With school back in session you may already be planning your next family getaway. However, one guest you don’t want tagging along is foot fungus. Sharing space with other people can often result in a fungal infection—complete with crumbling toenails, but taking a few extra precautions can help you stay free of foot fungus.

A toenail fungus can be difficult to diagnose on your own, because the symptoms vary from one person to the next. You may end up with discolored nails, or you may notice a foul odor. This fungus can spread from your toes to other parts of your body, so it’s very important to take notice of any changes in your toenails and get the treatment you need quickly. A fungal infection that spreads has the ability to cause pain and make walking painful.

It can be rather difficult to get rid of an existing infection, so prevention is the way to go. Keeping your feet clean and dry is crucial to avoiding contracting a fungus. This means washing your feet daily and making sure they are absolutely dry before putting on socks or shoes. Since fungus thrives in damp, dark, and warm places, such as your shoes, you need to give your footwear a chance to dry out as well before putting them on again. This thick material takes at least 24 hours to thoroughly dry, so always have an extra pair of shoes on hand. You might also want to carry an extra pair of socks with you, so you can change if your current pair gets too sweaty. Another thing to keep in mind is good toenail grooming. You should cut your nails straight across with disinfected clippers to avoid ingrown nails from occurring. If you end up with toenail fungus, we can prescribe topical or oral medications that can help fight it. In some cases part or all of your nail may need to be surgically removed.

Trying to fight an infection on your own can be very difficult; that’s where we come in. Our variety of treatment options includes a painless laser treatment to get rid of embarrassing fungal toenails. Dr. Mitchell Wachtel at (978) 794-8406 to schedule an appointment in our office in Lowell, MA.