Toenail Fungus: Prevention and Treatment
Toenail fungus infections are more common as people age. It is estimated that one in three people will experience a fungal nail infection by the age of 50. Toenail fungus infections cause symptoms such as discoloration, nail thinning, and abnormal nail growth.
See your Water’s Edge dermatologist if you have any of these symptoms:
- Change in color or shape of your nail
- Swollen skin or pain around your nail
- Visible white or black line in your nail
- Dents or ridges in your nails
Nail problems account for approximately 10 percent of all dermatological conditions, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
There are several types of fungal infections that affect toenails, but the most common toenail fungus infections include:
- Dermatophyte infections (athlete’s foot)
- Candida infections (yeast)
You may have a higher risk of getting a toenail fungus infection if you experience the following:
- Circulatory problems
- Minor skin or nail injuries
- Frequently moist skin over long periods of time
- Deformed nails or nail disease
- Feet are enclosed in tight footwear
- Pedicure tools used on others have been used for you
Toenail Fungus Treatment Options
Water’s Edge Dermatology offers several options for nail fungus treatment. Your Water’s Edge dermatologist will determine the right kind of treatment for your nail fungus based on the type and severity.
Topical Medication: Topical creams and medicated nail lacquers may be suggested to help treat toenail fungus infections, but the thickness of toenails makes topical treatment difficult.
Oral Medication: Oral antifungal medications are often more effective than topicals. Oral medications inhibit the ability of the toenail fungus to continue to grow by weakening the fungi cell membranes.
Nail Surgery: Your Water’s Edge dermatologist may treat your toenail fungus infection by removing part of your toenail and allowing the nail to grow back in a healthier state.
Preventing Toenail Fungus
Preventing toenail fungus infections requires more than good hygiene. Here are steps to help you reduce your risk of developing a toenail fungus infection:
- Keep your feet and toenails clean and dry
- Cut nails straight across and rounded on the edges
- Trim toenails regularly
- Wear shoes that fit properly
- Wear flip-flops at the pool and in public showers
- Avoid self-treating ingrown toenails; see your Water’s Edge dermatologist for treatment
- Never wear the same pair of socks more than once without washing them
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