Keep Your Toes on the Go by Looking out for Nail Fungus!

It is that perfect time of summer to head from Columbus, Ohio to the nearby beach at Alum Creek State Park, or your favorite local pool.  While you may be looking great in your new bathing suit, you want your feet to also look healthy when your toes are on display for everyone to see.

If your toes are not the translucent, shiny nails that you would want to see, and are instead are becoming thickened, and discolored this could be a sign that you have developed a fungus in your toenails. The nails will become brittle, flaky and chalky and the nail discoloration can range from yellow to brown or even black if the fungus developed after a nail was bruised.

Especially in the summer, prevention is critical to avoiding a toenail fungus.   A toenail fungus can initially be picked up as Athlete’s foot or a foot fungus on the skin, before it invades the nails.  Fungus can be transmitted from skin cells that have been shed, which naturally occurs from both healthy and unhealthy skin.  Fungus also thrives growing in places that are damp, dark and warm.  Based off of these ways that a nail fungus is transmitted, it is important to keep you feet dry and clean and avoid being barefoot in wet areas where many other people are barefoot, including locker rooms, pools, and water parks.

While some fungal infections can often be treated with over the counter creams, fungal toenails require seeing a physician for treatment that will actually get rid of the fungus before it becomes painful.  Because nails grow relatively slowly and to cure toenail fungus you want to make sure it is completely gone, prescription oral medications typically require being taken for at least 12 weeks, with some medications requiring even longer.  While often helpful in clearing up toenail fungus, patients should know that there are some possibly serious risks involved with taking an oral antifungal medication, including liver and kidney problems.  There is also a more recent FDA approved, less risky and less time-consuming way to treat toenail fungus called the Pinpointe Foot Laser.  Utilizing the Pinpointe Foot Laser to remove fungus from a toenail is painless, takes only 30-40 minutes and has no health restrictions or adverse side effects.  Whatever treatment option you choose, it is important to take care of your toes and call your podiatrist at the first sign of abnormal changes to keep your toenails healthy and ready to be shown off during summer and all year round!

Please visit www.ColumbusFoot.com for more information or call 614-885 FEET (3338) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington. If you would like to see a podiatrist in Dublin, Ohio near Tuttle Crossing, call 614-885-3338 for an appointment.

By Dr. Animesh (Andy) Bhatia