The very common condition of fungal toenails has an uncommon name—onychomycosis, so we’ll just call it what it is, nail fungus. There are several different species of fungi that can cause a toenail infection, and yeasts and molds can also cause fungal toenail problems. The same fungi that cause toenail fungus are implicated in ringworm and jock itch.
Toenail fungus symptoms
Some of the most obvious signs are discoloration and yellowing of the nail bed, but the very first indication that the fungi have entered your nail bed is a white or yellow spot that appears under the tip of the nail. As the fungi continue to proliferate, your nail will become quite thick and more brittle, with pieces flaking off. Sometimes the entire nail will fall off, which is an excellent time to treat the underlying infection with laser therapy and antifungal medicines.
You can help prevent toenail fungus by trying these two great tips:
- Wear properly fitted and breathable shoes and socks - Fungi and other microbes grow best in moist, warm, and wet environments such as your shoes. Wearing shoes that don’t squeeze your toes and that help to wick away moisture will prevent fungi growth. Wearing breathable socks is also highly advisable.
- Protect your feet from injury - Pay attention to the environment that your feet inhabit and keep them from getting injured. Wear protective shower shoes or sandals in public pool areas and locker rooms, and clean and disinfect your feet regularly.
If you are concerned about a possible toenail fungus infection, schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified podiatrists Andrew Shapiro, DPM and Michael Barkin, DPM. With access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, we can assist you with heel pain, ankle sprains, diabetic foot care, toe deformities, nail fungus, and skin problems, among many other conditions. Our practice is conveniently located on West Merrick Road in Valley Stream to accommodate all of your foot care needs. Call (516) 825-3860 or book an appointment online today!