What Treatments Are Available For Fungal Toenails
Treatment options for fungal toenails include:
- Topical antifungal medication
- Laser therapy
- Topical keratolytic medication
The team at City Podiatry uses Aerolase® laser technology to penetrate the nail and kill the fungus, a safe treatment option with minimal side effects.
City Podiatry also offers a cosmetic solution to improve the appearance of nails affected by fungus. Keryflex is a temporary medicated nail extension thats bonded to your real nail and grows with it, looking like a natural, healthy nail.
After your treatment program finishes, your nail still has to grow out and be replaced by new, healthy growth. Full regrowth of the nail can take a year or more.
If youve noticed discoloration or thickening of your toenail, dont wait to see what happens. Call City Podiatry or schedule an appointment online today.
Toenail Fungus Common Questions
If youre dealing with toenail fungus, the first thing you need to know is that you are not alone. Many people struggle with toenail fungus and have a lot of questions. How did the infection start? Can I treat the fungal infection at home? What kind of doctor should I see for toenail fungus? Does laser nail fungus removal work?
Symptoms of a fungal toenail infection
Although toenail fungus is relatively common, it isnt unusual for people to keep their condition to themselves. Up to a point, its okay to ignore some thickening or discoloration. However, if the condition gets worse, you may begin to experience pain or unpleasant smells. The most common symptoms of an infection include:
- Thickening nails and distortion in shape
- Changes in color until nails are white, yellow, or brownish
- Nails begin to break and crumble
- The nail becomes detached from the toe
- An appearance of dark debris under the nails
- A slightly foul smell
If youve started to notice that nails are becoming warped or break easily, pay attention to whether you have any other related symptoms. Of course, catching an infection early is the best way to prevent further discomfort.
Causes of fungal infections
Toenail fungus treatment options
Know It May Have To Be Permanent
At this point, if he or she has not discussed this with you earlier, the doctor may recommend that you have the nail permanently prevented from growing back. This is only done in severe cases of fungus or other disorders where the problem would simply keep occurring if the nail grew back.
To do this, the doctor must destroy the nail matrix, which is the part of the toe that produces keratin, the element that toenails are made of.
The matrix can be dissolved chemically, which is the most common. This is called chemical cauterization, and involves the application of a chemical called phenol. Occasionally, some patients report their nails growing back, but generally this method is effective.
If this does not work, your doctor will perform a surgical matrixectomy. A flap of skin is surgically created at the base of the nail, where the matrix is located. After retracting the flap, the matrix is surgically removed.
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When You Should See A Chiropodist Or Podiatrist For Your Nails
One of the most common services chiropodists provide for the foot, is nail care. Toenails, unlike their finger counterparts, can easily be overlooked and eventually cause certain foot conditions that require treatment. Frequently seen toenail problems include ingrown nails, fungal nails, and thickened nails. Nail care is also provided as a routine service for patients with diabetes or other difficulty maintaining the nails by themselves.
Ingrown nails occur when the side of a toenail begins to push on the adjacent skin. It can start as simple pressure, and if it is not addressed, it can actually puncture the skin and cause a wound that can easily become infected. For some people this can be a chronic problem. Risk factors include improperly fitting footwear , sports or other repetitive activity, or simply damage from injury. Sometimes even the way the nail grows can increase riskpeople with naturally more involuted or curved nails are more likely to experience ingrown toenails.
It is recommended to consult a chiropodist or podiatrist if prolonged pressure or pain starts to present with the side of the toenails. Your chiropodist has special tools that can properly cut and remove the offending nail, and shape and file it to prevent recurrence of the ingrown nail. Early management is crucial for preventing more serious infection and pain. With more chronic cases, your chiropodist or podiatrist can discuss further treatment options.
Podiatrist For Toenail Problems In South Texas
At The Podiatry Group of South Texas, our team of multidisciplinary podiatrists can treat a full range of podiatry issues, from trauma and fractures to diabetic foot conditions. Our goal is to provide the highest quality podiatric care to patients. We do this through state-of-the-art equipment and treatment options that can affectively alleviate any issues you may be experiencing. We also try to make podiatric care convenient for you with in-office procedures that can treat a variety of issues, such as toenail fungus infections and ingrown toenails.
