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How to prevent Onychomycosis (Fungal Nail)

26 July 2021

How to prevent Onychomycosis (Fungal Nail)

person_outlineSue Mullen
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Fungus is a micro-organism that lives in our environment. Fungus requires damp, dark and warm conditions to colonise and grow. Our feet can often provide these perfect conditions. As well as infecting the skin (known as Athletes Foot) it can affect the toenails (Onychomycosis).

Although painless, Onychomycosis, can look unsightly and can gradually destroy the integrity of the nails.

Prevention

My 4 simple steps can help to prevent Onychomycosis-

maintain good foot hygiene

regularly change/ rotate footwear and socks

use antiperspirants and/or moisturisers depending on your skin type

and use antifungal cream eg Lamisil regularly to keep down the levels of fungus on your feet.

Treatment

Unfortunately, once within the structure of the nail, it is not a quick fix.

Onychomycosis requires the use of an antifungal product eg Amorolfine, terbinafine or itraconazole.

These can be given either orally or topically-

  1. Orally. They work within the body systemically, delivering the product straight to the nail matrix. They need at least 3 months to work. There can be side effects associated with them. These should be discussed with your Podiatrist and GP. Advised only if most of the nails are infected.
  2. Topically. Applied to the nails directly. Treatment is much more effective if the infected nail is removed first (either surgically or chemically). If this is not appropriate then you Podiatrist can thin the nail down using a bur drill, file or blade. Once this is done, Amorolpine paint/lacquer or similar can be applied. The nail paint needs to be applied once a week for several months.

Anti fungal nail products can be bought over the counter or prescribed by your GP. Remember that they require persistence and perseverance. As always prevention is better than a cure! So remember to always have good foot hygiene.

Sue works at BodyFix Clinic on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. If you would like an appointment please call reception on 0208-394-0393. Alternatively you can book here

Sue Mullen

Sue Mullen author

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