As we age, our bodies age with us. That includes our feet, which are prone to injury due to their placement on our bodies.
As the weather begins to warm up and the leaves begin to bloom, you are probably looking forward to switching out your winter boots for flip-flops and your jeans for shorts. However, as you make the switch from the cold weather months to Spring, you may notice that your toenails look different than you remember from the last time you donned your summer sandals. This could mean that you have toenail fungus, a common condition which grows slowly over time. Find out more about toenail fungus and its treatments with Dr. Jade Gittens in Somerset, NJ.
What is toenail fungus?
Toenail fungus occurs when the toenail becomes infected, usually via tiny cracks or cuts in the skin around the nail. Since toenail fungus is slow-growing and often does not show any obvious symptoms, patients may not realize that they have this condition. However, understanding the signs and symptoms of toenail fungus can help you identify this condition early before its symptoms become severe.
Do I have toenail fungus?
One of the earliest signs of toenail fungus is a white or yellow dot on the nail. As the condition progresses, the dot begins to spread and the nail becomes more and more yellowed and oddly shaped. The nail may begin to thicken and become brittle, breaking or chipping easily. Eventually, the nail may become loosened or even separate from the nail bed altogether. In some cases, the fungus spreads to the skin around the toenail.
Preventing Toenail Fungus
Those who have diabetes, a weakened immune system, athlete’s foot, or who have a family history of toenail fungus are more at risk of developing this condition. However, the fungus is spread by direct contact, meaning that keeping your feet clean and dry can help prevent the development of toenail fungus. Always wear shower shoes in public places which tend to be moist or humid, such as public pools or gym locker rooms. Never wear dirty socks and try to change out of sweaty or damp socks as soon as possible.
Treating Toenail Fungus in Somerset, NJ
Toenail fungus can be very stubborn and take time and patience to treat. Your doctor may recommend topical ointments, powders, or lacquers applied to the nail to help kill off the infection. If these methods do not prove successful, laser treatment or surgery to remove part or all of the nail from the nailed may become necessary.
For more information on toenail fungus, please contact Dr. Gittens in Somerset, NJ. Call 732-412-1282 to schedule your appointment today!
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