Tips to Avoid Toenail Fungus

Orthopedic care providers treat many problems, one of which is a condition called Onychomycosis, or toenail fungus. This unsightly problem affects a surprising number of people. Here’s what you should know about preventing toenail fungus and available treatment options.

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The Cause

Onychomycosis is a fungal infection that invades the bed of your nail as well as the toenail itself. Conditions that promote this problem are generally a damp, warm environment where fungus is able to grow. Shared showers such as in a gym are the perfect atmosphere for fungus to flourish.

Avoiding Toenail Fungus

Protecting yourself when in environments where fungus may be present is your first line of defense. Orthopedic care professionals identify gyms, swimming pools, and nail salons as potential hotbeds of nail fungus. You can take a few steps to prevent getting toenail fungus, such as wearing shoes whenever you are at a swimming pool, using a common shower or in a locker room. After bathing, thoroughly dry your feet before putting socks and/or shoes on.

If you have sweaty feet, wear special wicking socks and employ anti-fungal spray to minimize your chances of acquiring toenail fungus. If you enjoy pedicures, be sure your salon is reputable and clean. Consider bringing your own mani-pedi tools to reduce your risk. Fungus spreads easily from nail to nail, so wash hands frequently before touching unaffected toes to avoid promoting the issue to healthy nails.

Treatment

If you’ve already acquired toenail fungus, there are a few treatment options available. Oral treatments have been used historically, with success. However, these medications can damage your liver. Topical treatments like ointments are less than effective, and sometimes the problem to reoccurs.

A better option for treating toenail fungus is a newer technology that employs lasers. This quick and painless option is highly effective and often solves the problem with just one treatment. This method safely kills fungus without harming surrounding tissue, and the affected nail will grow out.

If you suffer with unsightly toenail fungus, talk to your orthopedic care provider about laser treatment options and start loving your toes again!

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