Got Toenail Fungus? Get the Facts!

Unsightly and embarrassing, many people suffer from toenail fungus, even though it is a subject that likely will not come up in general conversation. Toenail fungus is usually characterized by yellowed or discolored, thickened toenails that may grow misshapenly or be more brittle than usual. Toenail fungus is especially hard to treat, and you can find a ton of myths about the condition online. Here is a look at a few of the most common.

Myth: You only get toenail fungus if you don’t keep your feet clean.

Toenail fungus is not related to how clean you keep your feet or how often you shower, but it can be related to how often you change your socks or clean the inside of your shoes. And, people who do not wear any socks may be more susceptible to toenail fungus. People can get toenail fungus from an overabundance of yeast in the shoes that encourages fungus to grow, for example.

Myth: Toenail fungus usually goes away on its own.

Toenail fungus does not usually just go away without the proper kind of treatment. In fact, the condition is extremely stubborn, which means it can take quite some time with the proper treatment just to see some improvement in the toenails in general. It is important to not get discouraged with treatment, however, because sticking with a treatment plan can help eradicate the condition.

Myth: Toenail fungus can be scraped out.

You may be able to scrape out some of the fungi, but you do have to be careful in the process. If you accidentally pierce your nail bed in the process, you can risk the fungus getting into your body, which can bring about other health concerns. Your podiatrist can help with scraping the toenails and trimming away as much of the nail as possible to get rid of some of the fungi that are present.

Talk to Us About Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus can make you really self-conscious about your feet, but there may be treatments available that can help. Talk to us at the office of Jeffery LaMour, DPM, PA to find out about the latest treatment methods for fungus in the toenails in Austin, TX.

 

How to Prevent Getting a Toenail Infection at the Nail Salon

With sandal season approaching, you might be thinking it’s time for a pedicure. Pedicures are relaxing, therapeutic cosmetic treatments that make your feet and toes look their best. Most pedicures include a foot soaking, scrubbing, nail clipping, massage, and nail polish.

Pedicures are relaxing, and they can make you feel good, but did you know that they can put you at risk for a toenail infection, or worse? The skin on your feet can easily be cut, increasing your risk for infection. An unsanitary nail salon can expose you to bacteria and fungus that can be hard to get rid of.

Luckily, these tips can help you can make an informed decision when you choose a nail salon for your next pedicure. Jeffery LaMour, DPM and our team regularly treat toenail fungus and other infections to help patients have healthy feet. We’ve pulled together a few tips to help you stay safe during a pedicure.

Make sure the salon is sanitary

Nail salon technicians use a variety of tools on every guest in the salon. Nail clippers, cuticle trimmers, and more should be sterilized after every use, but up to 75% of salons in the United States don’t follow state protocol for disinfecting tools. The salon should use a medical-grade sanitizing machine called an autoclave to sterilize tools. Consider bringing your own tools, including a nail file, clippers, and polish, if you’re worried about the sanitary conditions of your favorite salon.

A warm foot bath can feel great on tired feet, but the bath can transfer fungus like athlete’s foot and toenail fungus if it isn’t properly cleaned. Nail technicians should disinfect foot baths between each use. If the bath isn’t sanitized properly, you might be at risk for getting a nail fungus. Consider finding a nail salon that uses plastic liners in foot baths to avoid infection.

Watch out for cuts on your feet

It’s possible that you can suffer a small cut or injury during the process of your pedicure. Nail technicians often cut cuticles with small scissors instead of pushing them back. Cutting cuticles can expose your nail bed and increase your risk of toenail infection. If your cuticles bleed or you’ve been injured, it’s a good idea to stop the pedicure.

Some nail technicians cut or shave off corns and calluses. Just like cutting your cuticles, removing corns and calluses in this way creates a wound in your skin. Bacteria can enter through the cut, and you may develop an infection as a result. Instead of cutting or shaving, ask your nail technician to use a pumice stone to work down these areas of dead skin.

Don’t get a pedicure if you have an injury or infection

If you have a known injury or infection, your immune system might already be weakened. A cut on your foot increases your risk of contracting an infection, and you could spread the infection if the salon doesn’t properly clean their instruments.

If you have diabetes, your feet are especially prone to injury. Most people with diabetes should avoid traditional nail salons to keep their feet healthy and injury free.

To fully enjoy your pedicure, make sure your feet are injury- and fungus-free before you go. Ensure the salon follows state regulations when it comes to sanitizing all the tools they use to perform pedicures.

And be sure to go to a licensed salon — one that has been evaluated by the state health department. The salon should display their license, and your nail technician should have a certificate from the board of cosmetology. At a clean salon, your chances of having a beautiful pedicure and healthy feet is much higher.

