Foot Seas Podiatry
Thickening and discoloration of the nails is often caused by a fungal infection. Fungal infections can affect anyone, and can be contracted from many different places.
The key to treating and preventing fungal nails is early detection and creating an environment which does not lend itself to fungus growing.
The appearance of fungal nails can vary. Often it starts with a discoloration of the nail. This discoloration can vary as well. Some discolorations are white and have a spotted pattern to them. In others the discoloration is yellow and takes up the entire nail. Following the discoloration period the nail starts to thicken. This is due to the fungus metabolizing the nail and causing a buildup of debris. These thickened nails can become painful especially in certain shoe gear. The buildup can also affect the sides of the nails and cause increased pressure and pain.
It is difficult to say exactly where a person contracts a fungal infection. Potential places include public pools, walking outside with bare feet, lakes or streams, public restrooms and showers, and even your own bathroom or home floors. Fungus is actually growing almost everywhere. For this reason prevention by avoidance is very difficult.
Treatments for fungal nails include:
There are over-the-counter topical treatments which have mild effectiveness on early detected fungal problems. There are topical treatments that are only sold in doctor’s offices that have greater effectiveness at clearing the infection. The most effective of which is Formula 3. This topical medication as a chemical that helps it soak into the nail as well as the chemical that kills the fungus. There is also a money back guarantee for formula 3.
Lamisil is the most popular oral medication for fungal nails. It is a pill taken once by mouth daily for three months. Each month the patient must have blood work to check liver function levels. This is to monitor the medications affect on your liver.
An additional treatment for fungal nails is the use of a laser to kill the fungus and repair the nail. The results of this have been mixed and are in no way 100%. The cost of this procedure is in the $1000’s, and it is not covered by any insurance plan.
As you can see there are several options for treatment of fungal nails. If fungal nails affect you should see a podiatrist as soon as possible to prevent the problem from getting worse.