Starting Your Summer Off on the Right Foot
Flip flop time of year is just around the corner, so it’s time to chase away those little critters that, as seen on television commercials, want to “live under your nail” – commonly known as fungus. Also known as onychomycosis, this condition manifests itself as toenails that appear very thick, crumbly, discolored (yellow, brown, green, or white), or with debris underneath the nail itself. The organisms which cause this condition are called dermatophytes, the two most common ones being Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton mentagrophyte. These critters prefer environments that are warm, dark, and damp, thus making the foot an ideal location for infection.
It is important to treat any concomitant athlete’s foot infection, or tinea pedis, along with fungal toenails. The reason for this is because fungus can spread from the toenails to the skin and also from the skin to the toenails. Athlete’s foot appears as dry, scaly skin in a moccasin distribution or as what appears to be small, popped blisters on the soles of the feet. Symptoms can be itching, burning, soreness, peeling, blistering, or cracked skin. Some people have no symptoms at all; this does not mean that you should leave the infection alone! On occasion, the skin which is already infected with athlete’s foot may crack, thus allowing bacteria to enter the skin and cause a secondary infection. This makes treatment more difficult, sometimes requiring both antifungal agents along with antibiotics.
There are multiple ways to treat fungal infections in the foot. As for onychomycosis, some people have heard of soaking the toenails in bleach or using vinegar. These methods are not curative! It is important to treat this condition with the appropriate antifungal agent. Formula 3 is an oil-based, nail polish-type treatment that has shown promising results over the years. You simply paint the oil on all of the toenails twice daily (once in the morning, once before bed). All nails should be painted in order to prevent the spread of fungus. Noticeable changes may be evident as early as 3 weeks to 1 month after beginning treatment. Laser treatment for nail fungus is also available at our Huber Heights office location.
Athlete’s foot can be treated with the antifungal medication Tineastat, which can be purchased at all of our office locations. You should also use drying agents to prevent foot sweating and, therefore, cure and prevent future outbreaks of athlete’s foot. We have an array of products which prevent excessive sweating at all office locations, as well.
If you are suffering from any of the above mentioned conditions, make an appointment with us today so we can help to start your summer off on the right foot!