Sandal season isn’t a celebrated time for everyone. If you have noticed your toenails aren’t looking as smooth and healthy as they used to, and you are too embarrassed to slip on your leather sandals this summer, perhaps there is something more serious going on.
Toenail fungus often goes unnoticed, especially in the elderly, as most people may think it’s just part of the aging process. However, toenail fungus is quite a common infection and is prevalent among both young and older adults.
This post looks at how to identify, treat, and prevent toenail fungus and how Yeargain Foot & Ankle can help you heal.
How do I know if I have Toenail Fungus?
Fungal nail infections are often caused by many different microorganisms called fungi (yeasts or molds) that live in the environment. These microorganisms don’t typically cause a problem until we injure and break down the perfect barrier to the outside world: our skin and nails. When this happens, the small cracks in your nail or the surrounding skin can allow these fungi to enter and cause an infection.
As we mentioned, this is a common infection that goes by the name of ‘onychomycosis.’ It can cause your nail to become painful, discolored yellow or brown, thick, and more likely to crack and break. They also seem irregular in appearance compared to your other nails.
Healing Options: What is the Best treatment for Toenail Fungus?
It’s important to know that nail fungus is, in fact, contagious. You can pass it to other parts of your own body, like adjacent nails, feet, hands, and you can also give it to others that you come in contact with – most likely, family members who share a shower or bath, or even those at the gym.
As soon as you spot an issue, make sure you get it treated. It isn’t easy to get rid of on your own and will worsen and spread to other nails and skin if left untreated. If you want to get at it yourself, we recommend applying topical antifungal nail medication to the nails daily and filing the nails weekly. Other popular at-home remedies that may show some improvement include Vicks Vapor Rub or tea tree oil.
If you are not seeing improvement within a few weeks, you should come to see us at Yeargain Food & Ankle. Always seek an opinion from a medical professional before starting any of these treatments.
Unfortunately, topical treatment alone will only work about 15% of the time, so seeking a podiatrist for help is essential. If necessary, we can prescribe oral medication to clear the fungus from your body. At YF&A, we will order any necessary testing that might be required to confirm your diagnosis by performing a pain-free nail biopsy, and we carry a line of cosmetic dermatology products. These products are the best on the market for treating your nail fungus and getting you back to beautiful, clear feet that will be sandal-ready in no time.
Prevention is Better Than Cure
You’ve heard the saying, now let’s ensure it doesn’t happen to you again:
- First thing’s first, keep your shoe gear and environment clean. Make sure to avoid moisture accumulation at all costs.
- You can also use foot powder in your shoes and on your feet each morning, especially if you wear closed-toed shoes for an extended period.
- Don’t walk barefoot in areas like locker rooms or public showers – always keep a pair of flip flops at hand for these occasions.
- When visiting a nail salon, choose a clean and licensed salon by your state’s cosmetology board.
Yeargain Foot & Ankle’s Treatment Process
Since toenails take about nine months to grow, nail fungus treatment is often an extended process. So if your nail is fully involved, it may take the entire nine months until you are completely clear of the fungus.
- We start by performing a painless nail biopsy to confirm your diagnosis.
- Next, depending on the severity of your case, we will start with oral, topical, or many times a combination of oral and topical medications.
- We will also focus on prevention, including shoe sprays, powders, and moisture control, so that this won’t ever come back again!
- Everything you need will be available right in our office on the first day of your visit, so you won’t have to run around town trying to find all of the items on your list.
- You will start seeing improvement immediately upon starting your treatment protocol. But remember, it may be a nine-month process until you are 100% clear.
- Typically you will come and see the doctors every two months for a checkup and a nail trim until your nails are clean and clear!
Contact Us Today
If you suspect you have toenail fungus, don’t delay; book an appointment with Yeargain Foot & Ankle today. When you have toenail fungus, it’s essential to see a specialist such as Dr. Yeargain or Dr. Agyen to access treatment that will put you on the path to recovery as soon as possible. As always, Dr. Yeargain, Dr. Joseph Agyen Jr, and the clinic’s staff want their patients to heal as fast as possible while causing minimal disruption to their everyday lives. Our team wants you looking and feeling better!
To learn more about toenail fungus, have a look at our website. To book an appointment at Yeargain Foot & Ankle, call (214) 824-3851 or book an appointment via our contact page. We look forward to treating you.
You’ll find Yeargain Foot & Ankle at 3801 Gaston Ave. Suite 330 across the street from the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.