We are going to be playing a new game for the next few weeks. The game is the “Versus Game.” In this game we will look at two conditions that are alike but different and talk about the differences.
This week we kick off with a toe nail fungus vs. thick toe nails. Often people think they have toe nail fungus and they really have a thick toe nail. A trip to see your friendly local podiatrist is the best solution. Your friendly local podiatrist can tell you which you have and give you the best solution for the problem.
Even though it might sound like I made it up, thick toe nails are an actual condition. You can develop thick toe nails in various ways. Too much pressure (usually from shoes), injury or trauma can cause your toe nail to thicken. This is your body’s way to protect the area. Depending on the type of injury that the toe nail is reacting to, the nail can grow back without permanent damage. For example, if your toe nail has thickened because of pressure from your shoes then when you stop wearing shoes that put too much pressure on the toe nail then the nail will eventually grow back. If your toe nail has thickened due to trauma, then it is possible that it will never grow back to look like a normal nail.
Have you seen those commercials on TV that feature Mario Lopez calling someone out for having toe nail fungus on the red carpet? I am always a bit stunned by the premise of those commercials. I suppose since I remember them and the name of the product that they are successful commercials.
Fungus toe nails are caused by a fungal infection. You can get the fungus from various sources. The fungus will live in areas that are warm, dark and moist. Public showers are a great breeding ground for fungus. If you don’t wear some protection, like flip flops, in public showers, the fungus can spread to your toe nails. Shoes and socks are also breeding grounds for fungus. You should not share shoes or socks because of the risk of fungal infection. While not classified as highly contagious, it is contagious and can be spread by using the same nail polish or nail tools as someone who has the fungal infection.
Once you have the toe nail fungus treated, your toe nail will grow out and be a normal looking toe nail. It does take time for your toe nail to grow out completely. It can take up to 6 months. (So, if you are looking to have great looking feet for summer, the time to go to the doctor is now.
With both conditions, you may want to have your friendly local podiatrist trim your nails while you are in the office. Let’s be honest, it is hard to cut both thick toe nails or infected toe nails and you don’t want to cause other problems (like ingrown toe nails) because you had problems cutting your own nails.