Nail Fungus

Nail fungus is a very common condition, characterized by thickened, discolored nails. It can start as just an annoyance or insecurity for some, unhappy with the yellow or white spots under their nails. But in other cases the fungus can progress and cause discomfort, even spreading to other toes or other areas of the foot. It is important to understand nail fungi in order to know when it’s time to see a doctor. 

The chance of nail fungus developing increases with age, though it can happen to anyone. It is caused by different types of fungi (Mayo Clinic, 2020). It is more common in adults as our nails can become more brittle over time, which gives fungus an opportunity to enter the nail. For those with diabetes, poor blood circulation, or other conditions that cause weakened immune systems, the risk of fungus developing is higher. 

The telltale signs of nail fungus include nails that are fragile or cracked, are thick, and have changed from their natural color to being more yellow, white, or brown (CDC, 2020). Though some with nail fungus don’t experience discomfort, it can progress to being painful as the nails thicken or even deform. Due to this, consulting a healthcare provider is important. Treatments include things such as antifungal medication, medicated nail polish or medicated cream. In serious cases, nails may be removed to allow the infection to heal (CDC, 2020). 

There is no guarantee that nail fungus can be prevented, but there are ways to minimize the chance of it developing. Practicing good hygiene, wearing socks with shoes, wearing breathable shoes, keeping nails trimmed, and not sharing nail clippers are just a few examples (Mayo Clinic, 2020). As mentioned previously, for those with diabetes or other conditions that weaken the immune system, taking these precautions is especially important. 

If you believe you have nail fungus or are diabetic and want to practice preventative foot care, give us a call today. Our physicians have extensive experience. Whether you are feeling pain or are unhappy with the appearance of your feet, our team is here to help you get back to feeling comfortable and confident.