Are Your Toenails Infected?

Nail infections are common. We treat them regularly here at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists. The two types of toenail infections that we see most are fungal infections and ingrown toenails.

Fungus among us

  • Your toenails can become infected with a number of different fungi. Fungi live and thrive in warm, moist places. You can pick up a fungus while walking barefoot on a wet surface such as a public locker room or pool deck. Do your feet spend a lot of time in hot and sweaty shoes? A fungus can grow in that environment as well.
  • A fungal nail infection may originate with the skin infection called athlete’s foot. Athlete’s foot is marked by scaly skin in between your toes and itchy, burning feet. This infection can spread to your toenails.
  • Fungal toenails look noticeably different from healthy ones. Nails become brittle and crumbly. They break easily. They may look discolored, with white, yellow, brown, or black spots that grow and spread underneath the nail.
  • Fungal nail infections can be treated with over-the-counter medications, but they can be very persistent. We advise Montgomery County residents to make an appointment with our expert podiatrists, Chanda L. Day-Houts and Dr. Heidi M. Christie, for targeted treatment of your specific fungal infection.

Ingrown toenails

  • A toenail can also become infected simply because it’s growing the wrong way. Ingrown toenails grow downward, cutting into the skin next to the nail bed. That’s usually because you’ve cut your toenails on a curve instead of straight across. When a toenail begins to dig into the skin, the toe becomes quite painful. You’ll see redness and swelling. It’ll be tender to the touch. If not treated, it may begin to ooze and smell.

Home treatment may not be enough

If you notice pain, redness, swelling, odor, or change in the appearance of your toenails that won’t go away, consult our expert podiatrists. We have prescription-strength medications, laser therapy, and even surgery to wipe out ongoing infections. Call us in Montgomery, Alabama at (334) 396-3668. You can also make an appointment online for professional care and treatment of all types of toenail infections.