In this season of holiday gift-giving, the one “gift” no one wants to receive is an infection. Foot and nail fungus spreads easily if you’re not careful. Even if you take precautions, your kids may be the ones to bring it home. No one wants children’s toenail fungus to spread and put a damper on a holiday celebration, which is why taking care of the problem promptly is so important.
Fungal nails are unpleasant, unsightly, and can be somewhat uncomfortable. Older children whose feet sweat a lot have a high risk for the infection—and may easily spread it to you. This happens because the fungus is contagious and kids like to play in bare feet, allowing the pathogen to transfer to the floor and footwear.
The good news is that conservative treatments are usually successful for children’s toenail fungus. Most likely your child will need to apply topical anti-fungal medication to the nails daily. This helps destroy the pathogen on the surface of the keratin and the surrounding skin. However, nail fungus usually festers under the nail where normal creams and ointments can’t reach.
In that case, oral medication to carry the anti-fungal treatment through the blood stream and directly to the nail may be considered. This fights the infection at the source. Combining topical medication with oral is usually the most effective method.
You’ll need to help your child take care of his or her shoes and foot hygiene, too—especially around the house—to keep the problem from spreading around. Wash his or her feet daily. Make sure your child doesn’t share socks or shoes with siblings or friends, and all socks go straight to the wash after wearing them. Try to have your son or daughter alternate pairs of shoes each day, and treat the footwear fabric with anti-fungal sprays or powders.
Remember, fungal nails are a stubborn infection that can take months to heal. The longer you let the problem fester, though, the worse it will get. See how Dr. Darren Silvester at Next Step Foot and Ankle Clinic in Pleasanton, TX, can help you eliminate it. Call (830) 569-3338 or use the website to reach us for an appointment.