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Do I Have Toenail Fungus?

Tuesday, 10 May 2022 00:00

Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is an infection of the toenail that causes the nail to become discolored, thick, and prone to cracking and breaking. There is typically no pain associated with toenail fungus unless it becomes severe. Fungal nail infections are caused by different types of yeasts or molds in the environment that can get into the nail and cause an infection. The elderly, diabetics, those with weakened immune systems or blood circulatory problems, and those with athlete’s foot are more apt to get toenail fungus. To prevent toenail fungus, regularly wash and dry the feet, clip toenails straight across, do not walk barefoot in public areas, and beware of those who might have athlete’s foot as it is highly contagious. Visit a podiatrist to have your toenails checked if you suspect you have toenail fungus for a diagnosis and suggestions for treatment.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Ronald K. Olm of Grand Traverse Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Traverse City and Kalkaska, MI . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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