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What Is A Podiatrist
Podiatrists are the best doctors to diagnose and treat toenail fungus. Toenail fungus is one of the most common foot conditions in adults. They are most knowledgeable about this issue from diagnosis to treatment to prevention. Podiatrists have seen thousands of toenail fungus cases with various levels of severity. They can immediately tell if your toenail has a fungal infection or not.
The best type of treatment for toenail fungus is laser treatment using the PinPointe Laser. It achieves about an 85% success rate which is the highest compared to other options. In our clinics, treatments are done by podiatrists, not nail technicians. So if you are unsure if you have a fungal infection, our doctors can diagnose your case and you can get the treatment done at the same visit. You will be under the best care of our experienced doctors. They can give you the best advice to prevent reinfection and answer all of your questions regarding your condition. They can also help you with your other foot problems.
Dermatologists Located In Easton Md & Salisbury Md
If your toenails appear thicker than usual, seem a bit brittle, and are starting to become discolored, chances are you have a fungal infection. Even if you dont have any other symptoms, early diagnosis and treatment are important to ensuring the fungus wont progress or spread to other parts of your body â or to other people. If you think you might have a toenail fungus, the providers at Easton Dermatology Associates can help. From diagnosis to treatment and prevention, they help patients on the Delmarva Peninsula maintain healthy feet.
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Is Toenail Fungus Really Such A Problem
If youre thinking you can just live with it, we dont advise letting toenail fungus go untreated. Its an insidious problem, and without treatment, you have to deal with the discomfort of the nail as well as feeling self-conscious about its unsightliness.
If you let a nail fungus infection go for too long, several problems emerge. The infected nail can become misshapen and increasingly separated from your nail bed. Itching and pain are unpleasant side effects if theyre too severe, you can have trouble wearing shoes or walking.
You need to be especially attentive to treating toenail fungus if your immune system is compromised. If youre living with diabetes, its critical not to ignore the fungus. Even a mild infection like this can snowball into something more serious, like cellulitis, a severe bacterial skin infection.
Another problem is that untreated fungus eventually can spread to either neighboring toenails or to the skin of your foot, causing athletes foot. Possibly the worst outcome of untreated nail fungus is needing to have your nail surgically removed.
Toenail Fungus: Causes And Risk Factors
Toenail fungus is a fungal infection in the toenail. It happens when a fungus anything from mold to yeast to other types of fungus gets in the nail bed from a cut or break in the nail or repetitive trauma to the nail, and penetrates the nail itself, says Dr. Sundling. The nail then continues to grow with the fungus. Once a nail plate is infected with fungus, it will never not be infected, and you must wait to see how it grows out and whether the new nail growing behind it is healthy. The new nail rarely grows in healthy without treatment, says Sundling.
Toenail fungus is very common 14 percent of people have it in North America, according to an article published in the journal PLoS Pathogens and its more common the older you get, adds Sundling. Wearing shoes that are too small can damage the nail and make it more vulnerable to fungus, as can having a fungal infection on the skin of the foot and not treating it, which could expose the nail to fungus. You may be more at risk to toenail fungus if you have diabetes, or a weaker immune system.
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So What Exactly Is Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is an infection of the toenails, also called onychomycosis . In reality, it can affect both your fingernails and your toenails, though is much more common in toenails.
The fungus can also spread from your nails and nail beds to the skin between your toes. This is called athletes foot, and similarly, toenail fungus can be caused by athletes foot.
What Causes Toenail Fungus
It can happen to anyone at any age but is much more common in older adults. As a person ages, their nails become ever more brittle and dry, which leads to cracks in the nails that bacteria and detritus can enter through.
Toenail fungus is also caused by warm, wet environments. If you walk around with wet shoes or go without footwear when navigating public bathrooms or showers, this can lead to foot fungus issues.
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Surgical Toe Fungus Removal Treatment
This is the last resort to treat the toenail fungus condition. The whole nail can be removed or part of it can be removed to allow a healthy growth of the nail. Sometimes the nail might be removed with some skin underneathit depends on the level of infection. This will ensure that the nail that grows back will not be susceptible to infections.
