Rogers Foot & Ankle Institute

Fungal Toenails: Causes And Treatment In Saratoga Springs

Mar 07, 2023
Fungal Toenails: Causes And Treatment In Saratoga Springs
Nail fungal infections (Onychomycosis) are common, and the infection usually starts as a white or yellow-brownish spot under your toenail or fingernail. If you don’t treat the infection, your fingernails or toenails will change color, thicken......

Nail fungal infections (Onychomycosis) are common, and the infection usually starts as a white or yellow-brownish spot under your toenail or fingernail. If you don’t treat the infection, your fingernails or toenails will change color, thicken, and eventually fall off. Fungal toenails affect your toes. This post will help you figure out what caused the infection, what its symptoms are, and how to get rid of it.

What Are Fungal Toenails And How Do They Form?

Fungus that grows too much in, under, or on the toenail can cause an infection. Fungi like it when it’s warm and damp, so the infection can spread to other toenails and make them sick.

Fungi that cause ringworms, jock itch, and athlete’s foot can also lead to toenail infections. Fungi that are already in the body can also cause nail infections caused by fungi.

You can contract the infection if you come in contact with someone who has the disease. In most cases, fungal infections affect toenails more than fingernails, probably because toenails are normally confined in shoes, keeping them moist most of the time.

If you often go for pedicure treatment at a nail salon, it’s important to ensure the tools used on you are well disinfected. Tools like nail clippers and emery boards often spread fungal infections.

Symptoms Of Fungal Toenails

As previously noted, your feet are more likely to get fungal nail infections because they are exposed to warm and damp areas. The following are common scenarios where you can quickly get a toenail fungal infection:

  • Walking barefoot in locker rooms
  • Spending most of the time at the swimming pools
  • Injuring your toenail
  • Wear shower shoes more often
  • Wearing the same sweaty, damp sneakers all the time

Initially, you might not have any symptoms, but over time your nails will develop the following signs:

  • White spots on the nail surface
  • The nail bed might turn brown, yellow, white, or green
  • Toenails might grow thicker or thinner than normal
  • Toenail might change shape – curl up or down
  • Unpleasant smell
  • Lift off the nail bed
  • Toenails become tender and cause pain

When you develop some of these symptoms of fungal nail infection, getting the right treatment is crucial. The earlier you visit your podiatrist (foot doctor), the better. One of the main issues with fungal nail infections is that they worsen with time.

So, visit your doctor when you realize your toenails have turned yellow, brown, or black. The same applies if your toenail suddenly feels painful or slides away from the nail bed.

How To Treat Fungal Toenails

Treating fungal nail infections can be a long and frustrating process. There are various treatment options, including oral medication, antifungal tablets, and alternative therapies.

Ointments and over-the-counter treatments are readily available. In extreme cases, your doctor might prefer removing the infected nails completely to avoid infecting other nails.

Home Remedies

Besides using the recommended treatment options above, you can also take care of the nail infection at home. Home remedies that can help you get rid of the infection include the following:

Snakeroot Plant Extract

The snakeroot plant is an antifungal plant from the sunflower family. Studies reveal that this plant extract is effective in treating toenail fungus.

Oregano Oil

The thymol present in oregano oil can help treat toenail fungus. Apply the oil to the infected nail twice every day.

Prevention Tips For Fungal Toenails

Making a few lifestyle changes can help you prevent fungal nail infections. The following tips should help you avoid fungal infections from affecting your toes.

Sanitize Your Home Pedicure Tools

Use home pedicure tools that are well-sanitized to ensure you don’t develop a fungal nail infection. Whether you’re using nail clippers or scissors, always confirm that they are disinfected.

Wear Properly Fitting Shoe

Choose the right shoe fit to ensure your toenails don’t touch the end of your shoe. Similarly, avoid buying shoes that are too big. Aim to get shoes that don’t cramp your toes, giving them enough space to breathe.

Wear Shower Sandals Or Flip Flops

Wear shower sandals or flip-flops when walking in moist areas like swimming pools, gyms, spas, locker rooms, and public showers. Doing this can help prevent contracting an athlete’s foot and nail fungus.

Alternate Shoe

Wearing damp shoes, like the ones you wore yesterday while working out, increases the likelihood of contracting nail fungus. Therefore, invest in a few pairs of shoes to ensure you can alternate them frequently. Avoid wearing the same footwear for two days consecutively.

Disinfect More Often

Disinfect your shoes using an antibacterial spray, especially after wearing them without socks. It’s also important to scrub your shower spaces and disinfect them more often.

When washing your feet, ensure they are clean and dry before wearing shoes. Use a cloth to wipe them dry, especially between the toenails.

Avoid Sharing Shoes, Towels, And Clippers

Contracting nail fungus is easy when you share shoes, towels, and clippers. So, to be safe, avoid sharing these items.

Moisturize Dry Skin

Fungi can penetrate the small cracks on your skin. Therefore, moisturize your dry skin after taking a shower.

Choose Breathable Shoe

The best way to prevent toenail fungus infections is to ensure your feet are clean and dry. As a result, breathable footwear will give your feet a conducive and healthy environment.

We’re Here For You

If you’re experiencing foot pain, discomfort, or other symptoms, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Ignoring these symptoms can lead to a worsening condition, making treatment more difficult and potentially leading to long-term damage. At Rogers Foot and Ankle Institute, we’re here to help you get back on your feet and back to the activities you love.

Our goal is to customize your foot care to meet your needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment in Saratoga Springs, UT.