How to Prevent Fungus Re-infection in Minnesota

You have been doing everything you can to get rid of you toenail fungus. Now the key is to prevent another fungal infection. There are some things you can do at home to prevent fungus re-infection.

• Clean your sheets in hot water and dry them on high heat.
• Wear socks that are made of natural fibers and not synthetic material.
• Make sure your feet are dry.
• Don’t walk barefoot in public places.

Besides keeping your feet clean and dry you can also sanitize your shoes. One Stop Medical Clinic, located in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, carries the Sterishoe which is a special UV sterilizer for your shoes. It uses germicidal ultraviolet light (UVC) to kill microorganisms that cause toenail fungus, athletes foot and shoe odor. Dr. Steven Shu, of One Stop Medical Clinic, recommends the Sterishoe system to every patient who comes in for laser treatments for their toenail fungus.

We tend to sweat in our shoes especially in the warmer months of Minnesota which creates the perfect breeding ground for toenail fungus, athletes foot and shoe odor. The end of the day is the perfect time to insert the Sterishoes to kill any microorganisms that are living in your shoes. You can treat both shoes at once as the system comes as a set of two lights shaped like a shoe tree and two bags to keep it dark while the light is treating your shoes. Even open toed shoes and sandals can be treated. A treatment cycle lasts 45 minutes. All you have to do is turn them on and at the end of the cycle; the lights will shut off automatically. The treatment will kill 99.9% of the harmful microorganisms that cause toenail fungus and athletes foot.

What Can Be Done About Nail Fungus in Minneapolis/St. Paul?

Nail fungus is a fungal infection that develops in the fingernails or toenails. Nail fungus is an extremely common problem in Minnesota. However, the fact that this problem is so prevalent does not make it any less embarrassing.

Nail fungus is typically caused by dermatophytes in Minnesota. However, molds and yeast can also cause fungal infections. Furthermore, there are a number of things that can make a person more susceptible to developing fungal infections.

A moist environment encourages the growth of fungus. That is why people who perspire heavily are at an increased risk for developing fungus. Fungus can easily be spread in public places, such as restrooms and swimming pools. Furthermore, fungal infections are common in people who have other health conditions, such as psoriasis, diabetes and circulation problems.

Nail discoloration and thickened nails are common symptoms of nail fungus in the Minneapolis and St Paul areas. A person who has nail fungus may also notice that his or her nails are brittle. Additionally, infected nails can potentially separate from the nail bed.

If you suspect that you have nail fungus, then you should get it treated as soon as possible. This problem will only continue to get worse. That is why you should not let the embarrassment stop you from getting the treatment that you need. You have the option of getting a 10 minute laser treatment that can clear up the fungus.

Nail fungus laser treatment is safe and has been shown to be very effective. In fact, 87 percent of patients who get the laser treatment notice a major improvement. The effective rate for laser treatment is much higher than that of oral medication. Furthermore, nail fungus laser treatment does not have any major risks.

Laser Treatment for Nail Fungus in Minneapolis

Nail fungus is a common toenail problem and a humiliating physical defect; it has become such an issue that many people won’t wear sandals even in the hottest months. The nails turn yellow and brittle and so people would rather hide them than expose them. In Minnesota, we only have a short time frame to be able to wear sandals and it’s frustrating when you can’t get a pedicure or wear sandals due to a toenail fungus. It is mostly a cosmetic issue at the beginning though this problem could point to deep, underlying health issues. Sufferers tend to avoid social and intimate situations until they find the right solutions. Procedure Clinic in Edina and Shoreview, MN has nail fungus medical professionals who are qualified to recommend the best solutions.

There is a process that all infected nails go through. First, the nail changes color, then grows thicker. As the infected area worsens, the nail becomes more fragile and parts break off, or in extreme cases, the whole nail falls off or severely deformed. If the problem is not solved, pain and inflammation sets in. The toe looks more unattractive.

What people in the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas are turning to now is Laser treatment for nail fungus. Dr. Steven Shu of Edina, MN, says, “We are seeing a higher success rate with laser treatments. The treatments are safe and have no side effects or risk to the patient.” The laser uses a specific wavelength of energy which is delivered to the sight of the infection. It is targeted towards the fungi to kill it but leaves the nail and surrounding tissue intact. Patients must make sure that they are taking very good care of their feet after the laser treatment series is over.

