Discolored Nails – Fight the Fungus

Unsightly nails may be keeping you out of your favorite sandal or shoes because of the open toes.  For the ladies out there, a little bit of nail polish helps to conceal them but will do little to help. Discolored, brittle, or thickened nails are most often the result of a microscopic fungus that has infected your nail.  Many times the nails that are yellowed are infected with several types of dermatophytes or the same organisms that can cause Athlete’s feet.  These types of fungi thrive on the keratin in your nails and when they infect the root they continue to attack new nail growth. Because these organisms thrive in dark areas that are warm and moist, your shoes and shocks offer an ideal area to grow. Without proper treatment and continued care, the problem can worsen, eventually destroy any healthy nail and become painful.

We recently discussed the new laser technology we have available to combat this problem for you. While typically not covered by insurance, there are many things about it that make it a superior treatment to many of the other treatments available.  In the past most treatments involved use of topical medication applied to the nail or oral medication that could affect your entire body. Lamisil®, is one of the most common oral treatment but it has the potential to damage your liver and is never an option for anyone living with any number of health concerns.  The topical medication, while safer, has limited ability to be effective due to the frequency of application and the difficulty of penetrating the nail often leaving infected nail untreated.  The Blue Shine laser treatments offer the effectiveness of oral treatments but without any side effect or lengthy treatment. Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists are happy to offer this quick, painless, and effective treatment with no side effects.

After getting your nails treated, it is crucial you take steps to prevent reinfection.  You can decrease your chances of reinfection by sanitizing your shoes with ultraviolet germicidal treatment or antifungal sprays.  Keeping your shoes sterile is only half the battle if you are prone to fungal nails. The next step is lowering the moisture in your shoes by changing socks or using absorbing powders. With proper treatment and diligent care, you can keep your nails looking healthy all summer long!

Until next time, keep those ankles, feet, and toenails happy and healthy Austin!

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