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What Causes Toenail Fungus?

What Causes Toenail Fungus?

Though toenail fungus isn’t usually a serious health issue, it can be discouraging to look down at your toes and see yellowing, thickened toenails – whether it’s sandal season or not. 

Typically, you can handle a minor fungal infection on your own. You can use topical creams and other home remedies to keep complications like nail loss at bay. But, toenail fungus is notoriously tough to eradicate completely, so medical care from podiatry experts might end up being necessary.

Because toenail fungus can be tricky to navigate, our team of podiatrists at Manhattan Podiatry Associates, PC, in New York, New York, wants you to understand what causes it in the first place and offers up some guidelines on treatment.

How does toenail fungus develop in the first place?

Fungal spores are everywhere. They love warm, damp environments, and your feet are prime breeding grounds for fungi to grow and develop. If you have any sort of crack or crevice in your nail, fungus and other germs can enter into the nail bed and a fungal nail infection— known as onychomycosis — can occur as a result. 

The fungus that specifically causes nail infections can also cause athlete’s foot and ringworm, so it isn’t uncommon to have multiple infections at once. 

What increases your risk for toenail fungus?

Though it’s possible for anyone to develop toenail fungus, these factors can significantly increase your risk for nail infection:

Some ways you can keep toenail fungus from developing include keeping your feet clean and dry, changing out of wet socks and shoes immediately, and always checking your feet for signs of injury or infection.

Treating toenail fungus

It’s important to always treat toenail fungus since ignoring it can lead to more serious issues such as severe pain, nail loss, and even widespread infections such as cellulitis. So, if you notice your toenails are yellowing, thickening, or crumbling, seek treatment quickly.

Common starter treatments include prescription antifungal creams and oral antibiotics. However, if these don’t seem to be effective or your infection worsens, other treatment methods may be necessary.

At Manhattan Podiatry Associates, PC, we use laser toenail treatment for severe fungal infections. The laser is able to protect the healthy tissues while destroying the infection that lies deep underneath the nail. 

For expert podiatric care, look no further than our team at Manhattan Podiatry Associates, PC. To schedule an appointment with us for fungal infection evaluation and treatment, call your nearest office location or book online today.

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