Toenail fungus can be unsightly and embarrassing, but Maryland Podiatry Center and Dr. John Murphy can help. Read about toenail fungus and contact your Ellicott City, MD, podiatrist if you are concerned about your feet.
How did I get toenail fungus?
Fungus thrives in humid and damp conditions, so patients pick up fungus from damp areas like locker rooms, public showers, and swimming pools. Certain patients are more susceptible to fungal infections like the elderly, diabetics, or patients with circulatory issues. If you have foot fungus it can infect the nail bed and cause the following symptoms:
- Discolored areas or streaks in the nail
- Brittle or flaking toenails
- Thickening toenails
If you notice these symptoms, talk to your Ellicott City, MD, podiatrist about how long you've been experiencing toenail fungus.
What can I do about toenail fungus?
After discussing your medical history, your podiatrist will examine your foot and toenails, and take a sample of the fungus to be analyzed. With a confirmed diagnosis, you and your doctor can discuss the best treatment. There are several treatments available for toenail fungus and the best one for you will depend on your case and your medical history.
Topical treatments are available for toenail fungus and are applied directly to the toenail, but many patients need more than one measure to get rid of toenail fungus completely. Antifungal cream needs to be applied frequently so it's a commitment to use it as directed, but it can help clear up the fungus.
There are some oral medications available that can help clear up a fungal infection. These are powerful drugs that should only be used as prescribed. Talk to your doctor about possible side effects and your medical history before taking any medication.
Laser therapy is a non-invasive procedure that attacks the fungus without damaging the nail. Ask your podiatrist if this treatment is right for your case. In severe cases where the toenail is damaged, it can be surgically removed.
Preventing further fungal infections is a matter of being vigilant and taking care of your feet. Keep your feet clean and dry because dry feet are less likely to become infected. Don't share items like socks or nail clippers, and wear sandals in damp public areas like locker rooms and swimming pools.
Dr. John Murphy of Maryland Podiatry Center can help if you're struggling with toenail fungus. Contact us in Ellicott City, MD, at (410) 992-8504.