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Posts for tag: Toenail Fungus

By Dr. Howard Schaengold
November 02, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Toenail Fungus  

Treating toenail fungus

Toenail fungus--it's one of the most common podiatric problems children, teens, and adults have. Causing thickened, yellow, brittle nails, onychomycosis (the medical name for toenail fungus) spreads easily and can be stubborn to treat. If you see one or more of your toenails changing shape, color, and texture, see your foot doctor right away. They have the expertise and treatments to give you ten clear toenails once again.

How toenail fungus starts

The micro-organism thrives in dark, moist environments--sweaty socks and sneakers being prime candidates. Additionally, shared towels, nail clippers, shower room floors, and pool decks breed toenail and Athlete's Foot fungus. In fact, if you suffer periodic outbreaks of itchy, uncomfortable Athlete's Foot, you're more prone to onychomycosis, says the American Academy of Dermatology.

Conquering toenail fungus

Your foot doctor sees scores of patients with toenail fungus. Visual inspection is the main diagnostic tool, and for mild cases of onychomycosis, the podiatrist may recommend creams or ointments applied topically. Oral medications are an option as well.

Additionally, modern podiatry offers innovative laser treatments which kill the micro-organism right where it lives. Painless and very effective, laser treatments are applied to all ten toenails to prevent re-infection.

Unfortunately, toenail fungal infections can become quite severe and spread to the nail bed. When infection is severe, the podiatrist may advise complete removal of the toenail to prevent further problems.

Prevention is best

Of course, if you can avoid toenail fungus, your feet and nails will look and feel their best, and you won't be embarrassed to wear open-toed shoes or sandals in the warm weather. However, some people are more prone to this common infection--diabetics, those with poor peripheral circulation and individuals who are immunosuppressed.

Regardless, your podiatrist recommends these preventive measures for healthy, fungus-free nails:

  1. Wash your feet with soap and water daily, and dry them with a clean towel.
  2. Clip your toenails straight across with a clean clippers.
  3. Wear clean socks daily.
  4. Change your gym shoes after a workout. In fact, alternate pairs if possible, letting your footwear dry out between wearings.
  5. Wear flip-flops or shower sandals in the locker room and poolside, too.
Look after those feet and nails
 
They're the only ones you have. For ongoing care of your feet and ankles, see your foot doctor each year for a routine examination. He or she will get to know you and your podiatric health needs well so you stay active and feel great.
By Dr. Howard Schaengold
March 06, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Toenail Fungus  

Also known as onychomycosis, toenail fungus can be painful, irritating and embarrassing. When you experience trauma to your nail, the nail bed is lifted, allowing fungus to invade. Without treatment, this fungus can grow and spread, particularly in dark, warm, moist environments, such as socks and shoes.

Common signs and symptoms of toenail fungus include:

  • Discoloring or yellowing of the nail

  • Thickening or crumbling of the nail

  • Swelling around the nail

  • Disfigured nails

  • Streaks or spots down the side of the nail

  • Foul-smelling debris under the nail

  • Pain and discomfort

  • Complete nail loss

Prevention is Key

Fungal infections can affect the fingernails as well as the toenails, but toenail fungus is more difficult to treat because toenails grow more slowly. Because removal of the fungus is challenging, prevention plays an important role in treatment.

  • Keep nails neatly trimmed.

  • Practice good foot hygiene, including daily washing with soap and water, drying feet and toes, carefully, and changing shoes regularly.

  • Always wear shoes in public areas, such as showers, locker rooms and pools.

  • Wear comfortable shoes that aren't too tight.

  • Avoid wearing nail polish for long periods, as it prevents the nail from breathing and can seal in fungus.

Treatment of Toenail Fungus

If you do develop toenail fungus, especially if the infection has become painful, visit our office. People with a chronic illness like diabetes should always see a podiatrist if they notice any changes in their nails, as it may be an indication of a more serious issue.

