You Don’t Have to Live With Fungal Nails!

Jun 19, 2019

When you look down at your feet, what do you see?

We certainly hope that what you see are clear, healthy looking toes and nails! But if you are like millions of Americans suffering from toenail fungus, then you likely have yellowed, thickened, and distorted toenails staring right back at you.

What’s worse, you may even have been told that getting rid of this unsightly problem is impossible and that you must now learn to live with toenail fungus – get ready to hide your feet in socks and shoes (or, for summer purpose, hide them in socks and sandals), right?

Well, not so fast – toenail fungus can be easily treated with conservative measures, especially when you address the problem as soon as you start to notice something is wrong.

Sure, fungal nails can sometimes be stubborn – once the fungus has found a home in your toenail and its nailbed, you can expect it to fight for its “territory.” In fact, the nail itself will protect the fungus, making it difficult to eradicate this annoying problem.

But, “difficult” does not mean “impossible!”

And at Heartland Foot & Ankle Associates, we treat a wide range of lower limb issues (including fungal nails) and can help you understand this condition and know what to expect from treatment. Though you should keep in mind that it’s going to take some time to complete your toenail fungus treatment and restore your natural nail to full health – new, clear nail tissue will take time to grow but the end result will definitely be worth the patience.

So if you want clear looking nails for the summer, the time to act is now!

But first, it’s important that you understand the cause of fungal toenails so that you are able to prevent it from happening in the first place.

What Causes Toenail Fungus?

Usually, nail fungal infections occur when a type of fungus called a dermatophyte finds its way into the nail. This condition can also be caused by a general mold or yeast infection in the toenail. Though whether your case was cause by fungus, mold or yeast, all of these infections are created in the same environment – warm, dark, and wet.

Places like gyms, locker-rooms, steam-rooms, swimming pools and showers, are all hot spots for these types of fungal infections. Just walking barefoot can cause you to get one! The dark warmth of your shoes and socks – especially if your feet sweat a lot – is also the perfect breeding ground for fungal infections.

Anyone can develop toenail fungus, but older adults are at a higher risk due to a greater lack of blood circulation to the feet. Not to mention that, as we age, our nails begin thicken which makes us more susceptible to fungal invasion.

Other risk factors that increase the likelihood of nail fungus include:

  • Being a diabetic
  • Trauma to the nail
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Athlete’s foot
  • Hyperhidrosis
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Continual exposure to water

If you notice any signs of toenail fungus in your own feet – dull, discolored, and distorted nails – come visit our Bloomington office. We provide treatment for a wide array of lower limb problems, including fungal infections , and will work hard to restore beautiful looking nails that are summer ready!

Stretching exercise

Fungal Nails Can Be Treated?!

Absolutely! In fact, we’ve been able to help many patients overcome toenail fungus with treatment options like:

  • Topical medication. This type of treatment is more commonly used for mild infections. They include creams, lotions, powders, sprays, and nail lacquers. These topical solutions attack the fungus from the outside in, which means they might not be able to reach fungus residing under infected nails.
  • Oral medication. Sometimes, we prescribe pills which deliver antifungal medication via the bloodstream. This is able to reach the fungus topical medications cannot, but it’s important to know some patients may have side effects from this treatment (as is the case with virtually any kind of oral medication).
  • Laser therapy. Technological advances have given us a third, better option for fungal nail care – laser therapy. We are pleased to have an FDA-approved laser at our office to restore your nails to health. Laser treatment for fungal nails uses concentrated light beams (lasers) to specifically target the offensive fungus, while causing no damage at all to healthy, surrounding tissue.

Since it takes time for the body to grow new nail tissue, we are pleased to offer KeryFlex, which is something that can help in the meantime by providing a natural, healthy look for your toenails while you wait for you natural nail to grow in.

Now, when it comes to treating toenail fungus, your role is something that should be taken into consideration, too. Yes, we can put a plan together that will eradicate this annoying problem, but the success of the treatment will depend on how well you follow the instructions set through your treatment plan.

You must consistently use the prescribed medications and take precautionary measures, like keeping feet dry and clean, trimming toenails properly, protecting feet in public area, in order to prevent reinfection. You should also make sure to continue treatment until we determine you are completely rid of the problem (even if you think your nails are looking great) – stopping too early can result in the infection returning.

Do that and you will soon see new, healthy nail tissue start to grow from the base of the nail over the course of a few months.

We Can Help You Say Goodbye to Fungal Nails!

You see, all hope is not lost! And you don’t have to live with toenail fungus for the rest of your life. We have many tricks up our sleeve that will take care of the problem once and for all. So if you are ready to say goodbye to unsightly nails, just give our office a call and schedule an appointment today.

You can reach us by phone at (309) 661-9975, or online through our handy request form.