Fungal toenail infections are very common and often go untreated in the early stages because they don’t have any painful symptoms. As the condition progresses, however, the toenails will become more brittle and begin to thicken. You will notice more discoloration and a bad smell may develop by the action of the fungal organisms. Toenail fungal infections often affect people more as they age, and men are more likely than women to develop fungal and bacterial infections.
Fungal toenail treatment and prevention options
A variety of treatment and prevention methods are available:
- Antifungal medications – Ointments and creams containing antifungal medicine can be effective, but for difficult infections, there is always the possibility of the infection coming back. Oral antifungal medication can be used to attack the infection from the bloodstream.
- Nail shaving – (or debriding) is an excellent way to ensure a more complete absorption of the antifungal topical remedies.
- Nail removal – In the most difficult cases, the nail will require surgical removal. A new nail will eventually grow in to replace the deformed nail.
- Prevent nail infections – Always wear shower shoes in public facilities like locker rooms and shower areas. Remember to be careful when trimming your toenails so that you don’t clip them too short to help avoid an ingrown toenail. Any cut in the skin at the nail edge can allow fungi and bacteria to get under your nail and cause an infection.
For toenail fungal infections that just won’t go away, see your foot care professional for the most effective treatment. At Family Foot & Ankle Clinic, Dr. Stephen Markantone treats a wide variety of foot and ankle conditions including sports injuries, diabetic foot issues, pediatric foot conditions, toe and foot deformities, fungal infections, and heel problems. Equipped with the most advanced technologies and a dedicated staff, Family Foot & Ankle Clinic provides individualized and high-quality care for patients in the North Versailles and Delmont, PA areas. Contact our North Versailles office at 412-824-9370 or our Delmont office at 724-733-3338 to schedule an appointment.