Approximately 50% of Americans over the age of 50 suffer from onychomycosis - or more commonly known as "toenail fungs." The typical symptoms vary, but generally are characterized as nail discoloration, nail thickening or a deformed or misshapen nail plate. Sometimes, there is pain associated with the condition. Often times, it makes trimming the nails difficult. Treatments may include topical treatment, oral anti-fungal, surgical removal, or the most effective and least painful treatment; laser fungal nail treatment.
There are several things you can do to reduce your chances of toenail fungus from being an issue in the first place. The 2 most critical items are keeping your feet as dry as possible at all times and avoiding trauma to your nails. Other ways to help prevent fungus are:
- Be sure your feet are washed and dry before putting on socks and shoes.
- Use antifungal products on a regular basis. Powders are especially easy to apply and should be used after showering to help absorb moisture.
- Make sure your shoes fit properly. Ill-fitting shoes will not allow your feet enough space to "breathe" and cause moisture.
- Change socks and hosiery at least once per day.
- Avoid being barefoot in damp, public places like locker rooms, pools and public showering areas.
Nail fungus is common, but is oftentimes treatable. Tucson Podiatrist Dr. Alan Shih advises you to visit your local podiatrist to learn more about various treatment options.