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Treating Toenail Fungus

It never gets very cold in Georgia compared to other parts of the country, but even by our standards it’s been a warm winter. As the temperatures rise even further and winter melts into spring and now into summer, your favorite sandals will become essential for keeping you cool and comfortable.

Unless, of course, you’re suffering the discomfort of a bad case of toenail fungus, causing you to keep your toes hidden. While toenail fungus doesn’t commonly pose any medical risks to otherwise healthy people (unless you have diabetes or circulation issues), their discolored, rough appearance can cause serious emotional distress and loss of confidence, even though fungal toenails are a lot more common than you might think.

The Good News

In the last decade, toenail fungus treatment has become more available, with much higher success rates than previously. This is due in a large part to the introduction of laser fungal treatments. While previously your podiatrist would rely primarily on topical antifungal creams (which have a hard time penetrating the nail) or oral antifungal pills (which all have mixed success rates and come with a bevy of potential side effects), laser treatments are 100% safe, painless, and side-effect-free. Laser fungus treatment uses beams of concentrated light a very specific frequencies to destroy the fungus at the source, all without damaging the surrounding healthy skin tissue. Mostly likely your podiatrist will recommend using a combination of topical, oral and laser treatments to combat the fungus more completely.

The Bad News

Unfortunately, while toenail fungus is much easier to treat than it used to be, you still have to wait for the damaged nail to grow out before the effects of the treatment set in and a healthy nail fully replaces it. This process can take many months, or even up to a year, depending on how quickly your nails grow, which on average is 3 to 4 times slower than your fingernails.

So what is the lesson here? Don’t wait until it’s summer time to treat your toenail fungus! The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you can be rid of the infection. Once you get your own natural healthy nails back, then you can go out confidently again in your favorite open-toed shoes!

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