Posts for tag: fungus
When the long northeastern winter is over and the humidity kicks in, it takes our bodies some time to transition from heat saving to heat releasing. This means the production of sweat. If you’re like me, this means lots and lots of sweat. I love holding my wife’s hand, but when we’re walking outside and it’s 90 degrees and humid, I don’t hold it against her if she drops my hand.
As a Podiatric surgeon, the two things I hear from almost every patient visit are:
1. Why feet? Feet are gross
2. I’m sorry my feet smell
All feet sweat, some more than others. You would be hard-pressed to find a person who worked a 9-hour shift or went out walking and didn’t notice a little something funky when they took off their shoes. Usually, it’s not too bad. Once you air your feet out, everything goes back to a level of normalcy. Although sometimes the funk becomes more pronounced and starts to become an issue. Feet live in your shoes, and with sweat, become a dark, damp, moist environment in which bacteria and fungus love to live off of. Without treatment, the fungus can make spores, which propagates the infection and can allow it to spread from the feet to other parts of the body, and other people.
Over the years, I’ve heard from many different patients, solutions for treating smelly feet. Everything from apple cider vinegar, to Vic's vapor rub, and even mayonnaise….the internet is a fickle beast sometimes. Evaluation by a Podiatrist is always the best solution to get control of temporary or long-term issues with your feet. We have many tricks in our bag, so give us a call or visit us on our site, lifootcare.com.
Ways to avoid toenail fungus might be the least of your worries right now. But the fact that fungi are found nearly everywhere makes the issue one that you need to take seriously. If you have warm, sweaty feet then you create the perfect condition to have a breeding ground for the toenail fungal infection. Even so, you can start to engage in healthy habits which will help you significantly when it comes to preventing nail fungus or any reinfections in future. Follow the tips below to help you avoid the occurrence of a toenail fungal infection.
Clip your toenails correctly- you should trim your nails straight across and then file down the thickened areas. Along with cutting the nails, make sure to wash your hands and feet with soap and water then rinse before drying it thoroughly. Another interesting option would be to try laser toenail fungus treatment.
Do away with nail polish and artificial nails- you might be tempted to use a coat of nail polish with a pretty colour so as to hide any nail fungal infection but it is not advisable. The nail polish can trap unwanted moisture which will, in turn, worsen the infection.
Opt for breathable footwear- shoes that are made of breathable materials will allow air to circulate your feet. When your feet are dry most of the times, then they will be less susceptible to toenail fungus. These breathable materials are the likes of leather or canvas.
BY PEDRAM A. HENDIZADEH, DPM, FACFAS
A: As a practicing board-certified podiatric surgeon, I am asked this question several times a day. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to ascertain the exact cause of a fungus. Some patients may recall a dirty nail salon or a summer trip to the Hamptons with a roommate who may have had toe fungus. The truth is, fungus is everywhere, and some people are more susceptible to it than are others. Fungus can be found in gym locker rooms, hotel rooms, and nail salons. It would be difficult not to be exposed to it, but if you limit your exposure, you can minimize the chance of getting a bad infection.
A: Fungal infections can cause the nails to become discolored, thick, yellow, incurvated, and can possibly cause the nail to break away from the nail bed, leading to a gap between the nail plate and the nail bed. This allows for dirt, bacteria, germs, and fungus to live under the toenail and breed. Occasionally this can lead to odor as well.
A: Yes. Studies have shown spouses generally can infect each other. If you or a loved one have fungus, it is better to treat it early to prevent the spread to others in your household.
A: We see a greater number of women with the infection, likely due to the fact that most women paint their toenails. This allows for a dark area under the nail and allows the fungus to breed. Women also take more trips to the nail salon, so they are exposed to fungus more often.
A: Fungus thrives in a dark, moist environment. Fingernails are exposed to light, and there is less moisture on the fingernails. In fact, many people have dry skin on their fingers.
A: Consider using a nail salon that uses sterile instruments and either bring your own nail file or make sure that a new one is used. The nail file is porous and can act as a breeding ground for fungus. Always use flip-flops at the gym or in hotel rooms. Also consider an antifungal powder in your shoes to decrease moisture. Since fungus breeds in a dark, moist environment, you should leave damp or wet shoes near a window to dry properly. Do not put them in your dark closet.
A: Fungus can affect the nails to different degrees. You can have a very mild or superficial infection that can usually be treated by topical medications and debridement. This usually starts with white spots on the surface of the nail. Moderate infections may penetrate the nail plate and may affect up to 50% of it. Other, more severe infections can affect over 50% of the nail plate and can get down to the matrix/root of the nail.
A: For mild infections, topical medications and mechanical debridement can be quite effective. Occasionally, we may try oral medications or laser procedures to cure the infection quickly. Moderate to severely infected nails may not get better with topical medications but usually respond well to oral medications or a new type of laser treatment called PinPointe Foot-Laser.
A: The PinPointe FootLaser is completely safe. It is a YAG laser that has been around for many years. YAG lasers have been used for hair removal, aging spots, and sunspots.
A: The laser was introduced in California early last year and has been used in New Jersey for about a year already. It became available in New York in January of this year.
A: Usually the laser treats patients in a single session, with no drugs and no anesthesia. Laser light passes through the toenail without causing damage to the nail or surrounding skin. During the procedure, the pathogens that cause toenail fungus are targeted, allowing the new nail to grow in healthy and clear. Unlike some medication-driven treatments for toenail fungus, the laser presents minimal risk of side effects, and it is a great alternative for many patients who can’t or don’t want to take oral meds.
A: Generally speaking, oral Lamasil is relatively safe. A blood test is done prior to initiating therapy and other tests may be performed to ensure the medication is not having ill effects on your blood or liver enzymes. There have been some patients who have experienced rashes and a taste disturbance; however, most of the side effects are resolved once you come off the medication.
A: You can use nail polish while on oral medication and immediately after the laser treatment. If a patient is on topical therapy, she cannot use nail polish as the topical medications will not penetrate through the polish.
A. At this time there is no insurance company that covers the laser procedure. It is considered to be aesthetic and too new a modality. Time will tell if insurance companies will adopt this treatment modality into the patients’ plans. Many patients use their HSAs (Health Savings Accounts) or FSAs (Flexible Spending Accounts) to cover the cost for the laser treatment.
A: The laser procedure costs from about $800 on Long Island to upward of $1500 in Manhattan.