No one wants ugly toenails, but luckily there are things you can do to prevent them from happening to you.

A Fungus Among Us

Foot with Nail PolishFungus grows in dark, moist places—like the inside of socks and shoes! Let’s face it, during 3 of the 4 seasons in the suburban Philadelphia/Main Line area, your feet are trapped in closed shoes where fungi can thrive. It can attack the soles of the feet, where the sweat glands are— a condition commonly called Athlete's Foot. Fungus can also enter the nail bed along with the nail plate, matrix and root.  This is how Fungus Toenails, or Onychomycosis, occurs.

Common Causes

As we age, the circulation to the nail bed and nail root diminishes which leads to the nails’ inability to ward off fungal infection. That is why many seniors, especially ones at risk with diabetes or poor circulation, develop fungus toenails. Trauma to the nail through an injury is another common cause. Participation in sports, as well as routine walking or running programs, can lead to frequently irritation of the nails to the point where the nail plate develops changes.

Variations of Fungus Toenails

Mild—thin, white streaking either vertical or across

Moderate—a little thicker, yellowing, portions of healthy and diseased nail throughout the nail plate, painful in shoes

Significant—thick throughout, yellow, brownish at times, brittle, more painful, white debris under the nail plate

Fighting the Fungi

Treatments vary depending on the severity of the fungus infection, as well as your activity and lifestyle. Appearance is also a very important consideration, as being ashamed or embarrassed to expose your feet in public can affect the way you act and feel, in addition to your overall well-being. We can help you determine the best plan of action for treatment. At Podiatry Care Specialists, PC, we offer the very best instrumentation available for the debridement, cutting, and smoothing out of irregular edges of fungus nails. This treatment will help eliminate pain, produce a better appearance, and is performed in a more safe and sterile environment than others who provide nail care.

Thicker nails are treated with debridement of the nail, along with oral, anti-fungal therapy or laser treatment which generally produce the best results.

For a mild or moderate type of fungus nail infection, a topical treatment can also be applied to the nail plate and surrounding cuticle. Keep in mind that over-the counter anti-fungal cream or spray will not be as effective as a professional anti-fungal option. If you want healthy nails, we can help you get them back quicker, and maintain them too!

The best way to treat fungus toenails is to prevent them in the first place. Remember fungus grows in dark and moist places. After a shower, bath, or after a swim, dry your feet thoroughly with a clean towel, and be sure to wear shower shoes if it’s a public area. Treat your feet daily with an anti-fungal spray, and/or use baby powder or a medicated powder on your feet as well as inside your shoes. Also, rotate your shoes and sneakers regularly so that they can dry out properly between uses.

Don’t hide your toenails in the sand any longer! Our doctors at Podiatry Care Specialists, PC are well informed and equipped to treat your fungus toenails and answer any questions and concerns you might have. Visit us in Newtown Square, Westtown, Audubon, or one of our most recent additions in Exton and in the Borough of West Chester. Call one of our offices today at (877) 905-5907!

Photo Credit: Hans via