The Right Way To Stop Toenail Fungus In Its Tracks
Think you're suffering from toenail fungus? Here's the good news: because it's winter, and we're still months away from flip-flop weather, only you have to see it.
But you'll want to treat it as quickly as possible. If you don't, toenail fungus can thicken the nail and turn painful.
Here's what you need to do.
First, have a doctor confirm that the white or yellow spot under the tip of your toenail is actually a fungal infection. Fifty percent of nail problems aren't fungus related, says Mahmoud Ghannoum, Ph.D., director of the Center for Medical Mycology in Cleveland. Nail psoriasis is a common impostor, and it can be treated with prescription drugs or steroid injections.
If you test positive for fungus, your doc will probably prescribe a topical treatment for the surface of the nail as well as an oral medication to reach what's hiding underneath, says Lauren Ploch, M.D., a dermatologist based in New Orleans.
And don't forget to decontaminate your shoes—they're often fungus-filled breeding grounds that can lead to reinfection, says Dr. Ploch. Coat the insoles with a foot powder that contains the antifungal agent miconazole, such as Desenex Antifungal Powder ($8, cvs.com).
If you're worried about fungus, don't stop at your toes. You won't believe the 9 Places Where Mold Is Hiding in Your Home.