Toenail Fungus Treatments: When to See The Doctor
Poor circulation, diabetes, or psoriasis can cause toenail fungus. It can also be created by environmental factors such as work conditions that put the feet in water frequently or locker rooms that remain hot and humid much of the time. Either factor can contribute to developing or spreading a fungal infection. Fortunately, there are several toenail fungus treatments available.
What are the Symptoms of Toenail Fungus?
Symptoms for this condition can include the toenail thickening and becoming brittle so that the nail crumbles and grows ragged edges. The nail will continue to thicken until it grows in a distorted shape. Other symptoms will include a darkening of the nail where dirt gets trapped under the nail as it grows and a smell that people describe as foul. The toenail will turn a whitish or yellowish-brown color.
What are Toenail Fungus Treatments?
There are several options for treating a fungal infection.
Toenail Fungus Treatments: Home Management
- Over-the-counter medications such as nail creams and ointments.
- Altering the nail by thinning it down or trimming it to reduce pressure and provide better access for medications.
Toenail Fungus Treatments: Preventative Care
- Trim nails straight across.
- Practice good hand washing practices after touching feet.
- Wear socks that absorb sweat.
- Use footwear in locker rooms and pool areas.
When to See a Doctor About Toenail Fungus
The patient should contact the doctor if there is no abatement in symptoms after applying over-the-counter medications and preventative care measures.
A doctor should also be seen if the symptoms worsen:
- The toe swells, turns red, remains hotter than the rest of the body, or becomes tender.
- The infected toe and the surrounding area begin to leak pus.
- The area surrounding the infected toe develops red streaks.
- A fever of 100.4 or higher develops.
- The infection begins spreading to the skin.
- The pain level becomes intolerable.
Treatments and Cures
Finally, a doctor can provide several available options for treating a fungal toenail infection. He or she can prescribe antifungal drugs that the patient takes orally, prescribe antifungal nail polish, or prescription strength nail cream. And, in extreme cases, a doctor may elect to surgically remove the nail to apply medications directly to the nail bed.
Michigan Podiatry is an experienced family podiatry practice with offices in three locations and emergency care capabilities. So, contact the caring staff today at the office in Southfield/ Bingham Farms, Livonia, Novi, or Howell to set an appointment for a consultation and treatment if you are suffering from a fungal infection.