To eliminate the fungus, a podiatrist may remove as much of the infected nail as possible by trimming, filing or dissolving it. Oral or topical antifungal medications may also be prescribed to treat the infection. Laser treatment options are also sometimes available.

It’s only for severe, chronic infections that surgical removal of the nail might be recommended. Our office can help diagnose the cause of your toenail troubles, and make the best recommendation for treatment.

By Howard Schaengold, DPM
August 01, 2012
Category: Foot Care

Foot PainWhether you suffer from chronic heel pain, are embarrassed by toenail fungus or were recently diagnosed with diabetes, you can benefit from visiting a professional podiatrist.

Podiatrists provide medical and surgical care for people suffering foot, ankle and lower leg problems, such as corns, warts, bunions and sprains. Common conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes and peripheral arterial disease, which can damage the feet, can also be diagnosed and treated by a podiatrist. Even back pain can be traced to your feet and relieved through proper evaluation and treatment by a skilled foot specialist.

Not all foot and ankle problems warrant an appointment with a podiatrist. In some cases, rest, ice or even a change in footwear is enough to reduce the pain and get you back on your feet. But when foot pain and discomfort cannot be resolved by home treatment, you need a professional’s care—someone who specializes in foot-related injuries and disorders.

When to Call Howard Schaengold, DPM

Feet are invariably the most ignored parts of the body. Too many people dismiss foot health until there is a serious, painful problem.Whenever a foot or ankle problem lasts for several days, contact a Sammamish podiatrist. Other signs that indicate a worsening condition and warrant medical attention, include:

  • Foot discoloration
  • Pain and swelling in one foot
  • A foot sore or wound that doesn’t heal

How often you should visit a podiatrist depends on the individual. Regular appointments can help you better understand the stresses and strains put on your feet and lower legs on a daily basis. Long-term care and prevention is also extremely important for individuals with diabetes, as podiatrists help prevent ulcerations and loss of limb with early diagnosis and care.

Remember, foot pain should never be taken lightly. Always consult Howard Schaengold, DPM for proper diagnosis of foot disorders. 

By Howard Schaengold, DPM
March 15, 2011
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Toenail Fungus  

Toenail FungusPreventing & Eliminating Fungal Toenails

Also known as onychomycosis, toenail fungus can be painful, irritating and embarrassing. When there is trauma to the nail, the nail bed is lifted allowing fungus to penetrate and invade the nail bed. Without treatment, the fungus can grow and spread in dark, warm, moist environments, such as socks and shoes.

Common signs and symptoms of toenail fungus include:

  • Discoloring or yellowing of the nail
  • Thickening or crumbling of the nail
  • Swelling around the nail
  • Disfigured nails
  • Streaks or spots down the side of the nail
  • Foul-smelling debris under the nail
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Complete nail loss

Prevention is key

Fungal infections can affect the fingernails as well as the toenails, but toenail fungus is more difficult to treat because toenails grow more slowly. Because removal of the fungus is challenging, prevention plays an important role in treatment.

  • Keep nails neatly trimmed
  • Practice good foot hygiene, including daily washing with soap and water; drying feet and toes carefully; and changing shoes regularly
  • Always wear shoes in public areas, such as showers, locker rooms and pools
  • Wear comfortable shoes that aren't too tight
  • Avoid nail polish which can seal in fungus

Treatment of toenail fungus

If you do develop toenail fungus, especially if the infection becomes painful, visit Howard Schaengold, DPM. People with a chronic illness like diabetes should always see a podiatrist if they notice changes in their nails as it may be an indication of more serious problems.

To eliminate the fungus, a podiatrist may remove as much of the infected nail as possible by trimming, filing or dissolving it. Oral or topical antifungal medications may also be prescribed to treat the infection. Only for severe, chronic infections will surgical removal of the nail be recommended. Our Sammamish office can help diagnose the cause of your toenail problems and make the best recommendation for treatment.