Are Your Little Piggies Affected by a Fungus?
No doubt about it. Toe nail fungus is unattractive. If you’ve been painting your toe nails with polish to hide their appearance and wearing close-toed shoes, maybe it’s time to determine what is causing the brittleness, distorted thickness and discoloration. When you know the signs of toe nail fungus, you can begin treatment and confidently show your feet again.
The Mayo Clinic classifies toe nail fungus (onychomycosis) as an infection. It occurs when a fungus makes its way into nail. The fungus may start as a yellow or white spot on the nail, and if untreated can grow. If left untreated, the spot grows larger and the healthy nail begins to deteriorate. What’s left is a thickened, discolored, brittle toe nail.
The most common signs of toe nail fungus, both visual and physical, can include:
- Thickened toe nail
- Distorted shape
- Dry, crumbly and/or brittle nail texture
- Unpleasant nail odor
- Dull nail appearance
- Toe nail separates from the nail bed (onycholysis)
- Color variation darker or lighter than usual
- Toe nail pain
What causes toe nail fungus?
If any of these symptoms sound and look familiar, you’re probably wondering how the fungus got deep down into your toe nails in the first place.
Blame microscopic fungi, which are everywhere. You’re vulnerable to toe nail fungus anytime, but even tiny cuts between the nail and the nail bed increase your risk. Typically, toe nail fungus is caused by the dermatophyte type of fungus, but mold and yeast also can be the culprits. All three thrive in wet, warm environments. Being barefoot in gyms, locker room areas, hot tub decks, saunas, steam rooms, swimming pool decks and such can bring on a toe nail fungus or other type of fungal foot infection.
Shoes and socks plus sweaty feet can equal a toe nail fungus. This is another warm, wet environment in which toe nail fungus can strike. Toes are far more susceptible to nail fungus than fingers because your feet do not get the circulation that your hands do.
Other factors that put you at risk for toe nail fungus are diabetes, nail trauma (stub your toe or drop something on your toe nail), hygiene, athlete’s foot, immunodeficiency, peripheral vascular disease and hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating).
How do you treat toe nail fungus?
Toe nail fungus is notoriously difficult to treat. While there are plenty of home remedies on the internet, usually a topical and oral anti-fungal is prescribed, which can take months to be effective. Today, laser treatment for toe nail fungus is an affordable and effective option without side effects or months of treatment.
If you have been hiding your toes for too long, schedule a complimentary consultation with Fremont Laser.