Onychomycosis (Foot Fungus)

One of the most common foot conditions that people experience in their lifetime is a fungal infection. Onychomycosis is a fungal infection that impacts fingernails and toenails. While it’s true that this infection appears unsightly, make no mistake, it’s not just a cosmetic issue. In fact, the fungus can lead to irritation and intense pain. If you notice that your toenails are thick and discolored, you may be suffering from onychomycosis. Dr. Anant Joshi has years of experience working with this condition. Allow him to create a treatment plan that works for you


What Causes Onychomycosis? 


Because onychomycosis is a fungal infection, it is caused by various fungal organisms. While the infection can develop in anybody, it tends to be more common with older patients. As people age, their nails naturally become more brittle. The small cracks that form allow the fungus to enter readily. Poor circulation and reduced blood flow may also make feet susceptible to fungal infections. 


Signs and Symptoms


Onychomycosis is an unsightly condition that most people notice developing. Nails may appear brittle, thick, and discolored. It can even change the shape of your nail and may give off a foul odor. 


Risk Factors


There are certain risk factors and behaviors that make it more likely for people to develop onychomycosis. Those risk factors include:


  • Sweating

  • Walking barefoot

  • Having diabetes

  • Being older 

  • Having a history of athlete’s foot


While people can’t control all of these factors, you may be able to modify your behavior to avoid possible infection. 


Prevention


It is possible to avoid fungal infections such as onychomycosis. Following these good habits may help. 


  • Practice good hygiene by washing your hands and feet with warm water and soap.

  • Avoid wearing nail polish and artificial nails.

  • Trim your nails straight across rather than with the curve of your foot to avoid ingrown toenails.

  • If you’re prone to sweating, change your socks throughout the day to keep your feet dry.

  • Only use sterilized clippers and manicure tools on your feet.

  • Wear breathable shoes and socks.

  • Disinfect your shoes regularly.

  • Wash your linens and socks.


Fungus thrives in warm, moist areas. Practicing these things can help keep your environment clean and dry.


Complications


Untreated onychomycosis can cause serious complications. Eventually, it could lead to an alarming infection that spreads to other areas of the body. The condition can be even worse for people who have been diagnosed with diabetes or have a compromised immune system. If you notice changes in your nail color or texture, it’s important to reach out to your podiatrist as soon as possible. Early detection could help you avoid more severe issues. 


Treatment


Dr. Anant Joshi is experienced in managing onychomycosis. Typically antifungal medications can help heal the infection. Oral medications usually work much faster than topical medications. However, Dr. Anant Joshi will make that determination once he’s evaluated you. In advanced cases where the nail is compromised, the doctor may suggest partial removal to apply the medication directly under the nail. That process requires a longer recovery time. 


Contact Us Today


If you’ve been living with onychomycosis, know that there is treatment available. Dr. Anant Joshi has years of experience diagnosing and treating a variety of fungal infections. Allow his years of experience to work for you. Contact us today at Advanced Foot Care of NJ, LLC to schedule your appointment. We serve Woodland Park, NJ, and the surrounding areas for all of your foot care needs.