How Did I get Toenail Fungus?

Toenail fungus can be embarrassing and hard to get rid of. Yes, proper prevention is the ultimate goal, but just like a cold, when you catch it, it’s too late. Now, you have toenail fungus, but how did you get it? More importantly, how do you get rid of it and make sure it doesn’t come back?

Although the actual source of toenail fungus is difficult to identify, exposure to warm, damp places increases growth of the infectious pathogens. Just like a cold, toenail fungus is easy to pass on and can be caught once or many times over. What are some common places toenail fungus can be caught?

Public Showers/ Gym Locker Rooms
The gym, public pool, spa, or dorm. We all know public facilities can be unsanitary at times to say the least, but how can I catch toenail fungus? People are walking in their bare feet in most of these locations, and the warm, wet conditions are an ideal home for fungus to grow and spread. Also, most people don’t wash their feet before taking a shower or leaving the locker room. Tip: Wear shower shoes or flip flops!

Nail Salons
Summertime means barefoot trips to the beach and a pre-travel trip to your local nail salon for a pedicure for your tired feet, right? Whether you are a loyal nail salon customer, or only choose pedicures for special occasions, tools in nail salons are a breeding ground for fungus. Yes, they sanitize their tools and wash the basins after each customer leaves, but sometimes this does not kill the pathogen.

Borrowing shoes from friends can be fun, affordable, and could potentially give you toenail fungus! Infected nails could pass on their infection by a shared towel, shoes, socks, or even exposure to an area where the infected toenail has been. You may not have noticed a yellow, flaky nail, but they could have been infected without showing any symptoms quite yet.

Getting Rid of Toenail Fungus
The easily spread and difficult to destroy toenail fungus puts up a tough fight against most treatments. Those frustrated with toenail fungus have most likely tried pills and/or topical creams with little or no success. The treatment of toenail fungus is often difficult because the infection is under and inside the nail, making it difficult for most treatments to reach and destroy the fungus.

Will Toenail Fungus Come Back After Treatment?
It is important to note that, although laser treatment is virtually painless and highly effective, the patient must be willing to make a conscious effort post-treatment. Follow-up appointments and taking proper precautions when it comes to fungus exposure is very important. For example, if you seek treatment for toenail fungus and decide to wear the same pair of shoes you have been wearing, it is very likely you will be exposed to the fungus again and be infected. It is possible to avoid the infected areas or exposing your feet to your favorite pair of exposed shoes by using the SteriShoe.

We Can Help
Don’t hesitate to give Dr. Mark Spier a call with any of your toenail fungus questions. Dr. Spier has 28 years of experience and is the first Podiatrist in the Baltimore area to provide the Pinpointe Footlaser. He has treated over 2,000 patients in Maryland and is ready to help your feet look their best this year for flip-flop season!



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