On the tips of the toes

Often times people are hesitant to address issues going on with the tips of their toes or toenails, but toe fungus is actually more common than most people think. It can be uncomfortable as it makes a person stand out, but it is easily treatable. Read on to learn more about how common toe fungus is and ways to treat it.

Healthy Tip Tuesday is brought to you in partnership with Trinity Health Systems.

It’s easy as toe fungus grows to think that time will run its course, and the infection will go away. When that is typically not the case. A person needs to take medication or apply the medicine directly to their nails. It usually takes nine months to a year, sometimes longer to see them return to normal.

No one knows for sure why a person gets toe fungus other than that fungus is caused by yeast and mold. A person could go without treatment if the toe is not hurting, but the nail will not look appealing to the eye.

How common is toe fungus?
  • It’s very common, especially among older people and anyone with diabetes because their immune systems are compromised so they have less of an ability to fight off the fungus. Also, as people age, their nails can become brittle and dry. Any cracks in nails can be a passageway for fungi to get under the nail and stay there.
Treatments for toe fungus:
  • Antifungal prescription pills: Lamisil is one of several oral medications that can be taken to kill toe fungus.
    • After three months of taking Lamisil daily, your toenails grow out, and new healthy nails develop about six months later.
  • Topical treatments: Among the prescription topical medications, Jublia is probably the most effective, but it is costly, and not all insurances cover it.
  • Laser treatment: Using a laser, heat is directed to the nails to kill off the fungus. Several laser treatments are usually needed, and in the end, the method doesn’t always work.

If you are experiencing any pain, discomfort, or discoloration in your feet or toes, call your doctor to schedule an appointment.

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