People don’t like their feet for all sorts of reasons. Either their toes are too long, too short, too crooked, or their hair grows in dark tufts.
Many foot problems are simply luck of the genetic draw, but when it comes to fungal nails, you’re not stuck with a hereditary issue.
Dr. Maurice Aiken and our Bay Breeze Foot & Ankle Specialists have years of experience diagnosing and treating fungal nails and can offer relief in even the most severe cases.
Here, we cover everything you need to know about what happened to your toenails and how we can help you walk away from fungus for good.
Figuring out your fungus
For being so small, your toenails are surprisingly strong. However, they’re not invincible.
Fungal nails occur when a fungus called onychomycosis infiltrates your toenails. That fungus can find its way through even the smallest chink in your nail’s armor, and your risk of contracting the fungus skyrockets if you:
- Are middle-aged or older
- Have chronically sweaty feet
- Get athlete’s foot a lot
- Have diabetes or some other circulatory issue
- Small injuries, like cuts or scrapes
Once the fungus takes hold, your nails turn yellow or brown, crumble, and become distorted. Some folks notice their socks and shoes start to stink, as well.
No matter what combination of symptoms you have, the bottom line is that fungal toenails are an eyesore and an embarrassment.
Enter Dr. Aiken.
Diagnosing and treating fungal nails
Fortunately, toenail fungus is easy to diagnose — we can almost always recognize it with a simple examination. Sometimes, we take a sample of your toenail and evaluate it for possible psoriasis or bacterial infection.
Once we’ve got more information about what’s happening with your toenails, we create a customized treatment plan. Depending on your needs, your plan could include the following.
Mild cases of toenail fungus respond well to nail creams that contain prescription-strength antifungal and antibacterial properties. You apply the cream to your nails several times daily to prevent the infection's progression and relieve your symptoms.
HyperBlue® laser therapy
For more advanced cases of toenail fungus, we may recommend HyperBlue laser therapy. This revolutionary treatment uses light energy to target and destroy the fungus in your toenails. Most patients benefit from a series of treatments and notice stronger, healthier nails develop over time.
Going the extra mile for your toenails
There's no substitute for our treatments, but we also want to equip you with simple strategies to keep fungus from returning. The best thing you can do is follow these basic foot care rules of thumb:
- Keep your nails clean and dry
- Wash your feet regularly
- Apply antifungal powders and topicals regularly
- Moisturize daily
- Consider a nail hardener
- Keep nails trimmed and disinfect your grooming tools
- Wear absorbent, quick-drying socks and change them throughout the day
- Wear footwear in public place
- Wear shoes made of breathable material
- Throw out old, worn-out shoes
- Stop painting your nails
- Choose a reputable nail salon known for cleanliness
Above all else, do your best to get help for toenail fungus immediately. The longer you leave the fungus unchecked, the worse it gets.
Dr. Aiken and our team are standing by to help you feel confident in your feet again. Call our friendly staff at 727-285-9684 or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment at our Dunedin, Florida, office today.