It isn’t very often that men leave a job half done, but when it comes to caring for their feet they often fall a little short of the mark.
Considering this week is Men’s Health Week (June 11-17), we are sending an important message about an area of health men need to sharpen up on – and that’s foot health!
It’s not exactly something everyone likes to talk about, but all roads lead to one outcome if you don’t take care of your feet. Yes, we are talking about toenail fungus!
What are the factors that put men at risk of developing fungal toenail infections?
Several factors can contribute to the condition, however often you can narrow it down to:
- Trauma to the nail (including repetitive rubbing from footwear, especially steel cap boots)
- Excessive sweating
- Low absorbency or worn out socks
- Wearing enclosed footwear (such as work boots) for long periods
- Working in a wet environment
While it can start innocuously enough as a discoloured spot or streak on your toenail, as the fungus penetrates deeper and deeper it can cause the nail to thicken, deform, discolour further, crumble and split.
Most men might fob off the condition as merely ‘cosmetic’, but in addition to being unsightly it can also be quite painful – and if your job requires you to wear shoes all day it can quickly become very uncomfortable.
So, gents, no more excuses for grubby feet!
What happens if I’ve got fungal toenails?
The traditional treatment was antifungal oral medication, which doesn’t always work and can carry certain side effects. Topical treatment was also used, with an efficacy rate of around 8-10%.
Fortunately, the arrival of laser treatment for fungal nails now allows us to treat patients with a success rate of more than 80%.
During this treatment, the laser light penetrates the nail to destroy the fungus in a single treatment without damaging the nail or skin itself.
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