You probably have toenail fungus if you notice that your toenails become whited, yellowed and thickened. As the disease advances, they become brittle and crumble around the edges. Untreated toenail fungus often causes the nail to separate from the nail bed. In some cases, the thickened nail is so deformed that it causes pain and infection like an ingrown toenail. Serious complications are uncommon.
There are several common mistakes that people in Minnesota make with toenail fungus.
1. Thinking that nail fungus will go away by itself.
People often mistakenly think that a nail fungus infection will go away on its own. Actually, nail fungus is usually a chronic disease that slowly progresses to involve more of the nails. Promptly seeking medical care is the best way to get rid of nail fungus.
2. Painting over the discolored toenails.
My daughter spends many hours to paint her fingernails and toenails in a variety of styles. Luckily, she doesn’t have nail fungus. But it is not a good idea if people in Minnesota simply try to cover up their nail fungus with nail polish. You may not know that nail polish may trap fungus and allow it to grow.
3. Covering up too much
Fungus loves moist environments. One mistake people in Minnesota make is covering their feet constantly, which prevent the feet from breathing, and therefore causing more infection. Let the feet breathe in open-toe shoes when you are at home. In the meantime, you should avoid walking in bare feet whenever you are in public areas to avoid spreading the fungus to others.
4. Digging and picking at the infected toenails.
Just like people try to fix everything at their home by themselves, some people try to file away at the crumbly edges or dig under the nail plate in an attempt to scrape away the fungus. Quite the contrary, this activity increases the chance to spread the fungus to others toenails. It is important that you avoid sharing clippers with anyone else at house.
5. Use topical creams only.
OTC topical creams appeal to people in Minnesota because they can be purchased without prescription and they are relatively cheap. However, topical creams do not work as well as oral medicine or laser treatments in curing fungal nail infections. 10% efficiency with topical creams compare to 90% efficiency with laser treatments. The efficiency of oral medication is in between topical creams and laser treatments, but it can potentially damage the liver.