Home Remedies to Prevent Nail Fungus in Minnesota

One Stop Medical Center in Edina and Shoreview, MN has been treating nail fungus with modern laser technology for 4 years now. Nail fungus is a source of embarrassment to many of the people who have it. Some patients in the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas have tried many home remedies before they come into our clinic. I’ve heard of people in Minnesota soaking their feet in bleach, some have used tea tree oil, vinegar and even Vic’s Vapor Rub. On mild cases these home remedies my work but if the fungal infection is very advanced, they won’t touch the fungus. For the dry skin on the toes, heels and bottom of the feet an over the counter medicated lotion, such as Lotrimin, is recommended as that could be athletes foot. Usually if there is a nail fungus, there is athlete’s foot fungus as well. Laser is still one of the best ways to treat the Nail fungus.

Some things you can do at home are:
• Using a Sterishoe UV light to sterilize your shoes. The light will kill the fungus and bacteria in the shoes. That helps prevent re-infection and you don’t have to go out and buy all new shoes if you don’t want to. You can get your Sterishoe Light from One Stop Medical Center or any clinic that treats nail fungus in your area.
• Clean your sheets in hot water and dry them on high heat.
• Wear socks that are made of natural fibers and not synthetic material. That will allow the feet to breath and help with moisture.
• Make sure your feet are dry and not in a warm and moist environment which allows fungus to thrive.
• Don’t use a nail polish or gel or acrylic nails until the fungus has completely cleared up.
• When the nail can’t breath the fungus will keep growing.
• Don’t walk barefoot in public places. There are people who even wear flip flop style sandals in a hotel room and even in the hotel shower because they don’t want to catch anything.
• If you suspect a nail fungus the best thing to do is get it checked out right away by a physician who specializes in treating it. The earlier you start your treatments, the better your results will be. You will feel so much happier when you can show your toes and fingers again.

Nail Fungus Complications | Minneapolis & St. Paul

Many people in Minnesota think that the nail fungal infections are mostly an aesthetic problem, they don’t realize that nail fungus can also lead to several health problems. It is important to treat nail fungus as quickly as possible as it may cause permanent damage to the nail and more serious complications in the certain immunosuppressed peoples.

If the patients in the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas have a suppressed immune system due to medications, diabetes or other conditions such as, AIDS, leukemia or have had an organ transplant, you are at more serious risk for an infection that can spread beyond your toe nails.

A person with diabetes can have issues with their blood circulation and nerve supply to their feet. They are also at greater risk for getting a bacterial skin infection called cellulitis. With diabetes any minor injury to the feet or a fungal infection, can be serious and potentially lead to major health issues and extensive medical treatment. If you suspect a fungal infection, please come to see us, the laser treatment is new effective way to treat nail fungus.

Following are some of the risks and complications associated with them. The list illustrates why early and effective treatment is so important.
• Deformity. The deformities could be in the form of ridges in the nail as it grows out or a bend in the middle of the nail that is not going away.
• Pain. The deformities lead to ingrown toenails that cause pain and nail fold infection (paronychia).
• Emotionally distressing. Almost half of people with nail fungus said the condition had negatively affected their self-image.
• A spreading of the fungual infection. Without treatment, your nail fungal infection is likely to spread to other nails—and to other people in your household.
• Cellulitis with a bacterial infection. Fungal nail infections leave skins more susceptible to bacterial infections – cellulitis, the immunosuppressed patients are more vulnerable.

Treatment Options of Nail Fungus in Minnesota

Nail fungus can be treated many ways in Minnesota, but if you don’t maintain the health of your nails, you could get a repeat infection. Your physician will give you instructions on how to take care of your nails to keep them free of fungal infection after treatment. Keeping your feet clean and dry is one of the best ways to prevent another infection. Below is information on treatment options for nail fungus.

Laser treatments
Using a laser to treat nail fungus is very popular in the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas now. Many people in Minnesota are coming to their physicians to learn more about this process. It can be a little uncomfortable for some people but the results are amazing. Laser is able to treat the existing nail and the nail matrix. Laser treatments in Minneapolis require more 3 treatments to get the best results. It could take up to 12 months for the new healthy nail to grow.

Oral Medications
Your physician may prescribe an oral antifungal medication. These oral medications will help the nail grow out into a new healthy nail. It is a long process for the nail to grow out so patience is required. It could take up to 12 months. The down side of oral medications is that they can cause liver damage. Skin rashes are also a possible side effect. People with liver disease or heart failure should not take these medications. You need to do lab tests to monitor the liver function during the treatment. The efficacy of oral medications is lower than the laser treatments.

In some cases the nail fungal infection is so advanced that causes severe nail deformity and ingrown toenail, both situation are painful with walking, The physician would then recommend removing the nail so that a new healthy nail will grow in its place. It could take up to 12 months for the nail to regrow. Again patience is required. Nail removal may correct the nail deformity and cure ingrown toenail, it is necessary to cure nail fungus. In the most time, you still need the laser treatment or oral medication to clear the fungal infection.

