or strange smells.
- Observe the area and note for any signs of discomfort.
We truly hope that after inspecting your feet you have found no indicators leading you to believe fungus is developing in your toenails. However, we highly encourage you to still take preventative measures to avoid this problem – after all, “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.”
What Are the Risk Factors?
Toenail fungus doesn’t discriminate – this condition afflicts individuals across all demographics. However, some of us are naturally at a greater risk. In fact, our age, our gender, our genetic structure and our everyday habits can play a huge role in the development of a fungal toenail. From your favorite nail polish to the sports you choose to play, there are many factors which makes you more susceptible to this embarrassing condition.
Below, are some of the most common of these dooming factors:
- Walking barefoot in wet surfaces like swimming pools and locker rooms.
- Sweating excessively (which leads to the toes often being surrounded by moisture).
- Being an older adult (when blood flow begins to decline, and nails begin to weaken and crack).
- Having diabetes (which often translates into poor circulatory and immune system).
Do one or more of these risk factors apply to you? Well, there is no need to worry! The key to keeping your feet healthy and pain free is to prevent, prevent, prevent. And, we have some pointers on how you can make sure toenail fungus never becomes a part of your life!
How Can You Prevent Toenail Fungus?
The best ways to avoid toenail fungus are to:
- Wear flip-flops or open-toe shoes when you are walking in areas that are rich in moisture.
- Trim your nails the right way – keep them short (but not too short) and make sure to cut the nail straight across rather than in an arch.
- Wear sweat-absorbing socks or change your socks throughout the day if they become damp or wet.
- Treat your shoes routinely with disinfectants or antifungal powders.
- Throw away infected shoes, especially if you just completed a toenail fungus treatment.
- Wash your hands and feet regularly, as well as, moisturize after every wash.
Of course, we understand that there are times when no matter what we do fungus will still develop on our toenails – for true and lasting symptom relief, it is probably time to see a podiatrist.
How Can We Help You?
Fungal toenail treatment options we offer at Wilks Advanced Foot Care include:
- Topical medication.More commonly used for mild infections, topical medications include creams, lotions, powders, sprays, and nail lacquers. These topical solutions attack the fungus from the outside in, which means they might not be able to reach fungus residing under infected nails.
- Oral medication.Sometimes, we prescribe pills which deliver antifungal medication via the bloodstream. This is able to reach the fungus topical medications cannot but may come with side effects.
- Controlled micro penetration (cmp).This state-of-the-art technology is able to access fungal spores residing underneath the surface of the nail. In this procedure, tiny holes (less than half a millimeter – the width of four human hairs) are made in the affected nail. This provides direct access to hard-to-reach fungus. Since only the nail is penetrated, there is virtually no pain or injury to other tissues.
As with most lower limb conditions and issues, it’s best to treat fungal toenails early if you are looking for best results.
Remember, you don’t have to live with embarrassment or be self-conscious because of unsightly toenails. Instead, contact Wilks Advanced Foot Care today! We will work with you to restore your nails back to health.
Come Visit Us Today!
So, if you have tried every trick in the book and yet nothing seems to be working, give us a chance! Here at Wilks Advanced Foot Care our goal is to make you feel better as quickly and as safely as possible. And, we are equipped with the best tools and medical professionals to get the job done.
To schedule an appointment, just call us today at (541) 673-0742 or fill out our request form online.