A toenail fungus infection, or onychomycosis, is at best, an unattractive and uncomfortable experience in your feet that may persist for a couple of months.
At its worst, a toenail fungus infection can be so diseased that your podiatrist may need to remove part of, or all of your toenail and will require constant medication for weeks of recovery time.
Symptoms of toenail fungus infection
It is by no means rare to experience a toenail fungus infection, however if or when you notice that your toenails have any of the following symptoms, contact your podiatrist immediately.
• Thickened toenails, which are difficult to cut
• Ragged, brittle or crumbly toenails in texture
• Dull or lackluster surface
• Dark or yellow in color, usually found under the tip of your toenail
Contracting and avoiding toenail fungus infection
Due to the nature of the disease, toenail fungus infection spreads rapidly. If you think you have the infection in any of your toes, be seen by a podiatrist immediately to avoid intensifying the situation. Toenail fungus infection can also spread to the fingernails so be cautious when touching your infected toenails.
Fungus occurs more often in toenails than fingernails because your feet are often enclosed in dark, warm and moist environments inside your shoes— which are exactly the kind of places that fungi thrive. Swimming pools and showers are also common places that people pick up toenail fungus infection.
To avoid contracting toenail fungus infection you should try to keep your feet as dry and clean as possible. Wear flip-flops in public showers and wear socks with enclosed shoes, especially when perspiring in those shoes. If you have to walk barefoot in very damp and moist places, wash and dry your feet as soon as possible afterwards.
Fungus enters the feet through little cuts or separations between your nail and nail bed. A person with poor blood circulation, such as those with diabetes, are at a higher risk of picking up the infection as well because the immune system is not as strong, and therefore takes longer to detect and remedy the infection. Always cover up any open sores or cuts on the feet.
Toenail fungus infections always have the possibility of worsening, spreading, or turning into a much more harmful bacterial infection. If you suspect that you might have it, see your podiatrist in NYC immediately.
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