Ways to Prevent Toenail Fungus and How We Can Help
With summer just around the corner, your sandals are probably starting to peek out at you from the back of your closet. You may begin to think about getting “beach-ready” by hitting the gym. However, you might not consider the health of your toenails during your preparations. After being covered up for the winter, your toes might have the signs of toenail fungus. Luckily, your Sterling and Alexandria, VA podiatrist can help you learn how to spot the signs of toenail fungus and what you can do to get your nails as beach-ready as the rest of your body.
What is toenail fungus?
Toenail fungus infects your nails by creeping in through tiny cracks or cuts. Toes are often cooped up in shoes and socks daily, making their damp, cozy environment the perfect environment for fungus to grow. Toenail fungus causes your nails to become hard, thick and yellowed and is sometimes painful. The fungus can spread to other toenails or the toes themselves, making prevention and treatment important. Men are more susceptible to toenail fungus than women, though some women experience this condition as well.
How is toenail fungus treated?
The symptoms of toenail fungus are easily mistaken for other conditions. An examination and testing help your Sterling and Alexandria podiatrist diagnose your condition. Depending on the kind of fungus present, treatment varies. Topical creams, anti-fungal prescription medication and, in severe cases, nail removal are the most common treatments for toenail fungus.
How can I prevent toenail fungus?
Be sure to regularly clean your feet and in between your toes with soap and water, making sure to dry them thoroughly afterward. While trimming your nails, cut them straight across to prevent the nail from damaging the skin. Avoid covering the discolorations or warped nails with nail polish, which does not allow the nail to breathe. Make sure you always wear fresh socks made from moisture-wicking materials. If you notice any changes in color or thickness of your nails, schedule an appointment with your podiatrist.
For more information on toenail fungus and how we can help, please contact Dr. Richard G. Lee, DPM and Dr. Steven H. Lin, DPM at Alexandria Family Podiatry in Sterling and Alexandria, VA. Call (703) 823-2357 to schedule your appointment today!