When the warm weather returns to Illinois, is there anything better than digging your bare feet into the dirt and grass? Do you have a favorite pair of peep-toe shoes that you love to wear? For many people, walking around with their feet exposed feels wonderful. But if you suffer from fungal nails, bare feet and open-toed shoes might cause you more embarrassment than delight.
What Causes Fungal Nails in the First Place?
Fungal nails are embarrassing because they look so unsightly. Your nails might look yellowed or discolored. They might also be thick and brittle. In addition to looking bad, your toenails might actually cause you pain, making it difficult to wear your favorite shoes.
So what causes this to happen?
Fungus can penetrate your nail through a small cut in your skin or in the small separation between your skin and nail bed. When your feet become damp from sweat or after showering, and then get confined in your sock or shoe, the fungus grows. Additionally, blood flow in your feet is not as vigorous as in the rest of your body, making your immune system’s response weaker and the fungal growth stronger.
How to Stop Fungal Nails
In some cases, you can stop fungal nails using a non-prescription topical cream. Although over-the-counter preparations might work to relieve symptoms for the short term, many of our patients have found that the fungus reappears. For true and lasting symptom relief, it is time to see a podiatrist.
At Heartland Foot and Ankle Associates (HFAA), we offer a unique fungal nail program to help you feel better and get the treatment you need. In this program, we help you stop any pain caused by the fungus and regain confidence in your nail’s appearance. Here are some of the ways our fungal nail program might be able to help you:
- Topical medication. If the over-the-counter medication worked well for you but you’re seeing your fungus return, you might benefit from a prescription topical medication.
- Oral medication. Sometimes, it’s better to treat the fungal infection from the inside out. With an oral medication you can boost your immune system and treat the fungus more effectively.
- Nail removal. If the fungal infection is severe, you might need to remove the nail to fully eliminate the fungus. This is only done in extreme circumstances.
- Laser therapy. Our advanced laser therapy allows us to use painless lasers to eliminate fungus in your nails. The number of treatments you need will depend on the severity of your fungal nail.
Don’t keep walking around embarrassed by your thick, discolored nails! Have confidence and show off your feet with pride by getting treatment from HFAA’s unique fungal nail program. Call 309.661.9975 today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Lockwood today.