There are three primary reasons you might get another toenail infection after successful laser treatment.
1. You have an early fungal toenail infection in one of the other toes on the same foot. If the fungus has just started to invade one of the other toenails on your foot, you might have fungus growing there, even though it hasn’t yet caused the yellow, thick and ugly appearance expected with a fungal toe nail.
If you only treat the thick yellow nail that is obviously infected, but not the other nails on the same foot, you run the risk of leaving live fungus behind that can restart a fungal toenail infection and spread to the other toes.
2. You have fungal spores in your shoes that can start a re-infection of toe fungus after the toenail laser has removed the fungus in the toenail. The spores are essentially microscopic seeds that sprout fungus. When you have toenail fungus, the crusty white debris that accumulates under the end of the toenail is loaded with fungal spores. As you walk around, the fungal spores are shed and land in your shoes. The warmth from you feet, moisture from sweaty feet and darkness inside the shoe creates the ideal environment to sprout a now fungus infection from the old spores sitting in your shoes. You can help prevent a re-infection of toe fungus by spraying you shoes with Lysol disinfectant (if you don’t mind the smell) or you can simply kill the fungus in your shoes with a Steri-Shoe ultraviolet sterilizer. that will use ultraviolet light (which kills fungus) to kill all of the spores and fungus in your shoes.
3. You are simply susceptible to toenail fungus and fungal infections like athletes foot.
Just like some people are more prone to allergies or catching a cold, some feet are more prone to picking up fungal infections in the skin of the feet and toenails. Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the skin. Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the nail. The same fungal organism that causes athlete’s foot is the same fungal organism that causes toenail fungus. If you have had many cases of athlete’s foot, you will want to stay alert for athlete’s foot. When you start noticing an athlete’s foot infection after your toenail infection has cleared with the laser treatment, you will want to aggressively treat the athlete’s foot before the fungus in the skin spreads to the toenails. You should also kill the fungus in your shoes with a Steri-Shoe ultraviolet sterilizer.
Dr. Christopher Segler is a podiatrist who is is Board Certified, American Board of Podiatric Medicine. He believes the best podiatry practice combines cutting edge technology with the old-school convenience of house calls. He makes podiatry house calls for runners, athletes and busy professionals in San Francisco, Millbrae, Belvedere, San Rafael and Berkeley. If you have a question about toenail fungus, you can call him directly at 415-308-0833.