5 Easy Steps to Keep Nail Fungus from Returning after Laser Treatment
One of the most common questions Dr. Mark Green, a podiatrist with Kansas City Foot and Ankle, hears after treating a patient’s fungal nails with laser is “could the fungus come back?” And his answer is always “yes, you got it once and you can get it again, if you’re not careful or proactive.” He explains that fungus is everywhere.
Now that you’ve eliminated that pesky and unsightly nail fungus with laser treatments, the following steps will help keep your feet healthy and happy:
1. Get on a laser maintenance program
Just as regular cleanings are important in maintaining healthy teeth and gums, periodic laser treatments will help kill any fungus trying to gain a “foot-hold” within your nails. Laser maintenance treatments every 4-6 months help to ensure that your nails remain fungus-free. Treatments are fast and effective in preventing recurrence of the fungus.
2. Keep your shoes fungus-free
Fungus loves moist, dark environments, and there is no better place for fungus to thrive than in your shoes. If you’ve got fungus on your feet, you’ve got it in your shoes. Treating your toenails without treating your shoes is de”feeting” the purpose of the laser to begin with. Dr. Green and Dr. Jameson recommend using a SteriShoe in all your shoes weekly to help prevent recurrence of fungal nails. SteriShoe uses ultraviolet light technology to kill 99.9% of bacteria and fungus just waiting for a chance to re-infect your feet. SteriShoe is available at Kansas City Foot and Ankle.
3. Use topical anti-fungal medication preventatively
Topical anti-fungal medication is only 15-30% effective in killing fungus within the nails, but where it really shines is in prevention. Applying topical anti-fungal medication to your nails daily can help keep fungus at bay. You brush your teeth daily, right? Treat your feet to the same respect and they’ll thank you with years of fungus-free comfort.
4. Eliminate your athlete’s foot
Get rid of that annoying athlete’s foot once and for all. Fungus on your skin will spread to the nails. It’s the same fungus. Just like the presence of fungus in the nails makes it hard to get rid of athlete’s foot, the reverse is also true. In the presence of athlete’s foot, your fungal nails are likely to recur. Talk to the doctor about appropriate treatment options.
5. Wear Protective Shoes
Avoid walking barefoot around pools, locker rooms, community showers and other moist environments where fungus is lurking. Be sure to keep your feet protected in hotel rooms and wherever other people walk barefoot.
Following these recommendations should help prevent recurrence of your fungal nail infection after your treatment. If you have thickened, discolored, unsightly toenails, there may be a fungus among us. Give Kansas City Foot and Ankle a call today and see if laser treatment is right for you.