Dr. Kristian Jeffress of Atlantic Foot & Ankle Specialists speaks about the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of toenail fungus.
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Dr. Kristian Jeffress on Nail Fungus Okay, so you might ask what a nail fungus is. A nail fungus is very common. I see it daily, 90% of my patients have some form of a toenail fungus. Now what makes one person more prone to having a toenail fungus as to someone else who never gets a toenail fungus? I think it really just depends on the situation. One thing I have notice is that in my older populations of patients as we get older, they're a little bit more prone to having the nail fungus. The reason being, you know, I've heard patient say “oh, you know I'm diabetic so I have a toenail fungus”. Not really the case. It’s pretty much that you're older and the fact that your diabetes can affect your immune system and also weaken it and so it was not as strong as it used to be. It does make you more susceptible to having a nail fungus. With that being said, so it's more so an immune issue, more so just the diabetes issue because then you're on the flip side you would say, a younger person comes in you know they’ve gone to a pedicure shop and they have a little yellow sticking to the nail, they have a toenail fungus. So yes, it can affect the young people as well, but like I said it’s just one susceptible to it and you acquired a nail fungus, I always say there is a fungus among us because you're always prone to it. So you asked how you know it’s a fungus on by just looking at it. How would I know that it come here that I had a fungus in my toenail? The answer is kind of simple. Your toenail will start to look not normal. You may look at your towels toenail and say “hey, my toenail doesn’t look like that”. So pretty much is the thickening, it’s the discoloration, crumbly, dry, and flakey also if you start to get to the point that there is a lot of flakes and debris above the nail and then that’s pretty much a sure sign of some type of nail fungus. So I had this fungus on my nail what do I do now? Exactly, we have a toenail fungus, first, see your podiatrist. Secondly, make sure we isolate or take a culture of the nail to make sure that it is actually a fungus that’s causing the thickening of the nail. There have been incidences where there’s it’s not really fungus that cause the nail to be thicken. It’s been yeast. So if you can isolate that we do our job and just take a culture of the toenail we’ll know exactly what’s causing the actual thickening and discoloration, the malformation of your toenail. The most effective therapies we found as far have been the Lamisil pill. I know a lot of people come in and asking me about the Lamisil pill and how they’ve about the crazy side effects and things that are going to affect them. And all that and I don’t wanted to hurt my liver. Yes, a lot of these things are true but usually if you are a healthy person with no prior liver problems, Lamisil pill is completely fine and safe to use. So, say you have a toenail fungus and it is caused by a certain type of fungus that the Lamisil pill will not treat, all is not lost. There are some effective topical treatments that can help with the toenail fungus. Yes, it takes a little bit time, and a little bit more effort. It's not as easy as popping the pill. But it has no side effects and it could still be yield a pre-optimal result. Some of these include Superia antifungal which we sell here at the Atlantic Foot & Ankle Specialist at any office. It’s sold over-the-counter but only here as you're need to our company. As well as prescription medications such as Sporanox that will take care of like the yeast and things of that nature that can affect the nail make it become think and look like a fungal nail. You may say that I don’t have a toenail fungus but how I keep from getting it. Okay, I’ll tell you exactly what I do. If you're an athlete make sure you wear clean dry socks. Change them as soon as you get home. Let your feet air out. Also I will you take and industrial can of Lysol spray, spray out your shoes because also that will kill any fungus that
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