If you think you might have a toenail infection or other foot condition, we can help you heal. Call one of our offices in Austin and Pflugerville, Texas, or use our convenient online booking tool to make an appointment with Dr. LaMour today.

How Lasers Can Help Battle Toenail Fungus

We don’t often think too much about the health of our feet, but when toenail fungus strikes, it can be incredibly irritating! Did you know that infections are more common in toenails than in fingernails? Toenail fungus is one of the most common foot conditions around the world and is estimated to affect about 40 million Americans alone!

If you think that you might have toenail fungus, call us today at Family Foot & Ankle Clinic. Dr. Jeffery LaMour deals in all things related to the foot and can provide a proper diagnosis and treatment for your foot problem, whether it’s toenail fungus, ingrown nails, or bunions.

What’s toenail fungus and how do we get it?

The first thing to understand about toenail fungus is that it’s actually caused by tiny organisms called dermatophytes. These organisms love warm, dark, and moist conditions and they live in places like pool changing rooms, sports locker rooms, and public wet areas.

If you have tiny cuts or skin openings around your toenails, dermatophytes can get inside and get under the toenail itself. This is where they grow and multiply, causing problems. Anyone can get toenail fungus, but you might be more prone if you fall into one of the following groups of people:

  • Sports people and athletes who spend a lot of time in locker rooms and wear hot, sweaty sports shoes that encourage fungal growth
  • Diabetics who have poor circulation in their feet and who may have cuts and foot injuries they can’t feel
  • Elderly people and those with weak immune systems

What are the symptoms of toenail fungus?

Once toenail fungus takes root underneath the nail, it begins to spread. You may see small black, yellow, or white spots underneath your toenail. This eventually spreads to the whole nail, which turns yellow, black, green, or white.

For a lot of people, these signs can be easy to miss. After all, how many of us spend much time looking at and analyzing our feet and toenails? Once the nail has become infected by the fungus, it can turn brittle and may even curl up from the nail bed and break off easily.

Over time, the infection can become so bad that the area becomes painful to the touch. In some people, this can cause problems when walking. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to make an appointment with Dr. LaMour at Family Foot & Ankle Clinic. There’s no need to be embarrassed, we’re here to help!

Can a laser eliminate my toenail fungus?

Historically, the biggest challenge to treating toenail fungus has been getting to it successfully. Because it grows underneath the toenail, treating it with topical creams can be tough. The good news is that Dr. LaMour at Family Foot & Ankle Clinic can treat your fungal nail problem with the PinPointe™ laser.

When you visit our clinic, Dr. LaMour evaluates the condition of your feet and the extent of your toenail fungus. The PinPointe laser treatment uses highly accurate laser technology to get to the fungus in the nail bed and destroy it without harming any other part of your foot.

If you’re worried about this new treatment, the good news is that it’s quick and painless. Dr. LaMour performs the treatment at our clinic, and the most you’ll feel is some warmth and a pinging sensation in the toes being treated.

If you’re ashamed and embarrassed about the state of your feet, come and see us at Family Foot & Ankle Clinic. Call us or request an appointment through our easy online booking portal and let us help you today!

Toenail Fungus Relief at Home

It’s time to talk about toenail fungus. According to the British Medical Journal, up to 5% of the general population and 15-20% of patients over 40 years old suffer from fungal nail infections. This condition can be both unsightly and uncomfortable, but it’s unfortunately common. Thankfully, Dr. Jeffery LaMour and our Austin podiatry team are here to assist you. We can utilize our extensive experience, comprehensive knowledge, and sophisticated technology to remedy your toenail fungus. Of course, we also recognize that you might want to try treating milder cases of toenail fungus at home, to begin caring for your toes before you have the chance to come in or enhance our professional treatments with additional methods. That’s why we’ve put together this week’s blog on toenail fungus relief at home.

Fungal Fundamentals

To help handle toenail fungus at home, you first need to understand what it is. WebMD explains: “toenail fungus is an infection that gets in through cracks in your nail or cuts in your skin.” Basically, these tiny organisms find a way into your nail and make their home there, creating a whole host of issues. According to WebMD, “[toenail fungus] can make your toenail change color or get thicker…hurt…[and] left untreated, an infection could spread to other toenails, skin, or even your fingernails.”

If you’ve never suffered from or seen toenail fungus before, you might imagine tiny mushrooms growing out of your toes or brightly colored skin surrounding them, but in reality, the symptoms are much subtler. Toes inhabited by fungus are “usually thicker than normal and could be warped or oddly shaped…break easily…look yellow… [and have] a white dot [that] shows up on the nail and gets bigger.” In extreme cases, the fungus “can loosen and even separate the nail from the bed.”

