Toenail fungus can be a difficult condition to treat, but with the help of your podiatrist, you may be able to clear the condition and get your feet back to their normal condition. Use this guide to help care for your toes, and seek the help of a podiatrist to find the right medical treatment that works for you.
Keep Your Toenails Trimmed
Trimming your toenails is essential even when you don't have a fungal infection, but you'll want to take extra care if you do have an issue with fungus. If your nails have begun to thicken, you may need to file them down before trimming. Be sure to cut straight across to prevent ingrown toenails, which can complicate your situation even more. After each trimming, wash your nail clippers with soap and water and wipe them down with an antiseptic alcohol wipe. This can help to prevent spreading the infection to your other nails.
Rethink Your Footwear
Fungus thrives in dark, damp conditions, so rethinking your footwear options can help to prevent the worsening of your condition. Look for moisture-wicking socks, which can be found in your local athletic supply store. Wear shoes that provide adequate air circulation, as this can help to prevent your feet from sweating throughout the day. You'll also want to wear water shoes when in public showers or near public swimming pools to avoid further infections and to avoid spreading your existing fungal infection.
Keep Your Toes Clean
Wash your feet regularly, taking care to clean in between your toes. You may want to use an exfoliating brush to remove dead or damaged skin cells from around the toes. Although toe fungus can be embarrassing, avoid covering the condition with nail polish, as this can prevent the toenails from being able to "breathe."
Visit Your Podiatrist
While the above steps can prevent the situation from becoming worse, they won't cure a fungal infection. Your podiatrist can prescribe topical or oral prescription medication to help clear the fungal infection. Be sure to tell your podiatrist if you have any other conditions that can complicate treatment, such as diabetes, certain skin disorders, or a weakened immune system. This will help him or her to select the proper medication and look for additional ways to treat your condition. Depending on the severity of the infection, your podiatrist may also choose to surgically remove an infected toenail.
Don't be embarrassed to discuss this condition with your doctor. When you work together to find the right treatment option, you can begin the process of treating and possibly curing your fungal toenail infection. For more information, visit sites like http://www.advancedfootclinic.org.