Ways To Fight A Fungal Infection In Your Toenail With The Help Of A Podiatrist

Posted on: 25 March 2022

If you have a fungal infection in one of your toenails that won't clear up with antifungal creams you get from the drugstore, you may want to see a podiatrist. A fungal infection makes your toe unattractive, which might bother you in the summer when you wear sandals. Plus, your toe may be painful, and that could make it difficult to wear shoes.

Fungal infections are also contagious, so you have to worry about spreading the infection to your family. A podiatrist can treat your toenail to get the infection under control. Here are some things the doctor might recommend.

Antifungal Medications 

Your podiatrist might recommend taking oral antifungal medication. These might be used alone or with topical medications. Your podiatrist may prescribe stronger topical medications than you buy over the counter. They might also suggest a treatment that thins your nail so the medication can reach the fungus easier. The antifungal medication might be in the form of a cream or polish that you apply like fingernail polish to your nail.

There are several types of medications to try, so your podiatrist might send a sample of your toenail to the lab to pinpoint the type of fungus you have so the best medication can be chosen. Even with these antifungal medications, it could take a long time for your infection to clear up, so patience is often needed when dealing with a toenail infection.

Remove Your Toenail

Part of the reason a toenail infection is so difficult to clear up is that it is protected by the nail. If the nail is removed, medication can be applied directly to your nailbed and the fungus. This might help your infection clear up quicker. Plus, your toenail will probably grow back, although it may take many months.

Keep Your Feet Dry

Fungal infections thrive in warm, moist conditions as can be found inside your shoes. Your podiatrist might advise you to wear a certain type of foot powder to help keep your feet dry and to change your socks during the day if your feet sweat and get your socks damp. It's also a good practice to alternate days you wear your shoes so your shoes can dry out thoroughly between each use.

You may need to work with your podiatrist for months to heal your fungal infection, but that could be faster progress than if you try to battle the infection alone with home treatments. Plus, it's always good to get a diagnosis so you're certain the problem is a fungal infection and not something more serious such as skin cancer under your nail.