Onychomycosis, or nail fungus, is a common and difficult problem that many of my clients ask me about, especially during the summer months when feet are on display. Until recently, topical treatments were not very effective. However, my dermatologist, Steven Weiss, MD., recommends two new topical solutions, Jublia and Kerydin, that have demonstrated better results. They’re most effective for limited nail involvement and need to be applied daily for 1 year. They require less monitoring than the oral medication, Lamisil (Terbinafine) which can be effective but has certain contra-indications.
By the way, laser treatments, which have been hyped in recent years, are not effective for clearing nail fungus. Recurrence rates are high, and the only thing they affect is your pocket book. See my post about “A Cautionary Tale of A Big Toe and Fungus“.
Here are a few preventative steps you can take to prevent nail fungus:
1. Change out of tennis shoes and socks directly after working out.
2. Check that all your shoes give you plenty of toe room and fit properly so that your body weight hits your heels to prevent any bruising to the big toe.
3. Make sure that you go to a good pedicurist consistently who does not believe in severe cuticle trimming and pushing but regular maintenance.
4. Leave the nails free of polish once in a while. Also, don’t leave the same polish on for too long.
5. After showering make sure the feet and nails are dried properly. Trapped water can lift the nail and provide the perfect place for fungus to take hold.
6. One final tip – avoid too much sugar in the diet. Strange as it may sound, this too can cause foot fungus.