Toenail fungus is an infection of the toenails caused by a variety of fungi. It can cause pain, swelling, and discoloration under or around the nail. Toenail fungus is prevalent, with at least 25% of all adults aged 18-40 experiencing it once in their lifetime. Fortunately, it’s treatable, and in Bakersfield, CA, some reliable podiatrists can help. Therefore, if you experience itching, burning, or even bleeding near your nails, find them for a diagnosis and treatment. Consider targeting top-notch specialists in toenail fungus in Bakersfield, California, for quality assistance.
What is Toenail Fungus?
Toenail fungus results from a specific group of organisms called dermatophytes. These fungi have adapted to live on the keratin in both hair and nails, composed of dead cells. It can also come in contact with yeast or mold. The clinical term for nail infection with fungus is Onychomycosis.
What is the Cause of this Condition?
Numerous factors can affect your chances of getting toenail fungus, such as having a family history or sharing personal items such as towels and clippers with someone who has it. Other at-risk groups include those wearing closed shoes or sweaty socks and using public showers and pools.
How Do I Know if I Have Toenail Fungus?
Toenails that look yellowish-brown, are thickened, and progressively crumble at the corners, are often signs of toenail fungus. Other indications are a pain in the toe when wearing shoes, skin on adjacent toes becoming irritated and inflamed, bleeding near the nails, or color change in your nails. There is some evidence that a loss of toenail pigmentation on more than one nail may be a sign of an underlying fungal condition.
How Do I Treat Toenail Fungus?
There are various treatment options for fungal nails, including topical and oral medications, laser treatments, and surgical removal. There is no guarantee that the fungus will not return even after treatment. You must continue your prescribed medication to prevent future infections. Remember that it is essential to be consistent with topical applications and take any oral medications as prescribed.
When fungus infects a nail, it can reduce its strength and flexibility and cause an ingrown or loose nail. If not treated, the infection could spread beyond the nails and become severe. Prolonged infection can also lead to permanent damage, which may require surgery to repair.
Preventing toenail fungus is often much more manageable than curing it, and there are a few things to do to protect your nails:
Keep your nails dry and clean. The best way to do this is by wearing socks and shoes with breathable materials, avoiding shared items such as nail clippers and towels, and avoiding soaking feet in communal showers.
Use a quality lotion or cream that contains an antifungal agent such as Tolnaftate or clotrimazole to apply to your nails every night.
Apply shoe powder over socks before you put on your shoes. This will help reduce sweat near the toes, which increases the risk of getting infections.
Toenail fungus is an infection of the toenails caused by a variety of fungi. It can cause pain, swelling, and discoloration under or around the nail. Consider targeting top-class specialists in toenail fungus for better assistance.