Just because it’s Halloween doesn’t mean that scary fungal toenails need to be part of your costume, even if you do plan to go as a witch.
You may be wondering if your discolored nails really are fungus. It's a good question. While fungus is the first thing we think about when we see scary looking nails, they can be caused by trauma such as dropping a heavy object on them or repetitive action such as running.
If you do have fungus it's not something to keep under wraps. Unfortunately most fungal nails won't just sit there. Over time they can get thicker and cause your nails to become distorted and painful. And just like warts they can spread to other toenails and family members.
What can you do?
Get Your Nails Tested For Fungus
If your primary doctor has already verified its fungus then you probably have it. If not a sample of your nail clippings will need to be analyzed. That way we know we’re treating the real deal.
How to Prevent Your Toenails from Becoming Witch-like
You can stop your nails from getting worse and distorted by getting your nails treated early. The earlier the better since fungus can be more difficult to treat the longer you have it.
Take Precautions to Prevent Fungal Nails In the First Place
To avoid fungus altogether there are a few things you can do. If your spouse or another family member has it, make sure they get treated to stop the chance of it spreading to you or someone else. Shower rooms and locker rooms are breeding grounds for fungus; always wear flip flops or other foot covering in these situations. Be sure your nail salon is properly sterilizing their tools. Or instead pull out your supplies and give yourself a DIY pedicure.
Don’t be Fooled by Folk Treatments Such As Vicks Vapor Rub
Many people ask this Seattle podiatrist whether Vicks or Listerine can get rid of toenail fungus. These folk remedies have not been shown to be successful. The only treatments proven to work are certain topicals you can purchase over-the-counter or from a pharmacist, oral medications, and laser. Our office uses comprehensive laser treatment along with orals and topicals to get clearing of nail fungus for our patients. Laser penetrates the nail bed to kill the fungus, orals kill the fungus through the bloodstream, and topicals keep down the fungal load on the outside of the nail and skin surrounding the nail.
Your nails can take nine months or longer to grow out once they get treated. That's why it's important to get your toenails treated now if you're want to wear sandals this summer.
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You can contact the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.