Does the idea of sandal season fill you with anxiety because you have a nasty-looking toenail fungus? Don’t worry! That fungus can be cleared up before you head to the beach.
Aside from looking bad, the infection caused by a nail fungus can get worse, becoming painful or spreading to other nails or even other parts of the body.
Where did this fungus come from, anyway?
It’s remarkably easy to pick up a nail fungus, especially if you’re regularly barefoot in warm, damp areas such as a locker room. If a person with nail fungus walks across the floor barefoot, then you walk across the floor barefoot, you could get the fungus.
Wearing sweaty shoes or sweaty socks can cause a nail fungus, too. If your feet get sweaty at work, be sure to change out of your socks and shoes as soon as you can. You may even want to consider changing socks a few times during the day.
Nonprescription treatment options for nail fungus
There are many over-the-counter anti-fungal products available. If you have only recently developed the nail fungus, you may want to try a cream, gel, or even an antifungal nail polish.
Many other home remedies are touted for nail fungus, but the fact is that for your infection to clear up, you’ll have to get rid of the fungus, which means using a product with antifungal properties.
Sometimes nail fungus requires medical attention
If you try an over-the-counter anti-fungal product and don’t see results, book an appointment online or by phone with Dr. Tagaloa-Tulifau. There are several factors that could affect what types of treatment she recommends, including:
- The type of fungus causing your infection
- The severity of your infection
- Whether or not you have any other health conditions
Some infections are more difficult to treat than others, and you may find it takes longer to heal than expected. You may need a prescription-strength anti-fungal cream or polish, or you may need an oral antifungal drug.
Some oral antifungal medications have side effects, such as nausea, and some can’t be taken with other medications. You’ll want to discuss your personal situation with Dr. Tagaloa-Tulifau.
Another option may be laser treatments. The United States Food and Drug Administration approved laser treatments for toenail fungus in 2010. It works by destroying the fungus while leaving the surrounding tissue unharmed.
Often, a combination of treatment methods is necessary to clear the infection. Dr. Tagaloa-Tulifau may suggest laser treatments along with an oral medication, for example.
Avoiding future toenail fungus infections
Unfortunately, having an infection caused by a fungus increases the likelihood of a repeat infection. There are a few things you can do to protect your nails, though. The following tips may help:
- Wash your feet often, and dry them thoroughly
- Trim your nails regularly and straight across
- Make sure your socks absorb sweat
- Use disinfectant or anti-fungal powder in your shoes
- Replace worn out shoes
- Don’t go barefoot in public areas, such as locker rooms or at the pool
Get ready to bare your toes without embarrassment! Book an appointment with Dr. Tagaloa-Tulifau to get proper treatment and learn more about avoiding toenail fungus infections in the future.