You may have heard of fungal nail but you aren't quite sure what it might look like. A healthy toenail is smooth-edged and looks pinkish and transparent. But one of your toenails looks different than the others. It's yellowish and has an irregular edge that is a little crumbly.
You may have a toenail fungus, also called fungal nail, which causes your nail to have an unusual appearance. This condition is very common - up to 20% of the adults in the U.S. suffer from fungal nail. The fungus will work to destroy the nail and the skin and tissue around it.
Don't ignore a toenail fungus as it can spread quickly to your other toes and fingers and, because it is contagious, can be picked up by family members. This fungus loves a damp environment like sweaty shoes.
How Do I Know If My Toenail Has a Fungal Infection or Has Been Damaged from Trauma?
The discoloration and damage to a toenail caused by a fungus resembles a toenail that has experienced some kind of trauma or injury. A toenail can get discolored and brittle if you rammed your foot into a stationary object or dropped something heavy on your toe.
Even footwear like slippers and slip-ons can cause trauma to the toenails if your feet slide around and hit against the front. Workers who wear steel-tipped shoes often injure their toes this way.
Toenail fungus and the damage from an injury may look the same, but toenail trauma can be treated fairly easily by soaking the foot and then filing down the softened nail gently. However, this treatment will not resolve fungal nail which requires professional care for complete healing.
Let an Expert Treat Your Fungal Nail
At Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute, an important part of our diagnostic procedure is to investigate any systemic problems, diet, drug interactions and circulation issues.
To treat toenail fungus, we will prescribe oral and topical medications. Debridement or removal of the infected nail may be required in persistent cases.
The best way to avoid a toenail fungus is with good hygiene. Clean your feet daily and always dry between the toes. Change your socks and shoes if they get wet or even a little damp. Keep feet protected in public areas like pools, spas and gyms by wearing flip-flops or swim shoes. Check your toes and feet regularly and come see us for help if you see any sign of a fungal infection.
We Have the Answer for Toenail Fungus
Dr. John Schilero, DPM, board certified podiatrist the right experience to diagnose and treat fungal nail as well as all other toe and foot skin problems. Please call us at 561-694-7776 EXT. 41 to make an appointment at one of our four offices conveniently located in Palm Beach County. You can also request an appointment at the website. Remember that fungal nail won't heal itself - ask us for help today!