You know it when you see it. You look down and notice your toes look a bit yellowed. You bend down a little closer and realize there’s some swelling. Once you finally sit down and really inspect your toes, you realize your nail is even crumbling a bit.
Yep, you’ve got toe fungus. And there’s a huge chance this isn’t your first rodeo. So, why do you keep getting toe fungus, and how can you treat and prevent it? Let’s discuss.
What Is Toe Fungus?
Onychomycosis (a.k.a. toe fungus) is a very persistent infection that occurs within the nails. It can occur on both your hands and feet. If left untreated, toe fungus will continue to grow, leading to greater discoloration, inflammation, or even the loss of your entire nail. In the worst of cases, toe fungus has spread to become athlete’s foot, jock itch, and has even resulted in weakening people’s immune systems as a whole.
Is Toe Fungus Hereditary?
Toe fungus is not hereditary, but a susceptibility to the type of fungus that causes the infection is. If you are someone who has had frequent toenail infections, you are likely working with an immune system that is less capable of fighting off the infection that leads to toe fungus.
Is Toe Fungus Contagious?
Though toenail fungus is not highly contagious, it may be spread to others by sharing items that it comes in contact with, like shoes, socks, nail polish, etc. Therefore, if you have a nail infection, it is important to be careful.
While toe fungus can be passed from person to person, the most likely reason you may develop toe fungus is after an untreated bout of athlete’s foot.
How Can I Prevent Toe Fungus?
If you have had toe fungus more than once in your life, it is important that you actively take steps to prevent it from happening again. This can be done in a few ways:
- Wash hands and feet frequently
- Replace old shoes and socks
- Wear shoes and socks that absorb sweat
- Try antifungal sprays or powder
- Avoid going barefoot in public areas like a gym or pool
- Do not pick at the skin around the nail
How Can I Treat Toe Fungus?
Toe fungus can easily look like a number of other health conditions and should therefore be treated first with a diagnosis from a podiatrist. Depending on the severity of the problem, a podiatrist may recommend anything from a topical cream to a pill, or may even have to remove the damaged nail altogether.
Contact a Podiatrist in Birmingham
Are you struggling with a toe fungus that won’t go away? Let the Foot Specialists of Birmingham help you find relief. Contact us for an appointment today!