Dust off you sandals because spring has officially arrived! What an excellent time of year to check out the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix and truly appreciate all colors that the desert has to offer. One common barrier to enjoying spring and summer shoes are discolored toenails. Whether your day is cruising the gardens or enjoying spring elsewhere don’t let toenail fungus determine your choice of shoes.
Onychomycosis or toenail fungus is a common condition that is the result of a fungal infection that has occurred within the toenail. Fungal infections grow best in dark, moist environments leaving your feet and toenails extremely vulnerable. Toenail fungus may affect all the toes or only a few. It can present as brittle, thickened or discolored nails that may have the tendency to crumble at the edges. Toenail fungus can also be painful due to nail separation and damage to the nail bed.
Treatment of toenail fungus can be very frustrating for the patient. It is important to realize that toenails grow extremely slow and it may take 12 to 18 months for complete resolution of fungal nails with correct treatment. Topical anti-fungals may seem appropriate for fungal nail infections; however, fail due to the inability to penetrate the nail bed. Topical treatment is useful in fungal skin infections such as athlete’s foot. Laser treatment has shown to disrupt fungal growth and may be used in some situations. Another valid treatment option is oral medication. The oral form of the medication allows it to attack the fungus deep within the nail to provide effective treatment. Depending on the situation, the podiatrist will determine the most effective treatment option.
Don’t let a treatable condition such as fungal nails prevent you from enjoying your spring and summer shoes. If you or someone you know has discolored toenails or notice any changes in your foot health, please consider making an appointment with Dr. Gary N. Friedlander or Dr. Jay C. Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists in Glendale, Arizona.