Fungal Nails

Podiatrist located in Savannah, TN and Corinth, MS

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Fungal Nails

Up to 14% of Americans have fungal nails today, so you’re not the only one dealing with this irritating and embarrassing problem. At leading podiatry practice Dr. Robert Darrin Hurst, experienced board-certified podiatrist and foot surgeon Robert Hurst, DPM, provides empathetic expert care for fungal nails and other fungal conditions like athlete’s foot. There are offices in Savannah, Tennessee, and Corinth, Mississippi, so call the one nearest you or book your appointment online now.

Fungal Nails Q&A

What are fungal nails?

Fungal nails refer to a common kind of nail infection called onychomycosis. The infection can destroy healthy toenails and prove very stubborn and hard to clear up. 

How do I check if I have a fungal nail infection?

Fungal nails are usually fairly easy to identify because they cause dramatic changes in your nail. Some common symptoms are: 

  • Thickening
  • Discoloration: white, yellowish, or brown
  • Crumbling
  • Ragged nail edges
  • Brittleness
  • Nail bed separation
  • Unpleasant odor
  • Discomfort when the nail is pressured

Nail fungus may affect just one corner or end of the nail, but it generally spreads to envelop the whole nail and could travel to the other nails if untreated.

What is the difference between athlete’s foot and fungal nails?

Fungal nails and athlete’s foot are the same problem, but in two different areas. If the fungus occurs within the nail, it’s nail fungus; if it’s in the skin (usually between your toes), it’s called athlete’s foot. It’s quite common to have both at the same time because the infection spreads easily.

Athlete’s foot develops from a variety of fungus types, and it often spreads in damp, warm places where the fungi multiply rapidly, like public showers and swimming pools. People often go barefoot in these settings, making it the most common way to spread these infections.

How do you kill fungal nail infections?

Dr. Hurst offers several treatment options for fungal nails, including:

  • Topical antifungal medication
  • Oral antifungal medication
  • Laser treatment
  • Permanent nail removal

Treatment focuses on completely eradicating the nail fungus, because any lingering fungus may thrive again.

How can I stop fungal nails from coming back?

After treatment, Dr. Hurst recommends taking steps to prevent recurrence, such as washing and drying your feet before bed, applying anti-fungal cream nightly, and applying powder to keep your feet dry after a shower or bath. In addition, you should:

  • Trim nails regularly, but not too short (also helps avoid ingrown toenails)
  • Never share nail clippers or files
  • Never share shoes or socks
  • Wear dry cotton socks, and change them as often as needed
  • Wear flip-flops or other shower shoes in public places like showers or pools

You don’t have to live with nail fungus. Dr. Robert Darrin Hurst provides long-term solutions to clear your nails and keep you healthy, so call the nearest office or click online scheduling to make your appointment now.