Toenail fungus is also known as onychomycosis. Fungi make up one of the kingdoms of the natural world and include organisms like yeasts and mushrooms. Fungi feed off of organic matter, and since you are organic, they can live off of you as well, including underneath your toenails. Fungal nails are usually more resistant and more difficult to treat than athlete's foot and thus require different treatments.
Causes of Toenail Fungus
- Circulatory problems
- Excessive sweating
- History of athlete's foot
- Immuno-deficiency conditions
- Injury to the nail bed, which makes the area more susceptible to infection
- Walking barefoot in damp, public areas such as around swimming pools and in locker rooms or showers
Symptoms of Toenail Fungus
- Appearance of white marks
- Darker color to nails
- Foul odor
Treatments for Toenail Fungus
- Laser nail therapy--New Orleans Podiatry Associates has the only PinPointe FootLaser Clinic in New Orleans. Click here to learn more about the painless procedure, to watch videos about the laser treatment, to see amazing before and after galleries, and to learn more about our specials.
- Oral or topical anti-fungal medications (Note: Please consult your physician before taking any medication.)
- Removal of nail
Prevention of Toenail Fungus
- Avoid sharing your nail clippers and nail files with others.
- Avoid sharing your socks and shoes with others.
- Keep your feet dry. Apply powder to your dry feet after you take a shower or bath.
- Protect your feet from injury, including from injury brought on by cutting your nails too short.
- Wash and dry your feet thoroughly before going to bed, and apply a non-prescription anti-fungal cream to the entire foot from the ankle down. Use the cream nightly and apply it less frequently over time.
- Wear dry cotton socks, and change them two or three times a day if necessary.
- Wear dry shoes that allow air to circulate around your feet (tight, enclosed, moist shoes contribute to fungal toenail infections).
- Wear shower sandals or shower shoes when you are at a public pool or shower.
For more information on fungal nail treatment, call New Orleans Podiatry Associates in New Orleans, LA, at (504) 897-3627. For the Metairie, LA, location, call (504) 457-2300.