Toenail fungus is a common foot condition that can cause the nails on the toes to be thick and discolored. They may look darkened or yellow, and become brittle or crack. In some cases, the toenails may even have an odor. This condition can be embarrassing and cause pain if the nail becomes infected and separates from the nail bed.
Toenail Fungus Treatment Options
If you have a toenail fungus, there are a variety of treatment options to consider. There are over-the-counter medications as well as ones that your podiatrist can prescribe. Many at-home treatments work for mild cases that are caught early. For more advanced cases, however, these treatments are not effective.
Consult with your podiatrist for cases that do not respond to treatment at home. Your podiatrist will examine your feet and determine treatment based on your needs. Treatment will depend on the severity of your condition and the type of fungus causing it. A combination of topical and oral medications is typically effective in clearing up the fungus.
Some treatments that a podiatrist may recommend include:
- Prescription topical cream
- Oral antifungal medication
- Medicated nail polish
- Laser treatment
Many toenail fungus cases can take months to clear up. For more severe cases, surgery may be needed to remove the nail. Once the nail is removed, an antifungal medication can be applied directly under the nail area. Another surgical option is to remove the nail permanently.
There are some simple tips to consider that may help prevent fungal infections from happening to your toenails. These include:
- Wash your feet daily and always dry between your toes.
- Wear socks that wick away moisture and keep your feet dry.
- Change your socks if they become wet or damp.
- Wear shower shoes or flip-flops in public areas such as locker rooms, showers, and pools.
- Choose footwear that is breathable.
When to See a Podiatrist
If you have questions about getting rid of toenail fungus, Greater Washington Advanced Podiatry can help. We offer a free initial consultation and can create a customized plan to address your concerns. To set up an appointment, fill out our contact form or call us at (301) 515-FEET.