Yellow, brittle, and cracking toenails are just one of the complications of toenail fungus. At AHP Foot & Wound Care Specialists in Indianapolis, Dr. Todd Mann treats patients with a broad range of foot problems, including fungal infections. If diabetes has compromised your foot health or if you have a long-standing infection that over-the-counter remedies can't cure, book an appointment today.
Toenail Fungus Q & A
What causes nail fungus?
Nail fungus is easy enough to pick up from the gym, a nail salon, or any other place where you’re exposed to the germs from other people’s feet. It thrives in a moist environment, like between the toes, so sweat trapped in your socks is the perfect environment for it to grow. The fungus pervades the skin and becomes hard to treat, especially if you don't get diagnosed early.
Why are diabetics at risk for fungal infections?
If you have diabetes, you’re more prone to develop fungal infections due to the blood sugar fluctuations and weakened immune system that come with the disease. Neuropathy and peripheral artery disease can also contribute to fungal infections under your nails.
If you have diabetes, you may have a more difficult time fighting off infections, and you may also have an increased risk of developing secondary complications, like ingrown toenails and bacterial infections.
How is nail fungus treated?
Nail fungus treatment varies from one person to the next, and Dr. Mann will discuss what treatment options are the most appropriate for you.
In addition to topical creams, treatment might include:
Over-the-counter or prescription topical antifungal medications can be effective if a fungal infection is diagnosed early.
Dr. Mann may prescribe you an oral antifungal medication, which helps the body to fight off infection and kill the fungus internally.
In some cases, Dr. Mann might recommend surgical removal of a portion of your nail or entire nail. This is generally only done if you’re experiencing ingrown toenails or pain in addition to the fungus in your toenail.
What can I do to prevent nail fungus?
Since nail fungus removal can be a lengthy and expensive treatment, it’s crucial for you to focus on prevention after receiving treatment.
The following tips may help you to prevent nail fungus:
- Keep your feet clean and dry at all times
- Use an oil-absorbing powder to keep moisture out of your socks and shoes
- Discard shoes and socks that were repeatedly exposed to fungus
- Complete the full treatment of creams or antifungal medications
If you’re ready to treat your nail fungus, book your appointment with Dr. Mann today.