Toenail fungus is a common and unsightly problem that infects one or more of your toes. Though a fungal toenail infection is harmless, treating it can be quite tricky.
Toenail fungus (also known as onychomycosis) cause the toenails to turn yellow. Eventually, the fungus will take further control of the nail, causing pieces of it to fall off. This can cause uncomfortable swelling around the affected area.
If you’ve noticed your toenails have become infected, you should seek treatment right away.
What Causes Toenail Fungus?
Fungi are tiny organisms that thrive in moist environments. Yeast, mold, and mushrooms are some of the more common forms of fungi. There are no specific fungi responsible for toenail infections, rather a cluster of fungal organisms that occupy the affected area.
As we get older, our toenails start to wear down. Cracked or broken nails allow fungi to enter the inside of the nail, causing an infection. Other serious health problems such as diabetes can make a person more susceptible to getting infected. That’s because diabetes reduces blood flow to the feet, preventing the immune system from handling the invaders.
Toenail fungus is also contagious. It’s not uncommon for people to catch an infection from another person. Make sure to protect your feet while using a public shower or locker room.
What Are The Symptoms Of Toenail Fungus?
You should seek treatment right away if you notice any of the following:
- Your toenails have thickened
- A yellowish brownish color on one or more nails
- A foul smell coming from your feet
- Your toenails are breaking or falling off
Who Is At Risk
While anyone can get a fungal toenail infection, some are more at risk than others. Here are some of the things that put you at higher risk of contracting a toenail infection:
- Consistent sweating
- Playing sports
- Using public showers or locker rooms
- Pre-existing conditions such as Athlete’s foot and diabetes
- A broken or damaged toenail
If you have any of the following, you should be more cautious and observant of your feet to try and spot out any infections.
How To Prevent Toenail Fungus
One of the best ways to prevent toenail fungus to practice foot care on a regular basis. Good foot hygiene can protect your feet from nasty infections and other health problems further down the line. Some other ways to prevent toenail fungus include:
- Keep your feet clean! Fungi love to settle down in dirty moist areas. Make sure to wash your feet regularly to prevent catching a toenail infection.
- Trim your toenails. Keeping your toenails well-trimmed will prevent them from chipping or breaking. Broken toenails are one of the leading causes of toenail fungus.
- Wear protective footwear. If you plan on using a public shower, wear protective footwear like thongs to reduce the getting an infection.
- Change your shoes. Old and dirty shoes are a prime area for fungi to grow. Make sure to throw out old shoes, or at least have them sprayed with an antibacterial solution.
- Minimize sweat. Reducing sweat can significantly help your chances of preventing an infection. If you are someone who sweats more than normal, try investing in shoes that let your feet breathe.
Fungus Toenail Treatment in St. Catharines
Have your toenails contracted a fungal infection? Heavenly Foot Care can help. We are a mobile podiatry service that specialises in fungal toenails in St. Catharines and the Niagara region. All of our services are done discreetly in the comfort of your own home. Call us today at (905) 931-9965 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.