In treating toenail fungus, the basic idea is to destroy the tiny organisms wreaking havoc on your nail while preserving your own healthy tissue. Typically, you can attack the fungus topically (with ointments, creams, and liquids applied directly to it), surgically (with whole or partial removal of the affected nail), or orally (through prescription medications to eliminate the fungus from the inside out).

At-Home Remedies

As we’ve explained, many people suffer from toenail fungus. On the plus side, this means that they’ve come up with numerous ways to help resolve it, and some of them are quite effective. A few of the at-home remedies Dr. LaMour and our team recommend include:

  • Oregano oil. As it turns out, this fragrant substance is useful for more than just recipes. Healthline points out: “oregano oil contains thymol. According to a 2016 review, thymol has antifungal and antibacterial properties. To treat toenail fungus, apply oregano oil to the affected nail twice daily with a cotton swab.” This topical treatment is easy to apply and can help kill off the pesky fungus.
  • Listerine. That’s right: Listerine! It may seem silly to soak your fungal feet in mouthwash, but it may also work. According to Healthline, “Listerine contains ingredients such as menthol, thymol, and eucalyptus, which have antibacterial and antifungal properties.” If you’re ready for minty-fresh, fungus-free toes, you can try “soaking the affected foot in a basin of amber-colored Listerine for 30 minutes.”
  •  Vick’s VapoRub. Just as with the Listerine, this common cough treatment may also help alleviate toenail fungus. As Healthline reports, “its active ingredients, camphor and eucalyptus oil, may help treat toenail fungus. A 2011 study found Vicks VapoRub had a ‘positive clinical effect’ in the treatment of toenail fungus,” when put on the toenail daily.
  • Toenail trimming. Simply cutting the affected nail may help with symptoms. The Mayo Clinic encourages patients to “trim and thin the nails. This helps reduce pain by reducing pressure on the nails. Also, if you do this before applying an antifungal [topical treatment], the drug [or substance] can reach deeper layers of the nail.”
  • Garlic. For an at-home oral treatment, you might try garlic. “Garlic has some antifungal and antimicrobial capabilities…[you can] treat [toenail fungus] from the inside out with garlic capsules. Take as directed by the manufacturer,” per Healthline.

These solutions may help relieve your pain and speed up your healing.

Our State-of-the-Art Solution

Home remedies are excellent, but should not completely replace professional podiatric care. At our Austin podiatry practice, we offer a high-tech, sophisticated treatment option: our Pinpointe™ FootLaser™. This device sends powerful light beams to destroy fungus while safeguarding the nail bed and skin around it. This treatment is minimally invasive and quite effective, allowing healthy nails to begin growing in just two months. Dr. LaMour can further describe this advanced treatment system at your initial consultation.

Do You Have Toenail Fungus?

Dr. LaMour and our team can help! Contact our Austin podiatry practice today to discover more home remedies, learn about Pinpointe™ FootLaser™, and schedule an appointment.

Why Are My Toenails Yellow?

Have you ever noticed your toenails taking on a yellow hue? You might have assumed that this is normal, but it isn’t. This discoloration could be relatively harmless, but it could also originate under the surface of your toenails and might become more serious if you fail to treat it. Fortunately, Dr. Jeffery LaMour and the rest of our Austin podiatry practice are here to help you better understand and care for your feet. You spend a good portion of every day on them, and they can have an impact on your overall well-being, so you ought to keep them healthy! In the following blog, Dr. LaMour and our team will answer a question patients often ask us: “why are my toenails yellow?”

Symptoms

Most probably, if you have yellow toenails, you’ll know it just by looking down at them. However, there are certain symptoms that often accompany this toenail transformation. Yellowing often occurs alongside:

  • Harder, denser nail texture. Nails might begin to feel heavier, become more difficult to cut, and become visibly thicker.
  • A reduction of shine in nails. Yellow nails also tend to be dull.
  • Changes in nail shape. Your toenails may begin to deviate from their usual form.
  • Small cracks or breaks in the nails. Your nails may appear as if they’re falling apart.
  • Jagged or deteriorating edges.
  • Other health concerns. This may seem odd, but Livestrong reports: “The color and overall health of your nails can be a reflection of your overall health.” The reverse is also true; more general body conditions can cause symptoms related to your toenails.

If you experience any of the above, contact our office for an appointment with Dr. LaMour.

