You may look at your feet and wonder, "Do I have toenail fungus?" The American Academy of Dermatology says that millions of American adults do. It's one of the many foot ailments seen by your foot doctor in Naperville, IL Dr. Brendon J. McCarthy of Fox Valley Foot Specialists. Dr. McCarthy can diagnose and treat your toenail fungus, as well as recommend ways to avoid it in the first place.
Symptoms of Toenail Fungus
Also called Onchomycosis, toenail fungus affects one, more or all toenails of either or both feet. It can easily spread to the hands when people do not wash their nail clippers after use.
Characteristically, toenails infected with fungi called dermatophytes become:
- yellow or brown in color
Debris called keratin typically collects under and around the nail. Severe cases cause the nail to fracture and even fall off the foot.
Continued exposure to wet surfaces, such as swimming pool decks, predisposes people to toenail fungus. Tight fitting, poorly ventilated shoes do as well.
Treatments for Toenail Fungus in Naperville, IL
Anti-fungal creams and ointments take care of most toenail fungus, but they must be applied for the correct length of time to be effective. Oral anti-fungal medication has become popular in recent years, and Dr. McCarthy can debride a nail, removing the diseased portion so a healthy nail grows.
Prevention remains the best treatment, although people with suppressed immune systems, diabetics and patients with certain foot structures are more prone to fungal infections. Athlete's Foot often co-exists with toenail fungus.
Some everyday precautions include:
- cleaning pedicure tools after each use
- wearing shower sandals or flip flips around public pools and in locker rooms
- trimming nails straight across to avoid in-grown toenails
- wearing clean, dry, moisture-wicking socks
- wearing leather and canvas shoes that are breathable
- use foot powder to absorb moisture and control odor
Come for an Exam
Your Naperville, IL foot doctor likes to see his patients at least annually for a routine inspection of foot structure, nails, gait and other issues related to podiatric health. A podiatric exam is well-worth the time and effort. So, why not call Fox Valley Foot Specialists today for an appointment? Phone (630) 548-3900.