| Treating Toenail Fungus
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Treating Toenail Fungus

Treating Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus is a very little talked about topic because it is not glamorous.  However, it is a very common occurrence in the United States.  Most people will develop toenail fungus at least once in their lives.  Whether it is from wearing dirty shoes, or injuring a toe, or going to a dirty nail salon, toenail fungus is a very real part of life.  Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to treat toenail fungus that are painless and relatively easy.

Toenail fungus usually begins small.  Patients may notice a white or yellow spot under one of their toenails.  Where patients go wrong is leaving this spot untreated because it is small.  Catching toenail fungus early is absolutely key to making sure it does not spiral out of control and becomes too difficult to treat.  If left untreated, fungus will grow, causing the nail to thicken, the nail to color, and in some cases, crumble or fall off.  Nail fungus can be incredibly difficult to get rid of completely, and oftentimes, keeps coming back.

While nail fungus can affect fingernails, it is far more common in toenails. People of any age can contract nail fungus, but it is most common in people of older age.  Blood circulation and weakened immune systems can make people more susceptible to developing nail fungus.  If left untreated, nail fungus can become painful.  The best way to deal with fungus is to prevent it.  Washing your hands and feet are absolutely necessary, especially after dealing with the infected nail.  Trimming nails straight across, wearing sweat-absorbing socks, wearing shoes that breathe, not going barefoot in public pools, visiting reputable nail salons, and not using nail polish and artificial nails are some of the best ways to avoid contracting nail fungus.

For minor infections, nail fungus treatment may be adequate with oral antifungals.  Medicated nail polish and cream can also be used.  However, sometimes this is not enough.  In more severe cases, surgery may be recommended to remove the entire toenail.  Fortunately, there are new treatments on the market that do not require surgery.  This includes laser treatment for nail fungus.  Lasers are used to heat the area with fungus, causing the fungus to die from too much heat eventually.  This stops the ability of the fungus to spread, and the damaged nail eventually grows out.

There are many different ways toenail fungus can be treated.  The best treatment is prevention when it comes to toenail fungus.  However, prevention is not always possible.  If you or a loved one is experiencing toenail fungus, be sure to visit a doctor immediately.  The quicker the treatment is administered, the more likely the treatment is to be effective.  Be sure to ask your doctor about all the treatments offered.  If mild treatments are not working for you, laser may be the next best option.  Surgery comes with a host of risks that the laser does not.  Fortunately, because toenail fungus is such a common occurrence, there are a lot of treatments available.

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