Too embarrassed to wear sandals because of your brittle, yellow toenails? Don’t worry. It’s an understandable and treatable condition called toenail fungus. Doctors Shanahan, Popofski and Petronella, Commerce Township, MI podiatrists at Lakes Foot and Ankle Associates, see plenty of patients with toenail fungus–also called onychomycosis. They invite you to read over these Frequently Asked Questions about the condition to familiarize yourself with this common malady. They can help!
What are the symptoms of toenail fungus?
Toenail (and fingernail) fungus typically exhibits:
- yellowed, discolored, thick nails
- a foul odor
- brittle, misshapen and even loose nails
- redness, itching, and other signs of athlete’s foot on the toes and other parts of the foot
What causes toenail fungus?
Fungi called dermophytes cause scalp, toenail and fingernail infections. These microorganisms enjoy keratin, the chief structural component of human hair and nails and also of hooves on animals such as cattle and horses.
Dermophytes thrive in moist areas such as showers and at poolside. Plus, they do well in dark environments such as closed shoes, particularly if the individual is also wearing wool or cotton socks that hold onto perspiration.
Who gets toenail fungus?
Really, anyone can have this problem, but older males seem more susceptible as well as people who have compromised immune systems, such as cancer patients or diabetics. Once an individual has had this fungus, he or she is more likely to get it again. Also, people who sweat a lot–especially athletes–are prone to it.
How is it treated?
The best chance of a lasting outcome lies in treatment with your Commerce Township, MI podiatrist.
The Doctors at Lakes Foot and Ankle Associates offer a comprehensive fungal nail treatment program employing the innovative and painless Cutera Genesis Plus Laser System. Quick, effective, and requiring no “downtime,” this state of the art laser system eradicates mild to advanced cases of toenail fungus. Very severe cases sometimes require surgical removal of the nail. The Doctors at Lakes Foot and Ankle Associates very rarely suggest oral medications as these can be toxic and dangerous.
“At home” treatments for some may seem to help but it rarely offers a long term solution to the infection and tends to be a waste of time and money.
How can people avoid toenail fungus?
- Wash and inspect feet daily
- Change socks often, especially during hot weather
- Wear well-ventilated shoes whenever possible
- Wear flip-flops in public showers and by the swimming pools
- Avoid going barefoot.
Visit Lakes Foot and Ankle Associates
Why suffer the embarrassment and discomfort of toenail fungus any longer? Contact Doctors Shanahan, Popofski and Petronella today for the highest quality foot care. They will be happy to answer your concerns about toenail fungus or any other foot or ankle issue you have. Call (248) 360-3888.