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About Fungal Nail & Athlete’s Foot?

Definition:
Nail Fungus is a chronic condition with implications for patients that go beyond the nail.

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When left untreated a fungal nail condition may affect physical and psychological wellbeing for many years. While not life threatening, the overall affects of this infection elevate its status to that of an important medical disorder.

Fungal nail is an infection:   

Patient with a fungal nail condition may present nail discoloration, nail thickening, scaling, and/or detachment of the nail plate from the nail bed. Although, the cosmetic aspect of a fungal nail may be a concern, the problems induced may go much deeper.

More than 50% of patients with fungal nail experience pain and discomfort

A study on quality of life found significantly poorer ratings for general health and body pain in patients with fungal nail than in healthy subjects.

What might a podiatrist do?
When a fungal nail is diagnosed it should be treated with appropriate drug regimens to achieve a cure whether topically (cream, soaks, or nail lacquer) for the mild to moderate conditions and orally for moderate to severe nail conditions. Your podiatrist will choose the proper treatment for you.

ATHLETE’S FOOT?

Definition:
Athlete’s foot is a common infection of the skin characterized by itching, scaling, redness, and the formation of small blisters. In general these lesions start between the toes and can extend to the borders and bottom of the foot. The fungus has the potential to spread to the toenails, causing them to become thickened, discolored and painful. In this case the infection is called onychomycosis. While this infection is common among athletes, keep in mind that can affect athletes and non-athletes alike.

Causes
The feet are vulnerable because shoes commonly create a warm, dark and humid environment that encourages fungal growth. Athletes foot can also be contracted in dressing rooms, hotel and locker room showers and swimming pool locker rooms where bare feet may come in contact with the fungus.

What Can You Do?
Keep shoes and socks dry as a preventive measure. Practice good foot hygiene including daily washing of the feet with soap and water; drying feet carefully, especially between the toes. Change shoes regularly and wear acrylic or cotton soaks.

What might a podiatrist do?
The podiatrist might prescribe topical or oral anti-fungal medication.