When it comes to fungal foot infections, two conditions in particular loom large: athlete’s foot and fungal toenails. Both can cause major discomfort, distress, and embarrassment, and because they’re both caused by the same kinds of fungi, developing one condition increases the likelihood that you’ll also develop the other.
Obviously, you’ll want to take steps to contain and treat these conditions as early as possible if you want to get the best results. Home care, along with a professional evaluation, can be an important part of that process.
Between the two, athlete’s foot is far easier to contain and treat at home. Most cases will fall to a simple regimen of home care using an over-the-counter topical medication—cream or spray. The instructions may call for application of the antifungal once or twice per day, for a period of up to a month. Please follow these instructions fully, even if it seems like the rash has already been eliminated. Failure to complete the treatment course can result in a return of the infection.
Fungal toenails are trickier to tackle on your own. Because most off-the-shelf antifungals have trouble reaching the fungal spores underneath the thickened nail plate, home care is rarely effective. However, if you begin early, you might achieve some success. Carefully trimming, softening, and thinning the nails at least weekly and applying medication daily may at least partially improve symptoms.
In either case, you’ll want to raise your game on hygiene to prevent re-introduction of the fungus. Wash and dry your feet daily, rotate between pairs of shoes, and change socks as often as necessary to prevent them from getting damp. Use antifungal powders or spray inside your shoes as well to prevent fungi from gaining a foothold (pun intended).
If your home treatments aren’t cutting it—or you simply don’t want to risk it getting worse, especially in the case of fungal toenails—give the Gulf South Foot & Ankle team a call. You can reach us in Metairie at (504) 708-4810, or in Covington at (985) 809-1464.