Common Culprits of Color Changes

There are a variety of reasons your nails may become yellow. These include:

  • Fungus. This is by far the most common cause of yellow nails. Livestrong explains: “Yellow toenails are characteristic of a common fungal nail infection called onychomycosis, which affects some 12 percent of the U.S. population, according to the AAD.” In moist conditions—such as within a sweat-filled sock, or walking across a wet, dirty locker room floor—fungi can thrive and infect the tissue beneath your nail. If you don’t treat foot fungus early on, it can eventually take over your toenail, even cracking it.
  • Yellow Nail Syndrome. Yellow nails are the characteristic symptom of a rare systemic disease believed to be genetic. Rare Diseases describes: “Yellow nail syndrome is an extremely rare disorder characterized by malformations affecting the fingernails and toenails, abnormalities affecting the lungs and the airways…and swelling or puffiness.” This is just one of many reasons to contact a podiatrist quickly if you begin to notice yellowing. Enki Village points out: “people with conditions like bronchiectasis, sinusitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer are more likely to develop yellow nail syndrome.”
  • Polish. The most benign beginnings of yellowing nails lie in small, shiny beauty bottles. Red, blue, black, and purple nail polish may be a bold fashion statement, but it can leave behind a considerably less attractive mustard hue.

These are but a few of the most prevalent possible sources of yellowing nails. For a more customized, complete diagnosis, you should come see Dr. LaMour for an examination.

Treatment Options

The treatment Dr. LaMour recommends will depend on the specific source of your discoloration. We often utilize our advanced Pinpointe™ FootLaser™ to treat patients with toenail fungus. Unfortunately, if you suffer from Yellow Nail Syndrome, the color of your nails may be irreversible, but we can recommend options to better care for them and refer you to an appropriate doctor to help you with your other symptoms. If nail polish is the root of your yellowing, Enki Village describes how you can return them to their original color by “buffing your nails lightly,” scrubbing your feet with a little hydrogen peroxide, putting baking soda on your toenails, or even “[applying] toothpaste” with a “nailbrush to scrub your nails gently.” To prevent this yellow after-effect from recurring, you should use one or two base coats of clear polish, which creates a buffer between the dark color and your natural nail. After Dr. LaMour assesses your feet, he will determine which treatment (or combination of treatments) is appropriate for you.

Are Your Toenails Yellow?

Don’t hesitate to call our podiatry practice! A trip to your Austin foot doctor could help you improve your toenail color and protect your overall health. Contact us today! We look forward to hearing from you.

Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/why-are-my-toenails-yellow/

Toenail Fungus ? Why Does It Keep Coming Back?

Have you tried to get rid of toenail fungus repeatedly, but it still keeps rearing its ugly head? There can be many reasons that toenail fungus won’t go away for good – figuring out the source of your problem will help you find the appropriate way to treat it.

Fungi – including the kind that cause fungal nail infections – are microscopic organisms that live and thrive in warm, moist environments including locker rooms, swimming pools and showers. These organisms can make their way under your nail through tiny cuts in your skin or through a small separation between your nail and nail bed. While nail fungus can happen on either fingernails or toenails, two factors help make fungal toenail infections more common:

  •        Toenails are often confined inside of shoes – a dark, warm, moist environment where fungi can thrive.
  •        Toes usually have less blood flow than fingers, which can make it harder for your body’s immune system to detect and fight a fungal infection.

Aside from these factors, there are several reasons why fungal nail infections may seem to clear up but never go away.

Recurring Fungal Nail Infection – Possible Causes

  •         Repeat Exposure To Infected Surfaces – One of the most common causes for recurring fungal toenails is the continued presence of fungus in the shoes. Sharing a shower or bathroom space with someone who has a fungal toenail infection is another common source of repeat infection.
  •         Not fully treated – Effectively treating toenail fungus can be very difficult since the infection is located beneath the nail. Over-the-counter treatments and home remedies may temporarily relieve or reduce symptoms of a fungal nail infection but not get rid of it completely.
  •         Compromised Immune System – If your body’s natural infection-fighting defenses are weakened due to a condition or medication that you’re taking, it can be harder to get rid of a fungal nail infection.
  •         Other conditions – Conditions that cause poor blood flow to your feet, like diabetes, can affect the ability of your feet to heal after injury or infection. Having diabetes, circulation, or nerve problems in your feet puts you at greater risk of repeat fungal infection.

Tips to Keep Toenail Fungus from Coming Back

  •         Disinfect your shoes with an antifungal spray or powder.
  •         Wear socks made of moisture-absorbing fabrics like wool, nylon and polypropylene. Change your socks often, especially if you have sweaty feet.
  •         Don’t wear shoes all day long or multiple days in a row – allow them to air out between wearings.
  •         Don’t trim or pick at the skin around your toenails. This may make your skin and nails more susceptible to fungal infection.
  •         Don’t go barefoot in public places. Wear flip-flops or shower shoes around pools, showers, and locker rooms.
  •         Talk with your podiatrist about fungal toenail treatment options like oral antifungal medications, laser nail therapy, and toenail removal.

If other treatments for fungal toenail infections haven’t helped, make an appointment with us today. We can help you find out what’s causing your repeat infections and help you get rid of toenail fungus.