A smooth, clear toenail is probably a very happy toenail. But if you notice that your toenails have become discolored, misshapen, crumbly, pitted, or even smelly – you’ve got the potential for some very unhappy digits. It’s likely that you’ve got an infection, which can be pretty difficult to treat at home.
So if you’ve got nail symptoms like these and you live in the Tri-county area, it’s time for you to visit expert podiatrists Dr. Heidi M. Christie and Dr. Chanda L. Day-Houts at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists in Montgomery, Alabama.
What causes a nail infection?
Nails are commonly infected by a fungus (although some types of mold and yeast can also be responsible). Fungi love to hang out and multiply in warm, moist environments such as gym locker rooms and community pool decks. If you walk barefoot in places like these, you run the risk of infection. Other causes include
- excessive sweating of feet (creating another warm, moist environment)
- wearing sweaty socks
- catching an infection from a family member
- frequenting a nail salon with questionable disinfection practices
- an underlying disease such as psoriasis
What the doc looks for
The first step our expert podiatrists will take in treating a fungal nail infection is to perform a full examination. We’ll ask you what your symptoms have been and how long you’ve had them. We’ll also take a full medical history, since some underlying conditions can affect whatever’s behind your infection. Finally, we’ll examine your nails carefully to determine exactly what kind of infection we’re dealing with. We’ll take into account the color and consistency of the infection, its location on the nail, and whether or not it’s affected the thickness of your toenail.
There are several ways to treat an infected nail. Home remedies may or may not be successful, and ignoring the problem will definitely not help and may damage your nails permanently. Dr. Christie and Dr. Day-Houts can offer you prescription-strength oral medications and topical creams that hit your particular infection head-on.