Many people choose to live in Dallas, TX due to the mainly warm weather throughout the year. And this means if you live in Dallas you will be wearing lots of sandals and flip-flops. But what happens if your toenails start to look different? You might want to then hide them in closed-toe shoes for no one to see. If you’re experiencing any sort of discomfort with your toenails reach out to Laser Nail Therapy. Our doctors are able to educate patients on toenail fungus causes and treatment in Dallas, TX. We are also very big at preparing our patients with post-treatment instructions to prevent future reinfections.
Common Causes of Toenail Fungus Infections
The main cause of a toenail fungus infection is an overgrowth of microscopic fungal organisms. This usually occurs inside, on top, or under the nail. Fungus thrives in dark, moist, and warm environments. Sweaty shoes are the perfect environment. The infections that cause toenail fungus may also cause jock itch, ringworm, as well as athlete’s foot.
Nail Salons can be a very common place to catch a nail fungal infection. It is important to be aware of how your nail salons clean their tools between clients. Next time you visit your favorite nail person ask them how they disinfect the tools they use. Nail files and clippers are most commonly the biggest spreaders of nail fungus infections if not cleaned properly.
Below are other common causes of toenail fungus:
- Being barefoot in public places. Our doctors always recommend wearing shoes or sandals in all public pools, showers, and locker rooms.
- Injury to a nail commonly leads to a toenail fungal infection. This happens due to the injury making an opening for fungal spores to enter under the nail and start spreading.
- Poor circulation or weakened immune system.
- Wearing the same shoes over a very long period of time.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungal infections usually can be most distinctly identified by a cheese-like odor coming from the nails. Additionally, the nails will become discolored taking a yellow, brown, or white tint to them. Once the infection progresses if treatment is not sought nails can also develop to be very thick or start lifting from the nail bed.
Best Treatment Option for a Toenail Fungal Infection
According to multiple studies, it is evident that ND YAG 1064 nm is the most effective type of laser for treating toenail fungus. Moreover, the PinPointe laser that we use has a spot size of 1 mm and the treatment typically lasts 15-30 minutes depending on the severity of the infection.
It is extremely important to prepare patients with realistic expectations. These expectations will depend on the severity of the infection. In addition, it’s important to be aware that no treatment is 100% guaranteed. From our experience, over 80% of our patients had a complete or moderate clearance of nails after just one treatment.
After the treatment is performed it is extremely important that patients continue to use post-treatment care products. This will prevent them from reinfection. Some people are more susceptible to nail fungus. The best method is to use an antifungal lacquer which acts as a shield to prevent reinfection and we also recommend spraying shoes with antifungal sprays. The sprays help to stop the growth of fungal spores inside the shoes.
If you have any signs of nail fungus, call us at 800-672-0625 at our Dallas, TX locations, or visit our website for more information on our doctors at one of our over 150 locations.
Best ways to Prevent Toenail Fungus
To prevent toenail fungal infections it’s essential to:
- Know what an athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) looks like and treat it early and effectively.
- Wear flip-flops and dry your feet well in all public areas.
- Let your feet breathe. Don’t wear the same shoes every day.
- Keep your toenails clean and trimmed.
- Wear cotton or natural fiber socks and leather or breathable uppers in shoes.
- For those at risk, use antifungal products daily.
- Use separate nail clippers for your fingernails and toenails or clean them thoroughly between uses.
- In wet and moist areas, don’t walk barefoot to prevent collecting fungi that are likely to be present on the floor.
- Don’t share shoes with other people. This will help prevent transferring fungi to each other.
- Before wearing socks, spray or powder your feet and the inside of your shoes. This will help to keep your feet and shoes dry and eliminate the buildup of fungus.
- Wear anti-fungal nail polish to help avoid toenail fungus infection if nail polish cannot be avoided.
- Wear waterproof boots and gloves to avoid prolonged moisture exposure to your nails.
- Wear wide shoes with ample space for your toes. This will help to prevent moisture and trauma to your toenail (common reasons for toenail fungus).
- Avoid foot injury and micro-trauma to your toenail (ex: playing soccer, going on long runs)
- Only attend nail salons that have adequate levels of hygiene.