Auteur: Podiatre Montreal
Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis or nail fungus, is a fairly common condition affecting a large part of the population. They are much more common than toenail fungus and it is estimated that 10% of the population is affected by this condition during their lifetime. This condition will essentially have aesthetic implications affecting the nails and profoundly modifying their appearance.
It is all the more frequent since it is transmitted very easily in a large number of public places, exposure is therefore frequent and the risk of developing it is all the more important. Fortunately, a multitude of treatments exist today to remedy this problem, such as ciclopirox which is an antifungal varnish, antifungal powder for shoes, laser treatment device, lamisil which is a cream for nails, jubilia, loprox, etc. It is also possible to opt for treatment without a prescription, which in some cases can be a very effective treatment.
In order to treat toenail fungus, it is nevertheless preferable to consult a specialist doctor who will be able to suggest the most appropriate treatment according to the nature of the infection, its extent and degree of severity. Zoom on this frequent pathology, its causes, consequences and treatments.
What is nail fungus (fungus on the feet)
Toenail fungus is a fungal infection most often caused by dermatophyte fungi, which account for 60 to 80% of cases of onychomycosis. This infection accounts for nearly 50% of nail problems and occurs as a result of exposure to certain fungi found in many public places, especially in hot and humid environments such as showers, spas and swimming pools.
There is a high risk of contagion in these different places where the fungi find a very favorable environment for their multiplication. Contamination is most often progressive and will generally affect one nail before moving on to the other toenails. The fungus will lodge itself under the nail before proliferating there and then infect the nails of the neighbouring toenails. The infection will usually manifest itself by discoloration of the nail to begin with before affecting the nail structure.
Causes and factors of athlete’s foot fungus
In the vast majority of cases, foot fungus will be triggered as a result of contamination by dermatophytes, but it is also possible that exposure to yeasts and molds can cause foot fungus. In addition, most of the time the mycosis appears as a result of frequenting certain public places where fungi are present, but other factors will favor the development of this infection. For example, people with poor blood circulation are more likely to develop athlete’s foot.
Similarly, certain injuries and infections can also contribute to the development of this pathology. Moreover, when the immune system is weakened, toenail fungus is also more likely to occur, so people taking treatment with immunosuppressive drugs are more frequently affected by this pathology. Finally, there is a greater frequency of this condition in males and with age.
Prevention and treatment of fungal nail infections
Toenail fungus is not a serious infection, but it does have a significant impact on the appearance of the nails, which can become unsightly or even destroyed and can be resistant, making it difficult to get rid of. It is therefore preferable to do everything possible to avoid them, to this end several simple measures can be implemented. Thus, it is recommended to keep feet dry and to have good hygiene in this respect, preferably short nails are also an effective measure to limit the risks of contamination.
Furthermore, it is essential not to share shoes in order to reduce the risks of exposure and contamination and that shoes are ventilated so that they do not provide an ideal breeding ground for fungi.
A healthy immune system is also an important point to limit the risk of developing this infection. In addition, again with a view to prevention, it may be interesting to carry out a probiotic cure that will maintain and regenerate the intestinal flora. Home remedies can also be effective in the fight against toenail fungus. Thus, it is possible to use olive leaf extract, but also cider vinegar, baking soda, well known for its antibacterial action, or certain essential oils.
When to consult a Podiatrist?
While home remedies may be an interesting first approach to the treatment of toenail fungus, they are not always sufficient. Also when the nail is thickened, yellowish or peeling, or when black spots appear, a whitish powder or white patches on the surface, it may be necessary to consult a specialist who will be able to propose an effective and appropriate treatment for the situation. The specialist will be able to carry out a thorough examination of the lesions or even take samples to determine precisely which fungi are involved and to propose an antifungal treatment corresponding to these fungi.
Depending on the lesions, their extent and severity, the Podiatrist can either propose an effective antifungal varnish in the majority of cases or prescribe oral medication whose side effects are minor but whose effectiveness is undeniable. Therefore, if you suffer from symptoms similar to toenail fungus, do not hesitate to make an appointment at our clinic where qualified health professionals will be able to take care of you, establish the diagnosis and propose the most appropriate treatment according to your situation.
If you suffer from this problem, do not hesitate to make an appointment at our clinic.