Do you fall into that nearly ten percent of the American population that suffers the unsightly embarrassment of nail fungus? Are you afraid to bare the toes? Can’t even stand the thought of going into a shoe store and shopping for sandals and wouldn’t consider going to the beach in foot wear less than CAT boots? Well, help is just around the corner, or I should say, only as far as your podiatrist’s office.
Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the nail that may start as a small white or yellow spot on the nail and progress to the point of discoloring and misshaping the nail. The edges of your nails may crumble and break away leading to potential discomfort. The tiny organisms that make up this fungal infection thrive in warm, moist dark environments and may enter your skin through tiny cracks in the skin or separations between nail bed and skin. Men suffer nail fungus more than women and aging is a factor due to greater length of exposure, thickened nails and decreased circulation to the feet. This same nail fungus can also attack finger nails but they are less at risk because they are open to daylight and have a better opportunity to stay dry. He toe nails are more at risk because of the environment shoes create.
Prevention is the best treatment:
- Rotate shoes
- Bathe regularly
- Dry toes thoroughly
- Use anti-fungal spray on feet and in shoes
- Expose shoes to daylight and allow to dry thoroughly
If you develop a fungal nail infection, there are topical treatments available but they are not very successful. Your doctor may recommend an oral medication. It may rid your body of the fungus, but the nail may take 4 months or longer to grow back and liver damage can result from the medication.
The newest treatment available is a laser that kills the fungus and allows a new healthy nail to grow in. The treatment takes about 20 minutes and is virtually painless.
If you suspect a nail fungus, call Dr. Vargas at (281)313-0090 Sugarland or (281)342-8700 in Richmond/Rosenberg. He will evaluate your feet and determine the best treatment. Visit his website for more information on this laser treatment and cosmetic repair that can alleviate your embarrassment while your new nail grows.