Topical treatments
Along with laser treatments in Minneapolis you physician many recommend over the counter topical ointments such as Lamisil and Lotrimin to help with the surrounding skin tissue as many times there is also athletes foot as well as the nail fungus. Penlac may be prescribed to help with the effectiveness of the nail treatment. It is brushed on like a clear nail polish every day for a week and then taken off with alcohol on the 7th day. It is then repeated for up to 6 months. The efficacy of topical agents alone to treat nail fungus is very low, typically less than 10%, so it is not recommended to use any topical agents alone to treatment nail fungus.

Nail care and Nail Fungus | Minnesota

Have you ever been told during a pedicure that you may have nail fungus? Maybe the nail tech notices some discoloration and they ask you to monitor it. If that discoloration doesn’t grow out with the nail and it gets worse you may have a nail fungus. I have been in the situation where a nail tech mentioned something she saw on my toe nails. It is a little alarming to be told you may have a nail fungus. The nail tech asked me if I had had recently stubbed my toe. In that case I had stubbed my toe and the trauma to my nail had left a mark. I would notice that as the nail grew, the spot on my nail would go away. If this is not the case, have the nails checked out right away. The longer you let nail fungus go, the harder it will be to cure.

There are actually for classic types of nail fungus, medically known as onychomycosis. The most common form of nail fungus in Minneapolis and St. Paul areas is distal subungual onychomycosis which invades the nail bed and the underside of the nail plate. The next type is called white superficial onychomycosis (WSO) is caused by a fungal invasion of the superficial layers of the nail plate and forms “white islands” on the plate. It accounts for only 10% of the onychomycosis cases. Sometimes keratin granulations, which are a reaction to nail polish, can cause the nails to turn a chalky white. WSO can be a misdiagnosis of keratin granulations. A lab test should be performed to confirm.

The third type is proximal subungual onychomycosis which is a fungal penetration of the newly formed nail plate through the proximal nail fold. It is least common in healthy people, but is found more commonly when the person is immunocompromised. Last but not least is candidal onychomycosis. This is a species invasion of the fingernails which usually occurs in persons who frequently immerse their hands in water. It normally requires prior damage of the nail by infection or trauma. I know hair stylists and nail techs in Minnesota that have been diagnosed with this type of fungus.

You are probably asking the question, what am I looking for? A nail fungus infection may begin as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As it spreads deeper into your nail, it may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and develop crumbling edges. It is usually not painful, just unsightly. Once a nail fungal infection begins, if not treated, it can persist indefinitely.

Fungus lives in warm, moist environments which include swimming pools and showers. It can invade your skin through tiny cuts both visible and invisible or through a small separation between your nail and nail bed. When your nails are continually exposed to warmth and moisture it is the perfect condition for fungi to grow and spread. Nail fungus occurs more in toenails than fingernails because the toenails are often confined in a dark, warm moist environment where fungus can thrive. Next we will focus on treatments for nail fungus and how to maintain healthy nails.

Nail Care and Infections

The nails serve as a protective sheath over the fingers and toes, and keeping them healthy begins with basic nutrition and a caring for overall health. Problems with toe and finger nails can be caused by several conditions, many of which can be prevented with proper nail care. Some problems are indicative of medical conditions, such as diabetes, malnutrition, and chronic organ diseases. These can include changes in the growth rate and discoloration. If these changes appear or persist with proper nail care, it is worthwhile to see a doctor about exploring possible underlying problems.

Preventing Common Problems
The pain of ingrown nails and unsightly appearance of nail fungus are the most common problems people experience. Both can be dealt with through cautious hygiene and basic nail care. The best treatment for any condition is always prevention, and ingrown nails can be prevented by trimming nails regularly, wearing comfortable shoes, and protecting the feet and hands from trauma.

Nail fungus can also be prevented, though it does require more diligence. Washing the feet regularly and keeping nails trimmed is the most important step. This will allow for early detection and treatment in case of fungal infection. Fungus prefers warm and damp conditions for growth, so every effort should be made to keep feet dry. Changing socks or hosiery more than once a day, wearing breathable shoes, and avoiding tight socks and hosiery will all help keep the feet dry. Minimizing exposure to fungal pathogens in public places, by wearing shower shoes for instance, and disinfecting nail care instruments will reduce risk of infection.

Treating Ingrown or Infected Nails
There are products available to treat ingrown nails at home, but any sign of infection should be seen by a doctor. Some medical conditions, such as diabetes or circulatory disorders, make it important to see a doctor before the risk of infection. First aid should consist of soaking in warm salt water followed by application of antiseptic and bandage.

Fungal infections can be extremely persistent. Though there are at-home treatments, many doctors now use laser treatment, which is proven safe and effective.