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Phone: 309-661-9975
Heartland Foot and Ankle Associates
Call 309-661-9975
Toll Free 866-274-0285
Fax 309-661-9920

Are Your Fungal Nails Fighting Your Footwear

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It’s hard to believe that September is almost gone and October’s practically here. This means we’ve been enjoying pumpkin spice coffee everything for a couple of weeks now. It also means temperatures are going to start dropping pretty soon. Won’t be long now until the conditions are just right to make some hot cocoa, grab a good book, and get comfy on the couch!

Fall RunningSpeaking of getting comfy, something you definitely don’t want this fall—or any time of year, really—is fungi getting comfy in your shoes. Why would you need to be concerned about this? Well, just like your living room is an inviting place for you, the conditions in footwear can be ripe for fungi to make themselves at home.

Fungi are responsible for two big skin issues in feet – athlete’s foot and toenail fungus.

Athlete’s foot is a fairly common fungal infection, one that causes itching, burning, and redness. This infection can also cause redness and make the skin between toes raw. The problem typically starts between the toes before spreading across the foot.

Perhaps even more concerning than athlete’s foot—which is usually treated easily with over-the-counter sprays and powders—is toenail fungus. This particular infection is more stubborn (harder to treat) and can be quite embarrassing (since it causes discoloration in affected nails).

Both of these conditions are caused by fungi, which brings us back to the hospitable environment in footwear. Since feet rely on sweat to keep the skin moist, and produce heat, the insides of shoes are often damp and warm. Fungi can thrive in dark places, so the lack of sunlight isn’t a concern.

Keeping all of that in mind, you should take some measures if you want fungal-free feet, including:

  • Buy shoes made from breathable materials. This is a great way to make sure you don’t have damp footwear that is just begging for fungi to come inside and take over the place.

  • Alternate every other day between two different pairs of shoes. By doing so, you give each pair 24 hours to dry out between uses. (If you really like a pair of shoes, perhaps buy a second pair!)

  • Use antifungal products. Bowling alleys have the right idea by spraying rental shoes after you return them. You can pick up antifungal sprays and powders off the shelf and then use them every night when you take off your shoes.

We hope you are able to avoid having to live with the embarrassment of toenail fungus, but remember that Heartland Foot & Ankle Associates is here to help if you contract this common fungal infection. In addition to traditional fungal toenail treatments, we offer a variety of packages for our highly-effective laser therapy. This state-of-the-art treatment is quick, painless, and does not cause unwanted side effects.

For more information toenail fungus treatment, or any of the comprehensive foot care services we provide, simply give our Bloomington office a call at (309) 661-9975. If you’d prefer, you can contact our office through our online form right now!

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