Local News

Learn How To Be Footloose, Fungus-Free

Posted August 4, 2005 1:51 a.m. EDT

— Summer is a time to shed shoes, but people who have infections often refuse to expose their feet in public. However, there are ways to prevent your feet from being infected.

You will not see Vic Moore sporting summer sandals. He has got a problem he would rather keep covered -- an ugly fungal toe nail, but that is not why he went to his dermatologist at first.

"Actually, it was a little skin condition, a little skin cancer, and I said, 'By the way Doc, I've got this toe that's really been bugging me,'" Moore said.

Dermatologist Dr. Rebekah Oyler said some people are more susceptible to the problem than others. It can be genetic. People with chronic athlete's foot are at risk. Left untreated, it could spread to other nails.

"It can cause symptoms of pain and, of course, it's cosmetically embarrassing for people," she said.

If you have got a finger or toe nail fungus infection, the topical medications probably will not work. You are likely to require an oral medication prescribed by your doctor about once a day for three months.

You can prevent nail fungus by keeping your feet dry. Keep your nails clean and trimmed. Wear shoes or sandals in public places, especially around public pools and hotel showers.

"It bothers me because I spend a lot of time in the water and that toe nail, kind of, gets loose," Moore said.

Others at risk for fungal nail includes diabetics and people with a lowered immune system.