Summer is almost here in Chicago and that means it’s time to pull out the flip-flops and sandals! Many people are excited about this, but there are some that dread the thought of having to show their feet. If you have fungal nails, summer can be an embarrassing and stressful time. Fungal nail infections are a common foot health problem and can be present for years without causing pain. Left untreated, however, fungal toenails will never get better and will instead worsen over time. The sooner they are treated the better the success. Fortunately, there are several ways that fungal toenails can be treated, but to avoid even getting to the point of needing treatment, there are several precautions that may be taken.
You can prevent fungal nail infections by taking these simple precautions:
- Exercise proper hygiene and regularly inspect your feet and toes.
- Keep your feet clean and dry.
- Wear shower shoes in public facilities at all times.
- Clip nails straight across so that the nail does not extend beyond the tip of the toe.
- Use a quality foot powder (talcum, not cornstarch) in conjunction with shoes that fit well and are made of materials that breathe.
- Avoid wearing excessively tight hosiery, which promotes moisture. Socks made of synthetic fiber tend to "wick" away moisture faster than cotton or wool socks, especially for those with more active lifestyles.
- Disinfect home pedicure tools and don't apply polish to nails suspected of infection.
If it is too late and you already have fungus on your toenails, there’s no need to worry, several treatment options are available! At DM Foot & Ankle Associates, we offer three different options for toenail fungus depending on the infection: topical solutions, oral medication, or laser treatment. It is important to consult your physician before starting any type of treatment so that your nail can be properly evaluated and prescribed the right treatment option. There is a solution for you, s be sure to get your toenails cleared before the start of summer!