Over the counter remedies bought from your local drug store are not expensive. However, they are not as strong and might not completely clear the fungal infection. If they clear the infection for some time and it comes back, seek an alternative cureby visiting a podiatrist for further treatment.
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How Do I Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is a common foot condition that can cause the nails on the toes to be thick and discolored. They may look darkened or yellow, and become brittle or crack. In some cases, the toenails may even have an odor. This condition can be embarrassing and cause pain if the nail becomes infected and separates from the nail bed.
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The Podiatrists Take On Home Remedies
While home remedies are unlikely to cause any harm in themselves, Dr. Hinkes urges caution when relying on them when looking for how to get rid of toenail fungus. âResorting to folk remedies can be dangerous because it could keep the patient from getting a legitimate diagnosis and treatment,â he says. âNow in some people, this could be a critical thing, because it can be contagiousyou can pass it to other people and you can pass it to other parts of your body. So itâs really not something you want to fool with.â Dr. Hinkesâ advice is clear: Visit a foot care specialist. This could be a podiatrist, but foot care nurses also offer an excellent and affordable service as an alternative. And if neither of those is available, try a dermatologist. Left untreated, this condition wonât go away on its own and can cause serious pain, deformity, and even lead to further complications. Podiatrists recommend seeking expert helpyouâre better safe than sorry. If youâre desperate, though, try these DIY foot and toenail fungus treatments.
Types Of Toenail Fungal Infections
Toenail infections affect about 14 percent of the population at any given time, according to a study published in June 2014 in PloS Pathogens. The most common symptoms of a toenail fungal infection include discoloration of the nail, debris under the nail, irregularity of the white part of the nail, nail thickening, and pain, says Sheth.
Toenail fungal infections can usually be categorized into one of the following five subtypes:
Distal Subungual Onychomycosis This is the most common form of toenail fungal infection, usually occurring in the portion of the nail closer to the tip and on the underside of the nail. The nail may become thick, yellow, or brittle.
Endonyx Onychomycosis People who have endonyx onychomycosis have fungus growing between the layers of the toenails. With this type of fungus, toenails usually have a milky white color and may be pitted or split. They usually dont thicken or separate from the nail bed.
Proximal White Subungual Onychomycosis This is a relatively uncommon form of toenail fungus, seen most often in people with weakened immune systems due to conditions such as HIV. The fungus enters the toenail through the cuticle and affects the part of the nail closer to the base, turning it a whitish color.
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Nail Changes A Dermatologist Should Examine
Have you noticed a change to any of your nails lately? A change in color, texture, or shape can be harmless, but it can also be a sign of disease. If you notice any of the following changes to a fingernail or toenail, its time to see a board-certified dermatologist.
Not every dark streak is a melanoma, but its always good to have a dermatologist examine one. Caught early and treated, that may be the only treatment you need.Allowed to grow, treatment becomes more difficult.
When To See A Podiatrist For Hammertoe Bunions Or Toenail Fungus
Hammertoe, bunions, and toenail fungus are just a few of the foot problems we treat here at The Schottenstein Center. By contacting our office at the onset of symptoms, we can make an early diagnosis and, hopefully, treat the condition right away before it becomes more of a significant issue.
You should see a podiatrist immediately for most foot problems such as hammertoe, bunions, and toenail fungus. If left untreated, these conditions could cause further complications and the need for major surgical intervention down the road.
In the following sections, we will give you a basic understanding of each condition. Well also tell you how to recognize the symptoms of each one. Finally, we will list some of the possible treatment options to discuss with your doctor.
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Do I Need To Worry About A Fungal Toenail
In general, fungal toenails arent a serious problem if youre otherwise healthy. However, they can be a significant risk for people with diabetes or circulatory disorders because of the increased susceptibility these patients have to bacterial infection.
Fungal infections that compromise the nail and soft tissues cause damage that allows bacteria to enter, leading to potentially severe infections. People with diabetes or impaired circulation should always consult their podiatrist if they have symptoms of fungal toenails.
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